Special coverage of the 2007 Legislative Session
You can also read about the BTA’s legislative efforts on their website.
DeFazio, Buttigieg tout electric cars, bikes, and warn of ‘existential threat’ of climate change at Eugene event
These are wild times for climate change in America. We have floods and droughts and fires and heat waves — scary, deadly, catastrophic events — unfolding in front of our eyes as policymakers scramble to satisfy an anxious public and activists increase the volume of their pleas.
Yesterday in Eugene, the Biden Administration’s top transportation leader, US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared at a press conference with U.S. Congressmen and Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Peter DeFazio. They and other officials spent the day viewing safety challenges on Highway 99 in Corvallis and driving an all-electric bus. The high-profile visit was part of a tour to tout Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.
As the climate issue heats up, so too are calls to use transportation policy as a way to address it.[Read more…]
Like dreaded vegetables on a dinner plate, the powerful Joint Transportation Committee of the Oregon legislature has left the hardest stuff to swallow until the very end. At their last meeting of the session Thursday morning, committee members are likely to vote on consequential legislation that would set funding levels for three freeway projects and a plan to allow the state to borrow up to $600 million in tolling-backed bonds.
Months of debate have focused on two bills in the House: 3055 and 3065. Both are omnibus bills (meaning they deal with many issues) and look to tweak House Bill 2017, the landmark $5.2 billion package of project earmarks and new taxes the legislature passed in 2017. Among other things, HB 2017 set aside $30 million per year for the I-5 Rose Quarter project (to begin January 2022) and it directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (the governor-appointed body that manages the Oregon Department of Transportation) to study and implement tolls on sections of I-5 and I-205 in the Portland region.[Read more…]
A bill that would have increased spending on bicycling and walking infrastructure on the 50th anniversary of Oregon’s legendary “Bike Bill” has died in committee.[Read more…]
A new bill in the Oregon Legislature would remove a major barrier to the use of automated photo radar cameras.
Current Oregon law requires that every citation issued by a fixed speed camera must be reviewed by a sworn police officer. While well-intentioned, this statute has led to delays in citation processing, higher personnel costs to do the work — and most unfortunately — a bureaucratic reluctance to install new cameras.
In Portland for example, despite clear benefits of fixed speed safety cameras, they are installed in only four locations. That’s just eight cameras in operation since being given the authority to use them in 2015. One big problem is our procurement process, but the other is strictly due to police personnel.
An August 2019 story in The Willamette Week titled, Speed Cameras Save Lives. So Why Does Portland Have Only Eight of Them?, explained the police staffing bottleneck:[Read more…]
Senate Bill 395, also known as the Safe Routes for All bill, got its first hearing at the Oregon Legislature this morning where members of the Joint Transportation Committee heard much more support for the bill than opposition to it.
But what the opposition lacked in the collective power of their voices, they made up for in the power of the organizations they spoke up for.
Proposed by The Street Trust with sponsorship from Eugene-area Senator Floyd Prozanski (who was not in attendance today), SB 395 seeks to increase the minimum expenditure on bicycling and walking infrastructure from the State Highway Fund from 1% to 5% and make a few other key tweaks to what’s known as the Oregon Bike Bill, a groundbreaking piece of legislation passed in 1971.