Support BikePortland

Street Roots survey turns up differing priorities in mayor’s race

Posted by on April 18th, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Portland Mayor Debate-20.jpg

Mayoral candidates Ted Wheeler, left, and Bim Ditson.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Street Roots, Portland’s first-rate paper about homelessness and housing issues, sometimes asks questions about the closely related subject of transportation.

A questionnaire distributed to the mayoral candidates and published last week includes a quick window into the ways different candidates think about mobility issues.

The question:

Please place the following items in order of priority as mayor.

• Increase parking
• Bike infrastructure
• Low­ or no-fare public transit

Here’s what they said:

Jules Bailey

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike infrastructure
3. Increase parking

Patty Burkett

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike infrastructure
3. Increase parking

Sean Davis

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike lanes
3. Increase parking


Bim Ditson

1. Bike infrastructure
2. Low- or no-fare public transit
3. Increase parking

Deborah Harris

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Increase parking
3. Bike infrastructure

Sarah Iannarone

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike infrastructure
3. Make downtown a car-free zone

David Schor

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike infrastructure
3. Increase parking

Jessie Sponberg

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike infrastructure
3. Increase parking

Ted Wheeler

1. Low- or no-fare public transit
2. Bike infrastructure
3. Increase parking

So, to recap:

• Only one candidate, Ditson, put bike infrastructure above cheap transit.
• Only one candidate, Harris, put bike infrastructure below more auto parking.
• Only one candidate, Iannarone, decided that she was so strongly against increasing auto parking that she would refuse to put it on her list at all.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today. .

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • matt April 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Now let’s look at those items with $ next to them to see which ones cost how much.

    Suddenly bike infrastructure is looking a lot better.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      We have a pretty good idea already what the bike infrastructure and parking will cost, decreased or increased. The Mayor has no control at all over TriMet (essentially a state agency), so Portland would have to pay a direct cash subsidy to TriMet to make any part or all of Portland “low-fare/ no-fare”, either by buying passes for all its residents, or making Portland a separate zone from all the rest of the city. Presumably the cash subsidy would come from PBOT and would likely be big enough to force the city to lay off many employees.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • charlietso April 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Ha, love Sarah’s response! Increasing parking? Don’t even think about it.

    Recommended Thumb up 24

  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley April 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Does “increase parking” mean increase parking availability through appropriate market pricing, or does it mean build more parking spaces? There’s a huge difference, and it’s not clear in the article.

    Recommended Thumb up 19

  • Joseph E April 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Pretty smart of the candidates to support ” Low- or no-fare public transit.” That’s something that is up to Trimet, Metro and perhaps the State, so they can easily say they are in favor without actually having to do anything about it as mayor. But PBOT controls the vast majority of streets (except for State Highways) in the city limits, so Bike infrastructure and Parking are things that the new mayor will have to address.
    Perhaps I am being cynical…

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • 9watts April 19, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I wonder if this exercise tells us anything at all about whether the candidate who wins will pursue any of them?
    If you ask people to rank free desserts, free sex, and a guaranteed income you’d probably get an amusing result but the relevance of the exercise is less clear.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Justin April 19, 2016 at 7:04 am

      Please rank the following priorities: give all Portland citizens…
      * a puppy
      * a hug
      * an ice cream sundae.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

      • Mao April 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        Ice cream

        Not everyone can handle the responsibility of a puppy.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • paikiala April 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

    my mom always said “actions speak louder than words”

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Adron @ Transit Sleuth April 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    So Deborah Harris isn’t even an option anymore based on that answer. Sarah easily has my favorite response. Because seriously, parking… more parking? Are you kidding me. I shouldn’t even start responding to that as an answer. It’s a horrible answer, I’d have denounced it as an option too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0