OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

OTE launches rest area customer e-survey

Posted on: March 6th, 2014 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press | 2 Comments

OTE seeks public feedback

Oakgrove NB survey signFor the past several years, OTE has encouraged rest area visitors to use comment cards located within each of our managed rest area sites. For the most part, these “postcards” have been filled out with pens and pencils and then placed within collection boxes. Much like an old fashioned mail-delivery system, the cards were collected daily by rest area staff and the results tabulated in Salem.

On Monday, March 10th, rest area visitors may notice some rather large bright red signs appearing at several of our sites. In a pilot project, OTE is implementing an electronic and mobile version of the old comment card system. Visitors will be asked to weigh in with opinions on cleanliness, safety, security, and travel information.

The e-survey platform that OTE will use was developed by Matthew Selby of the Oregon company, Opionator. Opionator has worked with other transportation and tourism agencies to install e-surveys in highway safety rest areas and visitor centers.

All rest area visitors are encouraged to scan the QR tag on the posters and connect to a brief survey. Motorists and truckers may also use their mobile device to text or telephone their opinions and concerns.

OTE staff will analyze the data and determine which rest areas may be in line for improvements in both services and cleanliness.

If you stop at any of the following locations (listed below) during the next three months, be sure to let us know how you feel.

Survey locations

  • French Prairie, I-5 near Wilsonville, north and southbound
  • Santiam River, I-5 near Albany, north and southbound
  • Oak Grove, I-5, near Eugene, north and southbound




Martha Kemple

- Comment left on: March 20th, 2014 at 9:58 pm

I live on the southern Oregon coast, and the rest of my family all lives in the Portland area. This means I get to drive back and forth several times a year, often alone. I don’t like stopping at the rest areas because there are often homeless people camping out there and I don’t feel safe, even in the middle of the day. I especially don’t feel comfortable at the one by Cottage Grove (which is not part of this survey) because, in addition to the homeless people, it often seems like there aren’t very many people there. Homeless campers + deserted area = very unsafe feeling. The two things I’d like to see that would make rest areas more friendly to travelers would be more security and the elimination of people camping and begging at the sites. Safety is important! Thank you for listening.

Madeline MacGregor

- Comment left on: March 26th, 2014 at 9:34 am

Hi Martha. Thank you so much for your comment. We plan to open up the e-survey at other rest areas, including Cottage Grove, if the pilot program helps us understand what kinds of issues that you, the motorist, are dealing with. Now that we are managing the rest areas that you identified, we plan to address the safety and security challenges. Under the Oregon Constitution, panhandling is considered freedom of speech. However, if the panhandling is aggressive and threatening, then certain rules and regulations are being violated. Now that our staff is present eight hours per day and on the weekends, we hope to discourage motorists from donating to panhandlers and instead, give to local homeless shelters and food banks. Our team worked with the panhandling population at French Prairie Rest Area near Wilsonville, and involved law enforcement, social services, and community coalitions to resolve the complaints of homelessness and hunger. We currently are using a public service announcement within these problem sites to help educate the public about why panhandling seems to be pervasive at rest areas and how to help resolve the issue. You can read more about this program on our site at: http://ortravelexperience.com/rest-areas/the-real-story-behind-rest-area-panhandling/ Thank you again for taking the time to let us know how you feel. And don’t hesitate to tell us if you see any improvements within the next six months or no difference at all.

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