SMART receives grants for transit service and safety in Wilsonville
Mar 23, 2012 (The Oregonian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Wilsonville's South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) agency received two grants this month to improve transit service between Wilsonville and Portland and safety along Wilsonville Road.
The Oregon Transportation Commission awarded Wilsonville a $240,000 grant for the Transit Integration Project, aimed to blend fixed-route commuter and door-to-door elderly and disabled services on the route between Wilsonville and Portland.
The city will create a plan that includes using existing resources more efficiently to provide the expanded services. After the plan is implemented, staff will send a report to the Oregon Department of Transportation analyzing the impacts and potential to offer similar services in other cities.
Wilsonville will pay $60,000 to meet the estimated $300,000 project cost.
"I think I-5 is definitely a growth corridor, and Wilsonville is a growing community," Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Jeff Owen said. "It makes sense to try to improve service in that corridor as well as find any cost savings."
The commission issued the grant as part of its Flexible Funds Program, which provides money for non-highway transportation projects. The program received 105 applications and awarded grants to 30 projects for a total cost of $23.6 million.
The Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Program supports the state program and is primarily funded by federal gas tax.
Wilsonville Road Transportation Safety Project
In addition, SMART received $5,000 from the Building Safer Communities Mini-Grant program for the Wilsonville Road Transportation Safety Project.
The Alliance for Community Traffic Safety issued the grant.
SMART staff and members of the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force will work with students from Arts and Technology High School to educate the community on safe traveling habits for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians along Wilsonville Road, between Southwest Boones Ferry Road and Southwest Town Center Loop East.
Team members will observe transportation along the busy road, create brochures and a video depicting safe habits, and write a report of their findings.
"The goal is to raise awareness of all the different modes of transportation going on in the area," Owen said, noting concerns about how people travel through the construction zone at the busy Interstate 5 interchange. He said the project will encourage students to call on their creativity to spread a positive message about safety.
Arts and Tech High School will select the students for the project, which begins this summer.
-- Rachel Stark
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