What did the Mayor fund?

With all the talk about the bike stuff that didn’t get funded in the Mayor’s proposed budget, I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at what did receive funding.

Below is the complete list of items the Mayor has decided to fund for the Office of Transportation (“GF One-time” refers to General Fund One-time funds):

Streetlight Operations Funding – $1.2 million GF One-time.
This funding of operating support would assist PDOT in a transition period to an increased or new revenue source.

Leaf Removal Program – $556,000 Program Revenue
This package would allow PDOT to recover the costs of providing leaf removal services to neighborhoods in the city.

Steel Bridge East Ramp Strengthening – $750,000 GF One-time
This package would provide $750,000 General Fund One-time as the City’s 50% match to strengthen the existing concrete ramp of the bridge.

ADA Ramps – $250,000 GF One-time
This package would allow PDOT to construct additional corners to meet the Americans with Disability Act requirements.

Safety Improvements – $460,000 GF One-time/1 FTE
This package would provide continued funding to evaluate and implement traffic safety improvements at high crash areas.

Bicycle Safety Improvements – $150,000 GF One-time
This request would provide continued funding to complete the bicycle safety engineering projects that include safety/crossing improvements and green-street bike safety projects.

Pedestrian Safety Improvements – $150,000 GF One-time
This project would build 15 pedestrian refuge islands to provide safe pedestrian crossing on high-speed multi-lane arterials.

Safe Routes to School Safety Improvements – $250,000 GF One-time
This request would provide continue funding for community-identified projects that increase the safety of children traveling in Portland.

West Burnside Preliminary Engineering – $800K GF One-time
This funding would pay for the 35% preliminary engineering cost for the section of the West Burnside & Couch project that is not within the urban renewal districts.

SW Boones Ferry & Stephenson Realignment – $300,000 GF One-time The project would design and construct a re-aligned intersection at SW Boones Ferry Road and SW Stephenson to increase sight and stopping distances.

Reclass 3 Limited Term to Permanent Positions – $295,884 Program
Revenues/3 FTE This package would convert three limited term to permanent positions. This is necessary due to the steady increased in workloads experienced in the affected departments. All positions are funded by service charges and fees.

Add Development Services Technician – $52,284 IA Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add one Development Services Technician position to the Street Use Permit Section due to the increased workload in that section over the years. The position would be funded by an interagency agreement with the Bureau of Development Services.

Add Engineering of Records – $87,876 Program Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add one Senior Engineer position to the Civil Design Section to perform as technical lead and/or project manager for PDOT capital improvement projects.

Add Constituent Liaison – $81,192 Program Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add one Community Outreach & Information position to perform as the constituent liaison to respond to citizens, neighborhood organizations, and business inquiries into PDOT programs, operations, and financing. The position would be funded by service charges and fees.

Assistant Manager O&M Streetcar – No Fiscal Impact/1 FTE
This package would add one Portland Streetcar Maintenance Supervisor position to the Portland Streetcar program to support the expanded operations of the Streetcar operation and to assure effective coverage. The position would be funded by existing bureau budget.

Certification/Project Delivery Manager – $94,068 Program Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add one Senior Program Manager Position to manage the ODOT Certification program and to act as the project controls manager, and supervise project delivery. The position would be funded by service charges and fees.

Central City Plan – $225,000 Interagency Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add one limited term City Planner position and part-time positions to work on the integration of the Central City Transportation Management Plan with the Central City Plan. The package would be funded by an interagency with the Bureau of Planning.

Airport Master Plan – $152,000 Interagency Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add one limited term Senior City Planner position and part-time positions to work on the Airport Master Plan. The package would be funded by an interagency with the Bureau of Planning.

Add Storekeeper – $69,114 Interagency Revenues/1 FTE
This package would add a storekeeper at the Tabor Storeroom Facility. The position would be funded be Parks and PDOT.

Street Light Cable CIP $400,000 General Fund One-time
The project would provide funding to replace the street lighting infrastructure in the Sout Auditorium blocks.

NAYA Street Improvements – $40,000 GF One-time
The package would provide funding for traffic safety improvements between the nearby bus stop and the new Native High School on NE Columbia Boulevard.

