Sunday, November 6, 2011

SEDCOR Endorses Transportation Choice; Other Newsbits

While the focus was on the Federal Transportation Bill, and especially rail and the need to improve our rail service up and down the valley, both for freight and for passengers, Ray Burstedt's opinion piece and its stress on transportation opions is great to see:
In this fiscally constrained era, will we be able to build a successful multimodal transportation system, maintaining what we've got and completing networks for new options like passenger rail, transit, biking and walking? Or will we be constrained by a 1950s-era thinking that prioritizes highways at the expense of all other transportation options?
This is exactly right!

Auto Group Proposes Street Renaming

A blurb in the paper also pointed out that on Wednesday there will be a public hearing on the Capital Auto Group's proposal to rename a segment of Salem Industrial Drive to Auto Group Avenue.

This segment of Salem Industrial is a connection to the Kroc Center, and should be improved for family-friendly walking and biking to the Kroc. It is currently identified as a Tier One project in the bike plan. Perhaps Capital Auto would assist in that matter as a trade-off for the name change?

Traffic Safety Committee to Discuss Mobility Standards

From the press release:
SALEM—The Oregon Transportation Safety Committee will hold its monthly meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at the Transportation Safety Division, 235 Union St. NE in Salem. The public is invited to attend.

The agenda includes a discussion on changes to the Oregon Highway Plan Mobility Standards as well as a review of potential legislation for 2013. Agency liaisons will give reports and the committee will hear a presentation on managing priorities for the Transportation Safety Action Plan.
The current mobility standards are what gives us the fact that a single-occupant vehicle counts the same as a bus with 25 people when calculating road capacity: Our mobility standards have abstracted humans out of the equation and count only engines. People on foot or on bike or passengers in a carpool are invisible to the analysis. The atomic unit is the car, not the person.

Changing this is one of the most important things to accomplish in a 21st century transportation system, as then all kinds of technical paradigms that govern the actualities of our roadways will follow.

Maybe readers from ODOT can chime in with more detail? (Comment anonymously from home, if you need to!)

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Portland Transport has some discussion on the third item - the Transportation Planning Rule, touching also on the Mobility Standard. It seems pretty clear the prospective changes are incremental and do not yet represent a rethinking.

The discussion concludes with limited optimism: "There are some important benefits to active transportation in the OHP and TPR revisions. However, the revisions could also weaken our transportation planning system through the extension of three new categories that essentially provide exemptions or diminished mitigation requirements."