Rubio plan includes $112 million lifeline for PBOT and major boost to bicycling

The plan would spend $2 million a year (for five years) on sweeping bike lanes six times per year. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been a roller-coaster week for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). On Tuesday they announced controversial plans to remove a new bike lane, and on Wednesday we learned a judge ruled against them in a lawsuit that could expose the city to major liability for not complying with the Oregon Bike Bill.

But also yesterday there was very, very good news: City Commissioner Carmen Rubio announced a plan that would inject $112 million into PBOT as part of $540 million in unanticipated revenue from the city’s Clean Energy Surcharge (CES), a 1% tax on retail gross revenue earned within Portland on tax filers with a total gross income of $1 billion or more, and a Portland gross income of $500,000 or more. The CES is the revenue source for the Portland Clean Energy Fund (which Rubio oversees as commissioner-in-charge of the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability) which was created to fund projects and programs that help low-income and people of color fight climate change.

The funds pegged for PBOT would be spread over five years and would be used to: buy new streetcars, sweep bike lanes, build small bike/walk/transit projects, continue community programs like Safe Routes to School and Sunday Parkways, and purchase LED streetlights. This funding would be in addition to the $20 million PBOT received from the PCEF Capital Investment Plan passed by City Council in September.

The largesse is possible because forecasted revenue from the CES is expected to be $540 million over initial estimates. The City Budget Office chalked up the higher forecast to a strong retail sales growth trend, weakening inflation, and more e-commerce sales which tend to be concentrated in corporations that pay the tax.

The funding for PBOT could not come at a better time. The bureau’s finances are floundering as agency leaders plan a cut of $32 million (one-third) from their already-dwindling annual discretionary funds. PBOT’s budget has been battered for years by a loss of revenue from parking fees, limitations from the State Highway Fund, and inflation that has driven projects costs way up. Pandemic-related shifts in travel behavior would be the nail in the coffin if PBOT doesn’t find some sort of lifeline.

“This funding will help PBOT fulfill a key priority of our bureau, the city, and PCEF: making low-carbon travel options safe, accessible, and convenient for all Portlanders,” PBOT Communications Director Hannah Schafer shared in an email to BikePortland this morning. “We are currently assessing how this will impact our overall budget shortfall. We anticipate this funding will help us keep jobs and programs that otherwise would have been cut.”

Below are the five PBOT projects that would receive funding (taken from document shared by Rubio’s office). Keep in mind these figures are spread over five years:

Streetcar Capital Replacement – $30 million: Replacement of the Portland Streetcar fleet to ensure continued operation, affordable and efficient service. Continued operation of transit system that carries over 9,000 passengers per day, including high percentage of priority populations. Thirty-nine percent of all affordable housing in Portland is directly on the Streetcar line.

Active Transportation Operations – $10 million: Sweep and maintain almost 400 miles of bike lanes, approximately 6 times annually. Direct benefit to people using active transportation in providing safe, clean and accessible bike lanes to use throughout the year.

Small Active Transportation Capital Investment Program – $20 million:Deployment of small capital projects that complete biking and walking networks and make transit work better, providing community members with safe, convenient ways to get around while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Prioritized benefit in building projects in areas that are identified as equity areas using PBOT’s equity matrix. Projects come from plans prepared in partnership with community and allow City to deliver on commitments made in those processes.

Community Programming, Education and Encouragement – $15 million: Continued community programs including Sunday Parkways, Safe Routes to School, bike, pedestrian and neighborhood greenway system coordination and outreach, citywide climate mobility encouragement. Programs use PBOT’s Equity Matrix to determine program focus areas, and also include funding for community partner organizations. Direct benefit to over 100 schools, making it safe, convenient and fun for children of all abilities to bicycle, walk, and roll to school and around their neighborhoods. Sunday Parkways events deliver community benefits throughout Portland, providing a safe, car free space for people to walk, bike and roll.

LED Streetlights – $37 million: Support conversion and installation of LED streetlights and associated green energy costs. Indirect benefits of better illumination & safety in neighborhoods.

This $112 million for PBOT is a portion of $282 million spread across five other bureaus. A second tranche of $258 million will go toward five specific projects that includes $100 million for production of “green affordable housing”, $100 million for protection and maintenance of 240,000 street trees, and other clean energy projects.