Peak Oil Initiative – $150,000 GF One-time/2 Part-time positions
This package would provide funding for two half-time limited term positions and $50,000 for materials & services to develop a work plan for PDOT to address recommendations made by the Peak Oil Task Force.


As you think about these funded items, remember that yesterday, Jeremy Van Keuren in the Mayor’s office told me yesterday that their priorities are on maintaining existing infrastructure and increasing safety.

In their minds, the Bicycle Master Plan Update process does not score high enough against that criteria to receive funding.

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nuovorecord
nuovorecord
15 years ago

If they’re concerned about maintaining infrastructure, more trips shifted from cars to bikes means that roads last longer.

Also, having more people on bikes and creating safer routes for them to ride certainly sounds like a safety improvement to me! Would you rather be hit by a car, or a bike (actually, I’d prefer neither, but you get the point)?

Matt Picio
15 years ago

If increasing safety is a priority, then definitely the Master Plan Update should be funded.

I’m sorry, but focusing solely on existing conditions isn’t acceptable when trying to improve safety. That’s like mopping up under the leaky toilet without fixing the leak in the tank.

Master plans are used to catalog current conditions, identify deficiencies and the projects required to mitigate or correct them, and set priorities for funding and action. (the PDX plan may or may not contain all of those aspects, I’m speaking generally) Without an up-to-date plan, you’re just building blind.

Matt Picio
15 years ago

Oh, and half a million for *leaf removal*? Are they actually removing the leaves, or just blowing them around a bit?

I’d also like to know why the city needs an airport master plan, and what it entails. The current airport is managed by the Port of Portland, which is its own separate governmental entity. I’m not saying the Portland plan is unnecessary, I’d just like to know *why* it’s necessary, and why the city feels it needs to spend $150,000 a year on an additional person dedicated specifically to it.

Dabby
Dabby
15 years ago

I wonder how much money Tri Met is ponying up for the strengthening of the east ramp of the Steel bridge, if the city is shelling out 750,000…that says it is the cities matching funds, so I would guess the other 50% is federal….

Shouldn’t Tri Met be paying that instead of the city?

Joe
Joe
15 years ago

The big question is why is the Mayor’s office allowing a prior $50,000-100,000 (I dont know the actual number) spent on the first year of the Bike Master Plan to be wasted because he doesn’t have the guts to make cuts elsewhere and continue the City’s commitment to the project? That is $50,000-100,000 that may have to be partially or fully re-spent to collect and analyze more current data when the Plan is funded again. Not smart.

If the mayor thought last year that the City couldn’t afford the plan, then perhaps he shouldn’t have funded its first year. But given there is a multi-million dollar surplus in the City’s budget, it makes no sense that $100,000 of continued funding would be cut now.

I may be a little off with my numbers. I wonder if the City’s bike coordinator could chime into the conversation.

Donna
Donna
15 years ago

Or maybe it wouldn’t be good for the bike coordinator to chime in. He does work for the city, and it might put him in a bad place.

nuovorecord
nuovorecord
15 years ago

Additionally, why, when the city is sitting on $37 million of additional revenue, is the mayor cutting an item that essentially amounts to a rounding error in the city’s budget?

TomasCoSauce
15 years ago

LEAF REMOVAL???!!! The scourge of Portland and priority of work is removal if dead plant matter?

Also, I agree with Matt, the Port of Portland has enough self-generated income to fund positions like “Master Planner” to not need city funds like this.

Even if that money didn’t go to the bicycle master plan, it should have gone to something that provides more citizen safety and quality of life programs.

Matt Picio
15 years ago

I agree. Tri-Met causes the lion’s share of wear on that bridge, they should bear a appropriate share of the cost.

I just ran the numbers, from Tri-Met’s website. The average bus in Tri-Met’s fleet is about 14 tons empty, 18 tons loaded. Max is 105 tons empty, 130 tons loaded. The Steel bridge handles (according to Tri-Met’s own schedules) more than 500 MAX crossings and almost 750 bus crossings daily. That’s a lot of wear & tear, especially considering there is no heavy truck traffic on that bridge and most of the other vehicles are either 2-3 tons (cars) or 1/6 ton or less (bikes and peds). The ramp isn’t used by Union Pacific, who owns the bridge (but not the ramp, which is owned by the City of Portland).

