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Bike projects expected to compete better in next phase of stimulus funding

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 3rd, 2009 at 11:36 am

State transportation planners are scrambling to get their "shovel ready" projects in order and they're waiting eagerly by their inboxes this morning. That's because any day now, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is expected to release the application forms for what they're calling "Phase II of the Federal Economic Stimulus".

I spoke with ODOT's communications director Patrick Cooney (he's also the spokesperson for the Oregon Transportation Commission) yesterday and he said Phase II will allocate $110 million* the next phase of stimulus funding for infrastructure projects will get underway very soon.

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Cooney also made it clear that anyone wanting their project to be on this list better act fast -- the deadline for project applications is March 9th, less than one week away. Cooney said he'll send out a list of criteria the projects must meet along with the applications. On top of that list will be jobs, followed by economic impact, whether or not the project is ready, what's the overall benefit to the states transportation system, and so on.

In an email to colleagues around the state this morning, ODOT's bike and ped program coordinator Sheila Lyons wrote that, "Bike/Ped projects will be very competitive in this phase." (I'm still trying to find out why she feels that way).

Lyons also reminded folks that the projects do not need to be limited to the street right-of-way -- meaning that trail projects will be eligible.

Given that ODOT decided to fund only one bike/ped project with their initial, $122 million batch of stimulus funds, I'll be watching the action on Phase II very closely.


*I incorrectly attributed the $110 million figure to Mr. Cooney. That is not a figure he said will be allocated in the next phase of funding. I misunderstood him in our phone conversation and I have edited the story to reflect that. I regret any misunderstanding. Thanks. -- Jonathan

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Comments
  • Scott Mizée March 3, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for following this closely, Jonathan. Are you also going to post how Metro, Portland and the other people doling out Federal Stimulus money are contributing to Bike/Ped projects?

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  • GLV March 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Or, to take a step back, are Metro and various cities getting stimulus money directly, or does it all come through the state?

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  • Scott Mizée March 3, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Metro distributes local funds.

    $38 Million will be distributed to the Metro Region. Cities have a "local share" of that amount. Last day to comment is today. http://bit.ly/ndCK8

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  • GLV March 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    "Metro distributes local funds."

    Not always. And in this case it looks like local governments are eligible direct recipients as well...look at page 75 of this document:

    http://www.pattonboggs.com/files/News/89cf7c94-1323-4ff5-9934-112c5ff733d7/Presentation/NewsAttachment/c7ee83f0-bb17-40a3-8c65-1ef511e12678/Patton_Boggs_Stimulus_Analysis.pdf

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  • John Reinhold March 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Metro got 38 million of the stimulus package for Transportation and the Metro committee JPACT is voting on the project list this Thursday. I believe the public comment period closes today.

    http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=29555

    Make your comments heard!

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  • Scott Mizée March 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    GLV, that is a great document. I don't see what you are referencing on page 75, but my understanding is that these transportation funds are generally distributed through Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO). And our MPO is Metro.

    Are you saying that local shares of the funds are being distributed here in ways other than through Metro?

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  • GLV March 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Sorry, it was page 76. It says:

    "Eligible Recipients: States, local governments, transit agencies"

    Compare that to page 78:

    "Eligible Recipients: State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan
    Planning Organizations (MPOs)"

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