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PBOT preps projects for potential federal stimulus

Posted by on January 13th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Bicycle Master Plan ride #3
A project to install more sharrows
in downtown Portland could
benefit from potential
stimulus funds.
(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.”

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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.

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Comments
  • Jonathan Maus January 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    New blog post: PBOT preps projects for potential federal stimulus http://bit.ly/7E6qWG

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  • Joseph Rose January 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    RT @BikePortland: New blog post: PBOT preps projects for potential federal stimulus http://bit.ly/7E6qWG

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  • Cycle Blogs January 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Bike Portland: PBOT preps projects for potential federal stimulus:
    A project to install more sharrows in downtown… http://bit.ly/5tFPcK

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  • Elliot January 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I’d love to hear some additional explanation about the “project that would place sharrows on every street in downtown Portland.” Would they be installed in every lane?

    I find that since downtown is a one-way grid, whether you’re in the right, left, or center lane means little while moving with traffic signals at 10-15 mph. I’d be afraid that if they didn’t put them in every lane on a street, it would foster a perception that bike traffic should be restricted to that certain area on a street, which is probably the opposite of the intention.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    elliot,

    i’d love more info on the project too! I’ve asked for it and hope to see it soon. Once i get the info I’ll post it. cheers.

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  • Dave January 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I’d vote for the NE/SE 20’s bikeway, as it would probably not require a whole lot more than some traffic signals and maybe a couple diverters or something, and would make a huge difference in simply providing a calm, convenient route for people going between inner SE/NE that doesn’t require zig-zagging all over the place.

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  • Jackattak January 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Where’s my economic stimulus?

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  • Tad January 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Sharrows on Burnside would be nice, since you can’t turn left anyway. Other streets, not so much. In fact, I’d like to get rid of some bike lanes for the same reason posited by #1.

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  • Jordan January 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Putting sharrows on lanes in downtown could be tricky (unless they did it with every lane). I prefer to ride in the middle lane. I’m the most visible and I don’t have to stop for cars turning.
    However, not everyone likes this. I had a moving conversation with a taxi driver once about why I ride in the middle instead of to the right like I am supposed to. I explained I could ride where I wanted without a bike lane. He didn’t seem to think my actions were particularly safe.

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  • Joe Adamski January 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    How about filling in the infamous “Bridgeton Gap”, that section of Marine Drive from NE 33rd to I-5?

    Talking to some folks in the know, it is pretty close to being ready, although the BMP pushes it to “world class” status. It would also be a much safer connection than the current option, riding on Marine Drive in a poorly lighted, curvy, high volume truck traffic section.

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  • RyNO Dan January 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Being somewhat fiscally conservative, I really hope there is no second federal stimulus bill.

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  • david....no the other one January 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    How about putting down bike lane paint through all intersections in PDX. Should be easy to project paperwork and man hours and extra jobs.
    Additionally would take care of that nasty non-bike lane territory, making intersections much more safe, judicially that is.

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  • Todd Boulanger January 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    How about a project that addresses demand for long term secure bike parking in many parts of the city?

    One option that would be affordable, quick, and LEED level would be similar to the new ‘Bikestation Module’ that the City of Covina is installing at its Metrolink commuter rail station.

    Photo: http://bikestation.com/covinaca/index.asp

    Links:
    http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/prnewswire/press_releases/California/2009/10/26/LA98378

    I will be visiting it next week during our next board meeting.

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  • Paul January 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    How much would it cost to encircle the central city with a wall of bollards? Just kidding. Wait, maybe I’m not :)

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  • are January 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    one point that roger was making last night is that to get federal money for anything that involves putting a shovel in the ground you need an environmental impact study, which takes enough time that you simply cannot meet the ninety-day deadline for having everything under contract. in effect, the stimulus money is for projects on which the environmental studies have already been done (using some other money), or that do not involve a shovel. designs, paint, signage, signals, etc. yes, diverters, separated bikeways, etc. probably not.

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