$17 million from Metro flows into PBOT for four key projects

Help is on the way for this section of NE 122nd Ave.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will accept nearly $17 million in project funding from Metro this week that will be spread around four major projects.

The money comes from federal grants distributed through Metro’s 2022-2024 Regional Flexible Funds Allocation process. These funds, which are available from the federal government and distributed by Metro every three years, are coveted by transportation agencies because they have wide discretion on how they can be spent.

PBOT applied for eight projects in 2019 and is poised to receive funding for four of them at City Council this Wednesday. Each one has a specific goal to improve conditions for biking, walking, and taking transit.

Take a look at the four projects below. And keep in mind, these grants won’t cover the entirety of any of the projects, so they’ll need to be supplemented with PBOT funding that will come from places like the Transportation System Development Charges (SDCs) and Fixing Our Streets funds.

NE 122nd Ave Safety & Access: Beech St – Wasco St
(Source: PBOT)

Total project cost: $6,491,000
Grant value: $4,543,700

The project is intended to improve safety and accessibility along NE 122nd Avenue between NE Beech Street and NE Wasco Street by constructing new enhanced and marked crossings on NE 122nd Ave, reconstructing curb ramps and adding lighting at intersections along the corridor.


Stark & Washington Safety: SE 92nd Ave – SE 109th Ave

Total project cost: $12,273,629
Grant value: $5,332,000

This project is intended to transform this area, which is currently on the high crash network, into a hub for people walking, biking and taking transit in East Portland. Safety improvements will include protected bike and bus lanes, transit islands and enhanced crossings.


NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd Safety & Access to Transit
New crossing medians at Mason.
Southern half.

Total project cost: $4,723,000
Grant value: $2,623,000

This project will include pedestrian crossing improvements on NE Martin Luther King Boulevard at locations between Cook and Highland Streets and signal modifications at the intersections at NE Fremont Street and NE Killingsworth Street to add protected left turn phases.

NE MLK Jr Blvd is a hub for Portland’s Black community and this project was developed in partnership with the Soul District Business Association. PBOT is submitting phase 2 of this project, which will extend it from Fremont to Lombard Streets, to be funded in the 2025-2027 RFFA cycle.

(PBOT project page for Phase 1 of this project.)


N Willamette Blvd Active Transportation Corridor

Total project cost: $6,106,000
Grant value: $4,456,000

This project will enhance existing bike lanes along Willamette Boulevard from Rosa Parks Way to No Ida Avenue and extending bike lanes from Ida Avenue to Richmond Avenue and add intersection improvements for pedestrian safety and transit access.

As we wrote last year, this project will provide a crucial low-stress bikeway connection from St. Johns to the rest of the city, something that has been missing as Willamette Blvd’s current bike lane has dangerous gaps.

***

PBOT Interim Communications Director Hannah Schafer says the projects still need some public outreach and design engineering and construction is set for 2025.

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3 months ago

I’m glad to see that PBOT is going back to the basics using proven safety enhancement techniques, rather than going for experimental and non-functional infrastructure on these projects.

Under the disaster that was Eudaly, PBOT always seemed to make everything an experiment, and 9 out of 10 times their implemented “treatment” made the roads actively worse for everyone. Now under Hardesty here, we’re back to consistent and good improvements like rapid flash beacons, protected bike lanes, and robust diverters. I like what I see in these plans, hopefully they can get them implemented ASAP.

cmh89
cmh89
3 months ago
Reply to   

Now under Hardesty here, we’re back to consistent and good improvements like rapid flash beacons, protected bike lanes, and robust diverters.

I’m not sure that the bureau head as all that much control, especially in our system.

I’ve disappointed under Hardesty because PBOT had the chance to install actual diverters on greenways and decided that maintaining motorist speed and access to greenways was more important than making greenways safe for pedestrians and rollers.

 
 
3 months ago
Reply to  cmh89

I definitely don’t agree with everything Hardesty’s done, and agree that we should be doing way more to add diverters on greenways. But I also need to give credit where credit is due, and these projects listed here look good. It’s more of a reflection on just how terrible Eudaly was, rather than on Hardesty.

No idea on how much control the head of PBOT has, but anecdotally it certainly seems like there’s been much better design on projects this past year.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago
Reply to   

From my experience on the PBOT budget/bureau advisory committee for 7 years, neither the PBOT director nor the city commissioner has any real power within PBOT. It’s often the section chiefs, managers, and senior engineers who hold the purse strings and direct policy within each division, often in conflict with the other PBOT divisions. The PBOT director and commissioner are more like head cheerleaders within that vast organization. Sam Adams was the last person to have any sway over the organization, and even that was pretty limited.

cmh89
cmh89
3 months ago
Reply to   

. But I also need to give credit where credit is due, and these projects listed here look good. It’s more of a reflection on just how terrible Eudaly was, rather than on Hardesty.

I’m no Eudaly fan but I will point that all four of these projects were developed and the applications were made in 2019, when Eudaly was the head of PBOT, not Hardesty.

David S.
David S.
3 months ago
Reply to  cmh89

You all are giving way too much credit to the Commissioners in charge. Hardesty wasn’t even aware of the Portland Bike Plan. I can’t imagine she had any significant input (if any at all) on specific infrastructure improvements.

https://bikeportland.org/2021/05/12/pbot-commissioner-has-revealing-heated-exchanges-with-bicycle-advisory-committee-members-331135/amp

 
 
3 months ago
Reply to  cmh89

Ah, you’re right! I take back what I said then.