Rubio’s plan must still jump a few hurdles before it becomes official. The PCEF Committee will weigh in on it at their next meeting in January. The committee will then make a recommendation to Portland City Council who will have the last word before it’s fully adopted. The timing of a final council vote could be around when Rubio announces her mayoral candidacy — a decision that could influence this funding plan because two of her colleagues on council, Rene Gonzalez and Mingus Mapps, are already campaigning for that job.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

65 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jacob
Jacob
2 months ago

So so SOOO exciting!!

Watts
Watts
2 months ago

The skeptics said the PCEF would become a slush fund, and I argued it wouldn’t.

New street cars, street sweeping, Sunday Parkways…

I was wrong.

quicklywilliam
2 months ago

Can’t speak for Watts but this definitely seems like this is not the intended use of these funds, and is part of a longstanding pattern of the City misappropriating taxpayer approved funds to cover other expenses. This pattern is part of what got us to this point where we cannot find basic services, build planned infrastructure, etc.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad to see these projects and services are getting funded. However, it’s just kicking the can down the road if it doesn’t come paired with a vision for longterm, sustainable funding for our streets that doesn’t have us in regular crises (that are averted only because times are good and there are unrelated and overflowing pots of money that can be raided).

Watts
Watts
2 months ago

and all the other stuff in here are “slush”

The stuff that isn’t about climate change (and there’s lots more not in your article), yes.

Pure slush in the context of what voters voted for. We did not vote to use this money to help PBOT sweep streets or fund Sunday Parkways, or the city to build affordable housing or buy new street cars.

These aren’t bad things, but they’re not doing what the money was supposed to do.

Michael
Michael
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I disagree, all of these items are aimed at encouraging people to get out of resource-intensive personal automobiles and onto more efficient trains, buses, bicycles, and feet. It’s small stuff, it’s not super sexy, but it’s 100% a valid use of the PCEF. Particularly so when transportation represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state (not sure about city numbers).

idlebytes
idlebytes
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

I agree if it went to expanding auto infrastructure that would be slush. Even filling potholes could be considered a slush fund but all the purposes listed serve to encourage alternative modes of transportation and are things that are usually last on PBOTs list when drafting their budget.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

It’s PBOT’s job to keep the bike lanes clear with or without PCEF money. It does nothing to further the fight against climate change to give PBOT money that they can use to backfill other programs. The money is fungible, and claiming it is “for bikes” is budgetary fiction (something this community seems to have generally agreed upon in other threads).

Perhaps if street sweeping were a new program I might be swayed, but this is just being used to fill holes in PBOT’s budget, not do anything new about the climate.

That’s not what PCEF is for — it’s for going beyond the day-to-day stuff we’ve been doing for years.

idlebytes
idlebytes
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The money is fungible

No it isn’t. Which is why they have a budget shortfall for things like sweeping bike lanes while half their budget goes to capital projects. It’s filling holes in their discretionary budget which they weren’t even going to have enough of to conduct road maintenance for cars let alone bicycles. I can’t believe with how much you comment here you would try to make that claim. You know that’s not true.

The PCEF is literally for “Transportation decarbonization projects” as is stated on their about page. People complain about the state of bike lanes all the time here and literally say they choose not to ride because of how bad they are. The comments on this site alone are evidence that this money is being used for a purpose that the PCEF was created.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

You are right about the capital/operations funding divide, but within operations, which is a huge part of PBOT, it’s all one big pot. Bike money and car money intermingle freely, and except for the few cases we have actual separated infrastructure, sweeping bike lanes and car lanes can’t even be separated. Some, perhaps most, of this money will be used to sweep car lanes.

I am fine with using PCEF money to decarbonize transportation, I just don’t agree that many of these projects are doing that. Tenuous connections don’t cut it for me. How much CO2 will not be emitted because we sweep the streets more frequently? It is quite possible we’d emit more CO2 sweeping more often than we get from new riders attracted by cleaner streets.

It may just be that we have a differing philosophy about this. I regard climate change as one of the most serious issues there is, and I think if we tell people we’re raising funds to reduce our carbon impact, then that’s what we should do, directly, clearly, and boldly.

quicklywilliam
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

I hear you. It’s great that this money will fund active transportation projects, and I do think that some active transportation projects fall into the intent of the measure (which was focused on renewable energy projects and job training).

