When Portland voters approved Measure 26-173, the ten-cent gas tax, in 2016, they created the Fixing Our Streets program and a major new funding source for Portland's Safe Routes to School (SRTS) initiative. Fixing Our Streets designated $8 million to build transportation projects that will help connect families to K-8 schools across Portland.
To assess which projects communities wanted most, our SRTS team talked with families and students about how they travel to school and how we could help make their journeys safer. With this input and the help of a Stakeholder Advisory Committee, we identified over 1,200 street safety projects to create a network connecting schools in every high school cluster across Portland.
The goals of this project planning included:
1. Identify Primary Investment Routes* leading to every permanent public elementary, K-8, and middle school campus in the city of Portland
2. Develop a prioritized list of infrastructure projects to improve safety and walking access along the Primary Investment Routes
3. Prioritize projects to be built in the near term with current funds available through Fixing Our Streets
*A Primary Investment Route is a street likely to have the most amount of students walking on it to access a school. SRTS projects will be focused on these streets to create complete, connected routes to a school throughout the entire "walkshed" of a campus neighborhood. A walkshed is the area within a 1-mile walking distance of elementary and middle schools, and 1.5 miles from high schools.
We have already started to build some of these projects and over the next five years will be building many more. We will also be working hard to identify more local, state and federal funding to build out the rest of the network.
Find details on projects, routes, and the process at SafeRoutesProjects.com.