Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Oregon Falls to No.6 in National Rankings

Here are the recommendations for Oregon from the LAB:
  • Repeal the state’s mandatory bike lane law. These types of laws ignore the quality and safety of available bike lanes.
  • Adopt performance measures, such as mode shift or a low percentage of exempted projects, to better track and support Complete Streets/Bike Accommodation Policy compliance.
  • Publicly disclose compliance with Oregon’s landmark Bicycle Bill, ORS 366.514, on every highway, road or street being constructed, reconstructed or relocated.
  • Update your state bicycle master plan. The plan update should evaluate and build on the previous bicycle master plan, and reflect changes in bicycle user needs.
  • Adopt a comprehensive Vision Zero policy to help Oregon reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
  • Increase the amount of state funding dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian projects from 1% of state transportation trust funds to at least 2%.
  • Adopt a mode share goal for biking to encourage the integration of bicycle transportation needs into all transportation and land use policy and project decisions.
  • Officially endorse the NACTO Urban Streets and Bikeway Design Guide, incorporate its designs into state engineering and design manuals, and encourage its use on the state highway network in urban areas, including collector and arterial roadways.
  • Adopt performance measures to decrease bicycle fatalities.
  • Consider ways to promote strategic sidewalk and bikeway infill priorities through planning activities grant programs, or funding programs.
Lots of good stuff here. (I think there is already a project to update the State bike plan, it should be noted.)

The Oregonian: "Tragic Accident"
If you wanted a snapshot for why Oregon is languishing and places like Utah are rising, well, the Oregonian recently editorialized about a crash:
The light was red, but the 68-year-old former commercial truck driver said he thought it was green and didn't stop. Seconds later, his pickup, traveling at 40 miles per hour, barreled into a woman and her three children on their way home from getting ice cream. They were crossing the street in a crosswalk.
The deaths of three children on an urban highway optimized for lawful 40mph auto travel is "just a tragic accident":
But ultimately, you can't prosecute away risk or engineer safety in a way that overcomes the inevitable boneheaded mistakes that people make, even when their full attention should be on the deadly weapon they are piloting down the street. And that brings up the problem at the heart of this: There is no judgment or punishment that makes up for the brutal deaths of three kids walking home with their ice cream. [italics added]
By contrast, here's what a city in Utah is doing to "engineer safety":

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