gail achterman

Friends, family plant trees along I-205 path in honor of Gail Achterman

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 19th, 2012 at 10:18 am

Gail Achterman’s husband Chuck McGinnis (L),
his son Daniel McGinnis and daughter-in-law
Cheryl McGinnis, plant a tree in her honor
along the I-205 path.
(Photos: Friends of Trees)

Gail Achterman was honored over the weekend when friends, family, and colleagues planted more than a dozen oak trees in her memory along the I-205 path in SE Portland. Achterman passed away back in January after decades of public service as a lawyer and advocate for environmental preservation and sensible transportation policy. She was most recently Chair of the influential Oregon Transportation Commission.

The trees were planted in the grass along the I-205 path between SE Schiller and SE Pardee — in the district Achterman represented as OTC commissioner.[Read more…]

Remembering Gail Achterman

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 28th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Gail Achterman speaking at the Oregon Bike Summit in April 2008. She died Saturday afternoon.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Gail Achterman, known and respected by many for her role in setting Oregon transportation policy, died this afternoon after a bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 62 years old.
[Read more…]

Chair of Oregon Transportation Commission resigns due to health reasons

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 26th, 2011 at 11:39 am

Oregon Bike Summit-20.jpg

Achterman speaking at the
2008 Oregon Bike Summit.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Gail Achterman is stepping down from her role as Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission due to health reasons.

The announcement came via email from Director of ODOT Matt Garrett yesterday, who said Achterman, “has significant health issues that require her full attention and energies.” According to a website where Achterman has been sharing updates about her condition, she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Here’s more from Garrett:[Read more…]

Changes at ODOT could lead to new era for active transportation

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 14th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Sunday Parkways North Portland-38

ODOT’s move could level the playing
field for active transportation.
(Photos © J. Maus)

As I reported on Tuesday, a major organizational shift is taking shape at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). For the first time ever, ODOT will have an official Active Transportation “section” within the agency.

ODOT Director Matt Garrett made the announcement yesterday via an internal email, saying it was one of the agency’s “first steps to pursue a more multimodal vision.”

Not unexpectedly, reactions to the news were mixed. Those close to ODOT (staff, advisory committee members, and so on) are excited about the announcement, while those on the outside looking in (advocates, citizen activists, city staff), are skeptical.
[Read more…]

Kitzhaber mum on transportation: Will he make a change atop ODOT?

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 21st, 2011 at 12:58 pm

John Kitzhaber acceptance speech-5

Governor Kitzhaber at his
acceptance speech back in
(Photos © J. Maus)

Oregon’s newly elected Governor John Kitzhaber has made a many staff appointments in his first month in office. He’s named people to help him develop policy on issues like energy policy, business development, job creation, health care, affirmative action, and other issues. But there’s one issue where Kitzhaber has been glaringly silent — transportation.

And, while our state faces much more serious issues, there’s not shortage of action around transportation right now.

In the 2009 legislative session, former Governor Kulongoski passed the Jobs and Transportation Act that included over $800 million in earmarks for road projects across the state (some of which are already moving forward). ODOT — whose 2007-2009 budget was about $3.4 billion — received federal stimulus funding for over 200 projects — with about 100 of them completed and 40 still under construction.[Read more…]

Reporter’s notebook: Recap of Oregon Bike Summit

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 7th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Oregon Bike Summit 2010-13

Oregon’s best and brightest bike
advocates all came together for
the 2010 Oregon Bike Summit.
Photo Gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Oregon Bike Summit happened on Friday. It was a lot of excellent information packed into one day, without a lot of breaks. That meant it was difficult for me to simultaneously attend, listen, talk with people, photograph, and create coherent stories on the day of the Summit (especially since I left before it was over to see my 7 year-old daughter in a school performance). I did a few stories, but there’s much more to report. [Read more…]

ODOT charts course for a non-highway future

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 3rd, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Oregon Bike Summit-20.jpg

Gail Achterman at the 2008
Oregon Bike Summit.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Oregon Transportation Commission is like the Jedi Council when it comes to setting statewide transportation policy. Its members are appointed by the governor and they have tremendous influence over funding, setting direction and priorities, and a host of other decisions that have a direct impact on our state’s transportation system.

With Oregon on an exciting biking trajectory, it occurred to me that all our momentum could be stifled if ODOT (whom the OTC sets policy direction for) is not ready to handle it.

In other words, imagine a funnel with all the projects, programs and great ideas for biking at the top, and a very small hole on the bottom. The hole is ODOT.[Read more…]