SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

March 7, 2005                                                                                                         Hearing Room C

3:10 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  30 - 31

 

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:

SB 595 – Work Session

SB 859 – Public Hearing and Work Session

SB 566 – Public Hearing

SB 894 – Public Hearing

HB 2223 – Public Hearing

 

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 30, A

005

Chair Verger

Calls meeting to order at 3:14 p.m. Opens work session on SB 595.

SB 595 – WORK SESSION

010

Sen. Whitsett

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 595-1 amendments dated 2/28/05 (EXHIBIT A).

015

 

VOTE:  5-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Verger

The motion CARRIES.

020

Sen. Whitsett

MOTION:  Moves SB 595 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

025

 

VOTE:  5-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Verger

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. JOHNSON will lead discussion on the floor.

030

Chair Verger

Closes work session on SB 595.  Opens public hearing on SB 859.

SB 859 – PUBLIC HEARING

035

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 859.

040

Gary Bauer

NW Natural.  Testifies in support of SB 859.  Discusses issuing permits for work on public highways and the pending sunset.

060

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing and opens work session on SB 859.

SB 859 – WORK SESSION

065

Sen. Whitsett

MOTION:  Moves SB 859 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

070

 

VOTE:  5-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Verger

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. VERGER will lead discussion on the floor.

075

Chair Verger

Closes work session on SB 859.  Opens public hearing on SB 566.

SB 566 – PUBLIC HEARING

085

Don Bishoff

Sen. Morrisette’s (District 6) office.  Testifies in support of SB 566.  Submits written testimony of Sen. Morrisette (EXHIBIT B).  Advises there are amendments coming to replace the entire measure and which prevent Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) from designating the McKenzie Highway a freight route.  Discusses local opposition to the designation in the McKenzie Valley. 

155

Whitsett

Asks about alternative route on Tombstone Pass.

160

Bishoff

Defers.

165

Sen. Prozanski

Describes the highway routes.

170

Bishoff

Discusses direct routes between cities.

185

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about floodgate effect of changing the designation of the McKenzie Highway.

190

Bishoff

Discusses designations of other highways. 

200

Sen. Metsger

Refers to possible amendments.  Comments in his district there is support for a scenic highway designation as a freight route.  Wants to limit this application to the McKenzie.

225

Sen. Betsy Johnson

District 16.  Testifies as neutral.  Believes there are issues to be resolved between freight passage and tourism.  Expresses concern of small coastal communities with freight designation.

265

Lylla Gaebel

Clatsop County Commissioner; Chair, Northwest Oregon Area Commission on Transportation (ACT).  Testifies in opposition to SB 566 in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties.  Urges choosing freight routes carefully.  Explains Highway 101 is an All-American highway and Scenic Byway, and is a key attraction of tourism to the coast.  Discusses importance of tourism to the coastal communities and fear that tourism would be reduced if the coastal highway is designated a freight route.  Would welcome bringing rail up to standards to allow movement of freight along the coast.

360

Rep. Deborah Boone

District 32.  Discusses disagreements among commissioners about highway designations. 

390

John Jackley

Highway Division, ODOT.  Testifies as neutral on SB 566.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT C) to address the bill as originally written.  Expresses no objection to the -1 amendments of Sen. Morrisette. 

410

Chair Verger

Asks why there are freight route designations.

415

Jackley

Discusses major implications of state freight route designations.  Describes what a designation does and does not do.

TAPE 31, A

020

Jackley

Continues and discusses funding priorities for highways. 

045

Chair Verger

Refers to Oregonian article changing the designation.

050

Jackley

Reiterates he does not object to Sen. Morrisette’s bill.

055

Sen. Bruce Starr

Asks if objecting to a freight route designation means reduced funding for highway projects.

060

Jackley

Describes edge for funding if the highway is designated a freight route.

065

Sen. Metsger

Asks about conflicts between a scenic byway and a freight route.

070

Jackley

Advises there are no conflicts.  Discusses tourism and marketing along scenic byways. 

090

Chair Verger

Asks whether having a scenic highway designation affects federal funding to a highway then designated a freight route.

095

Jackley

Responds it does.  Explains most of Highway 101 is both a scenic byway and a state freight route with both state and federally-funded construction projects.

100

Chair Verger

Asks if freight route designation means more truck traffic.

105

Jackley

Replies the designation of any highway makes no difference to the volume of truck traffic along that route.  Explains capacity is the difference.  Discusses economic projections:

·         72 percent of Oregon freight moves by truck, and the number is growing

·         Finite highway system with no plans to add highways

·         Policy question where freight capacity will be preserved

125

Sen. Whitsett

Asks who determines content of a management plan, who improves a plan, and sanctions if the plan is not approved by ODOT.

135

Jackley

Discusses checks and balances in Oregon Highway Plan.  Describes planning requirements over a twenty-year period for the freight route designation.

155

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about sanctions if improvements are not built.

160

Jackley

Explains the main one is that the designation is not allowed and work is not permitted.

165

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about how comprehensive the plan is.

170

Jackley

Replies it depends on the amount of work proposed.  Offers to return information to the committee.

175

Jim Baker

Blue River Community Development Corp.  Testifies in support of SB 566.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT D).  Discusses economic challenges to his community.  Compares long-haul freight truck traffic to logging truck traffic.

