Report on the Portland June 4th Transportation Roadshow

By Lynn Spitaleri

The Oregon State Joint Committee on Transportation is putting on forums around the state from June 4, 2024 through September 27, 2024. The first one was in Portland. The June 4th Roadshow was preceded by a Sunrise rally supporting transit justice and dissing the widening of freeways.

The presentation by the state, mostly highlighted funding shortages for transportation and what to do about it. Unfortunately, while there were some nods to public transit, walking, biking and pedestrian needs, it was mostly focused on cars, including the freeway widening proposals for I-5 and I-205.

The room was packed and overflowing, clearly a lot of people do care about this. Some people testifying were there to support freeway widening. These included trucking company owners and a lead contractor working on the I-5 expansion. But many more were there to speak about the ways the current focus of ODOT is ignoring climate change and transit justice despite some platitudes about both.

There were people from many climate justice orgs including Adah Crandall, one of the founders of Youth vs ODOT, who gave an excellent and passionate testimony. I think the young people especially would like a chance at a livable future. ODOT has funding problems to be sure, gas tax revenues dropping, and a bunch of other things are leading to less funding, one way to help with that: stop widening freeways and needlessly cutting down trees.

About Lynn Spitaleri Handlin

Organizing member of Extinction rebellion pdx, founding member of Cascadia Magical Activists, loves doing habitat restoration for fun.


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