Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 4th, 2008 at 5:44 pm
When it becomes a bill in front of state lawmakers in January, Governor Kulongoski's Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009 will include language to expand the Oregon bike bill (ORS 366.514) and put into law a requirement for the Oregon Department of Transportation to spend at least 1.5 percent of its funding for highway projects on bike and pedestrian improvements -- that's a .5 percent increase from the existing law.
expansion of the Bike Bill was not in the Governor's original version of the plan, Governor's plan was first introduced to lawmakers on November 10th.
[Update, 12/5: The Governor's office has informed us that the above paragraph is not accurate. While the increase is not mentioned in the summary of the bill their office released it was included in the bill drafting instructions that were provided to legislators and the increase to the Bike Bill was discussed in the Legislative Hearing.]
The confirmation of this comes in a directive from the Governor's office to legislative counsel (the body in Salem that drafts bills) that was obtained by BikePortland reporter Libby Tucker during her research for her story, Hey Governor, what about bikes?
The existing law, which went into effect in 1971, puts ODOT's requirement for bike and ped improvements at 1 percent of highway project spending.
As Tucker reported Wednesday, 1 percent of ODOT's currently proposed highway funding is about $6.2 million. With an increase to 1.5 percent that number would jump to $13.7 million in bike and pedestrian projects a year.
Here's the language from the Governor's "Bill Drafting Instructions..." document:
18. Increase the required minimum spending level for bicycle and pedestrian improvements within highway rights of way from 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent.
• Amend ORS 366.514 to require that ODOT, a county or a city may spend no less than 1.5 percent for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
It's interesting to note that in the Portland region, ODOT typically spends much more than required 1% minimum on bike and ped facilities, so we shouldn't expect to notice any difference locally.Email This Post Possibly related posts