July 16, 2012
Call to Action for Active Transportation Funding
July 16, 2012 7:52 AM
John Reinhold Says:
Wouldn't the new policy open it up for a jurisdiction to also spend much more on active transportation, if they so desired?
It seems like it could cut both ways. One is they are not explicitly dedicating the 1% but two is that they are also giving more control to local jurisdictions.
Could that mean a jurisdiction now has more ability to fund active transportation in ways that may have been previously limited to highway?
July 19, 2012 3:29 PM
John, essentially you are correct. To ODOT's credit, that appears to be an outcome they would like. The problem, however, is they have not built a system that would naturally fund active transportation projects (due to the traditional focus on highway modernization projects within the ACTs) and certainly would not provide ANY dedicated funding for active transportation.
In a sense this is the same conversation we have been having about MAP-21 at the federal level. We are watching, nearly haplessly, as dedicated funding goes away and we are forced to compete with highway projects for increasingly scarce resources.
By my read a move like this sets us back at least 10 years, perhaps 20.
Our goal now is to ensure that we have dedicated funding, multimodal ACTs, and better criteria for selecting projects.
Stay tuned to the BTA Blog for an update from yesterday's hearing.
July 19, 2012 3:40 PM
I know maybe I'm asking this because I live in the Portland bubble, etc, but why aren't bike projects competitive with highway projects? If everything was funded out of one big pot, wouldn't bike projects come out at or close to the top of the Return on Investment index?
Perhaps the metrics used to grade things in that pot are what needs to be changed.
Public Health, congestion, cost, the list goes on and on where bike projects are a huge win for transportation.