As the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) prepares to spend some of the money being collected through the "Fixing Our Streets" fuel tax passed last May, some $8 million of that revenue will be spent on "Safe Routes to School" projects citywide.
That's what parents and students who live in the Cleveland School Cluster found out, at an Open House on April 4 at Hosford Middle School.
"What we're doing here is getting more information from families about the routes students typically take to school, before we make capital infrastructure improvement decisions," explained PBOT Traffic Safety Section Manager Dana Dickman.
"The information we get from community members will help us determine our priority routes. Then we will get more information from the community to determine what projects should be done on those routes, to make them safe for the kids walking and biking to school."
These improvements could be smaller projects, such as adding a marked crosswalk on a busy street, or putting in curb extensions. "Or it may be a larger project, such as a new signal to help students cross an arterial highway, or a sidewalk infill project," Dickman said.
The funding from the "Fixing Our Streets" tax has been divided by high school cluster, Dickman pointed out. "The funding formula splits it by looking at the number of students that attend the high school cluster, plus additional weighting points are added for Title I schools that serve low-income families," she said – observing that both the Franklin and Cleveland school clusters host Title I schools.
"It is most important for us to hear from as many families as possible, because we need to spend this funding in a fairly short time period, and will be moving forward and selecting projects that will begin construction in spring, 2018," Dickman said.
There is not yet have a way to participate in this way online, Dickman conceded, but PDOT is planning to add this capability to their website in May.
Find out more about these projects see the official PBOT website: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/625882