Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 19th, 2009 at 11:31 am
Blumenauer has made his
(Photo © J. Maus)
[Via Mapes on Politics]
U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has made his list of “High Priority” transportation projects public, and several of them are for bike-related projects in and around the Portland metro area. According to Blumenauer, the list was created to “ensure communities are full partners” in Congress’s efforts to re-write the federal transportation bill.
Capitol Hill lawmakers are in the process of creating the new bill, and as per usual, there is expected to be a lot of political wrangling and scrambling on how the hundreds of billions of dollars are spent. A small percentage of funds in the bill will go toward “High Priority Projects” that are specifically designated by Members of Congress.
The highlight of the list for bike lovers (it also includes streetcar and light rail projects) is the “Citywide Bicycle Boulevard Construction” project. This project would give $25 million to the City’s effort to build 100 miles of bicycle boulevards throughout the city. It was first identified during Mayor Adams’ push for the “Safe, Sound, and Green Streets” fee proposal back when he was Commissioner of Transportation. Most recently, Adams submitted the project to Obama’s economic stimulus bill. Now, Blumenauer is trying once again to get these boulevards funded.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), who crafted the project application in tandem with Metro, estimates that the boulevard project would support about 600 full-time jobs. But more importantly, they say it would double bicycle use in the city, thus realizing many other sustained health and economic benefits.
Another project on Blumenauer’s list that caught my eye was $2 million to make SE Monroe Street in Milwaukie a bike boulevard. (I just rode that street en route to our Get Together event last night).