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Biking could score big in Metro’s latest ‘flexible funds’ offering


One of the projects on the list would add a new signal, sidewalks, and a multi-use path to the sketchy intersection of NE Columbia and Cully/Alderwood Road.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s that time again when our regional elected government needs help deciding which transportation projects to fund with a pot of federal dollars known as regional flexible funds. This opportunity only comes around once every three years, so it’s a golden opportunity to nab some cash for important projects.

Map of all projects. Click to enlarge.

This time around there’s about $43 million to spend and 23 projects have been proposed from the tri-county region (Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah). Metro has already done some technical evaluation and scoring based on four core funding principles: “advancing social equity”, “improving safety”, “implementing the region’s Climate Smart Strategy”, and “managing congestion”.

Now they need to hear what you think.

These funds are highly competitive because their “flexible” nature means governments have more discretion over how they’re used. With far more funding requested than available, Metro won’t be able to fund all of them. That also means public feedback can play an outsized role in what makes the final cut.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation submitted eight projects (as seen in the graphic below) worth about $36 million and the majority of them have significant bicycling elements.

City of Portland projects.

Below are PBOT’s project summaries along with a few others from around the region that caught my eye (see the full list and descriptions here). (Note: I’ve also included the Metro evaluation score graphic for each PBOT project. Here’s what they say about it: “Points further from the center of the chart show greater opportunity or benefit in the four policy priority areas. The project’s opportunity score measured the level of need in the policy area, while the benefit score measured how well the project addressed the need.”)

M1: 122nd Avenue active transportation
122nd Avenue: Sandy Boulevard to Burnside Street
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,543,700
Total project cost: $6,491,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs high-priority enhanced pedestrian crossings, bikeway improvements, and enhanced transit improvements along 122nd Avenue


M3: Belmont/Morrison biking and walking
Belmont and Morrison streets: Water Avenue to 13th Avenue
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,523,400
Total project cost: $6,462,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes and enhanced transit improvements along the Belmont/Morrison couplet in the Central Eastside.


M 4: Columbia/Cully freight
Columbia Boulevard: Cully Boulevard and Alderwood Road intersections
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $3,434,193
Total project cost: $5,084,193
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs intersection improvements at Northeast Columbia Boulevard at Cully Boulevard and Alderwood Road to enhance freight movement, including a new traffic signal, turn lanes and railroad crossing improvements. Includes separated sidewalks and multiuse path.


M6: MLK Boulevard safety and access to transit
MLK Boulevard: Cook Street to Highland Street
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,123,000
Total project cost: $4,723,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs high-priority enhanced pedestrian crossings and signal upgrades along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard to improve walking and biking safety and access to transit.


M8 Springwater Trail to 17th Avenue Trail
Springwater Corridor: 13th Avenue to 19th Avenue
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $5,534,000
Total project cost: $6,534,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Extends the Springwater Trail from 13th Avenue to 17th Avenue and extends the 17th Avenue Trail from St Andrews Place to Linn Street, connecting to the Springwater Corridor.


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M9: Stark/Washington biking and walking
Stark and Washington streets: 92nd Avenue to 109th Avenue
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $5,332,000
Total project cost: $6,532,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Implements roadway safety redesign and constructs enhanced pedestrian crossings, transit priority improvements, and protected bikeways in the Stark/Washington couplet in Gateway.


M10 Taylors Ferry Road transit access safety
Taylors Ferry Road: 49th Avenue to Capitol Highway
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $3,676,000
Total project cost: $4,276,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Constructs high-priority walking and biking connections on West Taylors Ferry Road to provide active transportation access to Southwest Corridor light rail station areas.


M11: Willamette Boulevard active transportation
Willamette Boulevard: Richmond Avenue to Rosa Parks Way
Sponsor: City of Portland
Requested amount: $4,456,000
Total project cost: $6,106,000
Purpose: Project development, construction
Description: Enhances existing bike lanes along Willamette Boulevard from Rosa Parks Way to Ida Avenue and extends bike lanes from Ida to Richmond Avenue. Incorporates pedestrian crossings, intersection improvements and transit access improvements.


This section of Highway 43 would get grade-separated bike paths.

C3: Highway 43 biking and walking
OR43 (Willamette Dr): Mapleton Drive to Barlow Street
Sponsor: City of West Linn
Requested amount: $6,468,000
Total project cost: $9,240,000
Purpose: Construction
Description: Provides continuation of grade-separated protected sidewalks and bike paths along Highway 43 from Mapleton Drive to Barlow Street. Creates walking and biking safeguards at intersections with raised corner bike refuge islands, multiuse marked crossings and other improvements.


C5: Monroe Greenway
Monroe Street Greenway: 21st Avenue to Linwood Avenue
Sponsor: City of Milwaukie
Requested amount: $3,860,788
Total project cost: $10,182,688
Purpose: Construction
Description: Creates a neighborhood greenway for safer walking and biking on Monroe Street. Connects Milwaukie’s central neighborhoods with downtown, the Trolley Trail, the 17th Avenue bikeway to the west, and the Clackamas Regional Center to the east.


C6: Trolley Trail Bridge replacement
Trolley Trail Bridge over Clackamas River: Portland Avenue to Clackamas River Greenway Trail
Sponsor: City of Gladstone
Requested amount: $1,228,800
Total project cost: $1,375,800
Purpose: Project development
Description: Plans, engineers and provides cost estimate for constructing a new walking and biking bridge connecting downtown Gladstone and downtown Oregon City.


W4: Cornelius Pass biking and walking bridge
Cornelius Pass Road pedestrian/bike crossing of US26: extension to Rock Creek Trail
Sponsor: Washington County
Requested amount: $628,110
Total project cost: $700,000
Purpose: Project development
Description: Designs a walking and biking bridge over Highway 26 just east of the Cornelius Pass Road interchange, filling a gap between the Rock Creek Trail and Cornelius Pass cycletrack and sidewalk.


You have from now until October 7th to get your comments in. An easy way to do it is via this handy survey. Or you can email transportation@oregonmetro.gov.

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

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