Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on January 13th, 2010 at 12:51 pm
in downtown Portland could
benefit from potential
(Photo © J. Maus)
As lawmakers in Washington D.C. contemplate a second major federal stimulus bill, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is working on a list of projects that would be ready to go if and when funding becomes available.
PBOT staffer Kathryn Levine addressed the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee last night with an outline of what might be in store for local transportation projects if the bill passes. According to Levine (who got her information from the City’s Office of Government Relations), the Portland area could see up to $14 million for transportation projects.
At last night’s meeting, Levine wanted input from the committee on bike projects that might be well-suited for stimulus funding. Even though political hurdles remain with the bill, Levine said “We are going to prepare as if it will occur.”
Projects that make good candidates are ones that can be completed in a tight timeframe, produce a lot of jobs, meet climate change goals, and address concerns of geographic equity.
PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller said one of the biggest hurdles with using stimulus funds for bike projects is that there are simply not enough bike projects that can be designed and built within required timeframes. “That’s where the state DOTs have a big advantage, they have a big head start in developing projects.”
Geller mentioned that he’d like to see if elements of their $38 million North/Northeast Bicycle Demonstration Project could be funded with stimulus cash. Improvements to the Marine Drive path system and other regional trail projects were also suggested. Already on PBOT’s list for possible stimulus funding is a project that would place sharrows on every street in downtown Portland.
Stay tuned for updates as the stimulus bill winds its way through Capitol Hill.