HB 2017 had to be pretty holistic and top-level. More will surely come out as people have a chance actually to read the thing in detail rather than skim it.
- "$8.2 state transportation bill holds a few surprises" at the Statesman
- "Lawmakers air massive road-fixing bill amid rising tensions" at the Oregonian
- "Legislators make transportation package an all-or-nothing deal" at the Portland Tribune
- "$8.2 billion transportation plan includes big upgrades in Lane County" at the Register-Guard
- (See previous commentary collected here, also.)
- The dealer excise tax on car sales appears to have dropped to 0.75% and apply to both new and used cars
- The bicycle excise tax went down a pinch, from 5% to 3% on the sales of new bikes costing more than $500. So far, anyway, Salem bike dealers seem silent on this, and it will be interesting to see if this galvanizes any new engagement in transportation funding and planning by the bike industry generally and statewide. Many have pointed out that the cost to administer this tax is likely to exceed the revenue generated by it!
- ConnectOregon appears to have a cap of 7% of the total money to be allocated for bike/ped projects
- Requires Salem to salt key roads when there is more than 2 inches of snow
- Establishes our MPO as the "Salem-Keizer Area Congestion Relief District" and allows a petition of 15% of voters to initiate a major project. The District then can levy additional fees and taxes to fund the project. "For the Salem-Keizer Area Congestion Relief District, the River Crossing Project" is specifically called out as eligible. For Albany it also calls out a project for lanes on I-5, and these, I believe extend north near the Salem border. This particular part of the bill will deserve extra attention.
It has already been remarked that the transit tax is a payroll tax paid by employees, not employers, and that there is no tax on studded tires. So there are some political compromises that also compromise equity. It's not a coherent policy document, and it certainly does not adequately respond to climate change. Mostly it's about "congestion relief" and MOAR HIGHWAY. It is not yet a truly balanced approach to transportation statewide. It's more about the need, in a partisan environment, to pick up the necessary votes for a super-majority.
This post may be updated as others comment and more in-depth news articles and analysis are published.
- "Transportation bill offers key pieces for Oregon’s future + more work to be done" at Oregon Environmental Council
- "Transportation Bill Includes Some Potential Wins for Bicycling, Walking, Transit, and Safe Routes- Your Voice Needed" from The Street Trust. They're also organizing a bike ride to Salem and testimony at a Hearing for June 6th.
- At City Observatory, "How Green was my City Hall"
- Bonus! Remember that 2011 article, "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities" in American Economic Review? (The original note here on it). The full article is available for free now! This is one of the most rigorous studies of induced demand, written by economists, not by road planners or transportation engineers.
- "Our analysis: Oregon ‘Transportation Package’ misses the crosswalk on Safe Routes to School funding" from Safe Routes to School Pacific Northwest.
- And an infographic from the Oregon Environmenal Council summarizing the good and bad of the bill, "OEC Transportation Bill Breakdown." One thing they introduce, but do not explain, is the notion of "least social cost transportation planning." That's a new phrase and may be worth returning to later.
- "An Oregon Sales Tax on Bikes?!" at the Street Trust on the 8th
- "Lawmakers likely to tweak bicycle tax in response to opposition" at BikePortland on the 9th
- More from BikePortland on the 9th, a call to invest in rail: "Transpo bill: Rail advocates say new tracks, not more lanes, will fix congestion." Especially in light of the Passenger Rail project for improved service between Eugene and Portland, this is a missed opportunity in the bill.
- And also on the 9th:"Oregon’s climate change hypocrisy on full display in transportation bill debate." Yup. Huge, huge miss.
- At Organizing People, Activating Leaders: Environmental Justice Oregon "OPAL Analysis of the State Transportation Package (HB2017-3)"
- On the 15th The Street Trust asks, "How Will the Transportation Package Bill Invest in Walking, Bicycling, and Public Transit?" and offers some cautious optimism that the revised bill will be meaningfully better.
- On the 14th at Willamette Week, "We Ask City Officials: How Can Portland Square Its Climate Goals With Adding Lanes to I-5?"
- "It's time to get serious about Portland's traffic (Guest opinion)" in favor of congestion pricing at the Oregonian on the 18th
- On the 20th at the Oregonian: "Oregon highway funding bill thrown into peril as deadline looms"