The Oregon Transportation Commission meets tomorrow, Thursday the 17th, and there's quite a quiet slush fund in play.
|ODOT cover letter to OTC about an extra $200 million|
It seems like the priorities and proportions ought to be vetted more in public. The BTA's public advocate doesn't seem to have heard much about it.It looks like ODOT has plans to spend $196M and I certainly haven't heard much about it yet. Curious others' thoughts.— Gerik Kransky (@gerikkransky) March 16, 2016
Especially in light of the needs identified in the draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, the Enhance Non-Highway allocation seems mean and cheap!
Like how about Safe Routes to School funding? It's slated for a puny $1.5 million between 2019 and 2021.
|No more for SR2S in the $200 million windfall!|
|From the May, 2015 minutes of SKATS-PC|
The point is, we make very deliberate policy and funding choices not to support greenhouse gas reduction and sustainable transportation.
I'm sure the details on this windfall are more complicated - things are always more complicated - but in outline this doesn't look like an innovative approach to allocating a bonus.
Instead it's business as usual with late 20th century patterns of spending and road expansion.
You might also recall David Bragdon's critique of ODOT from the fall:
A familiar claim is, “Oregon has a transportation finance problem.” But it’s actually impossible to tell, because the system is so opaque. Oregon may or may not have a transportation finance problem. What Oregon really has is a transportation governance and management problem. It must fix its governance and management problem before it can fix its finance problem – if it even has one....Opacity indeed. QED.