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Governor Brown reverses veto threat: The SW Capitol Hwy project is safe

Posted by on August 15th, 2017 at 2:40 pm

We did it!

You raised your voices. Oregon Governor Kate Brown heard them. And she has changed her mind.

The Governor just announced she will not go through with her threatened veto of over $2 million in funding for the SW Capitol Highway project. The project will build a crucial biking and walking connection between Multnomah Village and Taylors Ferry Road that the neighborhood has worked for since 1991.

Here’s the official word via a letter from the Governor’s office (full PDF of the letter here):

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The Governor’s veto threat caught everyone off guard. This past week we’ve reported on a slew of current and former legislators who were simply baffled at the decision.

This issue spurred us to send our first-ever direct action alert email to our list of supporters (paid subscribers, advertising partners and financial contributors). In addition we encouraged readers both here on the blog and on our social media channels to contact the Governor and let her know she’d be making a huge mistake with a veto.

I was very encouraged by all your respnoses. And I’m even more encouraged now that Governor Brown took them seriously and made the right decision.

A lot of people swung into action behind the scenes, making phone calls and writing emails to help us make this happen. I’m grateful to all of them as well.

The combination of information and inspiration can be a very powerful thing — and today is another amazing testament to that.

Thank you!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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matt piciowsbobstummerMike GI wear many hats Recent comment authors
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rick
Guest
rick

Yes ! Great news for a north / south place of SW Capitol !

Adam
Subscriber

I’m honestly surprised. Thanks for listening to reason, Gov. Brown.

Toadslick
Subscriber

Between this and that awful PSA being shut down, that’s two victories on the same day!

Thanks for all your hard work, Jonathan. Two more reasons to be a BikePortland subscriber.

rick
Guest
rick

Cleaning the stormwater, too, for both Woods Creek and Tryon Creek !

stummer
Guest
stummer

How about vetoing funding for the museum of gas guzzlers, World of Speed?

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

Good. But the other side of this is the possibility that she might veto similar prijects in the future funded mostly wuth Lottery money. That’s something to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, this project needs to get off the ground.

President Trump had a press conference about infrastructure today. He unveiled a flowchart that shows what it takes to get a highway project built. He cited 29 separate approvals needed to get a project going, plus numerous environmental impact statements and other dkcunents. (Not including state and local requirements.) “One agency can hold up a project for years,” he claimed. He issued an executive order calling for streamlining the process so projects can be built and jobs can be created built ASAP. His discussion of the flowchart made no mention of consideration of alternate transportation options, like ped/bike paths, light rail, and streetcars. You need to reprint that flowchart in light of the possibility that he may try to kill environmental laws in order to get new highway projects constructed. He’s clearly obsessed with making highways the focus of the infrastructure discussion. Something to pay attention to, especially his belief that environmental impact documents are unneeded and the requirement to have them is designed deliberately to hold projects back a decade or more.

Charley
Guest
Charley

I do not recall reading, in any of this coverage, that the source of her misgivings was that the funds were appropriated from lottery revenues. (I did not know that this was funded by the lottery, either). I think that’s an important point, and one that I’m surprised to learn only now.

It seems to me that she was right to question that appropriation: not that the project was bad, but that the project might have deserved funding from ODOT’s normal funding mechanisms.

I guess all is well that ends well.

Stephan
Guest
Stephan

Thank you Jonathan for keeping the conversation constructive! I think it made a big difference. We could have easily slipped into a negative spiral that would have let nothing.

Matthew in Portsmouth
Guest
Matthew in Portsmouth

What Gov. Brown’s message says to me is that legislators had better fund road projects out of road related taxes. If the motoring public want more money for roads, we have to be prepared to pony up more road taxes to pay for them. I think that is fair enough. Remembering that most local roads are funded at the county level, so this only applies to state funded roads.

I am guessing that any state legislator that wants to come up with a new interstate highway project will have to state from the get go that funding it will require an increase in the state gas tax. Not a bad thing.

mh
Subscriber

Perhaps we can use this to remind Gov Brown and all our legislators that, because we can’t use gas tax dollars for such needed projects, that we’re always trying to figure out creative ways to finance them. Bake sales, anyone?

mh

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

Well done Jonathan! Your reporting is fueling the activists. This was the first time I contacted the Governor, and I’m glad I did. Keep up the hard work. Its making our city a better place to live.

Mike G
Guest
Mike Gilliland

Bravo! Thanks for letting this not slip through the (pavement) cracks!