In the spring of 2017, House Bill 2017 passed in the Oregon State Legislature, dedicating $10 million annually for Safe Routes to School infrastructure, increasing to $15 million annually in 2023. The purpose of the funding is to build projects within a one mile radius of schools to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bicycle to school. Following HB 2017, the Oregon Department of Transportation formed a Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC) to amend the Oregon Safe Routes to School Rule. The purpose of the committee is to align the rule with new funding made available by recent state legislation, and consider how infrastructure funding for Safe Routes to School projects should be structured.
WHAT THE RULEMAKING COMMITTEE IS WORKING ON
In April, the RAC confirmed the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR), which will now go to the Secretary of State so that it can be ready for public comment on May 1, 2018.
- Title I: School where 40% or more students are from low-income households.
- Priority Safety Corridor: Any road with 40 mph or higher, or where two or more of the following exist*:
- speed limit 30 mph or greater;
- more than two lanes or a crossing distance greater than 30 feet;
- 12,000 or greater annaul average daily traffic (ADT) volume;
- has a demonstrated history of crashes related to school traffic.
- *Note projects that do not meet this criteria may qualify for an exception if the applicant can demonstrate a significant safety risk through data or research.
What happens next?
- ODOT will run a public comment process from May 1-31, 2018.
- A 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.
- The RAC will meet again in May and June to work on policy and guidance for ODOT prior to the establishment of the Safe Routes to School Advisory Committee.
- The competition will open July 23, 2018, with applications due October 15, 2018.