If Tri-Met isn’t paying a good-sized chunk of this, they certainly ought to be.

Daniel Porter
Daniel Porter
15 years ago

In regards to TomasCoSauce & Matt Picio’s comments about leaf removal. Actually, this is an important issue/item that effects us as cyclists.

You know in the fall when it is raining and all the storm drains are packed with leaves and flooding the streets? Or, when you are riding over slippery dead plant material and your wheels slip and slide all over the place?

These two situations happen even with leaf removal in place. Can you imagine if the city stopped leaf removal? Yes, it does seem like a pretty extreme number, but it is necessary to prevent flooding (both in the street and in your basements).

We could probably decrease this $ amount if Portlanders would pick up their own leaves instead of raking them into the street, though I don’t see that happening.

Tbird
Tbird
15 years ago

I have to give one more plug about supposedly “leaf removal.” In my ‘hood, Waverly Hts, there TONS of leaves every year. They are never removed. Perhaps this is a step forward toward removal. I for one would be willing to clean up the leaves in front of my place…Maybe others readers in the same area could write Mayor Potter and suggest a community effort to remove leaves…Boom! there’s a 550 K boost right there.

Elljay
Elljay
15 years ago

I don’t necessarily agree with the Mayor’s rejection of funding for the Bike Master Plan, but I also understand PDOT’s funding mess, and that some activities are more ripe for funding, from a timing standpoint, than others. (no, I don’t work for the City,ODOT, or the Port.)

Regarding City support for the PDX master plan, the Airport operates under a conditional use permit from the City. Changes to the Airport Plan necessitate updating the CUP. PDX is just beginning a new 20-year master plan for the airport. Issues that may come out of it include possible runway extensions, a new runway, new or changed vehicular access (including transit and bike), altered flight paths and noise changes, stormwater management/Columbia Slough issues. All of these affect the City, not just the Port, and are governed by City regs.

I sat through a presentation by PDOT’s director recently on PDOT priorities. As she stated, their first priority is to find a stable, sustainable funding source. Gas tax isn’t it. Gas tax is currently levied by the Feds and State on a per gallon basis, not on price (as someone on the other thread suggested, and Oregon has not raised it in over 10 years. Multnomah County and the City do not currently levy a gas tax, but they could. The last gas tax increase has been eaten by inflation, and the buying power of our current gas tax is below 1990 levels. The cut of gas tax made available to the City has also slipped. Hence the City’s alleged focus on maintaining infrastructure and increasing safety…until that new source is identified, validated and implemented.

I think Todd (other thread) was onto something with his comment about this “setback” possibly leading to a better funded plan at a future time.

Donald
Donald
15 years ago

The whole leaf removal issue has a very contentious history here in River City.

I can remember a day really not so long ago when you only had to dial the last 4 digits of local phone numbers and you could burn your leaves in your back yard.

When they outlawed the incindeary disposal of the leafy nuisance, they had to appease some neighborhoods by allowing for municipal pickup. This program has since been plagued by accusations of redlining, with comfy old-money neighborhoods coming out the cleanest, leaf-wise.

Just the kind of thing a weak-mayor can fret about while creating his transportation budget.

nick
nick
15 years ago

Leaf removal is “needed” in certain well-heeled inner NE neighborhoods which have many trees, and leaves are blown or raked into the street.

Last fall, I was riding on Knott and had to ride into a PILE of leaves because I could not avoid it. I had cars passing on the left and I was unable to stop because I was riding on wet leaves. I felt pretty unsafe and was afraid I would be pitched off the bike at any moment.

I was so angry I stopped (slowly, carefully) and picked up all the leaves and placed (okay, THREW) them back in the large, well-manicured lawn with big trees.

These people should clean up their own leaves. They can afford it. Tell the lawn service to rake them into a nice mulch under the tree. It’s not hard.

And enough with the g*ddam blowers.

tonyt
tonyt
15 years ago

amen nick

I wonder how long before someone wipes out in one of those piles at night and sues the homeowner AND the city. They just throw a huge pile out there, no cones to make them visible at night, then they get rained on, driven over, and spread over the whole darn street.

