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City Budget Office recommends no funding for Better Naito, vision zero, Springwater, Halsey and Hawthorne projects

Posted by on October 14th, 2016 at 9:24 am

This version of inner southeast Hawthorne is still just a dream. For now.

This version of inner southeast Hawthorne is still just a dream. For now.

The City Budget Office (CBO) just threw a bunch of cold water on some hot active transportation projects.

Last month we were happy to share that the transportation bureau had requested city funding for five projects that would upgrade our streets and make them safer for everyone to use. The request was made as part of the fall budget monitoring process or “BUMP”. This is where the city takes the growth in tax revenue that went beyond projections and re-invests it back into worthy projects. Competition for the funds are fierce and all city bureaus compete for a limited pot of money (estimated to be about $8 million total this go-round2).

The Bureau of Transportation trotted out five projects that were especially exciting for transportation reform advocates: a seasonal reconfiguration of Naito Parkway (aka “Better Naito”); the Outer Halsey Streetscape Safety project and a Vision Zero educational effort; a new path connection for the Springwater, and a major redesign of inner Hawthorne Boulevard.

Unfortunately the CBO isn’t recommending funding for any of them.

That being said, they offered one ray of hope for the Outer Halsey project: “If Council decides that an infrastructure project addressing safety issues should be funded, CBO recommends this one over the others (Inner Hawthorne Corridor Transit & Bikeway, Better Naito, and Seasonal Naito) because it addresses an equity issue.”

For each project, the CBO provided feedback along with their recommendation. Here’s what they said:

Inner Hawthorne Corridor Transit & Bikeway

For the Fall BMP, CBO typically only recommends additional General Fund resources for requests that are urgent, well-developed, and unforeseen since the FY 2016-17 budget development process. While the needs that the protected bikeway seeks to address may be urgent, they are not unforeseen from a Fall BMP perspective since they have been well-documented long before the FY 2016-17 budget development process. CBO recommends that PBOT request the General Fund resources again during the FY 2017-18 budget development process if it has not secured other resources by then.

Seasonal Naito Parkway Bikeway & Walkway

CBO does not recommend General Fund resources for either this scaled-down version, or the $3.7 million for the full, permanent Better Naito project during the Fall BMP. For the Fall BMP, CBO typically only recommends additional General Fund resources for requests that are urgent, well-developed, and unforeseen since the FY 2016-17 budget development process. The needs that the project seeks to address are not unforeseen from a Fall BMP perspective since they have been well-documented long before the FY 2016-17 budget development process. CBO recommends that PBOT request the General Fund resources again during the FY 2017-18 budget development process if it has not secured other resources by then.

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Vision Zero – Outer Halsey Streetscape Project

For the Fall BMP, CBO typically only recommends additional General Fund resources for requests that are urgent, well-developed, and unforeseen since the FY 2016-17 budget development process. CBO also typically does not recommend one-time funds for needs that are ongoing and therefore, does not recommend the funding for the Target Outreach and Safe Routes to School in High Schools components of this request. As for the Community Requests component, while the needs that the request seeks to address may be urgent, they are not unforeseen from a Fall BMP perspective since they have been well-documented before the FY 2016-17 budget development process. CBO recommends that PBOT request the General Fund resources again during the FY 2017-18 budget development process if it has not secured other resources by then.

In regards to the Outer Halsey Safety Streetscape Project, CBO does not recommend the $2.0 million in additional General Fund resources for the same reasons mentioned above. While the High Crash Corridor issues of the street and surrounding area may be urgent, they are not unforeseen since the FY 2016-17 budget development process. However, if Council decides that an infrastructure project addressing safety issues should be funded, CBO recommends this one over the others (Inner Hawthorne Corridor Transit & Bikeway, Better Naito, and Seasonal Naito) because it addresses an equity issue. The area is in outer East Portland where a higher percentage of low-income residents live, and the City’s neglect of the needs of East Portland has been well-documented. CBO recommends that PBOT request the General Fund resources again during the FY 2017-18 budget development process if it has not secured other resources by then.

