to create a new “Active Transportation” section that will bring together separate programs into a more effective and efficient whole. Eventually, I would like to see a division reporting to the Deputy Director for Operations, but for now, we will start with a section.This sure sounds splendid! It looks like a new emphasis on complete streets and getting away from the highway and auto-centric view of bike projects as frills.
The vision is to integrate programs and funding sources to support the selection and delivery of projects that are multidimensional transportation projects, not just a “highway” or “bikeway” or “transit” project. We want strategic project selection that provides complete transportation solutions for communities and takes advantage of the unique features of each program and funding source.
But given the Mica Federal House proposal to eliminate separate funding for bike/ped projects, it's not clear that this would actually align with and better manage the funding streams.
ODOT "Kremlinologists" will no doubt weigh in with more analysis and opinion. The plan could be a way to starve non-highway programs, or it could be a move towards a visionary rethinking of transportation and mobility choice. The new appointments to the Oregon Transportation Commission, Tammy Baney and Mark Frohnmeyer, come from public health and electric car backgrounds respectively, and they suggest the possibility of visionary change. Here's BikePortland's first take.
But for the moment, cautiously optimistic is probably the place to be.