Comment now on Oregon Safe Routes to School Funding Rules

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

In 2017, the Oregon State Legislature dedicated $10 million annually for Safe Routes to School infrastructure, and the Oregon Department of Transportation just released the final rules that will allow communities in Oregon access to tens of millions of dollars to spend on needed street safety improvements within a mile of schools -- including sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes.

Submit your comments by May 31

Update: read our comment letter on the SRTS Rules. 

During the month of May, you have the opportunity to help shape Oregon's new Safe Routes to School program. 

One of our major concerns about the program is the very high 40% cash match requirement for funding. Throughout the SRTS rulemaking process, we have advocated for the reduction or elimination of this cash match requirement, so that as many communities in Oregon will be able to access these funds, make needed safety improvements around schools, and provide safe travel routes for Oregon students. In some circumstances, the match will be reduced to 20%, but we have already heard from many communities that even this requirement will be a prohibitive burden. Specifically, this may mean lower-income schools, and those communities with historical underinvestment in transportation safety projects, will be unable to apply for funds.
 
We and our partners across the state see that one of the biggest challenges ahead is the requirement that counties, cities, and school districts must spend between 20-40% of their own money to gain access to this new State funding. 
 

Our Senior Policy Manager, Kari Schlosshauer, is a member of the Rulemaking committee - please get in touch with her at kari@saferoutespartnership.org or 503-734-0813 if you have any questions.

Thank you for taking the time to read the draft rules and submitting your comment before the deadline on May 31, 2018.  

What happens next?

  • public hearing is scheduled for May 15, 2018, from 5-8pm at Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, Room 115, 626 High St NE, Salem, OR 97301.
  • ODOT will host SRTS workshops across the state this summer in June, July, and August - workshop flyer (pdf).
  • The SRTS infrastructure funding competition will open July 23, 2018, with applications due October 15, 2018 (pending approval at the Oregon Transportation Commission).
    • Templates for the application are expected to be available on June 18, 2018.

Find more details from ODOT on their website's SRTS pages - scroll down to Infrastructure Program and click on "How to Apply"

See our previous SRTS Rulemaking updates from AprilFebruary, and November.