Mayor adds Bicycle Master Plan back into budget

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

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Mayor Tom Potter has just sent a letter to all four City Commissioners and the City Auditor detailing six additional expenditures he will be able to fund in the budget.

Included among them is $100,000 for the Bicycle Master Plan Update process. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

“OMF (Office of Management & Finance) has advised me of $2 million in additional revenue in FY 2006-07 from higher than expected business license receipts. These funds were received and reported following the April 15 business tax filing deadline. This well result in $2 million in additional one-time funds for FY 2007-08. The timing of this good news fits well with the budget approval on May 16.

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Concerns, questions raised by Mayor’s decision

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Portland’s current Bicycle Master Plan was last updated in 1995. It has served us well, but according to city planners and expert consultants, it is woefully inadequate and it no longer serves its purpose. Since it was completed, the number of bicyclists in Portland has skyrocketed and we have become a national model for livability.

We’re currently going through an important update process that was kick-started by $50,000 in city funding in 2006. The new Bicycle Master Plan will help guide Portland to a world-class transportation network that will provide citizens with safe, efficient, healthy, affordable and emissions-free transportation options for decades to come.

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Mayor’s statement on Bicycle Master Plan

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Portland Mayor Tom Potter
File photo: 7/26/06

As promised, Mayor Tom Potter has released a statement about his decision to not provide funding for the Bicycle Master Plan Update process:

Office of Mayor Tom Potter

City of Portland

Thank you for emailing me about the proposed budget and the Platinum Bicycle Master Plan. For this budget, we were faced with an unprecedented number of requests and priorities. All of these requests have real merit; obviously, not all can be met.

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Mayor says no to the Bicycle Master Plan

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Mayor Tom Potter has proposed
a not-so-bike-friendly budget.
File photo: 10/19/06

Last year, Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams received $50,000 to fund the first stages of Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan Update process. But this year, Adams’ office was surprised to see that the Mayor has decided to not continue funding this project.

In his latest proposed budget (released on 4/16) Mayor Potter chose to not set aside the $100,000 that Adams requested in order to continue the work on the Bicycle Master Plan Update.

The request was part of $400,000 in bicycle-related funding that was folded into Adams’ Safe Streets Initiative.

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