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Public health, environmental, and transpo orgs say street fee proposal is ‘good public policy’

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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Portlanders have heard a lot from powerful voices opposing the City’s Our Streets Transportation Funding effort that looks to raise $46 million a year in transportation revenue via an income tax and fees on businesses. Now, a coalition of health, environmental, and transportation advocacy groups have released a letter in support of the plan.

The groups applaud City Council for creating what they call, “good public policy” that “addresses existing regressive transportation fees and taxes and the inequitable distribution of public resources by exempting our lowest income households, dividing the revenue burden equally between residents and businesses, and steering a majority of the revenue to the areas of the city that have for too long been neglected and are unsafe.”

Here’s more from the letter: (more…)

Opinion: The PBA and The Oregonian are wrong about street tax impetus

Friday, November 14th, 2014
DSC_5589
They’ve never said “Our Streets” is only for paving.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator 1976-2000

It’s one thing to be opposed to something on principle or policy grounds, but when the facts are twisted to suit an agenda, that’s something else entirely.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what The Oregonian Editorial Board and the Portland Business Alliance have done. Both of these groups are staunchly opposed to the latest transportation revenue proposal unveiled by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick earlier this week. I’m not entirely in love with the proposal (I think a paltry 7% of total spending toward biking-specific infrastructure isn’t enough); but that’s a different conversation. For now, there’s one aspect of the argument from the PBA and The Oregonian that really needs to be called out.
(more…)

Businesses and bikeways: City reveals more details about street fee plans

Friday, April 18th, 2014
PBOT Street Fee Town Hall - NoPo-6
PBOT’s Mark Lear laid out priorities for spending
revenue raised by a new street fee.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland is slowly leaking out more details of their plans to create a new fee to boost transportation investment. At a town hall meeting in North Portland last night, Mayor Charlie Hales, PBOT Director Leah Treat, and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick sat at a table in front of a small crowd to present, promote, and defend the idea.

We covered one of these same town halls back in February, but since then PBOT has sharpened their pitch and their plans into a much finer point. As we reported a few weeks ago, the fee on the table will be either $8 or $12 per household per month. But what about businesses? Up until this latest round of town halls, PBOT has kept details about how much business owners would pay under wraps. Also revealed last night was a clearer picture about where exactly the new revenue would be spent.
(more…)

Novick, Oregon Walks, and The Oregonian weigh in on transportation spending priorities

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
SE 136th Press Conference-1
Steve Novick is setting the stage
for the upcoming debate about
transportation spending.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If The Oregonian’s opinion pages are any indication, the City’s campaign to persuade Portlanders to help fund transportation investments is heating up.

On New Year’s Day, the leader of a local walking advocacy group called on Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales to step up for street safety. Then on Saturday (1/11), Novick used The Oregonian’s opinion section to publish his plea for more money to spend on “investments in sidewalks, flashing beacons and other pedestrian amenities.” One day prior to Novick’s article, the Oregonian Editorial Board shared their perspective on what our transportation spending priorities should be

Novick’s article comes as walking advocates pressure the city to step up in light of the 10 people who died while walking in 2013 and while the Portland Bureau of Transportation assembles the pieces of a major campaign to raise new revenue.

Oregon Walks president Aaron Brown also published a guest article in The Oregonian that referred to the deaths as a “public health epidemic.” Brown’s piece opened with, “In Portland, you should be able to walk your dog across the street without fear that you won’t make it to the other side.”

In his piece on Saturday, Novick said he agrees with Brown.
(more…)

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