Monday, November 16, 2015

Droopy Draft Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan out for Comment

At their retreat-slash-meeting at the Oregon Garden last week, the Oregon Transportation Commission formally authorized for public comment the draft statewide Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (project site here).

2015 draft Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
(link does go to updated Nov draft)
Portland advocates aren't necessarily all that excited by it, and they share some of the reservations we've expressed here about it not being very assertive or very effective. It's all too aspirational, hopeful, advisory, full of droopy recommendation and little firm policy or resolve. Still bounded by the limits of hydraulic autoism, it's not structured as a real agent of change.

From the BTA's letter
From the letter signed by the representatives from the BTA, Oregon Walks, Safe Routes to School, and several others:
Equivocation in the language [about safety] throughout the plan’s policies and strategies dramatically undermine s 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.

Performance Measures
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 t o 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.
You can submit comments here by email. If nothing else, simply echoing the comments in the letter can be useful as a show of quantitative support. If you read 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.

There will be one or more open houses in December, apparently, as well as an online open house. So these will also be opportunities for comment, and may offer easier ways to digest the draft plan.

For previous notes on the plan and process, see here.

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