Audit Faults Oregon DOT for Lack of Public Engagement

Faulted for lack of attention to pedestrian and bike advocates, the Oregon Department of Transportation will soon have opportunities to redeem itself.

September 6, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Marquam Bridge

JPL Designs / Shutterstock

Andrew Theen reports on the findings of a recent audit of Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) planning processes for highways over the past three years. The audit, performed by the Oregon Secretary of State's office, faulted ODOT for not doing enough outreach to bike and pedestrian advocates.

The report comes as the state is expecting to enter some of the busiest construction years in decades, buoyed by the 2017 statewide transportation package, which calls for several large-scale projects in the Portland area. Those may include the contentious Rose Quarter freeway project, which is expected to cost more than $715 million, and others on key roads in the Portland area.

The Rose Quarter freeway project lost critical local support earlier this year when the citizen group Albina Vision Trust withdrew support for the plan.

ODOT will also have a chance to improve its focus on safety and engagement if voters approve a $7 billion transportation plan this November, as proposed by the Metro Council, the metropolitan planning organization for the Oregon portion of the Portland area.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 in The Oregonian

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