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Tell ODOT how to spend their money

Posted by on November 14th, 2006 at 1:51 pm

ODOT needs to hear from cyclists about how they should spend a big pot of money set aside for “Transportation Enhancements”. This money must go to projects, “that strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, or environmental value of our transportation system.”

This Thursday at Metro Council Chambers (600 NE Grand) you have the opportunity to view the projects (view PDF of full list), leave comments and/or tell ODOT where to spend their money (how can you pass that up!).

View Open House details here.

The BTA’s Scott Bricker says,

“You can help push for a great project in your community and increase the overall number of trails funded through the program.”

There are some major projects in Region 1 (Portland’s region) on the list including:

  • Three bike boulevard projects
  • The Columbia Slough Trail
  • The Springwater Trail from SE Umatilla – SE 19th

If you can’t make it on Thursday night, comments will be accepted until November 30th. Send letters and comments to Patricia R. Fisher at the ODOT Transportation Enhancement Program (355 Capitol St NE #326, Salem, OR 97301). The BTA has published a sample letter if you need it.

You can also email comments to patricia.r.fisher@odot.state.or.us .

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Comments
  • greg passmore November 14, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    anyone else interested in bike boulevards in NW portland and off-street bike lanes? I’m not exactly sure what we need to do here, but when I was in Amsterdam, I had a lot of moments of ‘we should be doing this here’. The most impressive thing was the off-street bike lanes… or at least separated from the road somehow. If some streets were taken down to one lane we could widen the sidewalks and also add bike lanes as part of the sidewalk.

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  • Cate November 14, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Jonathan,

    I couldn’t get your PDF link to work, but here are the preferred Portland projects from Scott’s email:

    “Every two years the Oregon Department of Transportation allocates federal transportation dollars. This year ODOT has $11 million in flexible Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds.

    Portland Projects
    • 20’s Bicycle Boulevard
    • Springwater Trail – final piece
    • Rose Quarter Transit Center – bike lanes
    • Columbia Slough Trail – N Portland Rd. to N. Marine Dr.”

    So the support needed is to get as many of the pre-selected projects approved for funding as possible, yes?

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  • Cate November 14, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    Nevermind, the PDF link is working now and I answered my own question. ODOT has $11 million to distribute and $64 million in transportation projects seeking funding.

    I see about $3.5 million requested for bicycle-related Multnomah County projects:

    Portland Projects
    • Bike Boulevards in 2000, 5000 & 7000 blocks NE & SE – $1,329,000
    • Springwater Trail – final piece – $584,000
    • Rose Quarter Transit Center – bike lanes – $232,835
    • Columbia Slough Trail – N Portland Rd. to N. Marine Dr. – $1,077,000
    223rd Ave: Bike /Ped Passage at Sandy Blvd RR Crossing – $341,500

    The odds are good that not all $3.5 million will get approved. So which projects have priority? Is it better to support the bigger or smaller projects? Which are more likely to get approval? Should we collectively support some projects more than others?

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  • Roger Geller November 15, 2006 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for putting up this information Jonathan. I also want to point out that there are projects being considered for MTIP (Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program) funding, a completely separate process with different, but very good bicycle projects. Information about the MTIP projects can be found at Metro’s website: http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm?articleid=19681. The complete project list is at: http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=3940, along with information about commenting.

    Metro is also accepting public comments in a number of ways. They will hold a “listening post” Thursday evening at Metro 5:00-8:00 pm in conjunction with the TE open house. If you’re interested in seeing funding go to bicycle projects in the region, then let Metro and ODOT know by either attending the meeting and commenting, or commenting on them by email, letter or phone!

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  • brettoo November 15, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    Given that ODOT is a public entity, shouldn’t that headline read: “Tell ODOT how to spend OUR money”?

    And I agree with the post above re: off=street bike lanes. Thanks to BTA for trying to get us unified behind particular projects — a concerted effort will be much stronger than random pro-bike sentiments and suggestions when competing against non-bike alternatives.

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