transportation

FrankGeorg/Pixabay

Maybe you can tell the story of your life through the cars you have known.  The Datsun you took your driver's test in, or the Dart where you kissed somebody important to you. 

Melissa Stephenson certainly has stories to tell about the cars of her life, and she tells them--marriage, suicide, and more--in Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back

Listen to the list of vehicles and the milestones they represent in her life. 

Complete Coach Works

Down the valley with the sound of a whisper.  That might be overstating the plan for electric buses running between Redding and Sacramento. 

But the plan was attractive enough to bring in a grant of $8.6 million for battery buses to shuttle back and forth, with electric feeder lines for local communities as far north as Siskiyou County. 

The Shasta Regional Transportation Authority is in the driver's seat of the project. 

ODOT

Shasta Living Streets wants to make it easier for people to get around Redding and environs without personal cars and trucks. 

But the mission is bigger than that; it's about making life better in the community for everyone. 

When you think about it, transportation is a huge part of how we configure our daily lives.  A transportation plan that emphasizes transit and non-powered transportation would make us live differently. 

Nicholas Blah/Flickr

What are you doing next week?  More important, how will you get to where you're doing it?  This is an important question for the last two weeks of September, the period of the Oregon Drive Less Challenge.

People all over the state are urged to walk, or bike, or take public transportation instead of driving. 

And there are incentives... prizes that can be earned through effective reductions in driving. 

Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) and the City of Eugene are on board. 

Irangilaneh, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28439014

Buses, bikes, and other non-car forms of transportation got some funding in the transportation package passed by the Oregon legislature in early July. 

There's even money for transportation that does not necessarily involve wheels of any kind: Safe Routes to School

The program to make the streets around schools safer for walking and biking children got dedicated funding for the first time. 

But while nobody's sniffing at $10 Million dollars a year (and more in a few years), there are limits to how the money can be spent. 

ODOT

It's pretty typical to complain about potholes, but even the people who fix Oregon's roads will tell you repairs are needed.

And the state legislature recognizes this; that's why it's been talking for a couple of years about a major transportation bill. 

Now one is on the table, with a mix of tax and fee ideas and plans for shoring up the ways of getting around Oregon. 

M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia

Oregon's last big legislative session--a year ago--was supposed to produce a major transportation bill.  It didn't. 

Now it falls on the next session, in early 2017, to pull together a package of transportation improvements and enhancements. 

So legislative leaders sent the Joint Transportation Committee on Preservation and Modernization on a road trip, collecting information from all over the state. 

Medford gets a committee meeting on Wednesday evening at the main library. 

Envisioning Oregon's Transportation Future

May 20, 2016
ODOT

Roads and bridges wear out over time, and have to be replaced. 

But entire transportation systems--roads, rails, air--require attention to keep up with demands of travelers and shippers. 

In Oregon, the Governor's Transportation Vision Panel paid that attention, in a comprehensive look at the state's transport needs.  Among the findings: Southern Oregon needs more transit, and more seismic retrofits to guard against earthquake damage. 

Jackson County: Voters Approve RVTD Levy & RCC Bond

May 17, 2016
Nicholas Blah/Flickr

Voters gave increased bus operations in Jackson County the green light in Tuesday's primary. Measure 15-141, for the Rogue Valley Transportation District, led with 62 percent of votes as of 8pm. 

A bond measure to pay for $20 million in facilities improvements at Rogue Community College also won approval from Jackson and Josephine County voters. Initial counts had Measure 17-69 passing with 36,587 yes votes and 30,944 no votes between the two counties. The contribution of property owners in both counties will be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. 

Grab The Wheel From A Top Driver

May 16, 2016
Chronicle Books

First, a disclaimer: please do not drive as fast as Ben Collins drives in the movies.

His driving is featured in several James Bond films and other recent features, and he's a veteran of NASCAR and other racing circuits. 

And he shares techniques that can help drivers at any speed in his book How To Drive, now in paperback.  It's not about going fast, it's about going safe, with advice you didn't get in driver's ed. 