John
John
3 months ago
Reply to   

All of these projects were in development before Hardesty was elected. Applications were submitted in 2019.

Eric Martin
Eric Martin
3 months ago

Hi my name is Eric Martin: I live on end of 110th Ave SE off Division Road.

During 2021 and 2022….your PBOT has no communicate with us neighborhood about what your PBOT plans on the construction….
Hmm…I personally don’t agreed with you.
1. PBOT put the cement on the center of our road from 82nd to 162nd….It is TERRIBLE DESIGN or it is WORST IDEA!
2. I lived on the end of the street next to city dog park. Once PBOT put the cement on the center…I can’t make turn left to 112 as my rountine to shopping. It makes me to turn right…kinda like a waste of my time and gas too. TERRIBLE DESIGNATE. TERRIBLE DESIGNATE to put on the cement curbs for bicycle…it MAKES US CONFUSION what’s going on the road.
3. I am concerned our businesses on our Division Road like the Gravel Yard business or Romanian/Russian 2 largest store across from us….how will the truck transported the supplies to and from… because of the cement in on the center that prevent or hinder us to turn. It is BAD IDEA or BAD DESIGN.
4. Few month ago, as I was ongoing east to from 112 to 122 to the store….traffice was heavy on the west road…full….as I am driving ongoing….suddenly fire truck came out nowhere on our eastward road….toward to us….force us to pull over….I almost had accident to other cars…because of this emerengeny vehicle was going on west but it is on our eastward road…it is BAD IDEA. It should be leave as it was.
5. In future….look big headache lawsuit???
6. I am not happy how you run as a director here in the Portland metro.
7. We are at loss with this situation…more accidents? I don’t like the way you put the signal light “red” for us not to turn right…Come on. This is the MOST SILLY I have heard of this.
8. I am very disappointed how this PBOT constructed our road…we have lot of pot holes worst than put on cement or curbs. Fixt new road before you put it on. You failed to recognized. Fail to see what vision looks like. Money waste. I honestly think.
9. I think you city of Portland….lower our property taxes. I see many neighborhood changes and they fed up with our Division Road… put for sale on signs. Very Disappoint with your service. Think about we may proposal to have a vote and guess have to force to redo those silly and dumb traffic laws…kinda waste our gas which sitting idle few minutes….that’s not good idea. Honestly. I lived here 28 years in wonderful neighborhood. But you PBOT changed our neighborhood. Sorry I have to say in my opinion. I have a voice to speak to you. But are You PBOT LISTEN US?
Sincerely,

Eric Martin
Please reply me back.

nic.cota
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Martin

Eric, this is a blog, not the city… I’d send your listed concerns to PBOT at safe@portlandoregon.gov.

Ben
Ben
3 months ago

If PBOT actually wants to make Washington and Stark safer for pedestrians, they should eliminate the pointless couplet and make them both two ways from 74th to 109th.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
3 months ago

I live in the neighborhood where the lead photo was taken. I walk up that hill every morning to go get coffee!
It will be nice to have improvements around Beech Street, but the real improvements need to be made to the sidewalk on the left side (east) of 122nd leading under the railroad and I-84 overpass in the photo at the top.
The sidewalk is about 2 1/2 feet wide and overgrown with vines coming over a concrete retaining wall. I end up having to walk in the street in that section for maybe 100′. Yeah, loads of fun with people going 40-50 mph a few feet away.
I constantly wonder if I’m going to get whacked in the head by a rear view mirror that sticks out too far.

Chris I
Chris I
3 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Nearly every undercrossing of I-84 in outer NE needs to be completely rebuilt, and I can’t believe it isn’t a bigger regional priority. Cyclists and pedestrians literally have no safe way to transit north and south between I-205 and 181st (which barely counts because it is basically a freeway interchange) and then again until Fairview Parkway. We need improvements on existing crossings, and additional crossings.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Exactly. I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of taking out lanes, but I am now. The solution would be to leave one lane north/south and dedicate the other lane to non-powered (except wheelchairs) traffic. Could have solid barriers to keep the yahoo’s out of there. Heck it might even have the side benefit of getting the high speeders (its a 30 mph zone) going 45+ to slow down a little.

JP
JP
3 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

I live nearby and ride on both sides of 122 regularly. I think both sides of the street (including sidewalks) need serious work at that spot. It’s unpleasant at best and downright dangerous at worst.

soren
3 months ago

Active Crossings at:
NE Holman Street
NE Mason Street
NE Going Street*
NE Failing Street
NE Cook Street

What is an “active crossing”?

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin
Reply to  soren

good question! My hunch would be that’s their name for a bike/greenway crossing that would have elements like bike signal phase, median islands, crossbikes, and so on.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago

Usually it’s a variation on median islands and rapid-flashing beacons, at least in EP.

fishyfishy123
fishyfishy123
3 months ago

Is this a different application process than the ones reported on last week?
“City of Portland asks Metro for $71 million to build bike paths, crossings, and safer streets”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin
Reply to  fishyfishy123

yes. different. but same in some ways. Last week’s story was about which projects PBOT is applying for in the 2025-2027 RFFA cycle and this story is about the four projects they won grants for from their applications into the 2022-2024 RFFA cycle. Sorry it wasn’t more clear!

fishyfishy123
fishyfishy123
3 months ago

Got it- thanks!