November 15, 2006
BTA Pushes Boulevard Agenda
You'll recall that earlier this year the BTA announced a shift in strategy to emphasing bike boulevards rather than bike lanes.
This strategy has now moved to the tactical level with a strong push for boulevard projects in this years MTIP and TE (Transportation Enhancements) processes.
From a recent e-mail alert:
1. Metro MTIP Funding Every two years Metro allocates a small pot of flexible transportation funds known as “MTIP” funds. You can help increase the number and quality of bike projects that receive funding.
Preferred Portland Projects
• 50’s Bicycle Boulevard
• 70’S Bicycle Boulevard
• East Burnside: Third to 14th avenues
• Sullivan’s Gulch Trail Study: Esplanade to 122nd Avenue
2. ODOT TE Funding
Every two years the Oregon Department of Transportation allocates federal transportation dollars. This year ODOT has $11 million in flexible Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds.
• 20’s Bicycle Boulevard
• Springwater Trail – final piece
• Rose Quarter Transit Center – bike lanes
• Columbia Slough Trail – N Portland Rd. to N. Marine Dr.
November 15, 2006 1:40 PM
Terry Parker Says:
If just the MTIP bicycle projects listed above are added up, the request to METRO for bicycle infrastructure funding is over FIVE and a half million dollars with total project costs exceeding SIX and a quarter million dollars. If those funds were allocated on a per rider basis that is projected to use each of these four projects, what would that equal in a dollar amount subsidy to each bicyclist? This question definitely needs to be answered!
The fact the 50’s Bicycle Boulevard projected cost is $1,521,847.00, and the 70’s Bicycle Boulevard is projected to cost $4,121,141.00, should be also raising eyebrows and be questioned at every opportunity. Paint for street striping, bike lanes and lettering, along a few directional signs have a price tag nowhere near this unwarranted amount of money, but would suffice and meet the majority of actual demand at a far lower and more respectable cost.
Furthermore, it should be noted, the majority of these (MTIP) funds, if not all of them, indirectly come from taxes on motor vehicles. Once again bicyclists have their hand out for a free ride from the very mode of transport they continue to denounce. There is definitely some hypocrisy being aired here that comes along with making this extreme money request.
However, the bottom line still remains as with other bicycle projects, big, excessive and politically motivated pork barrel requests and spending for specialized bicycle infrastructure only demonstrate the immediate need to establish a tax directly assessed on the bicycle mode of transport. Without such a direct tax on bicyclists, such undue requests and spending for bicycle infrastructure should be flatly denied.
November 15, 2006 5:14 PM
Bike Boulevards are the way to go, and worth every penny. Just look at SE Clinton Street for an example of what happens when a successful bike boulevard is created. Travel times go down, accident risk is reduced, bicyclist traffic goes up (and gets removed from parallel automobile-oriented streets such as Hawthorne), everybody wins.
Metro and Portland have already made the policy decision to support bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure first, and should be applauded for doing so. They're building the type of region that we want to live in.