Join Us This Summer at the Transportation Roadshow!

State legislators are hosting a 12-stop statewide listening tour this summer on major transportation issues. We need your voice! Our transportation system should be safer, greener, better maintained, and more affordable for all Oregonians. Your testimony during these public hearings will impact how legislators shape the future of our transportation infrastructure! Your participation will also help OEC deliver stronger climate-smart legislation for our state in 2025.

Background

As things currently stand, Oregon is struggling to raise enough money to fund our transportation system. While we have fuel taxes (like the gas tax) in place to fund transportation projects in the state, these taxes don’t increase along with inflation. In other words: its “buying power” has declined as the costs for construction increase.

This upcoming legislative session, the Joint Committee will determine how the state will fund transportation — from taxes and fees, to moving money out of other programs. Funds that get raised this session will go toward a number of different projects — including backlogged maintenance and seismic reinforcements, Safe Routes to School, multi-use paths, and public transit, to name just a few.

However, passing a new tax or fee requires a greater share of YES votes than other bills, as members of the public often oppose such changes. To overcome this, legislators need to know that their constituents support the parts of the 2025 bill that raise money to fund our shared climate and mobility goals.

That’s where you come in. State legislators are using these 12 hearings to gauge public interest in new transportation funding and policies for our state. Here’s how you can help:

Attend a Hearing Near You

Your presence alone sends a powerful message. By attending, you represent the groundswell of Oregonians calling for cleaner and more equitable transportation options. Here is the list of upcoming locations (OEC will update this list with specific venues and links to attend as the information is made available):

Speak Up

Legislators especially need to hear from people for whom the transportation status quo isn’t working. Focus primarily on your personal experience, and share why greener, more accessible transportation policies are vital to you and your community. Public testimony will be limited, so be prepared to speak for just one-two minutes (100-300 words). Key messages to uplift are listed below.

We encourage people traditionally marginalized by transportation policies to testify. This includes people who are: transit riders, unable to drive or own a car, low-income, disabled, an older adult or youth, low income, Indigenous, people of color, or someone who has been personally impacted by traffic violence, unsafe infrastructure, transportation emissions or air pollution, or other major transportation challenges. OEC and our coalition partners have created a guide to help you give effective testimony. We are also hosting trainings to help you get prepared. Register for our next testimony training on July 9 at 6:00pm

Because Oregon under-invests in transportation options that serve the above communities, it’s important that legislators hear those stories. If you do not share these experiences, consider submitting written comments and/or wait to sign up to testify until others have had a chance to do so.

Choose One or Two Key Messages to Uplift

  • We need safe, complete streets and off-street paths in all communities across Oregon.
  • Investing in public transportation not only reduces traffic congestion, it also keeps our air clean.
  • Oregon must act to cut pollution from transportation – the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our state. 
  • Lawmakers can cut pollution with climate-friendly policies that: 1) help lower-income drivers, 2) transition fleets to electric vehicles, 3) build compact, climate-friendly neighborhoods reducing the need to drive, 4) encourage public and active transportation, and 5) ensure people can connect to jobs and economic opportunities without needing to own a car.
  • Oregon’s transportation system needs fair and equitable ways to raise money. 
  • Lawmakers can apply progressive approaches to fund and improve ODOT that: 1) account for how transportation impacts human and environmental health, 2) consider wear and tear on pavement, and 3) are fair for lower-income or fixed income Oregonians, who have fewer transit alternatives and a harder time paying higher taxes or fees. 
  • Kids need safe routes to school. Making our streets safe for our most vulnerable users makes them safe for everyone.
  • Lawmakers can make our transportation safer and cleaner by setting policies in 2025 that: 1) align with our state’s goals to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions, 2) deliver real value for our dollars by supporting the streets and services we use every day, rather than filling budget gaps for Metro-area megaprojects, and 3) increase multimodal transportation networks as well as public transit and paratransit options. 

Submit Written Testimony

Your written remarks can be short or lengthy. Either format is equally important as long as the message is personal. Consider repurposing one of the talking points above, and be sure to lead with your support for a fully funded statewide transportation system that is cleaner and more equitable for all Oregonians.

Get Involved

Sign up for OEC Action Alerts if you haven’t already. We’ll send you other ways to show up, communicate with legislators, and raise your voice for Oregon’s environment!

Spread the Word

Help ensure a strong turnout at all 12 listening tour stops by sharing this message with your family and friends. Together we can help create a stronger statewide transportation system that meets our needs today while protecting our environment for tomorrow.

See you this summer!

Banner of Logos that says "Take Action With Us." Logos include Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon Walks, The Street Trust, Climate Solutions, Oregon Trails Coalition, VERDE, Better Eugene Springfield Transportation (BEST), and 1000 Friends.

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