NOTE: Since posting this story I have learned more from PBOT. Please see the extended note at the end of the post. — Jonathan
In an ongoing effort to make Sunday Parkways as efficient and cost-effective as possible, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will unveil a new traffic plan at their southeast event this Sunday.
Under the new plan, modeled after open streets events in other cities like Bogota, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, PBOT will use fewer uniformed police officers and more citizen volunteers to control traffic at intersections. This reduced police presence will save PBOT thousands of dollars while freeing up police resources for higher priority assignments.
PBOT’s Sunday Parkways Manager Linda Ginenthal shared in an interview this morning that they’re looking to be “more creative” with their traffic control.
When Sunday Parkways first started in 2008 the events cost about $150,000 each. For the past several years however, as the city has found efficiencies in how they deliver the events, the current budget for each one is about $85,000 — with about $8,000 of that going to pay for police. Using fewer police, Ginenthal says, is likely to save the city another several thousand dollars. (more…)