SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

January 26, 2005                                                                                                     Hearing Room C

3:00 P.M.                                                                                                                         Tapes  5 - 8

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Joanne Verger, Chair

Sen. Doug Whitsett, Vice-Chair

Sen. Rick Metsger

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Bruce Starr

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Patricia Nielsen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD & WITNESSES:

SB 153 – Public Hearing

      Sen. Ryan Deckert, District 14

      Mark Landauer, City of Portland

      Mark Lear, City of Portland

      Sgt. Bill Walker, City of Portland

      Mike Staropoli, Attorney

      Sen. Charlie Ringo, District 17

      Dean Meisner, Beaverton Police Dept.

      Ron Norris, City of Medford, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police

      Dick Cross, Beaverton

      Linda Adlard, Chief of Staff, City of Beaverton

      Cathy Stanton, Beaverton City Councilor

      Catherine Arnold, Beaverton City Councilor

      Dennis Doyle, Beaverton City Councilor

Informational Meeting

      Oregon Rail System Overview

            Roger Martin, Union Pacific Railroad

            John Gray, Union Pacific Railroad

      Oregon Shortline Railroad Association Presentation

            Ken Armstrong, Oregon Shortline Railroad Association

            Larry Phipps, Portland & Western Railroad; Oregon Short Line Railroad Association

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 5, A

005

Chair Verger

Calls meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. Opens public hearing on SB 153.

SB 153 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Sen. Ryan Deckert

District 14.  Testifies in opposition to SB 153.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT A).  Explains this is a local control issue and the state should not involve itself.

030

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing on SB 153.  Opens informational meeting on Oregon rail system.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

Oregon Rail System Overview

040

Roger Martin

Representing Union Pacific Railroad.  Presents overview of Oregon rail system.  Introduces John Gray, from Omaha, Nebraska.  Discusses activities of Oregon Railroad Users League.

060

John Gray

Executive Director, Interline Marketing, Union Pacific Railroad.  Provides further overview of railroads in the Pacific Northwest.  Submits written slides (EXHIBIT B).  Provides background for the Union Pacific Railroad.

120

Gray

Continues and discusses Union Pacific Railroad activities in the Northwest.

160

Gray

Continues and describes the business profile of the railroad system in Oregon and Pacific Northwest:

·         Carload freight origin/destination region

·         Inbound bulk/export movements

255

Chair Verger

Asks what soda ash is used for.

260

Gray

Responds it is used in making glass.  Continues describing business profile:

·         International containers

·         Domestic consumer goods

335

Chair Verger

Asks if the switching yard in Eugene belongs to Union Pacific.

340

Gray

Confirms.  Continues discussing facilities in Oregon and Washington.

375

Gray

Continues and explains role of Oregon Shortline rail service:

·         Improve service to local industry

·         Keep costs under control

·         Demands on shortlines which require network upgrades

TAPE 6, A

006

Gray

Continues and discusses important Oregon rail issues:

·         Efficient operation of the Portland terminal

·         Rail corridors through urban areas to minimize impact between rail traffic and road traffic

·         Funding of state rail passenger initiatives to avoid disruption of freight services

·         Infrastructure improvements for shortlines serving local communities

Summarizes and concludes. 

120

Chair Verger

Asks whether infrastructure is capable of moving more product.

125

Gray

Explains it depends where the product is transported.  Discusses limitations on capacity of terminals.

135

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about costs comparison between truck and rail shipping for a 25-ton load.

140

Gray

Responds that if 100-110 tons of product can fit on a rail car, that is five time as large as a truck.  Explains it is easier to load and unload trains.

155

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about Lakeview Shortline.

165

Gray

Discusses rail traffic on the Modoc line to California and in south central Oregon.  Expects expansion is possible.

180

Sen. Starr

Asks about Union Pacific congestion issues in moving freight in California.

185

Gray

Discusses addition of employees and locomotives to increase capacity.

195

Sen. Starr

Asks what capital expenditure he would recommend for Oregon.

200

Gray

Responds this year the company will expend $40 million to upgrade lines in Oregon.

210

Chair Verger

Closes segment.  Opens segment on Oregon Shortline Railroads.

Oregon Shortline Railroad Association

220

Ken Armstrong

Representing Oregon Short Line Railroad Association.  Introduces Larry Phipps.

230

Larry Phipps

President, Portland & Western Railroad; Chair Oregon Short Line Railroad Association.  Presents overview of Oregon Short Line Railroads.  Presents slides (EXHIBIT C).  Describes service and capacity of various short lines.

300

Phipps

Continues and discusses increase in short line mileage in the past fifteen years.  Discusses increase in short line revenue from 1993 to 2003.  Describes capacity.  Explains how public funds can be leveraged with additional private investments.

370

Phipps

Concludes and offers to answer questions.

375

Chair Verger

Closes informational meeting.  Reopens public hearing on SB 153.

