Updated: How to Spend $260M

Updated: 2/19/09

1000 Friends has issued an Action Alert on this.

Meanwhile, Rex Burkholder has sent a letter to the Oregon Transportation Commission (PDF, 86K) on behalf of JPACT, pushing for more collaboration and a greater allocation to metropolitan areas.

Original Post: 2/17/09

As we’ve previously discussed, ODOT will get about $350M from the federal stimulus bill. About $90M of that will be distributed by formula to cities and counties (we’ve noted that Metro area governments will get about $33M).

That leaves $260M over which ODOT and the Governor have an unusual amount of discretion. State ODOT revenue is subject to constitutional limitations on gas taxes, restricting use to the right-of-way.

Not so with this $260M (and the local $90M). It can be used much more broadly, including transit and pedestrian projects.

A group of environmental organizations is already gearing up, trying to make sure that this money doesn’t just get spent by habit on roads. Here’s their letter to the Governor (PDF, 183K).

Stand by, I’m sure we’re going to discuss this a lot more…

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