|Online "open house"|
Even established insider advocacy organizations have concerns. A month ago a coalition submitted comment about its shortcomings.
|From the BTA's letter|
Equivocation in the language [about safety] throughout the plan’s policies and strategies dramatically undermines its intent. Creating safe streets for people walking and biking requires narrower travel lanes, slower vehicle speeds, more physical protection, more sidewalks and bike lanes, and savvy and comprehensive public education. Nowhere in the plan language is this direct and well-understood approach to safety made into policy. This omission will not serve Oregonians of all ages walking and biking now or in the future.More recently the BTA blogged about it.
We strongly urge the Commission to request inclusion of an explicit commitment to including true Multimodal Level of Service performance measures in the context of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. It is arguable whether or not such a measure is ready to direct projects today, but it is essential that Oregon commit to applying a new multimodal standard within the plan period. Merely identifying it as a potential new tool is insufficient; this plan must make commit resources to developing this approach and include policy ensuring its adoption.
A multitude of great work went into this revision, but we feel it has shortcomings....And a little more neutrally, a biking and walking insider has recently said:
In your comments to ODOT, consider the following important points.
We need to know where we are today if we intend to chart a course for change in the future. The current plan does not have an adequate inventory of the bicycle and pedestrian network and its shortcomings. Specifically we recommend that ODOT borrows its own Region 1 [Portland area] Active Transportation Needs Inventory and Assessment. This tool provides an excellent process and example, and should be replicated statewide.
We need clear, spelled-out policy that puts safety first. Creating safe streets for people walking and biking requires narrower travel lanes, slower vehicle speeds, more physical protection, more sidewalks and bike lanes, and savvy and comprehensive public education. Nowhere in the plan language is this direct and well-understood approach to safety made into policy.
We need a way to evaluate choices. Too often our modes are pitted against each other when it comes to each project. We call on ODOT to include true Multimodal Level of Service performance measures in the context of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This plan should commit resources to developing this approach and include policy ensuring its adoption.
We need a comprehensive plan that reflects a complete network of Oregon’s desired bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including roads owned and maintained by ODOT. We call upon an update to the functional classifications of ODOT facilities incorporating 2015 conditions in order to accurately reflect Oregon’s commitment to improved bicycle access on specific streets.
We need a clear stated commitment to transportation equity that will ensure people of color, low income communities, and those who cannot or do not drive a private vehicle have access to safe walking and biking infrastructure. It is our assessment that a more thorough treatment of Oregon’s commitments regarding racial equity is required in this plan. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act legal requirements should be the baseline for this plan and policy language should reflect our state’s commitment to go beyond the baseline to create truly equitable outcomes for our transportation system and all Oregon residents.
I would not spend my time on Chapters 1 or 2. Yes they are important, but they are not the content that will be acted upon. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 are the meat. Read those, chew on them, digest them. If you have limited time then focus on a specific topic like safety or health and review the policy and strategies related to that topic.You can submit comments here by email. If nothing else, simply echoing the comments in the letter and the BTA's blog post can be useful as a show of quantitative support.
If you feel like digging in and reading all or much of the plan, you might find other things to say as well. The urgency of climate change is another area in which the plan falls short, for example.
For previous notes on the plan and process, see here.