ODOT has announced their list of recommended “Flexible Funds Projects” to the Oregon Transportation Committee (OTC). Three different Eugene/Springfield projects made the list while four others did not. The OTC will meet on January 19th to discuss the recommended list (a public hearing) and are expected to announce the final approved list of projects at their February meeting. ODOT received 115 applications requesting over $83 million in funding for this, the first round of funding for the newly created Flexible Funds Program. Proposals were for Transit, Traffic Demand Management (TDM), and Bicycle and Pedestrian projects. They narrowed the list down to 28 recommended projects at just under $21 million in funding. This pot of “flexible funds” is separate from other “Surface Transportation Program” funds or the other recent flex fund project, the Urban Trail Fund, which will bring us some important path connections along the Amazon and River Path systems later this summer. For more information on these new Flex Funds see this FAQ pdf from ODOT.
The three projects on the table for approval include two from LTD, including renovation of the UO transit station ($2.1 million) and a “SmartTrips” marketing program ($90,000) to promote the Gateway EmX Corridor in the Springfield area. The third project is the Fern Ridge Path Rehabilitation and Lighting project from the City of Eugene ($678,800). There are two other area projects that didn’t make the proposed list but are on an “additional priority projects” list. Those include a path for the Middle Fork of the Willamette applied for by Willamalane ($1.86 million) and a “Franklin Corridor” project applied for by LTD ($1.9 million). Finally, there are three other projects from the area that didn’t make any cut: an LTD/point2point Solutions project titled “Hot Wheels- Bike Parking Study”, an LTD project titled “Franklin Corridor,” and Eugene’s “North Bank Path Rehabilitation/Lighting” which would have (finally) improved the path from the DeFazio Bridge over to Leisure Lane (just past the picnic structures in Alton Baker).
The March 2010 City of Eugene InMotion newsletter is a wealth of great information. This month’s newsletter covers theSmartTrips EPA Grant, Project Homeless Connect, Youth Mentoring, the EWEB Riverfront Master Plan, LTD route changes, and community events.
The newsletter also include an important 1-5 bridge construction update: (emphasis mine)
Construction Increases on the New I-5 Willamette River Bridge As construction increases on the new I-5 Willamette River Bridge, people using park paths east of Autzen Stadium will experience delays or detours. Starting Mar. 15, path users in the Whilamut Natural Area and Eastgate Woodlands will experience delays of 20 minutes or longer. Flaggers will be on the paths to direct traffic. Bicyclists are subject to the same rules as other motorists, including doubling of fines in construction zones for not obeying a flagger or riding on a road or path that is closed. In mid April, the Canoe Canal Path as it passes under I-5 will be closed and path traffic will be detoured to the North Bank Path. This detour will only be in place a few weeks and then east-west traffic will return to the Canoe Canal Path. Signage will be in place announcing the changes. Please watch for and obey the flaggers.
A PDF of the full newsletter is available after the “more” link.
An exciting press release about a $100,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant for Eugene SmartTrips came our way recently from Lindsay Selser, the SmartTrips Program manager and Transportation Planning Technician for the City of Eugene. Lindsay also runs the very informative City of Eugene Transportation Planning Facebook page. The entire press release can be downloaded here (PDF).