request to make SE Foster Road safer
for all modes.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Today, Portland Mayor Sam Adams published the City’s list of federal legislative priorities. Among them are several transportation projects that include bike-related infrastructure.
[As an aside, we are pleased to note that Nils Tillstrom, a former staffer for U.S. Congressman David Wu, is now working for the City of Portland as federal legislative assistant. Tillstrom was our main contact on bicycle issues and met with Oregonians on Capitol Hill during the National Bike Summit.]
Here are some of the projects that City lobbyists will be pushing for in Washington D.C. this year…
In order to make “safety enhancements” on SE Foster Road between SE 50th and 84th Avenues, the City is asking for $1.3 million. SE Foster is already a designated “High Crash Corridor” the money would pay for elements of the project that would include “improved pedestrian and bicycle crossing safety and access” and “improved connections to transit.”
The City wants $500,000 from the feds to reconstruct the NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Columbia Blvd Intersection intersection. The project is mostly focused on improving freight movement but it will also include “bicycle and pedestrian facilities.”
Portland is also asking for project-specific funding requests (a.k.a. earmarks) for two projects of note. They want $10 million to improve SW Capitol Highway between Multnomah and Taylors Ferry Road. This project would include some major bikeways.
Mayor Adams and City Council have also put in a request for $25 million to pay for the “Portland Bicycle Boulevard Project.” The funds would pay for over 100 miles of bike-friendly streets throughout the city. With this request, the City includes the following statement:
“The development of this network type will dramatically boost bicycle use beyond the City’s nationally- leading levels. The benefits to the City in increasing bicycle use are dramatic: economic (green dividends, tourism and expanding a significant existing bicycle industry), environmental, and transportation congestion relief.”
One other thing of note transportation-wise in this list of federal priorities — the City notes that it supports $1.25 Billion in funding for the Columbia River Crossing project (including $850 million from a transit specific pot known as New Starts).
While you consider what the City of Portland has put in their federal legislative wish list, also keep in mind that there is serious talk about a new way of doing business on Capitol Hill. Depending on how the budget and the politics shape up (I hope you plan to watch the State of the Union address tonight), earmarks and discretionary spending might not even be on the table.
Learn more about what Portland will be lobbying the 112th Congress for by downloading their full agenda via PDF here.