The Oregon Global Warming Commission met this week to review the draft of their 2018 Biennial Report to the Legislature. The Commission, created in 2007 to provide oversight on Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy, detailed that despite our current efforts, Oregon is struggling to make progress, and has actually seen an increase in emissions in recent years – the majority of it coming from the transportation sector (making it all the more notable that the transportation seat on the commission is currently vacant).
I took a look at the report and here’s what I learned…
The report begins with a powerful letter from Commissioner Chair Angus Duncan that begins with a quote from Winston Churchill about WWII: “Owing to past neglect,” Churchill said to the House of Commons in 1936, “In the face of the plainest warnings, we have now entered upon a period of danger…”
This post comes from BikePortland subscriber and contributor Kiel Johnson. He previously wrote about his grassroots effort to garner neighborhood support for the Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project.
In the latest Oregon Governor’s race poll Kate Brown is ahead by 4% with a margin of error of 5%. There have been alarms going off that Governor Brown is in trouble and many commentators are pointing to a lack of a compelling vision. Last year she helped push through HB 2017, one of the largest transportation budgets in Oregon’s history. Yet this additional money is not doing her many favors for saving her job. She has hardly mentioned her victory on the campaign trail. As people who spend time reading about the importance of transportation, it is crucial for us to figure out why transportation is not a topic of interest in this race.
I encourage you to leave your ideas in the comments below. Here are a few of my thoughts:
One of the bright spots in the $5.3 billion transportation package passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017 was annual funding dedicated to Safe Routes to School.
House Bill 2017 (which the Oregon Department of Transportation now calls the Keep Oregon Moving program), included a $10 million annual investment in street safety projects within a one-mile radius of schools. That number bumps up to $15 million a year in 2023.
But when the ink on the bill dried, there remained a lot of things to figure out. Who would be eligible for the money? What would the grant process look like? Which type of roads and projects would compete best for the funds?
To answer these and other questions, ODOT convened a Safe Routes to School Rulemaking Advisory Committee. The bulk of that committee’s work is done and yesterday ODOT announced that the draft rule update for the new Safe Routes to School Fund is ready for public scrutiny.
— Caleb Diehl is a staff writer at Oregon Business Magazine. This is his first story for BikePortland.
Despite recent news of an autonomous vehicle crash in Tempe, Arizona, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s task force on autonomous vehicles is driving forward.
The group will hold its first meeting on April 18. Among the 27 members appointed by ODOT Director Matthew Garrett you’ll find members of the trucking, taxicab and automotive industries.
You won’t, however, find anyone from an organization that advocates for biking and walking.
ODOT spokesperson Sarah Kelber said she couldn’t comment on the makeup of the task force, which is outlined in HB 4063, the bill that created it. The language of the legislation doesn’t leave much wiggle room for choosing appointees. But it does mandate that one member come from a nonprofit, which could have opened the door for an advocate of vulnerable road users. The Street Trust’s Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky said his organization was notified too late in the process to take part.
How bad have things gotten at the Oregon Department of Transportation? How about a letter admonishing the agency signed by every major elected office holder in the Portland region?
Today across America school students are walking out of class to bring attention to gun violence, the need for comprehensive reform of gun laws, and to say “Never again!” when it comes to school shootings.
Most Portland Public Schools administrators support the walkout. As a parent of kids in three PPS schools, we’ve gotten detailed emails and notices from each one in preparation of today’s actions.
Last night I heard from a parent of a student at Cleveland High School that the email sent by Principal Ayesha Freeman included a strong warning about a major safety concern that has nothing to do with gun violence. Freeman shared four specific items in her email aimed at getting parents and students ready. One of them was about SE Powell Boulevard — the state-controlled arterial road that runs outside the school on its southern side.
Here’s what Freeman wrote in her email:[Read more…]
The ODOT Files is a collection of stories that illustrate how the Oregon Department of Transportation prioritizes auto and trucks users at the expense of everyone — and everything — else.
The Oregon Deparment of Transportation is spending $5.3 million to update and make seismic retrofits to the historic Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass. The project goal is to bring the bridge back to is “Depression era beauty” by repairing cracks, broken concrete, exposed rebar, and delamination of the deck. But for people who use the bridge sidewalk — especially those who use wheelchairs and other vehicles — there’s nothing beautiful about narrow pinch points.
And there was nothing in the plans to widen them until the agency’s hand was forced.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun an internal process to analyze a safety risk to bicycle users on Highway 30.
After we highlighted how people park their cars in the shoulder of the busy highway near a Forest Park entrance north of Linnton last week, we urged people to flag the issue via the AskODOT system.
It turns out at least one person took the advice and did so.
A few days after our story went up we heard from ODOT Region 1 Public Information Officer Don Hamilton. “In response to an AskODOT query,” he shared via email, “ODOT will conduct a parking prohibition study at that location. This will take up to six weeks to complete, with appropriate action, if any is necessary, to follow.”[Read more…]
This post is written by Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike bike valet in South Waterfront.
The Oregon Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Rian Windsheimer, is trying to remove a bike lane on SE 26th without providing any satisfying reasons as to why this is a good idea. This should alarm anyone who thinks that Portland should be safer for bikes and that our transportation system should be designed around evidence. From favoring auto capacity over transit, to spending $450 million to widen a freeway while many of the most dangerous streets that are under state control lack safe crossings, ODOT has repeatedly proven they are not acting in the best interests of the people of Portland. If ODOT is going to regain the trust of the community they serve, there needs to be a cultural change at ODOT that starts at the top. The director of ODOT who oversees Portland, Rian Windsheimer, must go.