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Street Fee Proposal

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…)

Study: Dollar for dollar, bike infrastructure pays off better than road maintenance

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Sunday Parkways North Portland-38
Prioritizing pavement and maintenance spending plays well in local politics — but what about investments that would lead to higher rates of bicycling*?
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

You’ve got to spend money to save money.

That’s the argument the Portland Business Alliance is likely to make when the Portland City Council hears from the public at 2 p.m. tomorrow about how much of the proposed Portland Street Fund should go to safety and how much to pavement maintenance. (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…)

City’s new ‘Street Fund’ proposal would raise $46 million a year

Monday, November 10th, 2014
streets-lead
PBOT Director Leah Treat, Mayor Hales, and Commissioner Novick at this morning’s press conference.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

At City Hall this morning Mayor Charlie Hales, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and PBOT Director Leah Treat unveiled their latest proposal to raise new revenue for transportation. The “Portland Street Fund” would raise $46 million for maintenance and safety projects through a mix of business fees and personal income taxes.
(more…)

Commissioners Fish and Fritz warm to income tax to pay for streets

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
council work session novick fritz hales fish
Portland’s city council speaks with staff Monday about the “Our Streets PDX” proposal.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Can Portland’s proposed transportation income tax count to three?

In the political tea leaves of Portland’s five-member city council, three is the magic number. And the tenor of Monday’s hearing on the city’s proposed tax suggested that consensus is building. But the vote seems likely to hinge on who would pay how much.

(more…)

New maps show which streets would be improved by proposed income tax

Monday, October 13th, 2014

As Jonathan reported earlier this afternoon, the city has just released its most thoroughly vetted list yet of which streets would see improvements from a proposed income tax for streets.

How solid is this list? Well, this is the first time the city has ever put it on a map.

(more…)

BTA calls on members to back income tax for street funding

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
BTA Annual meeting-2
BTA Director Rob Sadowsky, part of a coalition
of local nonprofit leaders offering to
endorse a city revenue proposal.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

For months, almost no local institutions have been willing to voice public support for one of Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s signature agenda items: a new revenue stream for city transportation budgets (a.k.a. the Our Streets Transportation Funding Conversation).

On Thursday, a group of nonprofits, many of which focus on transportation, offered to do so — with conditions.

In a separate but related action Wednesday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which is among the nonprofit coalition, issued a rare action alert calling on its members to contact Portland City Council in support of “a new progressive street fee with strong discounts for low-income members of our community only if it prioritizes safety.”

(more…)

The $60 million map: Here’s what a street fee’s ‘safety’ money might pay for

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
street fee map
Green for new sidewalks, yellow for neighborhood greenways, teal for protected bike lanes, red for painted bike lanes, blue dots for crossing improvements and purple for other improvements like lighting or frequent buses.
(Graphic by BikePortland using Transitmix.net. Click for an interactive version.)

So far, the public debate about a per-household and per-business street fee has been mostly about the costs: who would pay how much.

While that debate rages on, the city has finally floated some specifics about the possible benefits.

(more…)

Comment of the week: A close look at street fee alternatives

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Today’s BikePortland comments, tomorrow’s news.

Reader MaxD’s Tuesday afternoon comment looking closely at the stated goals and options for the city’s per-household and per-business street fee plan didn’t hit on the same alternatives Commissioner Steve Novick’s office turned out to be looking at, but his detailed analysis anticipated them.

(more…)

City considers whether to spend more of street fee on repaving, less on safety

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
out of balance
Some want more to go to “maintenance.”
(city graphic)

With Portland’s mayor and transportation commissioner sticking adamantly to their guns on the notion that the city needs more money for its street system, other political chess pieces are moving.

Here’s one of the biggest: should less of the money go toward street safety and more toward street maintenance?

The initial plan from city leaders, which the city council sent back for retooling in June, was for 44 percent of the $50 million a year fee to go toward “safety projects” such as 4 miles a year of new neighborhood greenways, 70 city blocks a year of new sidewalks, 20 safer street crossings per year and a mile or two of new protected bike lanes each year.

Another 53 percent would go to repaving 30 to 50 miles of city streets each year, plus other maintenance like replacing 8,000 faded city street name signs each year.

(more…)

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