November 25, 2005
Another Illustration of the Resource Gap
In this morning's Oregonian, James Mayer writes about the draft of the Oregon Transportation Plan.
He highlights the gap, about $1B per year, between the revenue available, and the transportation needs outlined in the report.
But since this is the first update in the 25-year plan since 1992, clearly we all need to pay attention!
November 25, 2005 10:23 PM
Ray Whitford Says:
Did a quick read of the 2006 OTP document, thanks for the link. Came away with these observations for myself:
Funding issues are the biggest question mark if Oregon is going to have a 21st Century transportation network.
This policy document mentions the peaking of oil production (which is good for a governmental document) and does mention its direct impact on air passenger travel and passenger cars. The state believes that the Portland area will see less direct effect because of our transit choices and higher density.
Global Warming is also mentioned with the concern for rising sea levels and possible damage to Highway 101 and bridges by higher wave action. (I have been wondering how the predictions of the 18 foot rise in global sea levels after a melted Greenland Ice Cap will effect the Lower Columbia River waterlines. The Columbia River Crossing folk need to have a suspension bridge that can have a higher deck design if necessary.)
Tolling and other usage fees seems to be very viable for operational costs and the document points to the practice as doable. Reducing the freeway on and off ramps to create better flow also seems to be gaining strength as an option.
I'm very happy to see that communication and the value of land use planning are placed front and center in helping Oregon get the most out of its transportation investments.
The mention of the North-South I5 super corridor for highway and rail is very encouraging to me. Removing rail crossings and improving passenger rail service is directly mentioned (higher speeds is not mentioned). Having a 2nd day rail freight service to Southern California makes great sense. Having goals for passenger rail too would seem to be along the same line. Something like reducing time of travel between Portland and Vancouver Washington and from Portland to Eugene by 10 minutes every two years (faster trains, safety measures, straighter corridors, etc.) creates a expectation and then you plan to met it. Getting better passenger rail service to Medford and the California border isn't mentioned at all. We just don't seem to take passenger rail seriously in Oregon.
December 2, 2005 5:12 PM
Isaac Smith Says:
Our highway system is the largest public works project in the history of the world. 100% subsidized. Why are we afraid to subsidize other modes of transportation? We have a federal and State Department of TRANSPORTATION, not Dept. of Roads.
December 3, 2005 8:25 AM
rex Burkholder Says:
Along with this region's effort to update our regional transportation plan, the update of the Oregon Transportation Plan is a good opportunity for readers of this blog to keep these ideas in play. It is very important that you share your ideas and support for the recommendations in the Draft OTP with the Oregon Transportation Commission.
The Draft includes assertions which are uncomfortable to many, including oil insecurity, directing dollars to the north Willamette Valley as best for the state's economy, emphasis on improving operations of existing system through pricing instead of building new roads, the high value of transit in urban areas, etc.
These won't stay in the final document or get translated into the modal implementation plans and funding choices without public support.
Comment period runs through March. Spout off!