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PBOT reveals candidate projects for federal ‘flexible funds’

Posted by on May 16th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

A tour of East Portland-5.jpg

Federal funds could be used for
better bikeways in East Portland.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The City of Portland and counties throughout the region are busy putting their project wish lists together to apply for about $22.5 million in federal grants. The money is distributed by Metro and is part of a $70 million pot known as regional flexible funds.

Of that money, the City of Portland will get about $6.6 million to spend on bicycling and walking projects. On Friday, PBOT released the five projects they’ve identified for funding so far. They also announced a public meeting on June 1st to discuss the projects and hear your feedback.

Here are the five projects on PBOT’s list:

  • East Portland Active Transportation to Transit, Areawide Improvements ($3.25 million)
    Improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities with a focus on access to transit in the area south of I‐84, north of Foster Rd and east of I‐205. Funds would pay for variety of projects including bikeways, sidewalks, improved crossings, and even promotional marketing of the facilities after they are installed.
  • Sullivan’s Gulch Trail, Design (partial) ($1.25 million)
    This money would be used to design segments of the Sullivan’s Gulch project from the Eastbank Esplanade to 28th Avenue and from 42nd to 82nd Avenues. The City has already started the process to create a concept plan for the project and this design money would be contingent on that process coming up with a feasible alignment.
  • Bike Sharing Program ($2 million)
    This is the PBOT bike-share system we’ve covered recently. As it stands today, the proposal is for a 740 bike, 74 kiosk system that would provide free/low-cost bicycles in an area that mimics the Central City Streetcar loop (on both sides of the river). Total project cost (part of which would come from user fees and private partners) is $4 million.
  • Barbur Blvd Streetscape/Pedestrian Plan Phase 1 ($2 million)
    This project would build out elements of the Barbur Streetscape Plan which was adopted by the City of Portland in 1999.
  • Foster Road Safety Enhancements ($1.25 million)
    This project would bring traffic safety improvements (primarily bike/walk crossing treatments) to three areas along SE Foster Road: SE 63rd to 67th, the “Heart of Foster”; SE 72nd Ave, the “Green Link”; and SE 80th to 84th, the “Crossroads District.” The Portland Development Commission would put in $2 million of urban renewal area funds.

These are all important projects and PBOT wants to hear what you think about them. You’ll notice that they add up to more than $6.6 million, so not everything will be funded.

Come to the meeting on June 1 from 6 to 8:00 pm at The Portland Building (1120 SW Fifth Ave, 2nd Floor, Room B) to ask questions and share your input directly with City staff.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you.

  • NF May 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    It is important to note that all of those projects together add up to more than $6.6 million. Not everything will get funded – and your voice will help prioritize which projects make the cut.

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  • craig May 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    And the discussion isn’t limited to just those five projects. The PBOT news advisory also says, “Members of the public will also have the opportunity to suggest alternative projects.”


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  • cyclist May 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I WAY prefer the Sullivan’s Gulch project over any of the others, though the bike share project seems like the only unworthy one (2 million for bike share?).

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    • Alan 1.0 May 16, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      Sullivan’s Gulch is my first choice, too, but bike-share is my second. I can see how it is arguably more about urbanism and civic design than about bicycling but it would get a whole lot of people on bikes every day who otherwise wouldn’t ride at all. That would have a ripple effect of drivers seeing more riders (safety in numbers), and more riders discovering biking and spreading the notion.

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  • Chris I May 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    They all sound like good projects, but given my commute from Hollywood to Gresham, the East Portland and Sullivan’s Gulch projects sound particularly good.

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  • indy May 17, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Bike sharing can work, but won’t in our culture. People suck.

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    • Eric the ME May 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

      I was wondering about this. The note about bike sharing above says it might be free. What’s to stop people from steeling the bikes? There’s already a bike theft problem for non-free bikes.

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      • cyclist May 17, 2011 at 10:59 am

        Presumably they’d have to swipe a credit card for a deposit, and if the bike was never returned the cost of the bike would be charged to the card.

        I can see tourists using bike sharing, but can’t imagine Portlanders using the service. We already have free train travel throughout downtown, never mind the fact that downtown is pretty walkable anyway. If it were free I could see people using it, but if I had to pay even a dollar or two I would just take the free option instead (one of the trains or my feet).

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  • craig May 17, 2011 at 11:09 am

    One of the prime benefits of bike sharing is that, by providing a quick, short-term movement option during the work day, more people can choose to leave their cars at home and take transit or walk to work more often (which is one of the gateway drugs to car-free commuting). Many people don’t make that choice because they rely on their cars to accomplish tasks during their lunch break–tasks that can often be done just as easily or more so with a conveniently located bike sharing station.

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  • Dave Cary May 17, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Forget funds for promotional marketing of the improvements; those who care will figure it out and the word will spread. Sullivan’s Gulch will be the only decent route to Downtown from the Eastside between Marine Drive and Springwater. Make that a priority!!

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  • John Mulvey May 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    These are all worthy projects, but I’m most interested in the Foster Road improvements. Lots of people in Outer SE have been working for a long time to make bike and ped safety improvements happen in the Foster Road area, which will someday be a key link in the City’s bike infrastructure as well as one of the City’s great walkable neighborhoods.

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