matt garrett

ODOT renames Portland region headquarters after outgoing director Matt Garrett

Avatar by on June 26th, 2019 at 8:26 am

Presenting the Matthew L. Garrett Building.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s regional headquarters in Portland is now known as the Matthew L. Garrett Building.

The agency installed the name of its outgoing director on the side of the building last Friday. He resigned from the position back in January and his last day at the agency is June 30th.

In a video published by ODOT (below) you can see crews installing Garrett’s name on the new building while co-workers pile on the praise. Region 1 Public Information Officer Don Hamilton says, “Matt Garrett’s great legacy for ODOT was the standard he set for kindness and decency. I think naming this building after him is a reminder of that standard he set for all of us at ODOT.”[Read more…]

Eager to end Matt Garrett era, advocates set expectations for new ODOT leader

Avatar by on February 8th, 2019 at 10:50 am

Advocacy groups aim to put their stamp on the selection of the next person to run ODOT.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

After 14 years at the helm, Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett resigned last month. For many reform-minded transportation advocates and professionals, he won’t be missed.
[Read more…]

Matt Garrett has resigned from ODOT

Avatar by on January 18th, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Matt Garrett in 2012.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Huge news from the State of Oregon today: ODOT Director Matt Garrett has resigned.

This is potentially – depending on his replacement – a massive development that could lead to a different culture in the automobile-centric agency.

Garrett was an embattled agency head who had been the subject of severe criticisms from electeds, advocates, and transportation reform leaders.

I’m out of town at the moment and unable to fully analyze and report on this. So for now, here’s the statement from ODOT:
[Read more…]

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

Avatar 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…]

Audit says ODOT is misaligned with governing body, commissioners vow change

Avatar by on February 2nd, 2017 at 5:42 pm

OTC meeting in Salem-1.jpg

ODOT Director Matt Garrett listens to a presentation about the audit from Tyler Duvall of McKinsey & Company.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett sat silenty for nearly two hours today while members of the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC, ODOT’s governing body) probed deeper into an audit of the agency he has led since 2005.

ODOT got solid marks from auditors in some categories — like organizational culture and building and maintaining highways. But auditors also found the agency needs a clearer short-term plan and more effective coordination with its governing body, the OTC.
[Read more…]

Collision on St Johns Bridge kills bicycle rider – Updated

Avatar by on October 29th, 2016 at 2:56 pm

View of the west end of the St. Johns Bridge. Despite being a very popular and important bikeway, it's quite inhospitable for users not inside a motor vehicle.

View of the west end of the St. Johns Bridge. Despite being a very popular and important bikeway, it’s quite inhospitable for users not inside a motor vehicle.

A man died while riding his bike on the St Johns Bridge today. He became the 37th person to die as a result of a traffic collision in Portland thiss year.

Not many details have been released. I’ve pasted the most recent police statement below:[Read more…]

State’s distracted driving campaign now includes unmarked patrol cars, task force

Avatar by on April 6th, 2016 at 9:15 am

distract-newcarpresser

New unmarked Oregon State Police car unveiled at a press conference in Salem yesterday.
(Photo: ODOT)

The Oregon Department of Transportation is ramping up its attack on distracted driving.
[Read more…]

As cities scramble for cash, $196 million drops into state’s lap from nowhere

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 17th, 2016 at 8:14 am

I-5 at Rose Quarter

Where did all our money go?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland

A revealing bit of information came across our desks this week.

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Republican legislators call for ODOT director to quit over emissions claims

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 19th, 2015 at 11:55 am

ODOT Director Matt Garrett

Matt Garrett has led ODOT since 2005.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A few weeks after left-leaning former Metro president David Bragdon all but called for the firing of Oregon’s top transportation official, legislative Republicans are calling for it explicitly.

Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett is facing criticism from both sides over the incident, earlier this year, when his office and Gov. Kate Brown’s temporarily claimed that tens of millions of dollars in freeway investments would be part of reducing long-run carbon emissions in Oregon by more than 2 million metric tons.

[Read more…]

ODOT faces ‘incompetence or dishonesty at the highest levels,’ former Metro president says

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 23rd, 2015 at 3:14 pm

David Bragdon speaking 2

David Bragdon earlier this year.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Apparently this is what happens when an elected official doesn’t have to play nice any more.

Former two-term Metro President David Bragdon launched a politely spoken but blistering attack on the Oregon Department of Transportation Friday, urging his former state to reform its transportation system in response to “incompetence or dishonesty at the highest levels of ODOT,” among other factors.

Bragdon, who left office in 2010 for a top planning job in New York City and now runs a nonprofit think tank called TransitCenter, spoke in a lunchtime address to the City Club of Portland. His prepared remarks focused on the need to change what he called “the insanity of Oregon’s transportation governance system” but his criticism of the department’s leadership deepened in off-the-cuff answers to questions afterward about the Columbia River Crossing.

[Read more…]