“We believe that because Sunday Parkways is a program that provides and enhances neighborhood livability, economic vitality, and neighborhood connectivity, it is an excellent candidate for General Fund support.”
— Cheryl Kuck, PBOT
As part of its 2010-2011 budget, The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is requesting $642,000 from the General Fund. Of that money, they are seeking $217,000 for ongoing funding of their Sunday Parkways events.
That request is significant because it shows that PBOT feels Sunday Parkways — which is expanding this year to five events — is about more than just transportation.
Sunday Parkways started with just one event in 2008. City officials say that one cost about $150,000. After the huge success of that event, the City faced budget shortfalls and asked the business community and Portland residents to help cover the expenses. In 2009 there were three Sunday Parkways events and this year there are five dates planned.
PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck says the $217,000 is needed because the program is growing and they must fill a funding gap left open by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency that is no longer available. Sunday Parkways continues to rely mostly on donations and vendor fees.
As for why PBOT wants the money to come from the General Fund, instead of from General Transportation Revenue, Kuck says, “We believe that because Sunday Parkways is a program that provides and enhances neighborhood livability, economic vitality, and neighborhood connectivity, it is an excellent candidate for General Fund support.”
PBOT is also looking for General Fund support to the tune of $25,000 to help pay for ongoing traffic control of the Last Thursday on Alberta event.
All City bureaus must trim 2-4 percent from their budgets this year and those decisions are due by Monday, February 1st. Stay tuned for more PBOT budget coverage next week.