220

Sen. Prozanski

Describes Mr. Baker’s involvement in local affairs.  Asks how many attended the public meeting in Walterville.

225

Baker

Estimates 300.

230

Shirley Latimer

Testifies in support of SB 566.  Explains she started the whole movement.  Discusses increases in traffic along the McKenzie highway.  Refers to the number of roads and driveways branching off the highway.

330

Sen. Prozanski

Thanks her for her involvement.  Comments on the large public turnout.

335

Latimer

Describes all of the interested parties who support the restriction of the highway.

340

Bob Russell

President, Oregon Trucking Association (OTA).  Testifies in support of SB 566.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT E).  Discusses preferable truck routes.

400

Scott Bricker

Oregon Bicycle Transportation Alliance.  Testifies in support of SB 566.  Expresses concerns whether the bill opens floodgates for other communities to ask for designations.  As a planner, wants planning to be done on a more comprehensive basis. 

TAPE 30, B

010

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing on SB 566.  Opens public hearing on SB 894.

SB 894 – PUBLIC HEARING

015

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 894.

020

Lylla Gaebel

Clatsop County Commissioner; Chair, Northwest Oregon Area Commission on Transportation (ACT).  Testifies in opposition to SB 894.  Discusses public comments on the State Transportation Plan.  Opposes designation of Highway 101 in Clatsop and Tillamook counties as freight route.  Discusses importance of tourism to the area’s economic development.  Expresses concern over anything that will keep tourists away from the communities.  Recommends expanding rail capacity along Highway 101. 

070

Chair Verger

Refers to Section 3, under which a local government may apply for an exemption.

080

Gaebel

Responds she would rather avoid designation than ask for exemption.

090

Charles Tannenbaum

Retired physician living along Hwy 126.  Testifies in opposition to SB 894.  Suggests it does not take into consideration characteristics of local roads or local preferences.  Describes the country through which the McKenzie River flows and along which the highway runs.  Explains the staff recommendation to ODOT was to advise the agency that the McKenzie Highway be removed from consideration as a freight route.

135

Jane Maxwell

Vita, Oregon.  Lives on the McKenzie River.  Member of SMASH (Scenic McKenzie Association for Safe Highways).  Testifies in opposition to SB 894 and in support of SB 566 as amended.  Discusses the noise made by the truck traffic along the river.  Expresses concern over the possibility of a bad accident resulting in hazardous waste spill or injury.

170

Chair Verger

Asks whether she would support SB 894 if SB 566 passes.

175

Sen. Prozanski

Discusses the interaction between SB 566, proposed SB 566 amendments, and SB 894.

185

Chair Verger

Discusses and compares measures.

190

Bob Russell

Oregon Trucking Association (OTA).  Testifies in support of SB 894.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT F).  Discusses prohibition, exemptions available, and appeal process for exceptions to the statutory requirements.  Discusses aspects of the national highway system and state highway freight system.  Supports a multi-modal transportation system but points out the last mile of the system is often transport by truck.  Links Oregon economy with the health of the trucking industry. 

290

Bob Russell

Continues and urges protection of highway capacity for both truck and automobile traffic.  Discusses meaning of capacity.  Discusses proposed amendments contained in his written testimony:

  • Replace term “freight route” with “national highway system”
  • Changes in mobility standards for highways

Asks for time to resolve some issues.

TAPE 31, B

015

Sen. Prozanski

Asks what criteria the federal level uses to designate a national highway system highway.

020

Russell

Explains the state designates the routes but the Federal Highway Administration approves the designation.

025

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about process for public access to recommendations by interest groups who communicate with ODOT.

040

Russell

Defers to ODOT.

045

Sen. Prozanski

Clarifies he wants to protect vehicle-carrying capacity by restricting some physical development which would slow or restrict truck traffic. 

050

Sen. Prozanski

Asks for additional information from ODOT.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony for SB 894:

 

Sidney Leiken

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT G)

 

Kelly Scannell Brooks

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT H)

055

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing on SB 894.  Opens public hearing on HB 2223.

HB 2223 – PUBLIC HEARING

070

Kevin Neely

Executive Assistant to Attorney General Hardy Myers, Department of Justice.  Testifies in support of HB 2223.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT I).  Discusses the anti-panhandling statute which was declared unconstitutional but is still on the books and is sometimes cited by law enforcement agencies.

090

Sen. B. Starr

Asks how to put something back into the statutes.

095

Neely

Responds a constitutional amendment may be needed.

105

Sen. Metsger

Asks about requiring panhandlers to carry liability insurance.

125

Neely

Offers to return information to the committee.

135

Chair Verger

Closes public hearing on HB 2223.  Adjourns the committee at 4:48 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 595, -1 amendments (2-28-05), staff, 1 p

B.     SB 566, written testimony of Sen. Bill Morrisette, Don Bishoff, 2 pp

C.     SB 566, written testimony, John Jackley, 2 pp

D.    SB 566, written testimony, Jim Baker, 1 p

E.     SB 566, written testimony, Bob Russell, 1 p

F.      SB 894, written testimony, Bob Russell, 6 pp

G.    SB 894, written testimony, Sidney Leiken, 3 pp

H.    SB 894, written testimony, Kelly Scannell Brooks, 2 pp

I.       HB 2223, written testimony, Kevin Neely, 1 p