BikePortland was reporting on them together because ODOT structured the application deadlines at the same time as a way of trying to synchronize and mutually leverage the programs.—> City applies for funding of Flanders bikeway bridge, 70s Bikeway, and more https://t.co/hA9RE7i3XT pic.twitter.com/s62R02p1Bk— BikePortland (@BikePortland) November 13, 2015
Tomorrow is the application deadline for both.
The City of Salem is applying for the crossing safety projects with the Non-Highway Enhance program, but is not applying this cycle for any lottery funding through ConnectOregon VI.
There are a number of factors in this.
One is that the local match has been raised to 30% - a third of the total project cost. By contrast the Non-Highway Enhance program only requires a little over 10%, and that makes it much easier to reach a viable funding plan.
The scoring focus for this round of ConnectOregon also seems to have moved more towards freight, and it may be a move to make bike/ped projects eligible in name, but less so in actuality. You may recall after Eugene won a grant for bikeshare in the last round, bikeshare was explicitly excluded from this round.
From an ODOT memo:
A key OTC decision was to give heavier weight to the three strategic considerations:Candidate projects also have to be outside of the road right-of-way, things ineligible for gas tax and highway trust funding, and Salem doesn't have much in the way of "path" projects very far along in planning. At the level of planning strategy, this has not been a focus much for Salem at the moment. And several current projects don't really fit the program:
(a) Whether a proposed transportation project reduces transportation costs for Oregon businesses or improves access to jobs and sources of labor;
- (b) Whether a proposed transportation project results in an economic benefit to this state;
- (c) Whether a proposed transportation project is a critical link connecting elements of Oregon’s transportation system that will measurably improve utilization and efficiency of the system;
- The Kroc Center - Hyacinth path was not successful in the last round of ConnectOregon, and it didn't fare very well in the assessment and scoring for Non-Highway Enhance projects.
- In West Salem, the Union Street Railroad path extension under Wallace Road has become an extension of Second Street and Marine Drive, and so it would not be outside of the road right-of-way.
- The proposal for an eastbank path from the Union Street Railroad Bridge to Keizer is merely a "wish" at the moment, and lacks even a basic conceptual plan.
So it may be that there simply isn't a candidate to advance.
But two possibilities do come to mind, though they may not be very strong ones.
|The connection between the Esplanade and Union St is tricky|
|Bike and Walk detour in yellow|
Neither of these are no-brainers, though. And the dearth of strong candidates for this source of funding seem much less like an instance of missing a deadline than it is the lack of prior planning and commitments to building out the bikeway network. Salem doesn't have a "path strategy" right now, and so it's not surprising that there aren't many candidate projects. Salem is missing out on this round of funding, but there may not be a good way not to miss out. It seems very difficult to envision an obvious, strong, and realistic project that Salem should have advanced this fall. (Do you know of one?) It's hard to fault the City for taking a pass on this particular program at this time.
It is less difficult, however, to fault the City's larger commitment overall to building out the recommendations from Bike and Walk Salem and transitioning to a more balanced transportation system. Until there's a stronger strategic and planning commitment to a complete network, the pipeline of projects for particular funding sources won't be very full.