Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Updates on Climate Office and new Great Streets Program: At the OTC

The Oregon Transportation Commission meets tomorrow the 17th, and the update from the Climate Office appears a little obtuse, even willfully so, focusing on EV mania, and utterly silent on reducing VMT and driving less.

That's a parking lot! Driving itself is a cause.
(Climate Office slide deck)

Highway to Hell?
Not at ODOT!

ODOT and the OTC still operate primarily on a model of EV mania for "reducing GHG emissions from transportation" and do not give enough weight to "driving less."

It's all EV mania and nothing about reducing VMT
(cover letter to OTC)

The recent appointment of former State Senator Beyer to the OTC does not seem likely to help with any redirect.

See recently at BikePortland:

Hopefully the choice of Tina Kotek for Governor will help with some course-correction at the OTC and at ODOT.

Also on the agenda is also a presentation on the new Great Streets program, to "Improve safety and multimodal accessibility needs on ODOT highways in incorporated areas that serve as main streets in urban and rural areas."

Eligible projects (Great Streets slide deck)

This could fund work on OR-22, aka Edgewater, Front, Trade/Ferry, and Mission Street, or more on OR-221, aka Wallace Road. The cover letter has more on scoring criteria and other information.

The total fund is only $50 million, and so the improvements it will support will be small and often ornamental, and not the structural magnitude of any real street redesign.

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