Monday, March 21, 2016

Committee on State Bike and Walk Plan Meets Tuesday; It still seems Weak

The Advisory Committee for the statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan meets tomorrow the 22nd, and after around 200 pages of public comment on the draft plan, it's still not clear how seriously they take the project. (Here's the agenda, itself not actually interesting.)

 New draft of the statewide Bike/Ped Plan
(with help from CO2 earth.)
Personal safety, mobility choice, compulsory autoism, least-cost planning, and public health are all important lenses through which to view the plan, but from here anyway the "one lens to rule them all" is climate change.

And there's just no urgency about biking, walking, mode shift, and greenhouse gas reduction in the plan. The main discussion is on page 17 and in Goal:7 Sustainability, and they seem pretty tepid.

The totality of public comment is overwhelming, but the distillation of themes is underwhelming.

For example, comment on Safe Routes to School is summarized this way:
This plan should include more on Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure policies, not just programmatic (education) policies.
And the response with proposed changes to the plan:
An additional strategy has been added to better highlight the need for infrastructure investments around schools, not just programmatic investments. Schools were also already defined as a high-need location in the plan and a priority for investment.

In addition, other sections in the Plan were expanded (Background and Policies) to better highlight SRTS and also point to the Transportation Options Plan and Transportation Safety Action Plan which contain additional information and policies covering SRTS.
It's all a little too much of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Well, we tried. Here are some resources if you're interested, but if you're not interested, that's ok too.

There's no sense of a set of goals and a determined and measurable set of actions to accomplish those goals. (You know, like we're serious about accomplishing something.)

ODOT cover letter to OTC about an extra $200 million
It's all too discretionary, and in stark contrast to the ways that ODOT and local transportation agencies use autoist Levels of Service and Mobility Standards for hydraulic through-put to justify multi-million dollar widening projects. There's no reason to believe the new plan would ensure a different allocation when a windfall happens.

If you read it more closely, maybe you will find more reason for optimism, but from here it still looks pretty dim and weak, not a document that is actually going to accomplish a major shift.

The committee meets Tuesday, March 22nd from 12:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, 626 High St, Rm 103.

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

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