BikePortland.org

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


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.

Advertisement

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

Switch to Desktop View with Comments