The mighty Eastbank Esplanade is showing its age and needs a maintenance funding boost. (Photo: J. Maus)
The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau is bracing for budget cuts that could have a significant impact to marquee paths citywide.
The City Budget Office has recommended a reduction of $2.1 million from the Parks budget. “This level of cuts,” the Bureau said in a blog post last month, “will significantly impact our programs.”
There are two line items in the budget advocates are focusing on: One of them would slash funding for path maintenance; the other would offer a much-needed boost for the beloved Eastbank Esplanade. [Read more…]
Buffered bike lanes, safer crossings, and lower speed limits could be coming soon to Northeast Halsey. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
And then there were two.
Winners and losers are coming into focus in the mad dash for cash that is known as the Fall Budget Monitoring Process (BuMP). Two of the five Bureau of Transportation projects we’ve been tracking are now poised for funding.
$8 million from the city’s General Fund is up for grabs this go-round with about $4 million of that total set-aside for major maintenance and infrastructure projects. The process began with each city bureau submitting their funding requests. Then the City Budget Office offered their opinions to City Council. The final step before the budget is voted on at Council next week was to see what the Mayor wanted to do.
As we alluded to in a post this morning, we can now confirm that — out of the six PBOT projects in the discretionary category (as in, not part of the major maintenance and infrastructure list) — Mayor Hales has formally requested $350,000 for the Seasonal Naito project and $1 million for new sidewalks and other “safety improvements” on Northeast Halsey Street between 112th and 162nd Avenues (the Gresham border). [Read more…]
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. [Read more…]
For better or worse. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales wants to go out with a bang. And in the process he just might blow up his chance to make “Better Naito” permanent.
As we gleefully reported on May 2nd, Hales’ last budget proposal included $1.46 million to redesign Naito Parkway to include a protected bikeway. It’s an idea he’s been talking about for nearly two years now and it makes a lot of sense from a transportation planning perspective. That’s why it’s a shame it might go down with a sinking ship.
Naito should be a marquee street in Portland but it’s held back because it’s dominated by auto traffic. Creating more space on the street to bike and walk would enliven Naito-facing hotels and restaurants and improve safety for everyone who uses it. A report published after “Better Naito” last year showed that auto travel times were not significantly impacted by the new lane configuration, biking went up 56 percent, and the majority of public feedback was “overwhelmingly positive.”
Better Naito was such a success that the City decided to bring it back for three months this summer. Unfortunately Hales’ proposal to make it permanent might be dead within a week. [Read more…]
The existing bike lanes on Naito are outdated. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales released his final proposed budget this morning and it includes funding for a project we’ve been hoping to see materialize for several years: improved access for biking on Naito Parkway. $1.46 million to be exact. It was one of 14 infrastructure projects and over $42 million in new spending he’s put on the table. [Read more…]
Local media coverage of the Portland Police Bureau’s 2016-2017 budget proposal has sent shockwaves through the community. But there’s no reason for alarm. Here’s what’s going on…
Back in November, Mayor Charlie Hales asked all bureau directors to cut 5 percent from their budgets. Despite the City enjoying “relative fiscal stability,” the Mayor said the cuts are necessary to address the affordable housing and homelessness crisis. This is how it goes every budget cycle: The Mayor issues “budget guidance,” then the directors send him proposals with that guidance in mind.
The police bureau’s budget has raised eyebrows because, in his budget that was made public yesterday (PDF here), Chief Larry O’Dea proposed the elimination of three speciality units that have a major impact on all our lives. One of those units, the Traffic Division, writes over 90 percent of all traffic citations and is responsible for keeping our streets safe and sane. The elimination of the Traffic Division would cut 44 positions and would save the City $4.3 million in the fiscal year. [Read more…]
Back in January, we reported that in order to save $585,000, the Portland Police bureau was considering a transfer of their horse-mounted units to bike patrol. The idea is to shut down the Mounted Patrol Unit (MPU) and redeploy four formerly horse-mounted officers to work bike patrol in Central Precinct (downtown).
Last week, the City of Portland’s Financial Planning Division (FPD) released analysis of that proposal and recommended the elimination of the Mounted Patrol Unit, but they do not recommend the transfer of those officers to bike patrol. [Read more…]
Portland’s Mounted Patrol Unit. (Photo: Police Bureau)
The Portland Police Police Bureau, like all City bureaus, is facing another year of budget cuts. The PPB must reduce their budget for the coming year by 2% (other, non public safety bureaus have to cut 4%). One idea that has been proposed is to dissolve their Mounted Patrol Unit and transfer the officers to bicycle patrol.
The idea was mentioned last night at the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting by acting Captain of the Traffic Division, Bryan Parman (who’s filling in for the still injured Eric Hendriks), and we confirmed the news today with the PPB’s Public Information Officer Mary Wheat.[Read more…]