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What do Portlanders want? New PBOT video answers the question

Posted by on March 12th, 2014 at 11:04 am

This gentleman said we should support
the growing number of bike riders.

What are Portlanders’ top priorities when it comes to improvements to our transportation system? The Bureau of Transportation is very interested in the answer to this question as part of their effort to raise new revenue.

At one of their recent town hall meetings on transportation funding, a PBOT staffer did on-camera interviews with several attendees and the final video has just been released.

Here’s a sampling of what people said:

“I think for too long we’ve given the priority to cars and we’re paying the consequences, both financially and in terms of our health and our environment. We need to encourage everyone to drive less…”

“Transit issues inherently and overwhelmingly impact lower income communities so we need to talk about them ore often and address them first and foremost.”

“Better access to transportation for youth, particularly in east Portland.”

“The street I live on is relatively busy and we have one tiny shoulder to walk on.”

“Over the years, there are more and more bicycles on the road all year long and it’s important that we support this.”

“I’m interested in trying to work out some of the problems we have on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway coming through Hillsdale. I get worried about the bicyclists and the people in their cars during rush hour.”

“I want to see the basic condition of our streets maintained… the potholes filled.”

Watch the video here:

If this type of feedback is representative of the overall vibe PBOT is hearing, it appears that any new funding created by this initiative will be wisely spent.

This video is also notable for another reason: It shows that — thanks to bulking up their communications team recently — the agency is finally becoming a bit more polished when it comes to telling their stories to the public. That skill will be crucial if they want a majority of the public to support some type of new fee, tax, or whatever it is they end up proposing.

If you still haven’t told PBOT what’s important to you, visit OurStreetsPDX.com and take the survey.

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

  • rainbike March 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Tell me that this isn’t just a PBOT advertisement, showcasing public statements that happen to align with the Bureau’s priorities.

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    • spare_wheel March 12, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      The all powerful bike lobby is…powerful.

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      • rainbike March 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        Jedi mind tricks. “This isn’t the mega bridge you seek to fund”.

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  • Barbara Stedman March 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I attended the third townhall meeting in SW Portland. I was impressed about how many people talked about the need for pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure and how little about car infrastructure. Even street maintenance was often framed as a safety hazard for pedestrians, e.g. Elderly people who have to negotiate potholes in their streets without sidewalks. Of course, SW Portland is the worst as far as sidewalks are concerned. We only have 33% sidewalks (E Portland has 56%)! And that also means that 67% of streets don’t conform with city standards and are mostly not maintained by the city.

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