However, I don’t think that’s enough. The thing I am suspicious of is using this new tax measure, which was intended to fund new projects and programs, to backfill funding for existing/planned programs, projects and staff.

Take sweeping the streets for example. Wouldn’t we expect PBOT to pay for basic operations like this out of their operational budget? Do we think voters expected to be funding PBOT operational work? What happens in 5 years when the funding runs out? What work will PBOT now undertake using the money it didn’t have to spend from its budget?

How about LED streetlights? Now that seems to clearly fall into the measure’s mandate, right? Well I remembered hearing about the LED streetlight project a while ago so I pulled up PBOT’s website* for the program. It seems that back in 2015 we were told that this program would pay for itself and eventually *save* the City money. What happened to that money? Where did those savings go?
* https://www.portland.gov/transportation/pbot-projects/construction/led-street-light-conversion-program

BB
BB
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Funding a nice outing for the Public like Sunday parkways has Zero to to do with climate or anything like what this fund is supposed to be about.
They are fun and pleasant and completely irrelevant to anything about serious climate change discussion.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

I agree with you, but you’ll read many comments on BP about how Sunday Parkways turns Sunday recreational riders, esp kids, into lifelong bike commuters, when clearly it doesn’t.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Everything is climate change-related if you stretch enough.
Money would be better spent on sterilization projects – nothing has a greater carbon footprint than a new human and the associated lifecycle of carbon use.

Adam Leyrer
Adam Leyrer
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The Portland Metro is good at branding and advertising new taxes to sell them to voters, and bad at designing sustainable systems and taking the trouble to persuade voters of their usefulness.

Quint
Quint
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The definition of a “slush fund” is money that is just sent to an agency with no strings attached that they can do whatever they want with. This is a specific list of projects and programs this money has to be used for, adopted by City Council. So no, this is not even remotely a slush fund.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Quint

I didn’t mean that PBOT is treating PCEF like a slush fund (though once the money hits their accounts it can be used for anything operations related), I meant Rubio is using it as a slush fund by using it for a bunch of climate-dubious projects that are not the sorts of things promised to voters.

Quint
Quint
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Voters approved an initiative that was meant to raise about a quarter of the revenue that actually came in, and even that was too much money for non-profits to absorb as grant funding. Voters also approved the money to be used for climate initiatives, but in the first few years of the program none of it was used for transportation. So I think these are reasonable things to do with the incredibly high amount of extra revenue. Basically, it was a poorly-designed measure with a completely-wrong revenue projection and an unworkable funding model based solely on grants to the nonprofits around town. This tends to happen with voter initiatives designed by advocacy groups.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Quint

“that was too much money for non-profits to absorb”

I believe this to be true, but it’s not really relevant. We created a tax to focus on a specific set of problems, and if the rate was set too high, it should be lowered, or voters should be asked if they want to expand the group of problems the taxes are used for.

If PCEF money becomes a general government funding source, there is a danger the original purpose gets demphasized as more funding is needed for “mission critical PBOT services” or the like. I’ve seen a lot of ” one time” things become permanent.

The best answer is probably to lower the rate to match the need, and raise it back up if the need increases.

Champs
Champs
2 months ago

Commissioner Rubio is using her power with the kind of deft we haven’t seen since Sam Adams, whether you agree with the proposal or not.

Mayor Rubio needs more of a track record at City Hall. Her campaign was in 2020 and her office didn’t come out of hiding until this year.

Happy Guy PDX
Happy Guy PDX
2 months ago

I find it shameful that the PCEF has turned into one big slush fund to plug budget holes and fund unrelated items like $20 million for air conditioning in PPS schools. The PCEF should be returned to the voters for revision or repeal. Most who voted for it had no idea of the vast amounts of money that would be raised. It’s now turned into a huge piggy bank that everyone wants to raid. It’s another example of how governance by citizen initiatives gives us lots of poor public policy (despite promising voters nice sounding goals). Let’s put it back on the ballot for a more informed electorate to weigh in on.

