On Thursday, November 20th, Portland City Council will have a hearing on the Portland Street Fund proposal. This proposal will provide new funding for a huge number of safety projects on our streets.
Safe streets should be our number one priority and we welcome an increase in the amount of money dedicated to making them safer, especially where conditions are the worst. We know that both maintenance and safety needs are high priorities for a large majority of Portlanders.
We urge Portland City Council to vote the new Portland Street Fund into effect. While it is not perfect, the proposal has come a long way in addressing concerns about how the revenue will be collected and distributed; we will not let perfect be the enemy of the good, and this Street Fund is good public policy.
Specifically, we support:
- Inclusion of safety needs in the fund at a split of 44%, with the recognition that some maintenance projects also bring safety. This is a bold and unprecedented statement about the city’s priority for safety, especially for youth and other non-driving populations including lower-income and older adults, who are more reliant on walking to get to/from school and in our community, and also disproportionately represented in traffic crashes and fatalities.
- The city has identified many safety needs around schools in Portland, yet has been unable to complete the fixes that our students need to be able to walk, bike, or roll to and from school and in their communities — especially in historically under-invested communities such as East Portland. We’re pleased that this Fund would begin to address those by allocating nearly 40% of the first three years of safety improvements to East Portland projects. Many of these projects surround and connect to schools, and fulfilling these safety needs means students in all parts of the city will be able to safely walk to school and get the physical activity they need.
Please attend in support the Portland Street Fund at the Council hearing on Thursday if you are able.
City Council hearing
Time: 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20
Location: City Council Chambers, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.
At this hearing, the public will be able to offer brief testimony in front of City Council if desired. Interested parties will have an opportunity to sign up to testify before the 2pm hearing begins.
You can read the details of the Portland Street Fund here.
A second reading and vote are expected in December.