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Tualatin River Greenway, TriMet Bike & Rides among likely ‘Connect Oregon’ grant winners

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

A committee set up to review applications for a major state funding program made their final selections yesterday and projects that will improve bicycling — including bike parking at the Goose Hollow MAX station — fared well. $42 million in state-backed Lottery funds were up for grabs in the Connect Oregon program this cycle (its fifth) — and this was the first time in the program’s history that bicycling and walking projects were eligible for the money. (more…)

West-side paths may get lottery grants, but bike-share expansion looks iffy

Friday, April 11th, 2014
The blue dashed lane along the south bank of the Tualatin River shows a future trail connection that might be funded by $1.6 million in state lottery proceeds.
(Image: City of Tualatin)

A mixed-use path link in Tualatin is among the top contenders for a lottery-funded state grant program that includes biking and walking projects for the first time this year.

The 0.8-mile, Tualatin River Greenway gap completion project is faring well in the state’s competitive Connect Oregon program because it creates a low-stress link to jobs and retail across Interstate 5 for 67,000 nearby residents. It’d cost $3.1 million; Tualatin is hoping half will come from Connect Oregon.

Also performing well in early (and still flexible) rankings for Connect Oregon’s state lottery dollars are the proposed Tigard Street Trail, which would convert an unused rail alignment to a walking/biking path along SW Tigard Street from SW Main Street to SW Tiedeman Avenue, and a TriMet proposal to add secure bike parking and safe track crossings at the Beaverton Creek and Goose Hollow MAX stations.

(more…)

‘Bike Pods’ at State Parks among projects lining up for Oregon Lottery dollars

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Bike camping at Champoeg St. Park-58
Places like Champoeg State Park (shown above) could become even more welcoming to bike riders if funding comes through.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we’ve been covering since the legislature passed it back in July, a pot of $42 million in Oregon Lottery-backed funding is now available to bicycling projects for the first time ever through the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Connect Oregon program.

And, not surprisingly, when the application process opened at the end of last year, ODOT was flooded with biking and walking projects from throughout the state. Of the 108 applications sent in, 35 of them were in the “Bicycle/Pedestrian” category (the other categories are aviation, marine, rain and transit) and the dollar amount for those projects totaled more than any other mode.

Now ODOT has released more information about each project, so we decided to take a look. (more…)

BTA up for national ‘Bicycling Magazine People’s Choice’ advocacy award

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
The addition of those three words into a funding
bill are a major success story for the BTA.

The Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) is up for a Bicycling Magazine People’s Choice Advocacy Award. The awards, promoted by the magazine in partnership with the Alliance for Biking & Walking, will be given to one of ten finalists who gets the most votes in an online poll made public yesterday.

The BTA has been recognized for their work with the Oregon legislature to pass a major change to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) ConnectOregon transportation funding program. For its first four years of existence, this state lottery-backed funding source, also known as the Multimodal Transportation Fund, was open to just about every “non-highway” transportation mode except bicycling and walking. That glaring omission was corrected last year when Senate Bill 260 was passed into law. (more…)

Bike/walk projects dominate requests for state lottery-backed funding program

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-30
The Union Street Bridge in Salem — open only for walking and biking — is the type of project that is eligible for ConnectOregon funds.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Cities across Oregon are clamoring for more money to build infrastructure that makes it easier for people to walk and bike.

Back in July, thanks to a concerted lobbying effort the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), the state of Oregon made biking and walking projects eligible for $42 million in funding through the ConnectOregon program for the first time ever.

Sources say this never would have happened without the BTA’s extensive and focused lobbying on the bill and they call it the biggest victory for BTA in Salem in at least 5 years.

ConnectOregon began in 2005 and it relies on lottery-backed bonds to invest in “multimodal transportation projects” around the state. It’s a rare state transportation program that offers dedicated funding for “non-highway” infrastructure. Prior to this year, only air, rail, marine/ports, and transit infrastructure were eligible.

Yesterday, ODOT announced they received 108 applications for this year’s round of ConnectOregon funding. Of the $129.4 million total requested funds, $47.5 million are categorized as “Bicycle/Pedestrian” — more than any of the other four eligible modes and more than the requests for Aviation, Marine, and Transit projects combined.
(more…)

PBOT zeroes in on ‘ConnectOregon’ project list

Friday, October 18th, 2013
This proposed path in South Waterfront
could finally get funded.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is zeroing in on a list of projects they hope to get funded with a special pot of state Lottery-backed funds and it looks like bike share might be in the running.

Thanks to a change in the law this past legislative session, bicycling (and walking) projects are now eligible for funding through the Oregon Department of Transportation’s ConnectOregon program. Prior to this coming round of funding, the ConnectOregon program was open only to air, marine, rail, and public transit projects.

But this time around, due to the work of advocates and a concerted push by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, bicycling and walking projects can finally compete for a piece of this $42 million pie.
(more…)

Biking/walking projects now eligible for $42 million in state lottery funds

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Text in bold shows new additions to Senate Bill 260, which passed both chambers of the Oregon Legislature today.

For the first time ever, with the passage a few minutes ago of Senate Bill 260, the Oregon Legislature has agreed to open up the state’s lottery-backed Multimodal Transportation Fund (a.k.a. ConnectOregon) to biking and walking projects. Even though it’s always been referred to as multimodal, the ConnectOregon program has funded only air, marine, rail, and public transit infrastructure improvements — everything but bicycling and walking.
(more…)

BTA 2013 legislative push: More funding, lower speeds, more enforcement

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky
at Velo Cult last night.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has embarked on their 2013 legislative campaign. Last night they revealed that the three bills they plan to lobby for center around funding, speed limits, and enforcement.

The bills are substantial and they mark a full-force return to lobbying in Salem after the BTA opted to lay low and rebuild relationships with legislators in the 2011 session.

At a BTA-hosted happy hour event at Velo Cult Bike Shop last night, Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky shared that their “three-pronged approach” is “all about safety.”
(more…)

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