odot

Homeowners along Sandy River defend ODOT’s bike-unfriendly guardrails

Avatar by on July 2nd, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Former biking space on Historic Highway.
(Photo: Forum user amadeusb4)

We’re still trying to learn more about why the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) installed three sections of guardrails in the paved shoulder of the Historic Columbia River Highway north of Interstate 84 last week. These guardrails narrow valuable space used by many bicycle riders and their dangerous placement increases odds of stressful passes and collisions.

The fact that ODOT did this without any public notice and on one of the most important and valuable cycling routes in the state is unconscionable and just the latest example of the agency’s negligent stewardship of our transportation system. We’ve reached out to ODOT leadership for further comment and clarification but haven’t heard back.

Since our story posted on Monday, we’ve read dozens of comments expressing grave concerns and outrage. Now homeowners who live along the road where the guardrails were installed are defending the project, saying the guardrails are necessary to thwart illegal campers and to make the road safer for drivers.[Read more…]

New ODOT guardrails on Historic Highway makes cycling more dangerous

Avatar by on June 29th, 2020 at 3:11 pm

New guardrails on Historic Columbia River Highway along Sandy River.
(Photos by BikePortland Forum user amadeusb4)

[Read more…]

The outdated and dangerous 85th percentile rule is dead in Oregon

Avatar by on April 15th, 2020 at 2:29 pm

On May 1st, traffic engineers in the state of Oregon will no longer rely on an outdated and dangerous method for setting speed limits. Thanks to new rules adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission last month, the process for for designating speeds has changed dramatically and now goes way beyond the traditional 85 percentile method.

The 85th percentile rule has dominated U.S. traffic engineering since it was championed in the 1960s. It says limits should set at the speed which 85% of drivers are currently driving at or under. What could possibly go wrong? Since it’s a universal phenomenon that people drive faster than what’s safe, this methodology is very biased toward higher speeds and it’s a big factor in America’s rising traffic death toll. [Read more…]

Woman killed while walking on Barbur Boulevard was ‘brilliant’ PSU researcher

Avatar by on March 19th, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Iulia Hanczarek.
(Photo: Portland State University)

Iulia Hanczarek was coming into her prime as a chemist and researcher at Portland State University. She had dreams of a doctoral degree and missions to space. At just 39 years old, she had a lot of important discoveries ahead of her. Staff at the university describe her as “brilliant”.

But just after midnight on Tuesday her life was cut short when a man chose to drive his car while drunk and hit and killed her as she walked home in southwest Portland. According to police, Ivan Cam was driving approximately 50 miles per hour prior to hitting Hanczarek. Cam told crash investigators the window of his car “suddenly exploded” and he didn’t even know what he’d hit. He now faces charges of manslaughter, DUI, and reckless driving.[Read more…]

New directors, new divisions: ODOT’s dramatically different new org structure

Avatar by on December 18th, 2019 at 2:19 pm

New ODOT org chart effective as of yesterday.

[Read more…]

Oregon Senate confirms ODOT director who says freeway widening is a climate change strategy

Avatar by on December 5th, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Director Strickler.

It’s official.

Kristopher “Kris” Strickler was confirmed by the Oregon Senate last month to become the leader of the Oregon Department of Transportation. Strickler was picked and vetted for the position by the Oregon Transportation Commission, (the Governor-appointed body that oversees ODOT) who offered him the director position back in September.

Beyond activist circles, Strickler — a fan of freeway expansions who once managed the failed Columbia River Crossing project for Washington’s DOT — was anything but a controversial pick. His confirmation was a formality. Even so, given the importance of his position, I thought it worthwhile to share his confirmation hearing — in particular an exchange with a legislator around how ODOT will address climate change.

On November 19th, Strickler sat down in front of the five-member Senate Interim Committee On Rules and Executive Appointments. [Read more…]

ODOT will close northbound span of I-5 Bridge for 9 days next year

Avatar by on October 21st, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Get ready for 2-way traffic on the I-5 Bridge sidewalk.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How worried is the Oregon Department of Transportation about an upcoming closure of the Interstate Bridge? They’ve announced it nearly one year in advance.[Read more…]

ODOT employee taken off Vision Zero Task Force following Twitter rant

Avatar by on October 4th, 2019 at 9:29 am

Tiana Tozer at a PBOT Vision Zero event on September 26th.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A series of tweets last week by a State of Oregon employee has led to her removal from a City of Portland task force.

Following her participation in a Portland Bureau of Transportation Vision Zero event on September 26th, ODOT Region 1 Transportation Safety Coordinator Tiana Tozer turned to Twitter to respond to critics. Many people felt her responses — which included statements like, “Well listen up Stoopid… No matter how much we engineer our streets, some idiot, like you, will still find a way die on them” — were inappropriate, especially for a State of Oregon employee.[Read more…]

ODOT staffer raises eyebrows with series of tweets – UPDATED

Avatar by on September 30th, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Tiana Tozer at a PBOT event last Thursday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Comments about transportation safety made on Twitter last week by Portlander Tiana Tozer have raised eyebrows. While her Twitter account is not an official ODOT communications channel (her profile says, “Opinions are my own”), Tozer is ODOT’s Region 1 transportation safety coordinator and she sits on the Portland Bureau of Transportation Vision Zero Task Force.

Here’s what happened:

Tiana Tozer attended a City of Portland event at Ventura Park Thursday morning. Later that day she replied to a tweet of a video we posted from the event. When someone questioned the effectiveness of holding signs and asking drivers to slow down, Tozer replied: “Ho hum another entitled American sitting back watching people die, but he himself has no solution. How easy it is to criticize. God forbid you should be part of the solution. Don’t strain yourself.” [Read more…]

Oregon Transportation Commission offers Kris Strickler job as next ODOT Director

Avatar by on September 10th, 2019 at 5:42 pm

Kris Strickler

[Read more…]