With $8 million up for grabs, Portland kicks off series of Safe Routes to School open houses tonight
Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 28th, 2017 at 3:24 pm
Have traffic safety concerns in your neighborhood that prevent you and your kids from biking to school? Listen up…
Thanks to the voter-approved, 10-cent increase in the local gas tax, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation expects to raise about $64 million over the next four years. The money will be spent on a wide range of projects between now and 2020. About $8 million of that total amount is set aside specifically for making it safer and easier for people to walk, bike, and roll to school. This is important because safety concerns are a major barrier to people when deciding how they’ll get their kids to school. The most recent City survey of people who live 1-2 miles away from their school found that 51 percent of respondents were concerned about traffic safety — more than any other limiting factor in their travel choice.
Now PBOT wants to hear your feedback to make sure this $8 million helps ameliorate those concerns.
PBOT’s Safe Routes to Schools program reaches 100 schools citywide and there are currently 11 projects that will split the funding. PBOT has mapped the projects according to “high school attendance areas”. Right now each project is just a placeholder around these various high school feeder zones. From tonight (2/28) through the beginning of May PBOT is hosting open house events where members of the community can show up and tell them specifically how to spend the money.
Here’s more from PBOT about how the money will be spent:
Safe Routes to School divided Fixing Our Streets funds geographically across Portland’s 12 high school clusters, each including boundaries of 3 to 13 schools (elementary, K-8, and middle). The allocation process considered cluster-wide demographic information (including student body population) compared with the existing network of pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The final funding recommendations prioritize communities of concern across the clusters, namely schools with high rates of communities of color, free & reduced lunch, and English language learners.
Is there a street on the way to your child’s school that needs a safe crossing? Perhaps the bikeway leading to it isn’t as safe as it could be — or perhaps there’s no bikeway at all. PBOT needs to know your insights and concerns and school travel habits
The events are drop-in style from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Learn more here.