Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Ore., announced earlier this week nearly $2.7 million in federal funds for cities, counties and Tribes in Oregon to help plan road improvements and transportation safety.
“This is exactly the type of investment I fought for in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, because it will directly save Oregonians’ lives on our state’s busiest roadways,” Wyden said. “I am committed to making our streets in Oregon and across the nation as safe as possible for this generation and the next.”
“Oregonians in every corner of the state deserve safe streets in their communities,” said Merkley. “These investments will transform Oregon’s roadways into safer places for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. I will continue working to ensure every Oregonian is able to move about their daily lives conveniently, without fear of accident or injury.”
“These projects mark a significant step forward to help ensure safer roads and streets for every Oregonian. I’m proud that our communities, including Benton County and the Cities of Corvallis and Eugene, are taking proactive measures to enhance safety for all modes of transportation.” said Congresswoman Hoyle. “These initiatives not only safeguard our residents, they also promote equitable access and mobility for all.”
The $2.65 million in federal funds come from the federal Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Planning Grant program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will be distributed as follows in Oregon:
- City of Medford – $400,000
- Crook County – $96,000
- The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs – $320,000
- Deschutes County – $144,000
- Benton County – $320,000
- City of Corvallis – $664,000
- City of Eugene – $384,000
- Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization – $200,000
- City of Stayton – $120,000
Tyler Deke, manager of the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, said the city’s funding, like the county’s, will be used to update their transportation safety action plan, while Crook County and the Warm Springs Tribes will use their grant funds to create similar plans. He also noted that Jefferson County was awarded SS4A funding in a prior application process.
Deke said Thursday, “As Bend continues to grow, our transportation needs need to grow along with them. Through this process, we will be identifying high-priority crash intersections and corridors, and identifying infrastructure improvements that will be necessary to help alleviate the crash issues, making our transportation system safer for the residents of Bend.”
“This is great news!” said Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell, who chairs the Bend MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) Policy Board, which oversees Bend-area transportation issues.
“While we have made progress to improve transportation safety, our residents are demanding and deserve more action,” Campbell said. “Whether rolling, waking, biking or driving a vehicle, our residents should be able to travel safely. This grant will provide critical funding to help us continue improving the safety of our transportation system. We look forward to working with our community to develop a plan that will help us eliminate fatal and serious injury crashes. Thank you Senator Wyden for supporting our application.”
Jim Elliot is on the board of Bend Bikes, and as an avid biker, he notices the safety issues within the city,
“We had a big increase in traffic accidents, and serious injury accidents, especially in the last year, so if we can get a handle on that and figure out how to make things safer for all of us it will be a better city,” Elliot told us
While standing at the corner of Bear Creek Road and Purcell Boulevard, Elliot acknowledged the changes occurring in Bend.
“Its busy, and there are a lot of houses,” he said. “There weren’t houses here when I moved to Bend, and now there’s going to be housing across 27th off of Bear Creek. And so we need a way to connect all those people to the city, and do it safely.”
Deke explained how the upcoming round of planning will change transportation throughout Bend.
“This update is going to give us the opportunity to identify those improvements, and we are also going to be able to utilize some new tools that will be available to help us really be proactive and start identifying and determine how to make our system safer for everybody,” he said.
The lawmakers also provided comments from other grant recipients in Central Oregon and around the state:
“We are thrilled to receive federal SS4A funding to update our Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP),” said Tony DeBone, Deschutes County commissioner. “The TSAP update will allow us to identify emerging safety issues in our system and utilize low-cost improvements and non-infrastructure investment opportunities to improve the safety of our transportation system.”
“Road safety is a priority for Crook County. This grant will help us develop a plan to ensure safe roads for years to come,” said Crook County Judge Seth Crawford.
“This grant will allow the City to move forward with critical evaluation and planning efforts which will allow the City to strategically incorporate safety improvements in our transportation investments,” said Corvallis Mayor Charles Maughan.
“Improving walking and biking conditions to and from transit stops through this project will play a vital role in supporting sustainable transportation trips and mitigating future greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jenifer Willer, City of Eugene Engineering Division manager. “Eugene is grateful for this award and for the support of Oregon’s congressional representatives.”
“Benton County, Oregon’s SS4A Planning Grant for a Safety Action Plan is a crucial step towards enhancing safety and accessibility for all transportation users in this vibrant region we call home. With a population of over 92,000, from the high volume of commuters to the growing number of cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts, Benton County faces a unique blend of transportation needs. The Safety Action Plan seeks to address these challenges in a comprehensive and responsible way,” said Benton County Commissioner Pat Malone.
“This award provides an exciting opportunity to enhance transportation safety throughout Medford,” said Medford Mayor Randy Sparacino. “Federal funds will help us develop a comprehensive action plan and strategy for tackling our top safety needs with transportation solutions that will ultimately save lives and prevent injuries for all users of our roadways.”