odot

ODOT wants your feedback on future regional transportation projects

by on February 16th, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Check out the projects coming down the pike and let ODOT know what you think about them. This is for their 2018-2021 “STIP” – Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

ODOT press release below:

Now is your chance to provide feedback on Oregon’s transportation priorities! Tell us what’s important to you.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is requesting public comment on the draft 2018-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, also known as STIP.

The draft outlines Oregon’s transportation priorities for 2018-2021. The STIP includes 146 projects in the Portland-metro area, which represent ODOT’s plan for design and construction with anticipated federal funds.

Learn more about the proposed transportation projects and provide your feedback online at www.odotR1stip.org.

You can also share your opinion in person on Wed., Feb. 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at ODOT Region 1 Headquarters, located at 123 NW Flanders in Portland, or Thurs., Feb. 23 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Multnomah County Library’s Gresham branch, located at 385 NW Miller Ave.

The current public comment period closes Feb. 28. However, comments can be submitted at any time online.

Thank you for taking the time to share what’s important to you in Oregon’s transportation future.

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

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…]

Guest opinion: ODOT management audit misleads, omits key facts

by on February 1st, 2017 at 1:12 pm

A day in Salem-3

We deserve a better ODOT before we hand them new revenue.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This guest essay was written by Joe Cortright, an urban economist with Impresa Consulting who also runs CityObservatory.org.

There are a lot of big questions about the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) competence and capability. Unfortunately the new $1 million audit undertaken by McKinsey and Company answers none of them.

The audit is misleading, inaccurate and omits key facts about ODOT’s substantive management problems. In effect, the audit actually conceals some of ODOT’s most expensive blunders.

An audit that doesn’t acknowledge, much less analyze, obvious problems can’t provide meaningful solutions. For example, auditors who can’t even correctly identify the cost of the agency’s largest construction project—and who purposely omit it from their one statistical chart showing cost overruns—aren’t worth the money they’re being paid, because they haven’t done their jobs.

Why does this matter? Because the Oregon legislature is about to begin a debate over transportation funding that could result in hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through ODOT’s hands.
[Read more…]

City, advocates say ODOT’s plans for outer Powell buffered bike lanes are not enough

by on January 30th, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Help is coming to Powell east of 122nd, but will it be enough to attract a wider swath of bicycle riders?

18 months of debate about how to provide safe bike access on a 14-block stretch of Southeast Powell Boulevard is finally coming to an end. At least the Oregon Department of Transportation hopes it is.

Saying they are now months behind schedule, ODOT wants to move forward into the final design stage of a project that will rebuild Powell between SE 122nd and 136th. With $17 million from the State Legislature and another $3 million from Metro, the latest incarnation of ODOT’s Outer Powell Safety Project will add a host of updates to this state highway (U.S. Route 26), which has one of the worst crash records of any road in Oregon. This project will bring long-awaited changes and additions to signals, sidewalks, intersections, landscaping, crosswalks, and bike lanes.
[Read more…]

Despite safety rhetoric, ODOT looks into raising highway truck speeds

by on December 5th, 2016 at 3:55 pm

"Higher Speed Limit: No More Need to Speed" says an ODOT sign following speed limit increase in March 2016.(Photo: ODOT)

“Higher Speed Limit: No More Need to Speed” says an ODOT sign following speed limit increase in March 2016.
(Photo: ODOT)

The faster a vehicle travels, the more likely it is to hurt its operator or other road users. Advocates know this, first responders know this, traffic engineers know this, safety experts knows this. It’s a simple concept that fuels a lot of policy and advocacy — yet some politicians are still enthralled with the idea that the benefits of going faster outweigh the human costs.

After we got our first clue about two weeks ago, we’ve now confirmed that the Oregon Department of Transportation has commenced an engineering report on raising truck speeds on interstate highways. The move comes after an unnamed lawmaker said they plan to introduce legislation in the 2017 session to raise the speed limit on I-5 and two other major highways.

