$37 million available for multi-use paths (ODOT)

From the Oregon Department of Transportation:

Exciting news! On July 14, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved $4 million in state Transportation Operating Funds for the Community Paths Program 2022 solicitation. There is also $3 million in federal Safe Routes to School funding for community paths projects that address a transportation need of local students. 

That’s $7 million in additional funding for the 2022 solicitation!

Pre-applications will be accepted starting August 1. Here is what you need to know about this round of funding:

  • $30 million is available in federal funding for construction or preliminary planning (Project Refinement) for projects between $500,000 and $6 million. Federal-funded grants will require a 10.27% match.
  • $3 million is available in federal funding for projects within one mile of a school (K-12) that have a letter from the school detailing the need and how the project addresses that need. These are also for projects between $500,000 and $6 million, and they also require a 10.27% match.
  • $4 million is available in State Transportation Operating Funds for smaller construction projects ($300,000 – $1 million). State-funded grants require a 30% match.

Oregon Community Paths, or OCP, is a competitive statewide transportation program that supports investments in multiuse paths that are not part of a roadway. Examples of eligible projects may be routes or segments that pass through a park, along a greenway, or follow abandoned rail corridors to connect community centers, services, housing, employment, schools, and recreation. Some on-road projects, such as roadway crossings for existing paths, are also eligible. OCP projects must serve a transportation purpose (not recreational) and must be open for public use. This program funds two types of community paths: 

  • Critical Links – walking and biking connections to schools, downtowns, shopping, employment, and other essential destinations.
  • Regional Paths – connecting communities no more than 15 miles apart, or traversing one community with a path 10 miles long or greater; examples include southern Oregon’s Bear Creek Greenway or Portland’s Springwater Corridor.  

Key dates to remember

  • August 1 to September 15 – Pre-Applications accepted.
  • November 1 to January 31, 2023 – Applications accepted.
  • May 2023 – Oregon Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee makes recommendations.
  • July 2023 – Oregon Transportation Commission approves projects.
  • October 2023 – Projects begin.

For more information, please sign up for our email list, or contact Alan Thompson, PATHS Program manager, 971-375-3903 or Alan.L.Thompson@odot.oregon.gov

ODOT says new Community Paths grant program could dish out over $19 million

Fanno Creek Trail near Oleson Road.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation has taken the wraps off a new program that will fund off-street path projects across the state.

The Oregon Community Paths program was first announced in February and ODOT has just released more details. Program manager Alan Thompson said he thinks there could be around $19.2 million up for grabs between federal and state sources through 2024, although that amount is “in flux” (likely a reference to ODOT’s pandemic-related budget crunch).

ODOT will pull together four funding sources — one from the federal government, three from the State of Oregon — to help plan and construct paths that are not on the roadway right-of-way. That stipulation is important because Highway Trust Fund, gas tax, and nearly every other major revenue source is legally required to be spent in the right-of-way.

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Your bike tax at work: State of Oregon unveils new ‘Community Paths’ grant program

Paths like the Tualatin River Greenway are good examples of projects that could be funded from the new program.
(Photo: City of Tualatin)

Here’s what the State of Oregon is doing with that tax you pay on the purchase of new bicycles: The Oregon Department of Transportation has just launched a new program that could provide an estimated $14 million to multi-use path projects statewide.

The Oregon Community Paths program is the evolution of the active transportation portion of the state’s Connect Oregon (Lottery-backed) program. When the legislature passed a transportation funding bill in 2017 (HB 2017) they shifted the 7% of Connect Oregon that went to bicycling and walking projects into a separate program named the Multimodal Active Transportation Fund. That fund now also includes revenue from the bicycle excise tax that went into effect in fall 2017 and the federal Transportation Alternatives program.

According to ODOT Tourism and Scenic Byway Program Manager Sandra Hikari the Community Path Fund will start awarding grants in 2021. The $14 million estimate is for a three-year grant cycle ending in 2024. Asked for examples of projects that will compete well for the funds, she pointed to the Bear Creek Greenway in southern Oregon and the Tualatin River Greenway in Washington County.

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