funding

In unanimous letter, Metro council says they agree with coalition on regional spending priorities

by on March 23rd, 2017 at 10:30 am

(Photo: Metro)

Whatever transportation funding package emerges for the Portland region, it’ll include a lot more than three freeway expansion projects and one transit project. Why? Because all seven members of Metro Council — including president Tom Hughes, just said so.
[Read more…]

Insiders dish on regional funding measure, BRT dreams, and more at ‘Future’ panel

by on March 3rd, 2017 at 10:50 am

The panel from L to R: Michael Andersen (moderator), Tyler Frisbee, Leah Treat, Chris Rall.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the debate in Salem about a major transportation funding package just starts to boil (more on that later), insiders in the Portland region have been meeting for months to decide the framework of a separate, regional funding measure.

The future of that effort and the politics behind it were one of several topics discussed at a panel hosted by the local chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation at a pub in northwest Portland last night. The panel featured: Metro Policy and Innovation Manager (and former senior assistant to Congressman Earl Blumenauer) Tyler Frisbee; Transportation for America NW Region Organizer Chris Rall; and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat. The discussion was moderated by the ever-sharp People for Bikes writer and former BikePortland News Editor Michael Andersen.
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Biking and Safe Routes to School programs come up big in $2.5 million worth of regional grants

by on November 30th, 2016 at 10:15 am

Bike to School Day in NoPo-17

About a quarter of the grants went to Safe Routes to School programs.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s some good news: Metro just announced grants to 17 agencies and organizations throughout the region that will make it easier to get around without driving alone. The grants are worth a total of $2.5 million — money that comes from the federal government and is doled out by Metro via their Regional Travel Options (RTO) program.

Metro spokesman Craig Beebe said, “This cycle’s awardees continue the program’s trend of focusing on youth and underserved communities.”

On that note, a $178,000 grant to the Community Cycling Center will allow the nonprofit to implement a “community centered” Safe Routes to School program at Title I schools (where students come from low-income families). And the Bicycle Transportation Alliance won $203,000 for an “Access to Bicycling initiative” that will include a continuation of their Women Bike program and hands-on bike repair and riding clinics at workplaces and in communities around the region. In Washington County, the Westside Transportation Alliance will use its $196,000 grant to encourage biking, walking and transit use in areas with a high percentage of low-wage and shift workers.
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The case against using gas taxes for bike infrastructure

A J Zelada by on December 4th, 2015 at 4:09 pm

6175048141_311d91dda5_z

A gas station on W Burnside.
(Photo: C.M. Keiner)

Editor’s note: We’re highlighting this (lightly edited) BikePortlander post as a comment of the week. It’s a doozy, but it’s provocative. The author, A.J. Zelada, is a past contributor who has volunteered as a transportation advisor for Oregon and others.

Now that Black Friday came and went, I want you to rethink the gas-tax approach to boosting active transportation revenue.

I think the gas tax is a snake eating its own tail. It undermines the serious effort we need.

[Read more…]

‘Bike/ped does not belong’: some question state’s funding of bike projects

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 16th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

paul langner

Paul Langner is a facility manager for a timber and freight company in Rainier, Oregon. He’s concerned that bike projects are getting too much priority in the Connect Oregon funding program.
(Image from Morrow Pacific project)

The concept of a bicycling corridor being more important to Oregon than a freight rail connection, an idea which a state committee is likely to validate on Thursday, is drawing sharp criticism from some Oregonians.
[Read more…]

Bike/walk projects dominate requests for state lottery-backed funding program

by on December 4th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-30

The Union Street Bridge in Salem — open only for walking and biking — is the type of project that is eligible for ConnectOregon funds.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Cities across Oregon are clamoring for more money to build infrastructure that makes it easier for people to walk and bike.

Back in July, thanks to a concerted lobbying effort the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), the state of Oregon made biking and walking projects eligible for $42 million in funding through the ConnectOregon program for the first time ever.

Sources say this never would have happened without the BTA’s extensive and focused lobbying on the bill and they call it the biggest victory for BTA in Salem in at least 5 years.

ConnectOregon began in 2005 and it relies on lottery-backed bonds to invest in “multimodal transportation projects” around the state. It’s a rare state transportation program that offers dedicated funding for “non-highway” infrastructure. Prior to this year, only air, rail, marine/ports, and transit infrastructure were eligible.

Yesterday, ODOT announced they received 108 applications for this year’s round of ConnectOregon funding. Of the $129.4 million total requested funds, $47.5 million are categorized as “Bicycle/Pedestrian” — more than any of the other four eligible modes and more than the requests for Aviation, Marine, and Transit projects combined.
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Do bikes get a free ride? Advocates’ infographic shows why not (updated)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 12th, 2013 at 8:45 am

Click for full version.

One car damages the road about as much as 9,600 bicycles. If bike riders had to pay a fee for their wear and tear on roads, they’d be writing checks for a few cents per year.

In other words: When people ride bikes, they save everyone money.

Those are the facts the Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance is spreading with the new infographic below. The BTA says it’s designed to “start a conversation” about the ways we pay for our road system, despite a funding regime that Communications Director Will Vanlue calls “kind of a mess and hard to understand.”

[Read more…]

Bike access projects for Cully, Foster, Broadway make first cut for ODOT grants

by on March 19th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-2

A PBOT project to improve safety for bicycling
on Broadway between N. Wheeler and Ross
is in the running for state funding.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation has released an updated list of projects to be funded and constructed through their 2015-18 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). For ODOT Region 1 (which includes Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah and parts of Washington County) the program splits $127 million between a “Fix-It” pot and an “Enhance” pot to the tune of $60.5 million and $66.4 million respectively. “Fix-It” projects “maintain or preserve the existing system” (primarily new signals, bridge repairs, and paving), while the “Enhance” projects “expand or improve the transportation system.”

The list released by ODOT today for public feedback is a 150% list — meaning they will further narrow down the list based on your comments.

For context, this is the first time ODOT has ever doled out these funds in this manner. Prior to last summer (when ODOT announced the changes), the STIP program had 22 different individual programs. All these dedicated funding pots have been simplified down to just these two. [Read more…]

PBOT applies for $36 million in state transportation grants

by on November 29th, 2012 at 10:22 am

Williams traffic-1

City wants $1.5 million for N. Williams Ave.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has applied for over $36 million in state transportation grants. The grants are administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) through their 2015-2018 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). PBOT’s list (PDF) includes 16 projects, many of which are crucial for improving bicycle access throughout the Portland metro region.

See highlights from the list below, followed by my comments and more analysis of the STIP process:

ODOT Director affirms commitment to active transportation in MAP-21

by on November 5th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

“MAP-21 cut dedicated funding… Regardless, ODOT is committed to funding active transportation programs.”
— Matt Garrett, Director of ODOT

Oregon biking and walking advocates received good news on Friday when ODOT Director Matt Garrett announced his agency is committed to key biking and walking programs that lost dedicated funding in the recently passed federal transportation bill (MAP-21).

As we detailed back in June, MAP-21 completely changed (and/or eliminated) the way many programs were funded. These changes have caused anxiety among advocates who worry that the new rules will make it difficult for biking, walking, and transit-centric projects to compete with more traditional highway projects.

Here’s an excerpt from Garrett’s statement:[Read more…]