(July 10, 2017) The transportation package passed by the state legislature will invest in critical safety and maintenance improvements that will make a big difference for Portlanders and all Oregonians, said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
"This is an exciting and impressive package of transportation projects and maintenance funds for our entire state but also the City of Portland," Saltzman said. "I look forward to working with community partners, our employees and the private sector in bringing good projects and needed maintenance to Portland’s streets due to this unprecedented level of investment. Thank you Oregon legislators and Governor for working hard and making this happen."
Highlights of the transportation package's investments in Portland include:
Reconstruction and safety improvements for a 4-mile section of Powell Boulevard, from SE 99th Avenue to the city limits near SE 174th Avenue. The $110 million project will completely rebuild this high crash corridor, transforming it from a crash-prone highway to an urban main street with safe access for people biking, walking and taking public transit. The Oregon Department of Transportation will rebuild the street, and as crews complete segments in coming years, they will transfer them to City ownership.
The statewide Safe Routes to School Program will have $10 million a year, growing to $15 million a year in 2022. Portland would be able to compete for grants to build sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes that make it safer for families to bike and walk to school.
Renovation of Interstate 5 and city streets in the Rose Quarter to improve safety on NE Broadway, the street with the highest bicycle crash rate in Portland and the fifth highest pedestrian crash rate. It would provide a lid over the freeway to improve bicycle, pedestrian and public transit access and safety. Shoulders and other highway fixes would reduce the rate of crashes on this key corridor by 50 percent.
An investment of $35 million to $40 million a year for TriMet bus operations and purchases, providing greatly expanded service in line with the City’s longstanding transportation goals, and also providing a low-income fare for the first time. PBOT also has plans to make more bus-only lanes and transit priority traffic signals that will improve bus service by helping buses get through rush-hour congestion.
The City of Portland strongly supports investment in transportation infrastructure to improve public safety, grow the economy and help reduce carbon pollution. The $5.3 billion package is the first new funding for transportation since the legislature approved House Bill 2001 in 2009.