SB 153 – PUBLIC HEARING

380

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 153.

405

Sen. Metsger

District 26.  Presents additional background on SB 153.  Discusses photo red light and photo radar laws.  Explains operation of certificate of innocence program, which City of Beaverton was not conducting.  Refers to response from Legislative Counsel and letters submitted to the City of Beaverton.  Refers to Oregonian articles by Jerry Boone, showing the city’s practice was continuing.  Asserts that the city was exceeding many aspects of the law.  Advises the measure is a response to the city’s actions.  Discusses two requirements in SB 153:

·         Articulate their process to see if it is the same

·         Establishes a sunset which the jurisdictions must cooperate to remove

TAPE 5, B

005

Sen. Metsger

Continues overview of SB 153.

040

Chair Verger

Comments she supports the program.  Describes her background as a former mayor and her interest in the issue.

065

Mark Landauer

Office of Government Relations, City of Portland.  Introduces Mark Lear, Portland Office of Transportation.

075

Mark Lear

Traffic Investigations Manager, City of Portland.  Discusses the city’s approach to traffic enforcement, including automated enforcement.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT D).  Describes activities of photo-radar vans.  Discusses community support of the program.  Asks for the legislature not to sunset the program.

150

Sen. Metsger

Asks whether the city has run its program outside the city limits.

160

Sgt. Bill Walker

Portland Police Dept.  Responds no.

162

Sen. Metsger

Asks whether the city has operated only the number of cameras allowed by law.

165

Walker

Replies the city operates only what is allowed.

167

Sen. Metsger

Asks whether tickets are dismissed if a person satisfies the requirements for a certificate of innocence.

170

Walker

Confirms.

175

Sen. Metsger

Comments that the city of Portland can operate their program within the requirements of the law, and asks how they would advise another jurisdiction that operated outside the law.

177

Walker

Recommends the city consult its attorney.

180

Mike Staropoli

Portland attorney, Beaverton resident.  Testifies and calls attention to city of Beaverton photo radar and photo red light activities.  Submits written material (EXHIBIT E).  Refers to Kolisch case, submitted with EXHIBIT E.  Describes Beaverton’s inappropriate enforcement.  Refers to city emails in which an engineer suggests the city is not in compliance with state law.  Encourages the legislature to take action in allowing the enforcers to enforce the law.

290

Sen. Charlie Ringo

District 17.  Testifies in support of the use of photo red light radar to increase safety in the community.  Acknowledges there were ambiguities in the interpretation of the law.  Suggests the courts should interpret.  Urges that the program be continued and concerns be addressed.

350

Lt. Dean Meisner

Beaverton Police.  Testifies in support of the photo radar and photo red light enforcement program.

TAPE 6, B

010

Meisner

Continues and discusses photo enforcement officer checklist.  Offers to provide information to the committee.

040

Chair Verger

Discusses interpretation of the statute differently by cities.

045

Sen. Prozanski

Agrees enforcement is important.  Asks whether, if the city is out of compliance, it should come into compliance.

060

Meisner

Agrees.

065

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about discussions at the city level about implementation of the law.

070

Meisner

Discusses evolution of the program and the development of the city’s enforcement policies.

100

Sen. Prozanski

Comments that a uniform program is needed throughout the state and asks what parameters and guidance he has received from the city.

115

Meisner

Explains police department operating procedures.

145

Sen. Prozanski

Asks for specific documentation of directives the officers receive from supervisors.

150

Meisner

Offers to return information to the committee.

155

Ron Norris

City of Medford, retired deputy chief; Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).  Explains Medford implemented the program by the book and has not received any complaints.  Asserts that the process works and is fair.  Discusses examples.  Points out the sunset will hurt the city because the cost of the equipment must be recouped over a long period of time.

215

Sen. Metsger

Asks if it is fair to say the city has support because it is operated within the bounds of the law.

230

Norris

Describes the city’s pre-implementation media and education efforts.

235

Sen. Metsger

Asks if the city would respond to complaints.

240

Norris

Responds certainly.

245

Sen. Prozanski

Asks if the legislature should develop uniform rules instead of leaving room for interpretation.

250

Norris

Offers to work with the legislators to eliminate ambiguity in the statute.

265

Dick Cross

Beaverton.  Testifies in favor of SB 153.  Asks for the end of the program before 2008.  Testifies in opposition to photo red light in particular.  Discusses case law.  Suggests there is a conflict of interest because the city receives revenue for enforcing the law.  Discusses his experience receiving citations for photo red light.  Submits written material (EXHIBITS F, G).

390

Cross

Continues and discusses needs of cities for continued use of the program.  Summarizes and concludes.

TAPE 7, A

005

Sen. Starr

Discusses adjustment last session adding requirement that the city must set yellow light times to a certain standard.  Asks for evidence that the City of Beaverton has set its yellow lights shorter.

