for a transit corridor.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced that Metro has won a $2 million grant to do an analysis of the “Southwest Corridor” project. The corridor would run from downtown Portland south via Barbur Blvd (99W) to Sherwood. This could bring major changes to Barbur Blvd and help tame the motor vehicle traffic on that street that has led to two high profile fatalities this year.
Below is a short blurb on the project:
This corridor runs along I-5 and SR 99W between downtown Portland and Sherwood (17 miles). This corridor is a high-priority for transit investment in light of livability needs, support of the regional economy, and potential environmental benefits and other factors. There is affordable housing availability and transit connectivity. Also, there is congestion. The current bus service is well-patronized.
The FTA awarded a total of $25.7 million in this grant cycle.
The $2 million will help Metro pay for an “alternatives analysis,” a key milestone in the FTA’s New Starts program, which is the primary source of federal funding for transit projects.
From the FTA announcement:
“Conducting an “alternatives analysis” ensures that various costs and benefits, route options, and other important considerations are taken into account as part of FTA’s capital planning process… The analysis is complete once a locally preferred alternative is selected and adopted as part of the affected region’s long-range transportation plan.”
This is great news for Southwest Portland neighborhood advocates who have been working for years to bring transportation investment to Barbur Blvd. This study is focused on transit, but if walking and biking advocates are present at the start of the process, the potential plans could include many things that would improve the environment for human-powered transportation.