Connecting Trolley & Springwater Corridor

CBO does not recommend General Fund resources for this request during the Fall BMP. For the Fall BMP, CBO typically only recommends additional General Fund resources for requests that are urgent, well-developed, and unforeseen since the FY 2016-17 budget development process. CBO recommends that PBOT request the General Fund resources again during the FY 2017-18 budget development process if it has not secured other resources by then.

The CBO is essentially telling PBOT that these projects — necessary as they may be — simply aren’t the right fit for this particular pot of money.

So, what PBOT requests will they fund? The CBO recommends that City Council invests $1.8 million for two traffic signal-related projects (one for reconstruction and the other for software upgrades).

You can read more about all these projects in this CBO document (PDF).

Also, keep in mind that the CBO isn’t the final word on what gets funded by the fall BUMP process. Last year, after the CBO said no to funding bike trails at Gateway Green and the Off-Road Cycling Master Plan (both of which were able to find funding somewhere else), City Budget Director Andrew Scott told us their recommendations are, “a starting framework for Mayor and Council deliberations on the budget.”

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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rick
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rick

What a joke.

Paul Atkinson
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Paul Atkinson

“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”

― Joe Biden

#VisionMOAR

Champs
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Champs

The summary is hundreds of pages shorter and easier to sift through: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/cbo/article/594029

What they do recommend is a substantial increase in PBOT’s permanent headcount (35ish), including 13 FTEs “to work directly on delivering roadway and safety projects.” Why hire thirteen people if their work isn’t funded?

Buzz
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Buzz

Honestly, I don’t trust PBOT to get any of these projects right, maybe it’s better this way…

bikeninja
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bikeninja

I am afraid, that despite our best efforts, this will be our future for a while. As the boom times appear behind us in the rear view mirror and we go in to the next economic cycle ( pretty much every 7 or 8 years if history is a guide) competition for money will get tighter. The crumbs that the auto industrial complex has dropped off for cycling and pedestrians will be cut back as the purse-strings are tightened. The good news is that the number of cyclists will increase as the number of people who can afford a car declines.

Adam
Subscriber

Yeah, too bad they threw more unnecessary money at the police, otherwise we may have been able to fund these needed projects. No faith in Mayor Hales at all.

Rithy Khut
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Rithy Khut

Don’t forget these two that BPS: Allocate $40,000 in new one-time General Fund resources for additional costs associated with Off-Road Cycling Master Plan development (Recommended)
Fund $90,000 for the first phase of “Green Loop” implementation (Not recommended)

anon
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anon

lol. ‘this has been a well documented need for more than a year, therefore no money for you!’

Catie
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Catie

Urgent
Well-developed
Unforseen

If a budget request was unforseen, how can it be already well-developed? And it we take a few years to develop a project then it is no longer unforseen?

With the uptick of deaths in Portland streets over the last few years, and the looming immenent destruction of the planets ecosystems, I would argue that all active transportation projects are URGENT.

Stephen Keller
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Stephen Keller

Bean counters are essentially saying, “You’ve known about this problem for a long and did not ask for money in the last normal budgeting cycle. Wait for the next budgeting cycle.” This is exactly what we expect bean counters to do. I’m hard pressed to see why their response is a surprise.

Mike Sanders
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Mike Sanders

**No national politics, please -ted**

Chasing Backon
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Chasing Backon

I feel projects that improve safety for pedestrians, elderly, children and non auto users are URGENT. But what do I know.

SaferStreetsPlease
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SaferStreetsPlease

If you’re disappointed, it’s imperative you contact the City Budget Office and let them know how you feel: CityBudgetOffice@portlandoregon.gov

kittens
Guest
kittens

So tired of police and fire unions whining about facilities, pay and head counts. They have gotten everything they wanted for decades. Has anyone stopped to actually think about prioritizing these things? Time to reel it in.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

In my neighborhood, car break in has become a frequent occurrence (our cars 3x in three years), three houses within a five house radius of mine have been burglarized in the past two years, other property crime has become commonplace. The PPD works on the house entry crimes but does nothing on the rest of it. They simply don’t have the manpower any more.