In communities around the state, there will soon be new sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, curb ramps and more to make walking and rolling to school safer, easier and more accessible for all. Commissioners today approved 26 Safe Routes to School projects totaling $32.4 million, with a focus on under-resourced neighborhoods: all awardees are Title 1 schools (schools where 40% or more of the student population is low-income).
“We had another round of outstanding applicants requesting a total of $80 million,” said LeeAnne Fergason, program manager. “All 83 of them addressed barriers to students walking and biking with needed safety improvements. So our Safe Routes Advisory Committee worked very hard to review and rank the proposals.”
Successful applicants will now move forward with their various construction projects. These range from street lights and school signage in Tigard to sidewalks and crosswalks in Irrigon, from separated bike lanes in Douglas County to flashing beacons in Mill City. See the complete list here.
Review and recommendations process
Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee members approved the application analysis procedure in November 2021 based on previously agreed safety, equity and readiness criteria and scoring weights. ODOT staff reviewed applications according to the analysis procedure and identified an initial list of projects as follows: 1) Those with the highest safety risk; 2) Those that addressed barriers for students at low-income schools; and 3) Those that had a high probability of project completion within five years.
ODOT staff next completed a ground conditions review for the top projects. The committee then reviewed all applications and recommended the top scoring applications.