local gas tax

Comment of the Week: ‘When I was broke, I barely rode my bike’

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 29th, 2016 at 4:47 pm

I often wonder how many activists have ever really struggled with poverty or even personally know anyone who has.

We talk a lot about infrastructure at BikePortland, because it matters to people who bike. But it’s very far from the only thing that matters.

In a comment beneath Monday’s post about the driving habits of rich and poor people, BikePortland reader Ellie wrote about a time in her life when she was too poor to drive but when her life was too fragmented and unpredictable for her to bike.

Both the argument against gas taxes and increased parking fees use the added burden on poor people as a reason not to increase associated costs, but it is mostly a red herring, an excuse to avoid extra taxes and fees for higher income earners. However, bike activist and urban planning activists due similar things. I often wonder how many activists have ever really struggled with poverty or even personally know anyone who has. One of my biggest frustrations with a certain sort of bicyclist is that they seem to think that since they do not find public transit useful, it isn’t important.

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Council sends gas tax to ballot behind wide range of supporters

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 28th, 2016 at 10:42 am

pba-gastax

Marion Haynes with the Portland Business Alliance
offered conditional support.
(Photos from City Council live feed)

Advocates of a 10-cent local gas tax joined up to form quite a list of endorsers Wednesday for a midafternoon hearing at Portland City Council. Council heard a presentation and testimony about the idea ahead of adopting a resolution to send the tax to the ballot.

“I feel like a possum on I-5 during rush hour right now,” said Paul Romain, a lobbyist for Oregon gas retailers who was one of only two people to speak clearly against the measure.

Offering support was everyone from a freight advocate to a business advocate to an environmental justice advocate from East Portland to a frequent City Hall testifier who goes by the name of “Lightning.” While almost everyone seemed to like the idea, a close look at their testimony reveals mixed feelings that could offer clues to future debates.

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Low-income households drive much less than high-income households

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 25th, 2016 at 1:07 pm

miles driven

Source: 1995 National Household Travel Survey via Purdue University.

We’ve explored this issue various times over the years, but you often hear people claiming otherwise so let’s share the information in a new way.

It’s relevant as the city gets ready to vote on a 10-cent gas tax that would go toward slowing the crumbling of Portland’s streets and improving their safety.

Who pays gas taxes?

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‘Fix Our Streets’ gas tax campaign prepares to launch Wednesday

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 24th, 2016 at 12:20 pm

fix our streets

The new campaign logo.

After a long pause to gather its strategy and thoughts, Portland’s city council is expected to launch its latest plan Wednesday to raise money for the city’s streets.

The new concept, a public vote for a temporary local gas tax of 10 cents per gallon, comes endorsed by a 93-page report from the City Club of Portland and at least two mayoral candidates (Jules Bailey and Ted Wheeler) as the least bad way to slow the city’s deepening pavement problem while getting some high-priority safety improvements on the ground.

And in a new development, it looks as if some resources have been found for one of such a ballot issue’s biggest needs: an organized “yes” campaign.

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Highlighting support from BTA, Novick will put local gas tax on May 2016 ballot

Avatar by on October 5th, 2015 at 11:55 am

Bike Share passage press conference-3.jpg

Novick hopes second time’s a charm.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

After dismissing it as too unpopular to even merit discussion prior to his last (failed) attempt to raise new revenue for transportation infrastructure, Commissioner Steve Novick now plans to put a 10-cent gas tax on the May 2016 ballot.

After a discussion about the proposal with community leaders today, Novick’s office sent out a press release exclaiming that, “Momentum builds for Portland gas tax to fund street repair and traffic safety.”

And in a marked departure from he and Mayor Charlie Hales’ previous strategy, Novick is not shying away from the “b” word (bikes).

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