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What does the future hold for Area Commissions on Transportation?
05/24/2012
In 1996, the Oregon Transportation Commission authorized regionally based transportation advisory commissions known as Area Commissions on Transportation (ACTs) to expand opportunities for local citizen involvement in ODOT’s decision-making. While the ACTs have focused primarily on the selection of highway projects, as ODOT has morphed into an increasingly multimodal organization, ACTs have followed suit and taken on roles in other types of projects.

With ODOT moving toward a new organizational structure that breaks down modal silos, the OTC and ODOT are looking at how ACTs can complete their transformation toward multimodalism through an expanded and different role that will help the department in its metamorphosis.

To that end, OTC Chair Pat Egan recently wrote a letter to each of the ACTs to charge them to examine their current membership and work. “We now want to challenge you to think beyond our state highways and local streets, to help us think in terms of function and to prioritize those projects that support a complete system, and include all transportation modes and community interests,” Egan wrote.

Egan asked each ACT to start this discussion with a focus on the ACT membership. Referencing Governor Kitzhaber’s charge to ODOT last summer, Egan asked each ACT to ask whether “we have the right group of individuals at the table at the beginning of the process to define the problem and solution together?”

The OTC expects to continue discussions on new ways of thinking about the transportation system over the next several meetings, leading up to an engagement between the OTC and ACT chairs in October.