N Williams, NoPo Greenway projects seek funding support

N Williams, NoPo Greenway projects seek funding support

Existing conditions on Williams Ave-8-7

Will we finally see changes on Williams?
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two important Portland projects are vying for funding through a grant process being led by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the deadline to offer your feedback is this Thursday, January 31st.

Of the seven projects in the running from Portland and Washington County, I think two deserve a closer look.

PBOT has requested $1.47 million to fund their North Williams Traffic Safety and Operations Project. This is the infamous Williams project that had humble beginnings over two years ago, but then took many unexpected twists and turns. What started out as a straightforward bikeway project with a budget to do only pavement markings and signage has morphed turned into a full-blown capital project that will include new traffic signals, curb extensions, and even the creation of a neighborhood greenway on nearby NE Rodney.

Specifically, the project will include a complete re-striping of Williams from Weidler to Killingsworth. The main elements will include: a left-side buffered bikeway, 11 curb extensions at eight different intersections; a new signal at N. Cook St; sharrows, signage, and speed bumps on NE Rodney; and a major piece of public art that will, “honor N Williams Avenue’s importance in local African-American history.”

The funding request includes $466,000 in design/engineering costs, $305,000 for crossing improvements, $120,000 for signals, $100,000 for the “Honoring history streetscape,” $80,000 in pavement markings, and so on.

The other project on the list that caught my eye was a proposal to prep the northernmost segment (also known as segment 1) of the North Portland Greenway Trail for construction. Portland Parks & Recreation and Metro are asking ODOT for $799,000 to do full engineering on four miles of this project from Kelley Point Park to Chimney Park (a separate grant application has been made to do the actual construction). As we’ve been covering lately, there are some major quibbles with the route being proposed by the Parks Bureau for this project; but they are mostly in the southern sections (segments 4 and 5 to be exact). Segment 1 is almost entirely on multi-use paths and would be an importation connection and addition to the 40-Mile Loop.

There are 53 projects from around the state vying for just $8.5 million in grants. Public support for projects can go a long way in making them a reality. You have until this Thursday, January 31st to offer feedback on these grant applications via ODOT’s online survey.

For more information, download the full project applications:
— Willamette Greenway Trail – Chimney Park to Kelley Point Park (PDF)
— N Williams Traffic Safety and Operations Project (PDF)

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