SALEM — More Oregon children will soon be able to safely bike or walk to school, thanks to new sidewalks, added bike lanes and improved crossings made possible by funding from the Safe Routes to School program. The Oregon Transportation Commission today approved awarding funds to 24 applicants for 24 projects – investing more than $15 million to create better ways for students to get to and from school safely.
For this first round of competitive grant awards, The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) received proposals from 112 applicants. Applications went through a thorough review process, including analysis by the Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee.
Among other requirements, projects had to be within one mile of a school and must reduce a barrier for biking or walking. Priorities helping guide the recommendations included: 1) Title 1 schools; 2) elementary and middle schools; 3) safety; and 4) project readiness. There was also a match requirement of 40 percent, which the commission could reduce to 20 percent for qualifying applicants. See the fact sheet for a quick overview.
The SRTS Infrastructure Program was established by Keep Oregon Moving (HB 2017) and receives $10 million state highway dollars annually increasing to $15 million annually in 2023. The higher rate for this first round is due to the accumulation of a partial year’s revenue.
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