Oregonians Less Interested in Bigger Highways, More Excited for Bike/Ped

Oregonians are increasingly less interesting in seeing roads expanded and more interesting in ensuring proper maintenance of existing facilities. Image: ##http://bikeportland.org/2013/12/11/oregonians-support-for-road-expansion-keeps-falling-98331?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BikePortland+%28BikePortland.org%29## Bike Portland##

Oregonians are increasingly uninterested in seeing roads expanded and more interested in ensuring proper maintenance of existing facilities. Image: Bike Portland

By more than a two-to-one margin, Oregon residents would rather maintain existing highways than expand them. That’s one of the most interesting findings from a recent survey of state residents taken by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Oregon residents’ attitudes to transportation infrastructure seem to be changing quickly, reports Michael Andersen at Bike Portland. They increasingly favor priorities other than expanding the highway system:

As recently as 2007, almost 50 percent of Oregonians said it was more important “to expand the highway system to reduce traffic congestion” than “to preserve and maintain the highways Oregon already has.” As of this year, that’s fallen to 29 percent.

Meanwhile, for the first time on record, more Oregonians said that “adding sidewalks and bike lanes to existing streets” is “very important” than said “expanding and improving highways, roads and bridges” is “very important.” In all, 40 percent of Oregonians gave high priority to more walking and walking facilities, while 34 percent said the same of road expansion.

In another new finding, 40 percent of Oregonians said that “reducing greenhouse gases” should be a “very important” priority for the state transportation agency. Another 38 percent said this is “somewhat important.”

Let’s hope the state of Oregon tailors its spending accordingly.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Transportation for America gives an update about how the federal budget negotiations underway right now might affect transportation. Systemic Failure describes how a Federal Railroad Administration rule actually punished a California community for making safety improvements. And The Architect’s Newspaper explains how Cleveland urbanists fought a proposal for a McDonalds with a double drive-thru and describes the layout they are pursuing instead.