Tuesday, February 12, 2013

State Bike Committee to Meet Friday; Safe Routes to School Mapping Webinar

Friday the 15th, the state bicycle advisory commmittee meets to talk about the the current round of bike/ped and transportation enhancement grant applications.  On the 21st there will be a webinar on mapping good routes for kids to take to school.

OBPAC in 2011
From the advisory committee blurb:
SALEM – The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will have two meetings this Friday, Feb. 15. The first is a breakfast meeting from 7 – 8:15 a.m. at the Sassy Onion in Salem, 1244 State St. The committee will consider a grant modification request from the City of Ontario, ex-officio committee membership and other items related to recruitment for the committee.

OBPAC members will then join the Transportation Enhancement Advisory Committee for a meeting from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Transportation Building, 355 Capitol Street NE in Salem. Committee members will be concluding the first TE-Bike/Ped joint funding process by selecting projects to receive awards. The process included multiple committee reviews of proposals as well as public input. Public comments about proposed projects will not be accepted at this meeting.
In years past there was a separate pot of bike/ped funds that OPBAC administered.  This cycle, the OPBAC funds are combined with the Transportation Enhancement funds.  Next cycle (2015-18), there's an even larger pot of Enhancement monies, but no specific set-asides for bike/ped projects.

Salem is applying for one project only in the TE/OBPAC round, for sidewalks and bikelanes on Brown Road.

A couple of weeks ago, BikePortland published a letter from the departing chair of the bike committee, AJ Zelada, about recruitment.
So, the next applicants for OBPAC: You have the stage! But, the difference is that now we have many within ODOT who are completely receptive to increasing monies to Active Transportation projects. Two years ago Governor Kitzhaber directed Matt Garrett, Director of ODOT, and Pat Egan, Chair of the OTC (Oregon Transportation Commission), to require several principles to accomplish a new successful transportation system given the daunting limiting issues of revenue, increasing need of maintenance, shrinking work force, etc. Kitzhaber's lead item: Are the correct people at the table? With this sweeping question, the OTC answered by directing the Area Commissions on Transportation to appoint a voting multimodal member to each commission. With this ordination, Kitzhaber has lifted the glass ceiling.
The letter is full of optimism for the future.

So. Is the glass half-full? Or half-empty.

I'm a little more pessimistic.

The billions of dollars, still fundamentally prioritizing drive-alone auto trips, that would be spent on the Columbia River Crossing are plainly incompatible with "a new successful transportation system" and the "daunting issues of revenue...[and] maintenance." I'm not seeing yet ground-level evidence of significant change.  I'm still seeing nibbling around the edges.

There's lots to be done on taming the monster.

Standard Oil Monopoly, 1904. Detail:   Library of Congress

Mapping Routes to School

School walkabout from Bike and Walk Salem assessment
Oregon Safe Routes to School is hosting a webinar on mapping routes! It will be on February 21st:
Mapping safe routes to travel to school has been valuable for schools throughout the country. This webinar will take you through a brief tour of the steps a community goes through to map the routes on paper. We will progress to tools you can use to easily to transfer the collected information to electronic form for everyone to use.

Title: Mapping Your Routes!
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM PST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
You can register here.

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