The Oregon Transportation Commission is, ostensibly, the entity that that oversees the Oregon Department of Transportation. Given recent headlines about how scary the climate apocalypse is getting and also how truly terrible ODOT has been on drawing up a meaningful climate action plan, you’d think the OTC would be issuing orders for ODOT to prioritize investments in public transportation, biking and walking instead of freeway expansion.
Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. At this point, the OTC seems eager to continue obliviously promoting the status quo and allowing ODOT to move forward with spending billions of dollars on freeway expansions all over the Portland region while traffic fatalities on ODOT’s orphan highways continue to skyrocket, carbon emissions continue to rise, and the agency gets increasingly skeptical press coverage from The Oregonian.
Thanks to the passage of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the OTC will be responsible for directing how ODOT should spend upwards of $1.2 billion in federal money. No More Freeways joined the Clean and Just Transportation Network on a letter to the OTC last month demanding investments in transportation infrastructure that reduces carbon emissions instead of increases them.
Now, No More Freeways is calling on you to join us. We need you to email the Oregon Transportation Commission and tell them to invest in green transportation options – and no more freeway expansions.
If you’ve ever wanted to speak directly to individuals responsible for oversight of ODOT’s carbon emissions, and the political body theoretically capable of pushing the agency to a greener future, we need you now to drop the Oregon Transportation Commission an email. You can share your climate story, your frustration with abysmal transit service across the Portland region (and across the entire state), or your anger at ODOT’s unwillingness to invest to stop rising traffic violence. This is your chance to demand that Oregon’s appointed officials rise to the challenge that this political moment requires and push for a greener, less polluting ODOT.
Potential talking points:
- ODOT should only invest in projects proven to reduce carbon emissions
- Support the policy recommendations made by the Clean and Just Transportation Network.
- Support the policy demands made by the youth climate justice leaders at Sunrise PDX as part of their ongoing YouthVsODOT strike.
- Every federal dollar should support a Green New Deal to Build Back Better, not a Grey Old Deal that continues to pave over the entire state of Oregon.