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Metro will give over $500K to projects that encourage biking, walking

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 20th, 2010 at 8:12 am

Tigard Get Together-2
A $20,000 RTO grant helped
the City of Tigard update their
bike map.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Metro's Regional Travel Options program is now accepting applications. RTO grants, which come from federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds are a popular source of funding for projects that reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel, improve air quality, and, in Metro's words, "create more opportunities for walking and bicycling.

Past winners have included events like the City of Portland's Sunday Parkways and the BTA's Bike Commute Challenge as well as facilities like the bike lockers at the Beaverton Transit Center and bike racks for businesses in downtown Tigard. For this grant cycle, which will fund projects that will begin in July 2011, a total of $533,000 is available.

At a recent informational session, Metro made it clear that they're looking for new, innovative ideas. According to Portland Afoot, Metro staffer Daniel Kaempff said, "We're always looking for new ideas. We're not necessarily interested in funding the same things year after year."

If you've got an interesting idea or project that will encourage people to walk and bike more, check out Metro's RTO grant information page to learn how to get your share of this money. RTO grant pre-applications are due on September 3rd and final applications are due on October 15th.

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  • q`Tzal August 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

    from article:
    Metro staffer Daniel Kaempff said, "We're always looking for new ideas. We're not necessarily interested in funding the same things year after year."

    Yeah because consistency and predictability are the bane of any road cyclist and the continuation of funding for a known working program is, well, kinda boring.

    /s

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  • Evan Manvel August 20, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Just a reminder of scale - the CRC will cost about 7,000 to 8,000 times this much money.

    (Yes, even the new plan - which costs 98% as much as the old plan)

    And we've already spent 200 times this much on lobbyists, planners, and engineers on the CRC...

    But nevertheless, even this amount of money can make a real difference in biking and walking projects.

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  • Michael, Portland Afoot August 20, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    @q'Tzal I think the idea with these grants is that once a program has been proven to work, it can find funding elsewhere with relative ease.

    That may not be true! But it's certainly true that federal funding for unproven-but-promising programs is scarce. Eh?

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  • Michael, Portland Afoot August 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    BTW - Jonathan, you've probably answered this before, but what is the difference between the two checkboxes beneath your comment box?

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