Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 24th, 2007 at 2:32 pm
a not-so-bike-friendly budget.
File photo: 10/19/06
Last year, Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams received $50,000 to fund the first stages of Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan Update process. But this year, Adams’ office was surprised to see that the Mayor has decided to not continue funding this project.
In his latest proposed budget (released on 4/16) Mayor Potter chose to not set aside the $100,000 that Adams requested in order to continue the work on the Bicycle Master Plan Update.
The request was part of $400,000 in bicycle-related funding that was folded into Adams’ Safe Streets Initiative.
According to John Rist in PDOT’s business and finance office, of that $400,000, the Mayor has decided to only fund $150,000 in bicycle safety improvements (they asked for $300,000) and the Bicycle Master Plan Update got nothing.
Adams’ Senior Policy Director Roland Chlapowski said the decision by the Mayor was, “a bit of a surprise”. Chlapowski says they were under the assumption that last year’s funding was just the first half and that the project would continue to be funded,
“We thought it was clear that this (the Bicycle Master Plan Update) was a multi-year endeavor…that there was an overall understanding that the projects that were started last year would not get cut.”
The news has prompted the BTA to send an action alert to their members and rumors are flying as to what led to the Mayor’s decision.
Whatever the reason is, it’s crucial to make sure the Mayor understands how important the Bicycle Master Plan Update process is to the future health and livability of this city.
At this point, there are two things we can do:
1) Contact the Mayor’s office and encourage him to make a change to his budget proposal. You can also email the Mayor’s Public Advocate, Jeremy Van Keuren at email@example.com, or call (503) 823-4120.
2) If the Mayor does not change his proposed budget, we need to contact the other commissioners, who will ultimately vote on his proposed budget at City Council. We must ask them to propose an amendment to the budget that includes funding for the Bicycle Master Plan Update.
Dan Salztman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Erik Sten – email@example.com
Randy Leonard – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for more developments.