Likes on Facebook: A New Source of Transportation Funding?

Want to see some street improvements in your neighborhood? It might be worth it to think out of the box. That’s what one East Portland Neighborhood Association did in an effort to improve a crossing of the Springwater Corridor Trail in their neighborhood.

The Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association entered to win a Solar-Powered Rapid Flash Beacon as part of a Facebook-based contest sponsored by transportation equipment company Carmanah Traffic. The Rapid Flash Beacon, like the one ODOT installed on SW Barbur, would help draw attention to trail users crossing SE Jenne Road.

Jenne Road

If they win, it will be one of the first Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)’s installed on a Multnomah County-controlled road and county engineers are excited about it. Budgets are tight and it’s great to see neighborhood associations going through new channels to improve their streets.

This crossing is up against stiff competition, though. As of yesterday there were 33 other entries including two others from Portland both of which call for improved crossings of outer SE Division St.

While Division is gaining well-deserved attention as a high-crash corridor and will hopefully see improvements from the City of Portland soon, the Jenne/Springwater crossing is in an unincorporated area where improvements are unlikely to be made without some external support like what Carmanah is offering with this contest.

To “cast your vote” Carmanah asks folks to “Like” your entry of choice on their Facebook page. The process is a little cumbersome and requires a Facebook account, but generating online hype for Rapid Flash Beacons is a good thing. It shows municipalities that citizens are demanding better, safer crossings. Hopefully, regardless of which crossing Carmanah chooses to reward with one of their beacons, this campaign will help cities recognize and address problem crossings.

To vote for one of the Portland projects, “like” one of the following posts on Carmanah’s Facebook wall:

Jenne Road and the Springwater Corridor Trail (BTA’s pick)

SE Division St between 122nd and 162nd

SE Division St and 142nd Ave

 

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