Archive | December, 2008

Classy Presentations

One of the perks that comes with publishing this blog is the opportunity to sit on the panel reviewing student presentations for the PSU/PDOT Traffic and Transportation class. I can’t emphasize enough what a great program this – many neighborhood and transportation activists have graduated from this class.

This year, we are delighted to have four presentations from the class to present here:

Good work all around!

PDOT Priorities

Still a few days left to express your thoughts on where the budget knife should fall next at the Portland Office of Transportation as the recession continues to decrease available revenue from gas taxes:

If you had to cut $6.4 million from the City’s Transportation budget, how would you prioritize programs? Please take our survey – respond by January 2, 2009.

Click below for survey:
Bureau of Transportation Budget Prioritization Survey

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has been going through a budget prioritization process since mid-summer as a result of sagging gas tax revenue and lower parking revenue.

In order to bring expenditures in line with the reduced revenue, a prioritization of all discretionary funded activities has been done. This prioritization has been done on the basis of criteria which assess the significance of the activity to the core mission and objectives of the organization.

A Budget Advisory Committee made up of members from the community and organized labor was selected in September and charged with reviewing the process. Additionally they’ve been tasked with helping Transportation identify the cuts necessary to cover the $6.4 million shortfall for FY 09/10 budget.

Twenty-five program listings were broken out into priority order. If you had to cut $6.4 million out of Transportation’s budget, how would you prioritize the following programs?

Please respond by January 2, 2009.

CRC Critic Joins Mayor’s Staff

Much was made of the announcement that Amy Ruiz, news editor of the Portland Mercury, was joining Mayor Sam Adams’ staff. The coverage focused on the transition from reporter to policy wonk.

What no one seems to have commented on yet is that Ruiz as been a very vocal critic of the Columbia River Crossing:

The Portland region has a backlog of unmet transportation needs, and a long list of transportation dreams, like more miles of bike boulevards, expanded bus service, streetcar extensions, and other options that let people leave their cars at home. If we put so many resources toward one bridge that largely benefits Vancouver commuters, however, where will we find the funding for those projects?

So what does it mean that such a vocal CRC opponent is now “strategic planning and sustainability policy advisor” for our new mayor?

NPR: Oberstar on Gas Tax, Stimulus

Oberstar on raising the gas tax to fund the Interstate Highway System:

“But in those days there was a sense of destiny, of future, of what is good for America — not what is good for my political career. But what we’ve had in the last 12 years is a no-tax philosophy, and so there’s not been an increase in the user fee, the gas tax, since 1993.”


Read the whole piece (with a link to the audio).