City of Portland asks Metro for $71 million to build bike paths, crossings, and safer streets

The nine projects.

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):

148th Ave Safety & Access to Transit (Project Cost Estimate: $7,913,000 – RFFA Grant Request: $7,100,335)

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 / NE 57th Ave Complete Street Project (Project Cost Estimate: $8,518,000 – RFFA Grant Request: $7,643,200)

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.


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NE MLK Jr Blvd Safety and Access to Transit Phase 2 (Project Cost Estimate: $6,098,000 – RFFA Grant Request: $5,604,370)

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 Walkway & Bikeway (Project Cost Estimate: $11,283,000 – RFFA Grant Request: $10,124,000)

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 Complete Street Project (Project Cost Estimate: $11,916,000 – RFFA Grant Request: $10,692,225)

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 Multi- Use Path Project (Project Cost Estimate: $7,465,000 – RFFA: $6,698,350 Trails Bond: $5,225,500)

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 Trail (Project Cost Estimate: $3,100,000 – RFFA Grant request: $2,770,300 Trails Bond Grant request: $2,161,200)

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


North Portland Greenway: Kelley Point Park to North Slough (Project Cost Estimate: $5,000,000 Grant request: RFFA: $4,465.605 Trails Bond: $3,483,699)

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.


North Portland Greenway: St Johns Prairie to Cathedral Park (Project Cost Estimate: $3,100,000 Grant request: RFFA: $2,745,540 Trails Bond: $2,648,000)

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.

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Nora
Nora
3 months ago

Speaking of NE MLK Blvd improvements, I thought I remembered hearing some while ago that the crossing at NE Going St was going to get some kind of improvement? Did I imagine that??

Psmith
Psmith
3 months ago
Reply to  Nora

Yes, it’s getting a traffic signal to cross MLK. Not sure when though.

Mick O
Mick O
3 months ago
Reply to  Nora

There was the BikePortland article about it (Traffic signal finally coming to Going Street greenway at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd), however you will notice that the only official confirmation was a link to a City Council ordinance which is now deleted from the city government’s website — as if it possibly never happened.

This page has no mention of a signal at MLK and Going.

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/planning/construction/ne-mlk-jr-blvd-corridor-safety-investment-strategy

I just sent an email to Mike Serritella, PBOT Planner, asking if there is any sort of update.

Betsy Reese
Betsy Reese
3 months ago
Reply to  Mick O

“. . . which is now deleted from the city government’s website — as if it possibly never happened.”

We can try to be memory keepers on the history behind certain issues and promises. Download or screenshot news or government webpages and email them to specific official and unofficial others, so they are time/date stamped.

You can try using the Wayback Machine Internet Archive to find various versions of what was once posted on the internet.

https://archive.org/web/

It can help document advocacy efforts, how certain decisions were made, what was proposed and rejected, and serve as the memory on projects that take so long between design proposal, acceptance, and execution that all original staff are gone.

Mick O
Mick O
3 months ago
Reply to  Mick O

Just got this answer from Mike S at PBOT. Good news maybe?

“Thanks for reaching out! We are planning on installing a half-signal to improve the Neighborhood Greenway crossing at NE Going and NE MLK Jr Blvd. I believe that construction is about to start this spring – so it should be open by summer!”

maxD
maxD
3 months ago
Reply to  Nora

Honestly, I hope that crossing DOESN’T happen. Withouta full signal, this will remain a “double threat” crossing. Since the Going Greenway alignment west of MLK is so convoluted it is basically useless, I strongly hope that the bike route switches to Skidmore. Skidmore provides a direct connection from 7th to Concord with controlled intersections already in place at Interstate, Vancouver/Williams and MLK. The buffered bike lanes are in place from INterstate Ave to Michigan, PBOT could remove parking and extend the buffered lanes between Michigan and MLK and provide a much better connection for people biking.

Steve Hash
Steve Hash
3 months ago

Huh, I thought the path from St. Johns prairie to Pier Park was already funded. Seems like Metro has been touting it for years.

