Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 17th, 2011 at 5:23 pm
easier on SE Holgate thanks to
federal funds approved by City
(Photo © J. Maus)
It was a big day at City Hall for all Portlanders who care about the myriad benefits of more bicycling and walking.
With the passage of a federal funding request with $6.6 million for three projects that will improve bicycling and walking throughout the city, and an additional $1.25 million for two projects that passed as an amendment, City Council approved nearly $8 million worth of active transportation projects today.
Here’s a bit more about each of the projects that will benefit from the funds…
Portland Bike Share – $2 million
The big news of the day was that Portland is now on track to launch a major bike share system. The money approved today is one-half of the estimated $4 million in start-up funds that PBOT says they need to “go big” and make a successful system. Current plans call for 740 bicycles and 74 stations (which will use smart-card, RFID, and GPS technology to provide easy check-out and minimize theft). PBOT says the plan is to put stations roughly every five blocks on the west side of the Willamette and a more “targeted station placement” on the east side.
TriMet is already on board as a bike share partner and Gerik Kransky with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) says they’ve already set aside space at upcoming Orange Line MAX stations for bike share kiosks. Portland Streetcar is also on board, with PBOT saying they will “integrate bike share in its payment systems and fare structure” (more on the streetcar/bike share connection here and here).
With the federal funds imminent, Council will likely allow PBOT to move forward with planning. Next steps will include the unveiling of a public process to garner input on on the project and creation of an RFP to find an operator of the system.
Total start-up costs for the Portland Bike Share project is $4 million and ongoing operations are estimated to cost $1.5 million per year (which are expected to be paid for through user fees and private sponsorship).
Foster Road Safety Enhancements – $1.25 million
This project will focus on improvements to crossing foster on foot or by bike and it will create better access to existing transit stops. The focus areas for the project are:
- The “Heart of Foster” Business District, which runs from SE 63rd to SE 67th Ave
- The “Green Link”, at SE 72nd Ave.
- The “Crossroads District,” which runs from SE 80th to 84th Ave.
- And other “select crossing locations” between SE 50th and 84th.
Check out the map below…
Other elements of this project include new sidewalk lighting, street trees, bike parking, and more.
Total project costs are $3.25 million. $2 million of this project will be funded through PDC Urban Renewal funds.
East Portland Active Transportation to Transit – $3.36 million
This project got the largest allocation today. The funds will be spent on biking and walking improvements in the area east of I‐205, south of I‐84 and north of Foster Road.
Here’s the official project description:
Within this area the project will develop or improve four connected bikeway corridors, provide bicycle parking at transit facilities, improve pedestrian access to transit and conduct a targeted encouragement program to promote use of the new facilities.
Improved east‐west bicycle facilities connecting to Gateway, Division and Holgate LRT stations on Green line; Improved north‐south bicycle facility in the 128th to 134th avenue corridor; Infill missing sidewalk gaps on SE Division from I‐205 to 148th Ave; targeted crossing treatments of Division and 122nd Ave; Targeted bus stop investments based on ridership (e.g. seating, shelters, ADA landing pads); High quality bicycle parking at targeted transit facilities; Post‐construction SmartTrips program.
Here’s a map of the improvements (click for large PDF):
Sullivan’s Gulch Corridor – $500,000
This project was one of two left out of PBOT federal funding request, but Commissioner Nick Fish successfully passed an amendment today to set aside $500,000 for it. The original request sought $1.25 million to complete the planning and engineering for the corridor.
Here’s the text of Fish’s amendment that passed today:
“Council directs PBOT to dedicate $500,000 from grants and/or General Transportation Revenues for design and/or construction of segments of the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail on existing public right-of-way.
SW Barbur Streetscape Plan/Demonstration Project – $750,000
This is the other project left off the official PBOT list, but funded partially thanks to Fish’s amendment. The original, $2.25 million project request would have funded a slew of improvements to the bicycling and walking environment on SW Barbur between SW 19th to 26th. With a reduced funding amount, PBOT will work with ODOT to identify the highest priority improvements.
Here’s the language from Fish’s amendment:
Council directs PBOT to dedicate $750,000 for safety improvements at pedestrian crossings on Barbur Blvd between SW 19th Ave and SW 26th Ave with the source of the funds being ODOT, grants, project savings and/or PBOT safety accounts.
These five projects total a $7.825 million investment in bicycling and walking that will improve conditions in nearly every part of Portland. Stay tuned for more coverage of each project as the next steps materialize.