This is mainly a formality, but it's nice to see that non-auto transport has the most support. (See note at very bottom.)
More interesting is formal review next month, in June, by Federal agencies "to assess compliance with Federal regulations pertaining to the transportation planning process" at the MPO.
|Notice from the Feds|
Jasmine Marie Harris, Transportation PlannerSpecifically, one of the deficiencies that the Feds identified regarded public participation.
Federal Highway Administration, Oregon Division
530 Center St. NE, Suite 420
Salem, OR 97301
Jeremy Borrego, Transportation Program Specialist
Federal Transit Administration, Region 10
915 Second Ave., Suite 3142
Seattle, WA 98174
|The formal Notice from the Feds|
about deficiencies in public participation
|Summary from April|
|GHG reduction more popular than SRC (April 2018)|
|Public Comment with concerns about ignoring public|
|SKATS response mostly about procedure|
SKATS received public comments during the plan’s development ...[and] between March 2018 and April 2019 the Policy Committee had discussions about the RTSP Goals at six (6) meetings, three of which had comments from members of the public attending the meeting.... Based on development of draft RTSP, discussions held during multiple Policy Committee meetings, and public input during development and the formal public comment period, the Policy Committee adopted the 2019-2043 RTSP on May 28, 2019.To my eye this exemplifies a particular approach to public comment. It is organized to operate like kitty litter: To attract dissent and critique, to neutralize it, and to clump it for easy disposal.
They say, "Look, we had lots of public comment and opportunity for public comment!" Maybe it turns on whether you think that a "demonstration of how the explicit processes and procedures identified in the PPP were followed and a summary that characterizes the extent to which public comments influenced MTP and TIP development" requires the demonstration and summary to engage the substance of public comment, or whether it can address the process only and say "we listened." The latter is what SKATS' response embraces, but it would be more satisfying to have a longer discussion of why SKATS continues to prefer massive bridge and highway building to greenhouse gas reduction.
More specifically at this moment, for the 2021 TIP there is a summary of public comment, and while there might not be a project to reject or a new project to include at this particular moment, there is also no indication that the comment might make a difference in the future. The substance of the comment is merely registered and "no changes" the very brief recommendation. Rubber-stamping is the order. But in another universe a response could be, even without committing to any specific change, something like, "we have been surprised at the popularity of walking, biking, transit, and greenhouse gas reduction, and the unpopularity of interstate highway expansion, and we will consider a course-correction."
|Here's an example of comment registered as part of process|
but not really absorbed or very deeply considered.
(2021 TIP summary and Staff Report)
If you submitted comment and feel like any response from SKATS was inadequate, it might be helpful to detail that in a note to Harris and Borrego (see addresses above).
The Policy Committee meets by teleconference at noon on Tuesday the 26th. Here are directions to join the meeting:
|SKATS remains interested in the science against the virus|
but is not very interested in the science on greenhouse gases