There is a public ODOT meeting coming up on June 2 at the middle school cafeteria 5-7pm. You may have seen the proposed changes that ODOT wants to make to Route 30. This includes: superstreet interchanges at 57 and 94; rcuts at Kohler, Kurzen, and West Lebanon; and closing of several cross overs like they did at Wenger. I was at the stake holder meeting last month where they presented the information through the lens of safety. They showed us a cost benefit analysis showing that with these changes there would be more money in saved accidents than the cost of making the changes. At the meeting I asked them how they calculated the safety savings but at the time they didn’t know. So I asked them what percentage of accidents they are planning on saving by making these changes. The answer was 40% to 50%. From looking at the 5-year crash data that they provided I knew this was optimistic.
At 30/94 48 out of 55 accidents a superstreet would not help because most are rear ends at stops. Of the 7 legitimate accidents 2 of those ran red lights. The superstreet is not removing stops so the total accidents that could be prevented is only 1 accident per year which is a 9% reduction. At 30/57 there are very similar numbers with a possible crash reduction of 1.6 a year which is a 19% reduction. Kohler Road seems to benefit the most from the changes at 76% reduction.
After going through their 430 pages of the study a week ago I found they came up with very similar proposed reduction of crashes that I just outlined with a total average of around 30% for all intersections. Thousands of vehicles travel on 30 per day. Whether you like the proposed changes or not, at least know what your 14 million is paying for, about 1 accident saved per year per intersection.
Six weeks after the meeting and I did hear back from ODOT on the cost benefit analysis. Their cost per accident figures are based on 6.7 million per fatal crash, 357,000 for disabling injury, 130,000 for evident injury, 73,000 possible injury, and 11,000 for property damage only. This includes everything from medical services, insurance administration, legal costs, crash caused travel delay, pollution caused by travel delay, property damage, and workplace absence time which could be decades worth in the case of fatal crashes. This is why it looks like they are saving so much money on so few accidents prevented.
30/94 is the most interest of the community and many I have talked to would rather see an over pass running 30 over 94 which would not interfere with local businesses and eliminate 99% of the accidents unlike ODOT’s 9%. ODOT is not considering this because of the steep price upwards of 60 million. Only a grass roots private crowd funding to get monetary pledges of thousands of unhappy 30 drivers may convince them to take this route but it must be led by some ambitious local. Maybe that’s you.
I am including links two online polls. After you attend the meeting and hear what ODOT wants to do, go to the poll and vote on whether you are in favor or not. The second poll is how you would like 30/94 changed and I will send the results to ODOT. Invite anyone who has ever driven the intersection to vote.
Poll for ODOT changes: https://strawpoll.com/polls/LVyKxla95n0
Poll for 30/94: https://strawpoll.com/polls/xVg7doBPeZr