federal stimulus bill

Lessons learned, Metro ponders TIGER II

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 27th, 2010 at 11:17 am

Bike Back the Night-18.jpg

If Metro wants federal funds for
active transportation projects, they’ve
got to adjust their approach.
(Photo © J. Maus)

With the US Department of Transportation’s announcement of TIGER II, a $600 million extension of the stimulus funded TIGER grant program, local active transportation advocates are considering another round of applications.

Our regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, Metro, submitted four active transportation projects totaling $97 million in the first go-round of TIGER grants.

None of those projects received funding*, and since the grant announcement in February, Metro staff has been trying to learn why.[Read more…]

N/NE Portland bikeway dream will soon come true (or be deferred)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 5th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Dar k blue = cycle tracks.
(Graphic: Metro)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that funding decisions for their stimulus minded Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program will be made no later than February 17th.

To refresh your memory, last fall Metro submitted a TIGER grant request for $98 million in active transportation projects throughout the Portland region. One of those projects is a $38 million proposal to build a dense and complete neighborhood bikeway system in 13 square miles of North and Northeast Portland. [Read more…]

A smoother Springwater now expected by summer 2010

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 21st, 2009 at 11:31 am

This 7.2 mile stretch of the Springwater should be much smoother by summer 2010.
(Map: City of Portland)

A project to repave the popular Springwater Corridor Trail that was green-lighted by Metro back in March is now scheduled for completion by early June 2010. The $1.8 million project will overlay asphalt on top of the original rough chip seal surface for over seven miles of the trail from the east end of the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge to Jenne Road. The project was part of a $38 million pot of funds from the federal economic stimulus package.

Three Bridges opening celebration

Smooth sailin’.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Back in March, Kyle Chisek, a project manager at the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, said construction would begin this past summer and would be completed “a couple of months” later (as in right about now). I followed up with Chisek this morning after a reader wrote in wondering why the project hadn’t started yet.

Chisek said it comes down to all the paperwork (inter-governmental agreement between Transportation and Parks departments, environmental assessments) and process (approval from ODOT). According to Chisek, Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) “Really underestimated the time it would take to get through the federal process.”

PP&R spokesperson Beth Sorensen said construction is currently slated for mid-March (it would have started this winter, but asphalt projects need dry weather). Sorensen also said that “for safety reasons” sections of the trail will be completely closed during construction. A detour plan will be created and so far, the schedule for the closures has not been released.

ODOT, TriMet will roll out I-205 path improvements

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 9th, 2009 at 9:47 am

The (Epic) Sushi Ride

Project will improve lighting
on I-205 path.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the federal stimulus bill), the bike and pedestrian path that runs along Interstate 205 will be getting a $2.5 million makeover.

Most of the money will go toward new lighting on a 3.6 mile stretch of the path from SE Sunnyside Road to SE Woodstock (I hope it doesn’t attract vandals), but according to ODOT spokesperson Christine Miles there’s more in store than just improved illumination.[Read more…]

In Salem, ODOT presents final batch of federal stimulus project decisions

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 18th, 2009 at 11:05 am

This graph shows a modal breakdown of ODOT’s recommendation for how to spend the state’s remaining $101 million dollars in federal stimulus money.
(Graphic: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Bike parking, smoother bike lanes, and more; a federal stimulus funding wrap-up

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 9th, 2009 at 9:50 am

TriMet requested (and received) $1 million in federal stimulus funds to build secure bike parking facilities (like the one shown above) at their Beaverton and Sunset Transit Centers.
(Drawing: Steve Durrant/Alta Planning + Design)

[Read more…]

Stimulus for the Springwater: Trail gets $1.8 million for repaving

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 6th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

The Springwater Corridor Trail will get some much-needed TLC this summer.
(Map of project boundaries courtesy of the City of Portland)

[Read more…]

Today is final day to comment on Metro stimulus projects

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 3rd, 2009 at 1:41 pm

(Lots of talk about stimulus funds around here lately. Hope you’re staying with me).

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) may get the largest chunk of federal stimulus money (about $232 million last time I checked), but Metro also gets a piece of the pie — $38 million to be exact. That’s a much smaller piece, but Metro is more likely than ODOT to fund non-highway projects.[Read more…]

ODOT/OTC release stimulus funds application, process details

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 3rd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

“The OTC also recognizes the need to balance highway needs with other modal needs.”
— From a statement released by ODOT today

The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC), acting on behalf of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), has announced the application process and more details on how they’ll allocate their remainder of federal stimulus funds.

The OTC approved 31 projects totaling $122 million as part of their first phase of funding decisions. In Phase II, the OTC will have about $110 million to assign to transportation projects throughout the state. [Read more…]

Bike projects expected to compete better in next phase of stimulus funding

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 3rd, 2009 at 11:36 am

State transportation planners are scrambling to get their “shovel ready” projects in order and they’re waiting eagerly by their inboxes this morning. That’s because any day now, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is expected to release the application forms for what they’re calling “Phase II of the Federal Economic Stimulus”.

I spoke with ODOT’s communications director Patrick Cooney (he’s also the spokesperson for the Oregon Transportation Commission) yesterday and he said Phase II will allocate $110 million* the next phase of stimulus funding for infrastructure projects will get underway very soon. [Read more…]