Let’s back up a bit…
[Read more…]

Fact check: The St. Johns Bridge does not need 19-foot wide lanes for freight traffic

by on November 9th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

The St. Johns Bridge looking west. (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikipedia)

The St. Johns Bridge looking west.
(Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikipedia)

Despite multiple demands over the years to improve bike access on the St. Johns Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation has used many different excuses for why the current lane configuration simply cannot change. And it turns out their latest excuse — that state design guidelines for freight traffic require 19-foot wide lanes in both directions — is untrue.
[Read more…]

Oregon just adopted a new transportation safety plan: Here’s what’s in it

by on October 26th, 2016 at 5:03 pm

odot-tsapcover

About 400 people have died every year on Oregon roads for each of the past 20 years. Now a new plan adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission on October 15th says the state has 20 years to bring that number down to zero.

Facing a second consecutive year of a double-digit increase in road fatalities, the the 177-page Transportation Safety Action Plan lays out a path to tackle the problem.

It’s the fourth Transportation Safety Action Plan adopted by Oregon since 1995. The previous plan was adopted in 2011. Beyond a useful roadmap to safer streets for policymakers and citizens, the plan also fulfills a requirement of the Federal Highway Administration. If Oregon wants to tap into federal safety funds, they must have a plan like this on file.

But it’d be a shame if the plan got stuffed into a file to just gather dust because the data and directives in the plan are essential knowledge.

For instance, the more than 230,000 traffic crashes that happened in Oregon between 2009 and 2013 had a total societal cost of $15.6 billion — about $785 per year for every Oregon resident. In that same time period 1,675 people were killed and over 7,000 people were seriously injured using our roads.[Read more…]

Subscriber Post: First look at ODOT’s new Sunrise Corridor bikeway

Adam H. by on July 28th, 2016 at 10:25 am

Part of the new bikeway built by ODOT as part of their Sunrise Corridor project. It opened on July 1st.(Photos: Adam Herstein)

Part of the new bikeway built by ODOT as part of their Sunrise Corridor project. It opened on July 1st.
(Photos: Adam Herstein)

This post was submitted by BikePortland subscriber Adam Herstein. These posts usually appear on our Subscriber Posts page but we like to share them here on the Front Page when appropriate. — Jonathan

ODOT has completed their Sunrise JTA Project which constructed a new 2.15 mile, four lane expressway at a cost of $130 million. As part of this project, bike improvements were constructed. I rode the new cycleway yesterday evening.
[Read more…]

State says raised bike lanes won’t work on outer Powell after all

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 28th, 2016 at 9:39 am

concrete with durable striping

A sidewalk-colored bike lane (described here as a “concrete shoulder”) set off by slightly raised striping is the state’s preferred alternative for bike lanes on a reconstructed Powell Boulevard east of Interstate 205. The state-run road carries about 20,000 motor vehicles daily.
(Image: ODOT)

After an advisory group agreed that it wanted an upcoming rebuild of outer Powell Boulevard to include raised bike lanes, the Oregon Department of Transportation says they’re not practical after all.

Instead, it’s drawing the ire of some (though not all) advisory committee members by saying there won’t be any vertical protection between bike and car traffic on the busy state-run street.

[Read more…]

ODOT to bicycle riders: Here’s your chip seal cheat sheet

by on June 8th, 2016 at 11:35 am

You might not like chip seal; but at least now you'll know how to avoid it.(Photo: Peckham)

You might not like chip seal; but at least now you’ll know how to avoid it.
(Photo: Peckham Asphalt)

For the first time ever, the Oregon Department of Transportation has published their list of upcoming chip seal projects specifically with bicycle riders in mind.

Chip seal is a type of paving material that mixes asphalt with pieces of fine aggregate (a.k.a. gravel). Road agencies love it because it extends the life of low-volume rural roads and it’s much cheaper to do than repaving. But for people who bike, chip seal is a drag. Literally. The tiny bumps don’t even register while driving, but on a bike they can really slow you down and cause fatigue. (And you do not want to think about what happens when you crash on it.) What makes matters worse is that road crews will often chip seal just the standard lane and then leave a ridge that crosses the fog line and goes into the shoulder people ride.

“My goal is to get the word out so bicyclists can plan accordingly and avoid an unhappy experience.”
— Sheila Lyons, ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator

Because of the groans that come with chip sealed roads, we were happy to get an email from Oregon’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator Sheila Lyons last week. She wanted to make sure people know what to expect when planning summer bike adventures on our state’s many excellent backroads. Lyons knows this is an issue, not just because she hears about it from Oregonians, but because she’s a rider herself. “It can be no fun to ride on,” she wrote in the email. “But it’s a cheap and effective surfacing treatment that ODOT is using more and more.”
[Read more…]