oregon transportation commission

Former PBOT assistant director nominated for seat on Oregon Transportation Commission

Avatar by on September 2nd, 2020 at 11:09 am

Maurice Henderson at a PBOT event in 2016.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Transportation commission says I-5 Rose Quarter project can move ahead without environmental statement

Avatar by on April 2nd, 2020 at 1:08 pm

The oversight body for the Oregon Department of Transportation has given the agency permission to move forward on their $715 million I-5 Rose Quarter project without doing more rigorous and independent analysis of its environmental and community impacts.

In a 5-0 vote taken on a meeting held over the phone today, Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Robert Van Brocklin said he was satisfied with steps taken by ODOT thus far and that, “I just don’t find the basis in the record to change to an EIS [Environmental Impact Statement].”

At issue was whether ODOT should be required to perform an EIS or stick with their already completed Environmental Assessment. Both processes are part of the US Federal Highway Administration National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). ODOT completed an EA last February, a step required to determine whether or not a project will have significant impacts.

With their vote today, the OTC has swept aside serious concerns and calls for an EIS by many regional elected leaders and organizations, and thousands of Portlanders who oppose the project. In the past two weeks alone, the group No More Freeways says over 350 people submitted public comment calling for an EIS. Last spring a comment period led to over 2,000 public omments, 89% of which were in opposition to the project. [Read more…]

State commission close to making pick for ODOT director

Avatar by on September 3rd, 2019 at 4:28 pm

The Oregon Transportation Commission just announced a special meeting that will take place on Wednesday where they are likely to choose a new leader of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

ODOT’s longtime director Matt Garrett announced his resignation back in January and left the agency in June. An OTC search committee has been meeting since March to choose his successor.

The Willamette Week reported in late August that three finalists have been chosen. On the short list are Contra Costa Transportation Authority Director Randell Iwasaki, New Hampshire Department of Transportation Director Victoria Sheehan, and current ODOT Highway Department Manager Kris Strickler.[Read more…]

High level talks next month will decide fate of I-5 Rose Quarter project

Avatar by on August 30th, 2019 at 3:52 pm

ODOT says even if they did do an EIS it wouldn’t stop the project from moving forward.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

What’s really going on with the controversial I-5 Rose Quarter project?
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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…
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ODOT tolling plan off to feds with support from Oregon Transportation Commission

Avatar by on December 6th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

On the left, the cover of ODOT’s 48-page application to the FHWA. On the right are the proposed tolling locations.

Before the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) can begin any kind of congestion pricing on existing freeways, they must first submit a proposal to the Federal Highway Administration. At their monthly meeting in Salem today, ODOT’s governing body voted 5-0 in favor of that 48-page plan, marking a major step in the future of tolling in the Portland region.
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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.
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New member of Oregon Transportation Commission is “avid cyclist”

Avatar by on May 26th, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Sean O'Hollaren Photo_253

Sean O’Hollaren
(Photo: ODOT)

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has successfully added her first member to Oregon Transportation Commission and it appears like he’s got at least some some cycling experience.

Sean O’Hollaren, a former senior VP at Nike, fills a spot on the five-member committee that was left vacant when former Governor Kitzhaber fired Catherine Mater.

The OTC is the most powerful transportation body in the state. They approve funding, set ODOT policy, and “guide the planning development, and management” of our transportation network. There are five members, each representing a different region of the state.

The committee’s agenda items currently include the statewide transportation funding plan, a major update to the ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian plan, federal TIGER grant funding, and more.
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Senate names two new members of Oregon Transportation Commission

Avatar by on June 2nd, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Alando Simpson (L) and Catherine Mater — your newest members of the Oregon Transportation Commission.
(Photos courtesy Simpson and Mater)

Last week the Oregon Senate confirmed two new members to the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC): Catherine Mater, a civil engineer and business owner from Corvallis; and Alando Simpson, owner of City of Roses Disposal & Recycling in Portland. Simpson is also the first African-American on the commission since it was formed in 1913.[Read more…]

ODOT’s plans to change budget process ruffles local feathers

Avatar by on August 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and their policy-making arm the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) have proposed sweeping changes to how the state allocates transportation dollars and who gets to decide how those dollars are spent. The proposals come with a short timeline and advocates and elected officials in the region want several key changes before they’re adopted next month.

Saying that the changes are necessary because of dwindling revenues and a need to fund, “the most effective projects based on community and state values, rather than those that fit best into prescribed programs,” ODOT and the OTC are changing how the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is managed. The STIP is a document that covers four years of capital projects. The 2015-2018 STIP, which ODOT is looking to apply changes to, will include a total of $960 million in projects across the state.

From what I’ve learned so far, there are two major parts to this story. The first is how bicycling will be impacted by the funding changes; and the second is who the ODOT/OTC will appoint to the advisory bodies that decide which projects get on the funding list.
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