Michael
Michael
2 months ago
Reply to  Happy Guy PDX

I’m curious why HVAC and building envelope upgrades for PPS is somehow “unrelated” to the PCEF. The fund’s entire purpose is to aid in the transition from the carbon economy to a less carbon-intensive mode in order to mitigate climate change, and efficiency upgrades to buildings fall squarely within that scope.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Adding A/C where none existed before to help PPS get out of a budgetary jam is not aiding “the transition” (and would almost certainly lead to higher carbon emissions). Replacing an inefficient system with an efficient one is, if it would not happen otherwise.

I think the PPS deal is more the former than the latter.

Michael
Michael
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Do we know that the PCEF money transferred to PPS is going to add new cooling systems where none existed before? Because $20 million isn’t a lot of money when it needs to be divided across dozens of individual facilities, and can easily be subsumed by building envelope and fenestration upgrades and existing HVAC replacements.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Pains me to say it, but I think Watts is correct here. Adding an HVAC system to a building that never had one is INCREASING the use of energy, not decreasing it.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

$20M will quickly turn into $60M after you factor in the mismanagement of PPS.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Do you actually trust PPS as a capable financial steward?

dw
dw
2 months ago

Honestly I like this proposal. I’ll be writing the councilors to let them know that.

Sweep and maintain almost 400 miles of bike lanes, approximately 6 times annually.

I’m most excited about this part. Getting people on bikes isn’t just about traffic enforcement and building new infrastructure, but also maintaining what we have. Maybe a hot take, but most bike lanes in the city feel pretty comfortable to ride from a safety perspective, but suck because they’re always full of trash, gravel, glass, leaves etc. Also the poorly-done patches from utility work lol.

Replacement of the Portland Streetcar fleet to ensure continued operation, affordable and efficient service. Continued operation of transit system that carries over 9,000 passengers per day, including high percentage of priority populations.

Is there a plan to increase service frequency? I know the streetcar is slow, but the biggest thing that keeps me off of it is how infrequently it runs. The 9000 riders/day number is interesting. For perspective, the 20 and 72 bus lines each have those kind of numbers. I don’t think the streetcar is inherently bad – if it had more vehicles running later hours and signal priority like FX2 I bet the ridership would double. Personally, I find riding the streetcar to be very pleasant and would love to see more folks using it.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

the biggest thing that keeps me off of it is how infrequently it runs

Not the loud noise, slow speed, or the jolting kathunk kathunk every 10 ft or so?

surly ogre
surly ogre
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I ride the StreetCar; I like that it makes a loop.
I also ride the 6 and 20 bus, Max lines too
Public Transit is another great way to get around with my bicycle or without my bicycle.

John V
John V
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

The problem people have with this isn’t that these things are bad things to spend money on (well some might, but meh). It’s that sweeping streets is already, 100% squarely the responsibility of PBOT. It’s insane that they’re using this money to sweep streets. If anything, it’s anti-clean energy to sweep bike lanes with this money because that takes some of the burden off PBOT which lets them continue to spend their budget on car-centric endeavors. They need funding for PBOT specifically, and barring that they should be cutting other spending to sweep the bike lanes and build new ones.

idlebytes
idlebytes
2 months ago
Reply to  John V

If anything, it’s anti-clean energy to sweep bike lanes with this money because that takes some of the burden off PBOT which lets them continue to spend their budget on car-centric endeavors.

Except PBOT is spending pretty much $0 on the proposed things. So they’re not going to have extra funding for cars because they’re not saving any with this proposal.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Yes, I hoped to make the same point: the fact PBOT needs $10 million for sweeping shows it isn’t sweeping now. Anyone who bikes knows that PBOT is sweeping on an exception-only basis.

X
X
2 months ago

The listed projects are not trips to Las Vegas, they are generally plausible for the stated goals. You might fault the city for not coming up with better ones.

It really looks like bike lanes get swept less than six times a year, if six is an improvement. Most are in the door zone or at the cirb so if the street gets swept at that should cover it. Bike lanes are where any small debris on a street goes to live so sweeping them is not a special favor.

At least Rubio’s heart is in the right place. I wish her luck and certainly don’t have a vote for Mapps. Show us your ___ bike, Mingus.

