Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on March 9th, 2009 at 9:50 am
(Drawing: Steve Durrant/Alta Planning + Design)
This morning we’ve got more good news about bike projects that were approved for funding through the federal stimulus package by the Metro Council last week.
for signage and development of
Portland’s bike boulevard network.
(Photos © J. Maus)
We already shared the good news about how the council, in conjunction with the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT), chose to allocate over $20 million in their regional flexible funding program (nearly half went to bike-ped projects, and the process went at lightning speed — no small feat for a government agency).
At that same meeting, Metro Council and JPACT also approved the allocation of about $102 million from the federal stimulus package. The stimulus package sent to our region to be spent on local transportation projects included approximately $38 million for distribution through Metro as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), $44 million to TriMet, $450,000 to Wilsonville’s South Metro Area Rapid Transit, and $19.5 million to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
will get re-paved and re-striped
thanks to the federal stimulus
Highlights from Metro’s portion of the stimulus funded projects include repaving and restriping on one of Portland’s busiest bike couplets: Both SE Madison and SE Hawthorne will get freshly paved and painted bike lanes from SE Grand to SE 12th. Also coming out of Metro’s stimulus pot is $1,000,000 for striping and wayfinding signage for Portland’s up-and-coming citywide network of bike boulevards.
Metro also approved $1,800,000 in funding to repave the Springwater Corridor Trail (I shared details about that last week).
TriMet also got into the act. They requested, and JPACT approved, $1,000,000 in stimulus funding for two new “bike stations” which TriMet describes as “secure, covered, high capacity bike parking facilities”. These new bike parking structures, will be located at the Beaverton and Sunset Transit Centers.
At the Alice Awards on Saturday night, TriMet GM Fred Hansen said the new facilities will provide an additional 250 bike parking spaces. In addition to these new bike stations, TriMet will use the stimulus funds for “bike garages”, and next generation “electronic bike lockers” that will replace 100 older bike lockers outside the Central Business District (stay tuned for a separate story on TriMet’s push for more bike parking).
After what many felt was a dismal showing by the Oregon Transportation Commission/ODOT, these decisions by JPACT and the Metro Council are welcome news.
With their focus on a multi-modal mix of projects, Metro has drawn a stark contrast to ODOT (and the City of Portland for that matter) as to how to invest in our transportation system. ODOT gets the lion’s share of federal transportation dollars ($224 million versus $96 million to MPO’s throughout the state) and they have shown a clear focus in spending the majority of those funds on highway paving and widening projects in rural Oregon counties.
To better understand the difference between Metro and ODOT, take a look at these pie charts (supplied by Metro). The first one shows how ODOT has allocated their stimulus funds so far (they still have more to give out):
And this one shows how Metro has allocated their stimulus funds (note the much broader and even mix to transit, bike, etc…):
Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder told me last week he feels like they “did a great job” (especially in light of ODOT’s showing) and that he hopes this will be seen “as a model of rapid response to a tough challenge that addresses the concerns of many, such as 1000 Friends [who were very disappointed in ODOT’s stimulus funding allocations], as to ensuring a broad mix of projects.”
For more information on how Oregon has invested its economic stimulus funds on transportation projects, download this 29-page packet put together by Metro (PDF, 1.1mb). It includes their resolution and project lists from them and ODOT.