success of light rail corridors in making
decisions about active transportation funding.
(Photo © J. Maus)
A Metro task force put together to decide how the agency’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) should spend $23 million in federal “flexible” funds, has agreed that the money set aside for active transportation projects — about three-fourths of it — should focus on just a few corridors at a time. The approach, similar to how TriMet has built out their light rail system, would be distinctly different than how our region has typically funded biking and walking projects.
The consensus around taking the “light rail model” funding approach was reached at a meeting Tuesday night. Here’s more from a statement published by Metro this morning:
“This would differ from the more scattered, piecemeal approach that Portland-area policymakers have typically used, which helped many communities across the region with small street, sidewalk, trail or bicycle projects. That approach has drawn criticism because it generated incremental improvements but not a complete new route.”
Back in July, JPACT voted to split the $23 million in Regional Flexible Funds roughly 75/25 between active transportation projects and freight-related projects.
More specific priorities for how to spend the money will be fleshed out by this task force in the coming weeks and will be presented to JPACT in January. Once allocated, money for this funding cycle can start being spent in October 2013. We’ll keep you posted on which bike-related projects might be in line for these dollars.