Dusty
Dusty
2 months ago
Reply to  X

Rubio’s involvement with the sneaky, backroom Zenith dealings will probably preclude me from voting for her despite her helping PBOT clean bike lanes.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Dusty

That, along with her undermining of hard-fought building standards, her proposal to build in flood plains, and her support for spending PCEF money on PBOT operations and other non-climate projects has severely tarnished her environmentalist credentials.

She is not who I thought she was when we elected her.

Rob Galanakis
Rob Galanakis
2 months ago

This plan seemed like a raid/slush fund to me until I saw the intended use and thought about it some more. PCEF isn’t set up to distribute this amount of funds. No amount of money to a nonprofit is going to get a bike lane or pedestrian crossing built. If PBOT cuts active transportation programs- which they’re going to do- those PCEF investments are not as effective as they could be, without the ‘multiplier’ of having better infrastructure.

I would normally be worried about a bailout being used to perpetuate the ‘business as usual’ attitude that landed us in this mess. But I don’t see this money changing PBOT’s long-term funding reality. It’s not like current leadership is going to figure it out, no matter how big or small the budget shortfall. What this money does is avoid setting us back many years on our climate and transportation goals. Getting more people out of cars makes the politics needed for real PBOT reform possible.

As much as I don’t like giving money to an untrustworthy bureau like PBOT, this spending comes with reasonable restrictions. These projects are a win. You can choose to see this spending as a bail out or slush fund, or you can see it as an opportunity to fast-track bureau spending that is going to improve life for the communities PCEF was focused on.

Surly Ogre
joe Bicycles
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Galanakis

comment of the week! COTW! 
This PCEF money will hopefully be the start of a conversation that needs to take place about helping PBOT to detach from gas tax and parking meter revenue. Same thing needs to happen with the Kicker. It is astonishing that there is all this money floating around and we have so many problems to solve and the money is in other piggy banks..
we are taking a hit on bicycle parking, 33rd Ave, Willamette and possibly other bikeways.
PBOT needs this lifeline.
Thank You Commissioner Rubio for helping bicycling even though it is not the Bureau you manage.

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  joe Bicycles

What needs to happen with the kicker?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

It needs to be shoveled to more non-profits.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  joe Bicycles

The problem is, politicians spend it on flashy projects that they can leverage with photo ops and help their campaigns.
Maintenance, helping the poor, etc. aren’t photo opportunities.
I want my kicker because I sure can’t trust any politician to spend it wisely.

Charley
Charley
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Galanakis

Yes!
“No amount of money to a nonprofit is going to get a bike lane or pedestrian crossing built.”
Nailed it!

This is climate infrastructure.

PS
PS
2 months ago

In hindsight it was so brilliant to put this on a ballot in a mid-term election and goes to show how different a time 2018 was. I tend to wonder if even on a mid-term election year, but in this inflation environment, does something this preposterous* pass now?

*It is preposterous because it defies logic that the taxation of retail goods in one city can possibly result in providing enough support to “fund projects and programs that help low-income and people of color fight climate change.”

There is fundamentally no way you can generate enough money on retail sales (most of which are items produced elsewhere, so the pollution happens elsewhere) to make any impact to climate change in the city the funds are taxed in or anywhere else for that matter.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

It does feel a bit like the fundamental conflict between PBOT wanting to encourage people to walk or bike instead of driving, while also being entirely dependent on revenue generated from cars (fuel tax and parking fees)

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

The fundamental conflict is the idea that people in Portland, Oregon can do a single thing about climate change, let alone the bureau of transportation.
The evidence for this is that Houston, Texas exists, that’s reason enough to tap the brakes on anything here that would remotely alter our quality of life or economic opportunities. They aren’t fighting about bridges there, they just build them and then they’re full of cars and they don’t care if people here institute self induced poverty and have no large retailers left in the city.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

The stated goal on the PCEF website:

Creating green jobs, funding improvements to homes through renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, and supporting local businesses.

Where is that in this proposal?

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

What is written on a website isn’t to be confused with what is written in the legalese of the new law from the ballot measure (no I didn’t read it myself).
But how quickly we forget when Packy was promised a multi-acre retirement retreat with the Metro Zoo bond a number of years ago, it got passed, then Metro spent the money on other stuff, none going to Packy.

