One of the bright spots in the $5.3 billion transportation package passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017 was annual funding dedicated to Safe Routes to School.
House Bill 2017 (which the Oregon Department of Transportation now calls the Keep Oregon Moving program), included a $10 million annual investment in street safety projects within a one-mile radius of schools. That number bumps up to $15 million a year in 2023.
But when the ink on the bill dried, there remained a lot of things to figure out. Who would be eligible for the money? What would the grant process look like? Which type of roads and projects would compete best for the funds?
To answer these and other questions, ODOT convened a Safe Routes to School Rulemaking Advisory Committee. The bulk of that committee’s work is done and yesterday ODOT announced that the draft rule update for the new Safe Routes to School Fund is ready for public scrutiny.
Even if you don’t know Kari (it rhymes with “safari”) Schlosshauer, chances are you’re familiar with her work.
As the Pacific Northwest Senior Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Schlosshauer has spent the last five years making our neighborhoods safer for walking and biking. Her position puts here at the center of discussions and deals about how and where our city, region, and state spend money for school-related transportation projects.
Schlosshauer lives in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood near Powell and 25th. Earlier this week I sat down with her around her kitchen table before riding downtown where she attended a meeting of the Vision Zero Task Force (she’s a member) at City Hall.
(Data: PBOT. Image: BikePortland)
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