Steve Hash
Steve Hash
3 months ago

Never mind, this St Johns prairie project apparently extends the path to Cathedral Park, great news!!

Dwk
Dwk
3 months ago

Can we just pick up the trash around here first?
I know, baby steps, but this dirty city is just embarrassing.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Dwk

Would you prefer the people who specialize in building infrastructure first spend their time picking up trash? Picking up trash can be a matter of safety, so it’s important, but building infrastructure and picking up trash can happen at the same time.

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
3 months ago

No more multi-use paths until we figure out how to clean up the ones we have! ***portion of comment deleted – Jonathan***

Allan Rudwick
3 months ago

The St John’s prairie path could be ridden now if the bridge across the slew (city dump road) wasn’t closed and you don’t mind dirt & gravel trails with minor bushwhacking. I would guess it would be popular enough that people would beat down the vegetation and make trail kind of nice actually without much government $$ if it wasn’t for a locked gate with barbed wire on top

X
X
3 months ago
Reply to  Allan Rudwick

hope nothing happens to that gate

bbcc
bbcc
3 months ago

I hope the 7th ave improvements get funded & built soon given that the blumenauer ped bridge is probably opening this summer.

Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
3 months ago

I am pleased that two key projects which fill huge gaps in the North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail are on this list. The St Johns Prairie (formerly landfill) is a treasure we will all discover before too long if that segment makes the cut. The other project…Cathedral Park to Pier Park loops briefly through Baltimore Woods, which is another treasure. Someone once asked “When is the best time to plant a tree?” the answer? “Twenty years ago!” Some of the trees in BW are well over 100 years old; some may have watched Mr. Clark in 1806 as he looked over what we know as the Wilamette River. Get the best look from N. Decatur, beginning at Baltimore; someday that unpaved street will be the WGT! But I guess not yet.
Note that both projects will also fill the largest gaps in the famed “40 Mile Loop.”

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago

I’m all for building more bike and multiuse paths. But what good does it do if they’re immediately taken over by drug camps? Is the city and county intentionally using MUPs as stealth “safe rest villages”?

Fred
Fred
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

I’m getting a bit tired of these endless comments about camping on the MUPs. We know, we know – there are problems with the MUPs.

JM, your site is being targeted by single-issue trolls. Maybe you can edit some of them out (“Thank you for your comment but yours is the 7331st about disorder on the MUPs”).

It’s nice to see ONE project in SW Portland, on a short stretch of Taylors Ferry Rd, for a cool $11,000,000. No one will be camping on this path b/c it’s too hilly.

dwk
dwk
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Maybe if the city fixed the problem you would not see the comments… Or maybe we should just ignore the problem, I am sure that will fix it.
I just returned from SoCal… I Road miles and miles on clean nice camper less trails…
Portland should be ashamed of the garbage and campers we put with.

Kalen
Kalen
3 months ago
Reply to  dwk

it really makes you wonder what the end game is here in Portland. There is no urgency in fixing problem and seemingly no pride.

J_R
J_R
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

I used to ride on MUPs every week. For two years the Springwater to Gresham was part of my commute. My kids’ first long rides were on the MUPs. Now I don’t feel safe riding on them. Yes, I’m f******g pissed. My emails to Portland commissioners generally don’t even elicit a response, so yes, I do complain on here. I’m glad you’re satisfied with the status quo, Fred; I’m sure as h**l not! If that make me a one-issue troll, well, so be it.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

You’re right, my single issue is to be able to ride on our MUPs without facing danger from all the drug camps along the way. Would you prefer that our MUPs are allowed to continue to be repurposed as de facto “safe rest villages” for our “most vulnerable population” (i.e. drug addicts)?

Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Of course there are comments about this! These paths used to be a critical part of our cycling infrastructure. Especially so for those that do not live in the city core. As they stand now they’re unusable for all but the most brave who are comfortable with the idea of defending themselves through violence if needed.

I don’t think we should be calling them MUPs anymore. They’re DUPs: Drug User Paths.

Until such a time our infrastructure is usable again I’d probably just come to terms with folks complaining. It’s not like they aren’t fair and completely reasonable complaints to begin with.