Tell Oregon Department of Transportation How You Want Funds Allocated
We need to see ODOT prioritize climate and equity in its investments.
The year 2027 may seem far off now, but the Oregon Department of Transportation is making policy decisions now about how it will spend its money then. We can influence whether those decisions prioritize climate impacts or just go further down an already unsustainable path.
ODOT is beginning work now to develop the next Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which is the list of projects that ODOT will work on in 2024 through 2027. These projects include building new infrastructure like roads and bridges, and maintaining existing facilities, and it costs billions of dollars.
ODOT is asking the public to provide input on how to spend this money.
The first step in the STIP process is deciding on how the given budget should be allocated between different types of projects.
· Enhance Highway
· Local Programs
· Other Functions
After this is finalized at the end of 2020, ODOT will work with committees of local officials and others to decide which projects to prioritize. The final package will be approved in 2023.
It’s time for ODOT to take another path and meet Oregon’s needs for a just, sustainable transportation system that supports thriving communities. ODOT has always focused on moving vehicles, not on what we actually need, which is moving people and stuff. This obsession with moving more and more and more vehicles means that ODOT spends vast amounts of money building more road. It’s been shown over and over again that when you build more roads, you get more driving, and then you have more congestion, more air pollution, more space given over to vehicle movement and storage, and more production of greenhouse gases.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires that ODOT spend its money on things other than just “enhance highway” projects. ODOT needs to stop adding new roads and lanes, which only prompt more driving. Instead they need to capacity to meaningfully help people to get around in ways other than driving alone, and in ways that consume much less fossil fuel.
Please take a minute to fill out ODOT’s survey about STIP allocations, and let them know we need them to spend our money on projects that move people and goods while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by making it easier to bike, walk, and take transit.