Dan
Dan
15 years ago

Donna…The bike coordinator’s job is to advocate for bicycles, not to step aside when doing so might cost him political brownie points 😉

Jeff S
Jeff S
15 years ago

Nick (#14)wrote:
“And enough with the g*ddam blowers…”

off-topic, but: Amen to that. & while we’re at it, enough with using a g*ddam power mower for a postage-stamp size lawn. And can’t those “Bridge Open” horns that blare on at ridiculous decibals even and on even after everyone’s stopped be turned down just a bit..?

Oh, yeah, leaf removal — I know you’ll all just leap at the chance to visit the City’s website regarding leaf removal:
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=35716&a=60690

Ben G
Ben G
15 years ago

Thank god we are using over a half million to get rid of leaves. No longer will debris from those pesky and far outdated trees be bothering us. Man those things are a real threat to the future of our fine city. Hooray for a leaf-less future!

Lenny Anderson
15 years ago

Clearly money should be shifted from the police traffic division, which has been wasting it lately on bicyclists who coast thru stop signs, to the Bike Master Plan. The BMP needs to include outfitting all stop signs on bikeways, etc. with “Bikes Yield” signs and getting any state and/or local ordinance changed accordingly.

steve
steve
15 years ago

From my rudimentary mathematical skills it looks like for part time workers they are allocating over 50 grand? Most of the other projects that are creating positions appear to be between 50-100k.

This nonsense is enough to make me want to get out of the private sector!

Everyone of these budgets looks blown up and overfunded.

Perhaps Potter is defunding the master plan as it has moved from its “visioning” stage and was preparing to actually do something? Can’t have that can we.

steve
steve
15 years ago

Peak Oil Initiative – $150,000 GF One-time/2 Part-time positions
This package would provide funding for two half-time limited term positions and $50,000 for materials & services to develop a work plan for PDOT to address recommendations made by the Peak Oil Task Force.

This looks like we are paying 2 people 50k for part time work. Then giving them 50k for “materials and services”

The stated goal- “develop a work plan for PDOT to address recommendations made by the Peak Oil Task Force.”

150k for doing essentially nothing. You could farm that out to a grad student or intern and have it in a few weeks. “Develop a workplan”!?!

I think I just decided to stop paying taxes. Who is ready for some armed insurrection?

Brad
Brad
15 years ago

Peak Oil Plan?

Tommy Boy, here’s a few ideas:

Convert the city vehicle fleet to bio-diesel or plug-in electrics.

Eliminate extraneous autos/trucks over what is actually needed.

Use cabs / TriMet / bikes for city biz instead of a car fleet.

Place the burden of leaf removal on property owners thus, saving oil costs and use of city vehicles.

Put cops on foot and bikes like the olden days. Only use cars and motorcycles for emergency calls and prisoner transport.

Accept that the City of Portland will have to pay for gasoline like everyone else. Make conservation plans now.

There you go Tommy. I just saved you $150K. Truth be told, you would have pissed that cash away on some policy wonks that would have proposed the same ideas.

N.I.K.
N.I.K.
15 years ago

“But Brad, what about the Powerpoint and the power lunch?” 😉

Matthew
Matthew
15 years ago

I think peak oil should be funded, but really what the peak oil plan is going to discover is that they should fund the bicycle plan.

City employee
City employee
15 years ago

Hey, all:

Regarding the:
Leaf Removal Program – $556,000 Program Revenue
This package would allow PDOT to recover the costs of providing leaf removal services to neighborhoods in the city.

To clarify – this is actually REVENUE, not an EXPENSE for the City. I believe PDOT is going to create a fee or something like to fund leaf removal. That way, they can shift the $$ that would have been spent on leaf pickup to another program.

What Jonathan posted above is a list of decision packages. Each City bureau submits along with their regular budgets, a list of decision packages which means new expenses or new revenues that weren’t in their budget in previous years. This is often what Council spends most of their time on, especially in a year where budget cuts aren’t being made. Most of the decision packages are usually requests for more funding, but occasionally are cost-savings or revenue-generating.

So, the Mayor in this case, said yes, PDOT should create a revenue source from leaf pickup. I hope that helps translate it – the budget process is kind of dense…