April 10, 2013  1:45 PM

Metro awards $2.1 million to improve air quality and community health


Metro is announcing the recipients of $2.1 million in funds awarded through the Regional Travel Options grant program. These 14 grants will support projects that increase opportunities for residents to use transit, carpool, ride their bicycles or walk. A total of 25 applications were evaluated, totaling more than $3.68 million in funding requests.

By helping residents rely less on their cars for their daily travel, the program works to improve public health, keep the air cleaner and reduce the level of congestion on our region's highways and streets. Every two years, the program awards grants that are used for projects to further these goals.

The projects which received funding are as follows:

To ease and green your commute

Swan Island TMA

Go Swan Island! is a combination of programs tailored to Swan Island’s four largest employer sites and to Portland Community College’s new Swan Island Workforce Training Center. The project will use marketing strategies and new technologies to increase carpooling and capitalize on anticipated Swan Island business investments. These approaches will promote new travel options programs and $5 million in new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Grant award: $123,316

Ride Connection

RideWise Urban Mobility Support and Training is a collaborative effort between TriMet and Ride Connection to promote independent travel of older adults, people with disabilities and low-income individuals by providing free training, support and access to information. The program aims to increase equitable access to transit, and result in cost-savings to TriMet of approximately $500,000 per year by enabling more trips to be taken on regular fixed-route transit instead of LIFT paratransit service. Grant award: $149,498

Westside Transportation Alliance

The Westside Transportation Options project will develop and implement transportation demand management strategies in urbanized Washington County, with a focus on areas with frequent transit service. The scope of work includes business services, a Cornell Corridor pilot project, last mile solutions, and the creation of bike parking resources. Grant award: $206,900

Bicycle Transportation Alliance

The Bike Commute Challenge is a fun, effective program targeting the Metro region that uses friendly competition, educational workshops, business outreach and events to create new bike commuters and to increase the cycling frequency of current riders. The BTA’s The Bike Commute Challenge: the Next 3 Million Miles will grow the program in 2013-2015 with a geographic focus on East Portland/Gresham and Washington County and by implementing new strategies to make the program more accessible and appealing beyond white collar workplaces. Grant award: $87,137

Lloyd Transportation Management Association

The Lloyd District Transportation Options Outreach and Infrastructure program will continue to leverage the Lloyd TMA’s successful commuter programs to a growing employee population, and build program expansion to the growing Lloyd District residential population, which is expected to double with planned developments between now and 2015. The program will also partner with the Lloyd EcoDistrict to achieve shared goals, and support the neighborhood as Oregon’s first established and fully functioning EcoDistrict. Grant award: $108,800

Portland Parks and Recreation

The Washington Park Transportation Management Association is establishing new transportation management tools, including a pay-to-park system, to maximize safe, convenient access to and through Washington Park. This project will complement existing local and regional transportation investments to develop new marketing, communication and monitoring tools to promote the use of diverse transportation options for over 3 million visitors, and 3,200+ employees and volunteers who come to Washington Park each year. Grant award: $200,000

To reduce transportation barriers in our community


Living Cully Walks will be an integrated series of activities that increase travel options, reduce pollution and improve mobility, including culturally-specific marketing to underserved communities, capacity building, efficient living, and data collection. This project will be a component of Living Cully: A Cully Ecodistrict, an equity-based strategy by Verde, Hacienda CDC and NAYA to introduce environmental assets into Cully in response to community needs, and to connect underserved residents to the design, construction and use of these assets. Grant award: $130,000

Community Cycling Center

The Building Momentum: Empowering People, Connecting Communities program will increase healthy, active living by promoting bicycle ridership in socio-economically isolated and ethnically diverse communities in North and Northeast Portland. This project will increase and maintain mobility for vulnerable populations by working in collaboration with community partners to remove barriers to bicycling, applying culturally-relevant methods that develop community capacity for leadership and economic opportunity and advance effective transportation equity strategies. Grant award: $96,386

To help you walk and bike

Clackamas County

The Clackamas Regional Center Wayfinding System will develop and implement a comprehensive way-finding signage system for the Clackamas Regional Center area to increase awareness and use of walking and biking in the area, decrease reliance on cars, and enhance the efficient use of the current transportation system. The project will increase connections for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users from transit stations and the Max Green Line to major employers and services, as well as to housing, various businesses, Clackamas Middle College, and North Clackamas Aquatic Park. Grant award: $134,595

Drive Oregon

In partnership with Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium at Portland State University and Kaiser Permanente, Drive Oregon will acquire, deploy and study the usage patterns of 30 folding electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) distributed to 180 Kaiser employees at three designated work sites. The pilot project and study will test user acceptance of e-bikes as a first/last mile commuting solution to help reduce single occupancy vehicle use, and create a replicable model for deployment within Kaiser as well as other area employers. Grant award: $148,158

City of Portland

Portland 20 for ‘20 is a multi‐faceted demand management project that will maximize area investments in active transportation and propel Portland to a 20 percent bicycling and walking mode split by 2020. The project includes targeted individualized marketing; comprehensive transportation demand management for new capital projects; support for events that encourage greater use of bicycling and walking; and performance measurement. This comprehensive approach will address the region’s triple‐bottom line by increasing active transportation use in Portland and improving health, safety, mobility, and quality of life. Grant award: $400,000

Portland State University

The PSU Central Campus Cycle Station will provide 136 secure, sheltered bicycle parking spaces and commuter amenities at the core of the university campus. The goal of this facility is to induce more trips by bicycle to Oregon’s largest university, which has a significant impact on travel behavior both locally and regionally. Surveys of PSU students and employees consistently rank this type of facility as the most desirable benefit for new and emerging bicycle commuters. Grant award: $153,316 

To encourage economic growth

Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce

The East County Bicycle Infrastructure and Economic Development project will build capacity and support in the East Multnomah County area for the expansion and increased use of existing infrastructure, and promote economic development associated with bicycle tourism and transportation. The project will provide immediate benefits in building support for bicycle infrastructure, beginning with the Gresham Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center's extensive network of business, community and political contacts. The project will include the marketing and promotion of East Multnomah County's bicycle infrastructure as a tourist attraction as well as a part of the regional transportation network. Increasing awareness of the existing infrastructure will increase its use and support for future infrastructure, as well as supporting bicycle-related business development and thus regional economic development and ultimately job creation. Grant award: $95,000

In a coordinated effort with public agencies and non-profit organizations, Metro's Regional Travel Options program promotes and supports the transportation choices available in the region to reduce the number of drive alone trips, and increase the use of transit, ridesharing, bicycling and walking. Guiding the program’s efforts and investments is the 2012-2017 Regional Travel Options Strategic Plan, adopted by JPACT and Metro Council in May 2012.

Other Regional Travel Options programs include Walk There!, Bike There! and DriveLessConnect.org. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road cuts vehicle emissions, decreases congestion and promotes healthier communities. For more information, call 503-797-1866 or visit www.oregonmetro.gov/traveloptions.

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