$16 million up for grabs statewide to build safer routes to schools

Getting to school in north Portland’s Overlook neighborhood.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The State of Oregon has opened up a new grant program to fund projects that make it easier to walk, bike, and roll to schools.

The Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Competitive Grant Program has a total of $16 million available statewide. The program is part of the $5.3 billion transportation package passed by the legislature in 2017. This is the first two-year cycle of the program and the funds available are set to increase to $30 million per year in 2021-22 and and 2023-24.

To give you some perspective on how far $16 million for schools will go in Oregon, the City of Portland recently announced they plan to spend $8 million on safe routes projects this summer alone.

ODOT also has a non-infrastructure grant program that can be used for things like education and planning. That program is funded at $500,000 per year through 2019 and will bump up to $1 million annually in 2020.


Cities, counties, tribes, and road and transit agencies that want to compete for these funds must submit a letter of intent by August 31st and complete an application by October 15th. They’ll also have to come up with a 20 or 40 percent cash match. Applicants from small cities with a project along a designated Priority Safety Corridor, or that have Title I status (where children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment) will be eligible for the lower match amount.

Projects awarded funding in this first cycle will be built between 2019 and 2024.

Grab the application and learn more about the program on ODOT’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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