Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Local MPO meets Today

The Policy Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization meets today, Tuesday the 28th, and while there are no action items of particular interest, there are a couple of informational ones that are of interest. (Agenda and packet here.)

The one of largest and most immediate impact is probably the update on the 2018-2021 State funding program, the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

The Oregon Transportation Commission and staff have been working on this, and they appear to have landed on a set of buckets for funding:

This "scenario C" would devote $50 million to the highway system itself, and then make two buckets of $30 million and $6 million much more flexibly allocated with possibilities for bike-oriented projects.

Locally, in Region 2 we would be looking at a total of about $11 million.

Applications would be coordinated with the ConnectOregon VI process in hopes that funding might also be coordinated in more strategic ways.

That makes for a new application deadline in November of this year.

I haven't followed the STIPs closely enough to say how this allocation compares to the allocations in previous cycles. Hopefully folks in Portland or elsewhere will comment in more detail. (When/if they do, this post may be updated with links or additional commentary.)

In any case, the most interesting thing will be what projects the City and MWVACT decides to advance. They could be dull or they could be wonderful, business as usual or transformative.

Also on the agenda are minutes from the May meeting, and it's just always good to check in on the deep skepticism about climate change and the feeling that adjusting for it in Transportation Planning would be "detrimental" to the MPO.

This contrasts with the approach by Native Americans you might have seen in yesterday's paper.

You'd think that Marion County farmers
would affect larger discussions about climate change
Also on the MPO agenda are:
  • An update by City Staff on the proposed 2nd Street extension under Wallace Road and the West Salem Business District Action Plan
  • Updates on TGM grant applications
  • An update on the Federal transportation reauthorization, the DRIVE Act
  • An update with some funding changes on the Delany Road sidewalks and bikelanes in Turner.
Look for the historic sign
next to the entry
SKATS meets Tuesday the 28th at noon. SKATS is at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Bar Andaluz and Table Five 08.

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