RVTD Asks Voters For More Money/More Service

Apr 18, 2016
Nicholas Blah/Flickr

For a brief time a few years ago, the greater Medford area enjoyed bus service well into weekday evenings, and on Saturday, too. 

Then the grant money to provide the extra service ran out, the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) put a tax levy before voters, and they rejected it. 

RVTD tries again with Jackson County ballot measure 15-141 on the May 17th ballot, a property tax increase of 13 cents per thousand dollars assessed value.  There's a mix of benefits the levy would provide or protect. 

Getting Around Without A Car

Mar 25, 2016
ODOT

The vast majority of traveling across much of our region is done by car. 

And that's due in part to limited public transportation. 

But efforts continue to separate our steering wheels from our hands, both in public transit and expanded options for people using alternative means like bicycles. 

Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) will challenge businesses to reduce car trips later this spring in the Rogue Commute Challenge.  Edem Gómez from the agency joins us. 

We also hear about Bike/Walk Roseburg from Dick Dolganas, and get a statewide overview from Jenna Stanke Marmon, who serves on the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

A Constructive "Streetfight"

Mar 23, 2016
Viking Press

For all its reputation as a place of white-knuckle driving, New York City is rather friendly to drivers and other occupants of the streets. 

Janette Sadik-Khan saw to that in her time as the city transportation commissioner.  Her work included creating bike lanes on streets, forcing other vehicles to share the road and making the streets more pedestrian-friendly in the process. 

But making the changes was not always easy, as Sadik-Khan explains in her book Streetfight

Another Chance To Fix Last Chance Grade

Mar 18, 2016
CalTrans

Driving on coastal roads in our region can be spectacular at times... and utterly frustrating at others. 

The land that leads down to the ocean can be slide-prone and unstable, leading to closures and short-term repairs. 

The Last Chance Grade on US 101 in Del Norte County is a particular headache for CalTrans, and now the agency is collecting public input on a range of alternatives to re-route the road. 

The Bus That Sneaks Up On You

Dec 7, 2015
Wikipedia

The sound of an urban bus is nearly unmistakable... easy to spot, even in heavy traffic. 

And that is now changing, thanks to all-electric buses now hitting the streets. 

Lane Transit District has ordered five of the all-electric busses for its service in and around Eugene, along with five more hybrid buses. 

The Garage Door Opens On Flying Cars

Nov 27, 2015
Moller International

We're 15 years into the 21st century, and still looking for the flying cars.  But perhaps not much longer. 

Paul Moller, engineer and entrepreneur, focuses the efforts of his company, Moller International, on that very goal. 

Moller already has prototypes that can hover ten feet off the ground, with plans for sleeker and more impressive vehicles ahead. 

Wikimedia

The end of container service at the Port of Portland may sound at first like a story affecting just the Portland area. 

But the port says ships carried containers going to and from 31 of Oregon's 36 counties, affecting exports and imports across the state. 

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition, the State of Oregon and other entities are hosting workshops across the state, to help importers and exporters find solutions that do not involve shipping out of Portland. 

Pump It Up: Oregon's Clean Fuels Debate

Mar 25, 2015
Wikimedia

The Oregon legislature recently voted to continue the "clean fuels" program begun six years ago. 

The program requires companies selling motor fuels in Oregon to reduce carbon by 10% over the next ten years. 

The Oregon Environmental Council and other groups pushed for the passage of this year's bill, despite warnings from opponents that passage could set up fights over transportation funding. 

ACTing Locally For Regional Transportation

Jan 14, 2015
Ken Lund

Anybody stuck in traffic on a regular basis wonders just what's being done to improve the transportation system. 

The fact is, work is going on all the time, at the state and local level. 

Oregon's transportation system includes Area Commissions on Transportation (ACTs), which coordinate local efforts with the state, in all modes of transportation. 

Encouraging Students To Drive Less

Jan 12, 2015
SOU Center For Sustainability

College campuses can be fun for walking, but driving… that's another matter. 

Streets clog easily, and parking can be tricky to find, at least free parking. 

Which is why Southern Oregon University just started a Drive Less Connect program. 

The general approach is to convince students to find ways to get to campus that do not involve private vehicles. 

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