020

Cross

Suggests improvement in high-tech enforcement leads to the problem that data is based on too much detail with no subjective standards.

060

Linda Adlard

Chief of Staff, City of Beaverton.  Submits written materials (EXHIBIT H).  Responds to the specific concerns raised:

·         Ownership of a certain street where photo radar was used

·         Placement of warning signs

·         Qualifications of officers who operate the program

·         Number of violations recorded

·         Timing of yellow lights according to state standards

·         Explains the city developed the program first in the state without the assistance of other jurisdictions or the legislature

·         Responding to the citation and the certificate of innocence

Summarizes and offers to answer questions.

170

Sen. Metsger

Discussed the language of the law.  Suggests the city’s interpretation of the statutory requirements is creative.  Quotes specific language requiring dismissal under certain circumstances.  Asks why other jurisdictions can operate within the law but Beaverton cannot.

220

Adlard

Responds and discusses certificate of innocence.  Asserts the program is about safety and the city is operating under legislative direction.  Offers to change if the legislature so directs.  Discusses the larger issue of safety.

250

Sen. Metsger

Disagrees with her comment that without the opportunity to identify another driver the program will not work.  Refers to the programs operated by other jurisdictions.  Points out that Beaverton is the only jurisdiction that interprets the law the way it does.  Comments on vendors and need for quotas to support the program.

270

Adlard

Discusses contracts with vendors and cost of the technology.  Asserts the need for the tool to increase safety.

290

Sen. Metsger

Comments on cost for an officer to attend court to uphold the citations.  Discusses specific examples.

330

Adlard

Explains the judges review the process for approving the certificate of innocence. 

365

Sen. Starr

Asks about her comment that legislators required the city to reissue tickets.  Asks for legislative history.

390

Adlard

Offers to return information to the committee.

415

Chair Verger

Calls Beaverton city councilors. 

TAPE 8, A

005

Cathy Stanton

Beaverton City Councilor.  Explains the council’s responsibility to the city to set policy and oversee the budget.  Discusses three of the city’s eight goals:

1.      Preserve and enhance a sense of community

4.      Provide responsive cost-effective services to the community

5.      Assure a safe and healthy community

Asserts that Beaverton citizens support the program and the city is safer because of the program.  Responds to specific charges leveled against the city.  Reminds that anyone who has been cited was actually speeding or had run a red light.  Asks for the program to be allowed to continue.

085

Catherine Arnold

Beaverton City Councilor.  Shares citizen perspective.  Asks to be allowed to solve the problems locally.

115

Dennis Doyle

Beaverton City Councilor.  Discusses examples of changed behavior of drivers which increases safety.  Asks to be allowed to resolve issues at the city level.

170

Chair Verger

Asks whether the city will respond if it is found to be operating outside the parameters of the statute.

190

Stanton

Replies they will respond if the issue is brought to the council.  Reminds the council does not oversee all city departments.

205

Doyle

Offers to work for change as needed.  Predicts the mayor and his staff will respond.  Points out none of the drivers say they weren’t speeding.

225

Arnold

Dismisses the idea of adjusting yellow light change times.  Recalls conversations with neighbors supporting the program.  Assumes the city attorney provides competent advice.  Urges review of intent.

270

Sen. Metsger

Suggests there would not be an issue if Beaverton were doing things the same as the other participating cities.  Comments that if the public supports the program there would not be so much coverage of citizens who complain about the process.  Refers to his offer to make modifications if needed, which was declined by the mayor.

325

Stanton

Reminds that she has worked on transportation issues for many years and this is important to all citizens.

340

Doyle

Summarizes and concludes.

The following material is submitted for the record without public testimony for SB 153:

 

Louis Gomez

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT I).

 

Rep. Jeff Barker

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT J).

 

Robert Tardiff

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT K).

 

Troy Costales

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT L).

 

Christy Monson

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT M).

 

Walt Myers

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT N).

350

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing on SB 153.  Adjourns the committee at 5:52 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 153, written testimony, Sen. Ryan Deckert, 1 p

B.     Railroads, slide presentation Union Pacific Railroad, John Gray, 5 pp

C.     Railroads, slide presentation Oregon Short Line Railroads, Larry Phipps, 8 pp

D.    SB 153, written testimony, Mark Lear, 2 pp

E.     SB 153, written materials, Mike Staropoli, 43 pp

F.      SB 153, written materials, Richard Cross, 4 pp

G.    SB 153, report Printed Citations, Richard Cross, 9 pp

H.    SB 153, written materials, Linda Adlard, 13 pp

I.       SB 153, written materials, Louis Gomez, 1 p

J.      SB 153, written materials, Rep. Jeff Barker, 1 p

K.    SB 153, written materials, Robert Tardiff, 2 pp

L.     SB 153, written materials, Troy Costales, 2 pp

M.  SB 153, written materials, Christy Monson, 1 p

N.    SB 153, written materials, Walt Myers, 1 p