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ODOT needs your input as 53 bike/walk projects vie for $8.5 million

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 21st, 2012 at 12:30 pm

N Williams Ave Open House-N Williams Ave Final Open House-17
PBOT is still looking for funding to
improve bike access on N. Williams.

What do bike boulevards in Grants Pass, a new trail from Hagg Lake to McMinnville, and the North Williams project have in common? They're just a few of the 53 projects from all over the state being considered for $8.5 million in grant funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

This year, ODOT's Active Transportation Section is combining two funding programs — the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (formerly Transportation Enhancements, TE) and the ODOT-run bicycling and walking program administered by the Oregon Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee — into one application process.

Now the powers-that-be at ODOT want to gauge public feedback before making their final decisions. They've set up an online survey which allows people to express support or opposition to the various projects based on specific geographic areas. When I put in my Portland address, seven projects came up (three from Portland and four from cities in Washington County).

The three projects from Portland include the North Williams Traffic Safety Project, a segment of the Willamette Greenway Trail (from Chimney Park (in St. Johns) to Kelley Point Park, and the SW Barbur Blvd safety project. (For more details on these projects, download the applications from ODOT's website.)

Below are some of the criteria ODOT is using to score these projects:

Legacy - Projects of lasting value, appropriate and cost effective.
System - Important link, addition or start of a network or program.
Community - Enhances livability, contributes to economic stability or development.
Quality - Qualitative difference in the walking or bicycling experience.
Need - Serves a documented high priority, broad benefits or timely opportunity.

To give you an idea of how popular biking and walking projects are in Oregon — throughout the entire state, not just in the larger, traditionally bike-friendly cities — there were initially 155 project applications for these funds. As it stands now, 53 projects requesting about $50 million are competing for the paltry $8.5 million. That tells me our funding streams and government support for these projects are way behind the times.

Stay tuned for news of the funding awards. The Oregon Transportation Commission will announce the winners in February or March 2013 and the cash will go out the door by July.

Take the online survey here.

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Comments
  • Scott December 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Bouncy castle streets so everybody is safe.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Andrew N December 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    That was a nice opportunity to say just how much I do not support the Williams Ave proposal.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Blair December 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    This was a nice opportunity to cry over funding priorities - 400 million for adding a lane for a mile to an interstate...8 times the amount requested by these 50 proposals, which are also primarily for safety improvements.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Scott S December 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Hopefully the funding goes toward a project which is better thought out than the Williams corridor

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Hart Noecker December 22, 2012 at 12:38 am

    ODOT should be spending 8.5 million on each of these project.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Mabsf December 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    That is one horrendous user-unfriendly survey: you really have to be involved in the projects to figure out what they are talking about. Or is it just me?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Seth Alford December 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      They assume that you've got one window opened on the survey, and another window opened on the list of projects at

      http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/AT/Pages/NOI.aspx?&&p_SortBehavior=0&p_FileLeafRef=Lowell.pdf&&PageFirstRow=1&&View={F0B7EB17-573C-46F5-A0C4-613BB0A88555}

      and at

      http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/AT/Pages/NOI.aspx?Paged=TRUE&p_SortBehavior=0&p_FileLeafRef=Linn_County.PDF&p_ID=102&PageFirstRow=81&&View={F0B7EB17-573C-46F5-A0C4-613BB0A88555}

      I think they want you to look at each project on the survey, find the corresponding link in the project list, click on the link in the project list which opens a pdf with the project's application. The applications that I looked at included a statement from the city as to why the particular project was deserving of funds, as well as a map of the project.

      Yes, it would be nice if the survey itself contained the links to the project applications on ODOT's web page. But, I'm not sure if surveymonkey, the online survey tool ODOT and everyone else seems to use, will allow links in survey questions.

      I also voted against the Williams project.

      The last question was for general comments. I told them they need to fix BHOS-Beaverton-Hillsdale/Oleson/Scholls, also known as "crash corner." It's the most "interesting" part of my bicycle commute.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • spare_wheel December 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Another no vote against the Williams project. I voted strongly support for the two Fanno creek projects.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • MAX-drive-bike December 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Wasn't the Williams project already funded? Or did the drawn out public process use all the funds?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Andyc of Linnton December 24, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Yeah, I'm right there with the user-unfriendliness of these surveys.
    I've forwarded them to others in the past, who aren't as in the know in the minutiae of each project, and they are usually simply overwhelmed and don't fill them out.
    Perhaps there is a survey I can take to judge this survey host?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • IanC December 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I voted for the Hagg Lake to MicMinnville route because I'd love to see our nearby small towns linked by separate multi-use paths. What a boon that would be to these small communities if the bike tourism marketing was done right.

    I also agree that every project looks important and it's incredibly sad that there is ony $8.5 million available... for all 53 of them! When we look at "economic stimulus" and "putting people back to work", why not prioritize these projects above new freeways?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Art Fuldodger December 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      This would be a great project, with or without the bike tourism marketing, because -- as they say --- build it an they will come.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alain December 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I live on N Williams, and strongly support these improvements, which is what they are... improvements over the present situation, which I believe will help calm auto traffic. People drive 40+ MPH in front of my house (where I also work) every day. The Williams proposal will change this section of N Williams to one lane of traffic... and I support this.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Chris A December 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I filled it out!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Daniel R. Miller December 31, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Brothers and Sisters, won't you join me in a prayer and a chorus this fine Sunday (er...Monday) morning, for the full funding and implementation of EVERY ONE of these FINE projects. Yes, FULL FUNDING (can I get an AMEN??) for every single one of these BEAUTIFUL and (indeed) HOLY projects, now prioritized as ESSENTIAL and deeply RIGHTEOUS for the health and PROSPERITY of the state of Oregon and the commonwealth of CASCADIA!!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • mizz December 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    McMinnville to Hagg Lake would be AWESOME!!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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