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Guest article: The Street Trust’s goals for the 2017 transportation funding package

by on March 1st, 2017 at 3:56 pm

(Author’s note: This article is the second part in a three-part series from The Street Trust, the Portland-based nonprofit fighting to win $161 million for safe streets, transit operations, and clean air in the 2017 Oregon legislative session. See part one here)

Cover of Transportation for Oregon’s Future legislative plan outline.
(PDF)

Oregon is in the best position to pass policy improvements and transportation funding in the 2017 legislative session, since the highway-heavy Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009. This is our chance to win $161 million in funding for safe streets.

The Street Trust is part of Transportation for Oregon, a coalition of progressive partners including Oregon Environmental Council, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Transportation for America, Better Eugene-Springfield Transit, the Oregon Conservation Network, as well as many others who are focused on winning the following key priorities in this session’s forthcoming transportation package:

Goal: A new state and/or local revenue source for transit needs.

Currently, transit providers across the state are unable to keep up with increased ridership, the needs of youth, the needs of older adults, and the needs of people with disabilities. Oregon contributes proportionately much less funding to transit than most other states—only 3% of operations funding, compared with state contributions of over 24% nationally. We’re asking the legislature to provide state funding to match and leverage local, regional and federal funds; to invest in more transit service (a lifeline in rural communities and key growth strategy in cities and suburbs).

[Read more…]

Lawmakers, ODOT Director hear emotional testimony at Vision Zero bill hearing

by on February 15th, 2017 at 1:01 pm

ODOT Director Matt Garrett (lower right) was in the house for today’s hearing.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

A bill that would establish an official State of Oregon Vision Zero Task Force got its first public hearing today. And it was heart-wrenching.

The eight members of the House Committee On Transportation Policy who presided over the hearing for House Bill 2667 probably didn’t expect the 8:00 am start time to attract testimony from nearly two-dozen people. And they probably didn’t expect to hear from people like Marina Hajek, the mother of a 10-year old boy who was hit and killed by a reckless, speeding driver while walking his bike across a street in Eugene 10 years ago.
[Read more…]

Metro proposal rejects Safe Routes to School, spends more on freight routes

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 31st, 2016 at 10:53 am

A Safe Routes to School event in 2010. The Metro regional government is proposing to start supporting the program in suburban schools, but not to increase funding for accompanying street improvements near those schools.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A two-year campaign for regional funding of better biking and walking near schools, backed by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and other advocacy groups, is in tatters.

[Read more…]

State will conduct safety audit of Barbur and formally weigh road redesign

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 26th, 2015 at 2:01 pm

barbur curve looking north

Typical midday traffic approaching a curve in Barbur Boulevard from the south.
(Image: Google Street View.)

Four months after saying it had no plans to do so, the Oregon Department of Transportation will formally consider the possibility of new changes to a two-mile stretch of Barbur Bouelvard where six people have died in cars, on motorcycles and on foot in the last six years.

[Read more…]

Reflective clothing mandate, other bike bills up for hearing in Oregon house – UPDATED

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 25th, 2015 at 9:24 am

People on bikes-34

One bill would ban nighttime biking
without reflective clothing.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE: Davis’ office says the reflective clothing idea will not move forward. See our update here.

Oregon’s biggest legislative session for bike-related issues in years will come to its first peak on Monday, but many biking advocates have a prior engagement.

Awkwardly, five separate bills that could make big differences for biking will get hearings in Salem on the same day that dozens of Oregon biking leaders and professionals are scheduled to gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

The bills to be tackled include HB 3255, which would ban nighttime bike use for people not wearing reflective clothing; SB 533 A, which would permit someone on a bike or motorcycle to proceed through an unresponsive red light after a full cycle; HB 2621, which would let Portland issue speeding tickets on its high-crash corridors using unmanned photo radar; HB 3035, which allows school-zone warning lights to flash all day, rather than just at the start and end, for schools whose campuses straddle 45 mph+ streets; and SJR 16, which would refer a bill to the voters in 2016 that would allow car-related taxes and fees to be spent on off-road transportation projects.

[Read more…]

BTA-led coalition seeks to restore active transportation cuts in City budget

by on December 12th, 2012 at 11:26 am

BTA’s Gerik Kransky (L) and freight
advocate Corky Collier after the PBOT Budget BAC
meeting yesterday.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the face of severe cuts to active transportation in the PBOT budget that came to light last month, a coalition led by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) presented a proposal yesterday to restore nearly half of them.

With dwindling revenue forecasts, PBOT has had cut their budget for several years now. This year’s gap was estimated to be $4.4 million. Of that, PBOT proposed $1.5 million in cuts to active transportation — $1 million from projects and $500,000 to programs and staffing. The cuts would impact programs like Sunday Parkways, Safe Routes to School, neighborhood greenway projects, and more. [Read more…]