Regional mayors and transportation bigwigs in DC for annual lobbying trip

JPACT members on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Juan Carlos Gonzáles)

Over the past two days, a group of transportation bigwigs from around the region have rubbed shoulders with the most powerful decision makers in America. Members of Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) arrived in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to take part in an Oregon tradition that’s nearly four decades old.

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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.

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