It’s that time again when transportation agencies around the region turn their attention to Metro in hopes of winning a chunk of the Regional Flexible Funds Allocation (RFFA). This is a coveted source of funding for trails, paths, and bike-centric infrastructure. It’s “flexible” because, unlike the lion’s share of federal funding, it’s not tied to “highways” and local governments can spend it any way they want.
In the Portland region, this flexibility means leaders choose to fund blatantly bike-centric projects.
All told, Metro will hand out a grand total of $142.3 million this go-round (the 2025-2057 RFFA allocation); but the majority of that is already spoken for. The biggest set-aside, $65 million, will go to repay regional transit project bonds. Another $35.8 million will go toward non-infrastructure programs like Safe Routes to School and planning for transit-oriented developments. Metro says there’s a total of $61.25 million up for grabs which will be split between trail projects ($20 million) and projects that had previously been listed in the Regional Transportation Plan.
It’s each agency’s job to make sure they apply for projects that Metro is most likely to fund.
The City of Portland wants to take full advantage and they’ve put in applications for nine projects totaling over $71 million dollars. They won’t win anywhere near that full amount, but the process is a good opportunity to see which projects they prioritize and which one are closest to being shovel-ready.
Here are the projects the City of Portland has applied for (with short descriptions taken from Regional Flexible Funds Active Transportation & Trails Project Candidates 2025-2027):
NE/SE 148th Ave (Halsey – Powell). Improve existing bike lanes, add enhanced crossings and support planned new TriMet bus line. Addresses high priority PedPDX crossing needs throughout the corridor.
NE Cully Blvd / 57th Ave (Prescott – Klickitat) Fill sidewalk gap on west side of 57th and widen narrow sidewalk on east side of 57th from Fremont to Failing. Provide protected bike lanes from Klickitat to Prescott. Add transit islands at Mason and new crossings at Failing and Skidmore.
NE MLK Jr Blvd (Fremont to Lombard). New enhanced crossings and safety and multimodal improvements at existing signalized intersections along the northern end of MLK Jr Blvd to improve safety for people walking, crossing, and accessing transit along this corridor.
SW Taylors Ferry (48th – Capitol Hwy). Construct high-priority sidewalk and bikeway connections on W Taylors Ferry Rd to provide active transportation access to West Portland Town Center.
SE 7th Ave (Stark – Division) Install directional protected bikeways along the length of the corridor, ADA curb ramps and enhanced crossings at key intersections. Installation of modern traffic signals along the corridor will increase reliability and efficiency.
NE Cornfoot Rd (47th Ave – Alderwood Rd). Multi-use path on north side of Cornfoot Rd from Alderwood to NE 47th (part of Columbia Slough Trail), and intersection improvements at 47th and Airtrans Way.
NE Marine Dr (102nd-122nd). Multi-use regional trail connecting existing sections of Marine Drive Trail between I-205 and NE 122nd Ave, includes one enhanced crossing with a rectangular rapid-flashing beacon (RRFB), signage and high-visibility crosswalk markings
N Lombard & Rivergate Trail – The project is a paved, multi-use regional trail project consisting of 2,000 feet of new trail in Kelley Point Park and 2,600 feet of rebuilt Rivergate Trail.
N Columbia Blvd, N Bruce Ave, N Reno Ave, and N Catlin Ave. Bike and pedestrian bridge at N Columbia Blvd at Chimney Park, paved multi-use path at Baltimore Woods, and connections to and improvements throughout N Portland greenways in St Johns area.
These are all very exciting projects! We’ll look at some of the projects more closely — including ones proposed by our neighbors in Clackamas and Washington counties, in a separate post.
Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation will debate the projects throughout this summer and come up with a final recommendation in September of this year. Metro Council is expected to vote on the list in October. Stay tuned for more coverage and opportunities for public comment. Check out Metro’s website for more information and background.