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Robert Van Brocklin named head of Oregon Transportation Commission

Avatar by on July 24th, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Robert Van Brocklin.

The Governor-appointed body that oversees the Oregon Department of Transportation has a new leader.

ODOT announced today that Robert Van Brocklin will be chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission. Brocklin will fill the spot of current Chair Tammy Baney whose term ends August 31st.

Van Brocklin is a Portland resident who formerly worked as a managing partner for Stoel Rives LLP, Oregon’s largest law firm. He has also worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and was the Director of Government Affairs for the City of Portland. Van Brocklin joined the OTC in November 2017.

One of the many organizations Van Brocklin has been involved with is the Portland Business Alliance where he currently serves as a member of their Board of Directors.
[Read more…]

ODOT wants to shrink the bike lanes on North Rosa Parks Way

Avatar by on June 18th, 2019 at 11:40 am

Looking eastbound on North Rosa Parks Way where it crossing I-5.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

10 months after the City of Portland widened the bike lanes on North Rosa Parks Way (where it crossing Interstate 5) the Oregon Department of Transportation wants to narrow them.[Read more…]

You have until Thursday to comment on ODOT Director job description

Avatar by on May 7th, 2019 at 1:46 pm

What would you like to see in the leader of ODOT?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation is in desperate need of new leadership. Thankfully, the Oregon Transportation Commission is moving full steam ahead in their search for a new director.

The OTC’s search committee — led by Vice Chair Bob Van Brocklin, a lawyer with Stoel Rives LLP — has published a draft version of the job description and will accept public comment on it until this Thursday, May 9th. Below are a few salient excerpts from the description:

The OTC seeks a new chief executive that will manage ODOT through significant change…
[Read more…]

New section of Springwater will come with 10 new stop signs for path users

Avatar by on March 6th, 2019 at 1:22 pm

You can thank the ODOT Rail Division.

The Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau has started paving a new section of the Springwater Corridor path in Sellwood. This long-awaited project will close one of the last remaining gaps in this important regional path. It’s just a 0.4 mile section of the Springwater between SE Umatilla and 13th; but as any regional trail advocate will tell you, the sum impact is greater than its parts.

While it’s good to finally see progress on this segment of the “Sellwood Gap,” I was disappointed to find out that the City of Portland will install 10 stop signs along the new path. According to the official project plans, there will be stop signs (and associated stop bar striping) at the crossing of each roadway that intersects with the path: Umatilla, Harney, Marion, 9th, Linn, 11th, and 13th. [Read more…]

Advocates, residents see Highway 30 paving project as chance for safer bicycling

Avatar by on February 22nd, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Highway 30 has potential to be a direct route from downtown Portland to St. Johns. Unfortunately its bike access is abysmal.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Anyone who’s ridden a bicycle on Highway 30/St. Helens Road between northwest Portland and the St. Johns Bridge understands why it has the moniker “Dirty 30”. With a major paving project in the pipeline, ODOT has a chance to change that bad reputation.[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…]

Oregon Global Warming Commission releases draft report to legislature

Avatar by on October 19th, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Cover of the report.
(View PDF here)

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…”
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Subscriber opinion: Governor Brown should lose ODOT leadership to win reelection

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) by on October 11th, 2018 at 9:49 am

What is Kate Brown’s transportation vision?
(Photo: ODOT)

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:

[Read more…]

ODOT unveils draft rules for spending new Safe Routes to School funding

Avatar by on April 26th, 2018 at 2:06 pm

A family makes their way to Beach School in north Portland on the Concord Neighborhood Greenway.
(Photo: J. Maus)

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.
[Read more…]

Oregon DOT’s AV Task Force rolls on — without a biking or walking rep at the table

Avatar by on April 12th, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Image from cover of ODOT’s Autonomous Vehicles 101 presentation.

— 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.
[Read more…]