Its why I vote NO on EVERY new tax/bond because I just can’t trust that it’ll be spent on what we were told it was going to be spent on.

Obviously, marketers sold us on it but told little lies so it’d pass.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  SolarEclipse

A lot of people felt burnt by that zoo bond, sure ticked me off.

BB
BB
2 months ago

You apparently never go to the Zoo.
The entire Zoo has/will be remodeled.
The bond measure completely remodeled the Elephant area as well as other major remodeling over the last several years and is on going.
This is just an embarrassing comment from you.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwi_pNKvo5CDAxVRFjQIHXDFD30QFnoECBsQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oregonzoo.org%2Fnews%2Fcitizen-oversight-group-praises-zoo-bond-implementation&usg=AOvVaw0GWh4DLp8QzeZD_7w3tbZ0&opi=89978449

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  BB

Many people voted for the bond because the voter packet led them to believe there would be an off-site elephant sanctuary built.

BB
BB
2 months ago

Really?
Thats ridiculous, the bond measure is one of the few measures passed by voters where the money is actually going for what was voted on.
I have no idea where you are getting your information.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

Short memory I guess.
Packy was promised a multi-acre retirement area (I think out near Sandy but don’t remember exactly). That’s what sold many citizens to vote for it. Who doesn’t like Packy right?
But it was passed, and people started asking where’s Packy’s retirement place?
Metro’s response was they spent it on other stuff. So yes, you are probably right they spent it on the Zoo itself, but we were promised, no, Packy was promised, a retirement area and Metro failed him and us.

idlebytes
idlebytes
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Also on the about page on their website

PCEF invests in projects and programs that meet the following priorities: 

  • Clean energy projects, including renewable energy and energy efficiency; 
  • Transportation decarbonization projects;
  • Regenerative agriculture and green infrastructure projects; and
  • Climate action-related workforce development and contractor support programs.
Amit Zinman
2 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Having applied for one of their grants, I already know some of this. Organization that won the grants didn’t necessarily apply for “sexy” new projects, but rather asked for funding to make their existing transportation decarbonization projects (such as BIKETOWN) better.
I fell off with my bike because of a pothole and had to not bike for over a month, and my friend fell off her scooter and had to have people lug her around in their cars.
I am a hundred percent for putting this money into fixing bike lanes and routes and that this is totally PCEF relevant project. I would make sure that the money doesn’t just go to PBOT but has the typical PCEF oversight.

Todd/Boulanger
2 months ago

This is the best news on the day!

Pkjb
Pkjb
2 months ago

If pbot is going to use this money to sweep bike lanes, can we get some accountability on when the sweeping is actually going to happen and at what frequency? How about a dashboard that lists the exact date when each protected bike lane was last swept?

Is pbot claiming that all of the bike lanes are currently being swept six times per year, and that this funding is intended to maintain that rate, or are they saying that there will be a higher level of service in the future? I can say for damn sure that none of the protected bike lanes are currently being swept on a bimonthly basis no matter what pbot says.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

This! Many of us have been asking for this kind of accountability for years but PBOT really can’t walk and chew gum at the same time (cf. 33rd Ave debacle). So it’s unrealistic of us to think they could do something like this.

X
X
2 months ago
Reply to  Pkjb

Heh. We saw gravel from snow treatment hanging on NE Broadway until June. Major street, plain old unprotected bike lane, gutter + paint stripe.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago

They didn’t just “find” the funds. It was taken from us through yet another tax that should be repealed.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

The $10 million to sweep 400 miles of bike lanes six times per year sounds like a tacit admission that PBOT is not sweeping the bike lanes RIGHT NOW.

Quint
Quint
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Well, yeah, obviously. I thought everyone knew that the bike lanes haven’t been getting swept. That’s why this money is badly needed.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago

Return the unused tax revenues. They are not being used for the intended purpose.

This is similar to PPS suggesting the kicker should be used for Education.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago

Thumbs up a 1000 times on that.

Quint
Quint
2 months ago

I think future voter-conceived, voter-approved new taxes should either include an automatic kicker if revenue comes in above forecasts, or even better should have an automatic rate adjustment that results in a set amount of revenue. That way the voters are voting for a certain amount of revenue for a certain purpose, not a certain tax rate that is hard to predict how much will be generated.