1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204
We hope you will agree that Portland has been a good city this past year. We hope you will be able to give her something she desperately needs: funding for her transportation priorities.
As a start, it would make the people of Portland very happy if you could find a way to fill our stocking with (in no particular order):
$850 million to address our basic street maintenance needs.
$58 million to fund the elements of the Outer Powell Concept Plan.
$23 million to complete the projects on the East Portland in Motion priority list.
$30 million for maintenance and improvement of our signal network to the latest technology.
$2.5 million for a historically and aesthetically appropriate replacement for the safety barrier on the Vista Bridge.
$2 million a year to clean our street signs, making them more readable and improving safety
$1 million a year in grants for community uses of unpaved streets, including community gardens, mulched paths and other community defined projects
$30 million to build the North Portland Greenway Trail, connecting downtown, Lower Albina, St. Johns and Kelley Point Park
$50 million for sidewalks that will make it safer to walk to school, to the bus, and elsewhere, especially in East Portland and Southwest
$19 million to implement the Capitol Highway Plan in Southwest
$15 million for a North Rivergate Boulevard overpass over the UPRR tracks in North Portland
$200 million for improvements to gravel streets
$20 million for 10 years of frequent bus service on 122nd Avenue
$10 million for Intelligent Transportation System improvements to three key freight routes
Now Santa, we understand you may feel this seems like a very long list. It sure is! We have not raised the resources to meet the needs of the dynamic, growing city that Portland has become.
And remember - We’ve been really good, making a lot of progress on that this year. Remember the fog seal street program we started? Such an efficient use of maintenance dollars! Remember the financial wiz we lured from Chicago to take over the transportation bureau?
We’ve also got a great cookie recipe for you this year. The organic milk is on its way from the neighborhood store. Give our best to Mrs. Claus.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commissioner Steve Novick
City Council to consider reforms to disabled parking rules on Dec. 19th
(December 18, 2013) – Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick will introduce a resolution to City Council on December 19 designed to significantly changePortland’s current parking regulations for people with disabilities within the metered district.
The current policy allows free on-street parking for anyone displaying a disabled parking placard. This encourages the use of on-street parking as all-day commuter parking, instead of its intended use as short term parking for shoppers and others taking short trips downtown. It also costs the City an estimated $2.4 million a year in foregone parking revenue at a time when there is a large street maintenance backlog and unmet needs for sidewalks and safety features throughout the City. Finally, there is reason to believe that the lure of free parking has created some abuse of the disabled parking policy – e.g., commuters “borrowing” the placards of relatives.
The proposal would end free, unlimited parking for holders of disabled placards, and instead offer several payment options. Those options would give placard holders a ‘grace period’ at short-term spaces, allowing them to park for up to 3 hours at any space. In addition, the new program would establish at least 30 designated parking spaces for wheelchair users and 50 designated spaces for other holders of disabled placards in order to increase accessibility to high-demand destinations. Finally, commuters with disabilities who do not have workplace garages and cannot use TriMet could buy a permit to park on the street, at the same price as local garage permits.
The new disabled parking program would not affect free parking for people with wheelchair placards, which is mandated by state law.
“I believe that this action will free up parking spaces that have been occupied by all-day users, which means that shoppers will have an easier time finding open spaces,” Commissioner Novick said. “This benefits businesses and all downtown visitors. Meanwhile, we’re giving people with disabilities what they really need – some extra time, designated spaces, and, for those who work downtown and really need an on-street space, a chance to buy one. I don’t think most people with disabilities think they’re entitled to free parking, any more than free gas or free cars; they just want some reasonable accommodations.”
A September survey of the metered district by the Portland Bureau of Transportation found that 1,033 vehicles parked on city streets displayed disabled placards, or about one in nine of all available spaces. That number reflects a steady increase over the years from 586 placards in 2007.
The proposed new program was formed in consultation with the City ofPortland’s Disabled Parking Task Force, which includes representatives from the business community, as well as the Portland Commission on Disabilities and other stakeholders.
The new rules cover currently metered areas – the Central City,LloydDistrict, Central Eastside, and the area aroundOregonHealth & ScienceUniversity. Enforcement of the program would begin on July 1, 2014.
Among the specifics:
The proposed changes also direct the Portland Bureau of Transportation to monitor and evaluate the program in concert with the Commissioner’s office, Disabled Parking Task Force and the Portland Commission on Disability.
First year results of an innovative new program to help City employees and their families live healthier were presented to City Council. Reported by City of Portland Human Resources staff and Moda Health, promising results of the Healthy Foundations program - such as a 50% reduction in Emergency Room visits - highlight a model that other employers could adopt to empower their employees to take steps to improve their health while reducing future health care trends.
For most health plans, a small percentage of enrollees require a lot of health care. This means spending on care for less than 5% of individuals accounts for about half of the total amount spent on all health plan participants. Moreover, the individuals in this group are often grappling with multiple chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are increasingly pervasive and expensive, but managing them with simple and consistent steps can yield significant health improvements and cost savings. Identifying those individuals with chronic diseases is a strategy health insurers and providers are calling “hotspotting,” and the “hotspotters” approach one of the models used for the City’s Healthy Foundations program.
In the City of Portland’s CityCore plan administered by Moda Health, almost 48% of the total dollars spent in the last five years has been for individuals with claims over $20,000. The exact number of people with these very large claims varies, but the percentage ranged from 3.4% to 4.1% of those covered by the plan. Healthy Foundations seeks to improve the health of this relatively small group of people by offering comprehensive mobile chronic care management and personalized prevention and wellness goals.
The first year results are very encouraging. In addition to a 50% reduction in ER visits, 59% of people in the program lowered their prospective risk score. This is a positive outcome not just because participants have reduced their risk scores but because a person’s risk score tends to increase over time as they age. Participants of the program also increased their use of preventive care methods, including the number of prescriptions. This makes sense since provider interventions had failed prior to participants’ enrollment in Healthy Foundations. Overall, two-thirds of the active group in the program used less benefit dollars than in the prior plan year. All participants felt their health and quality of life had improved.
I’m thrilled the City is taking an innovative approach to employee wellness, and I’m grateful to the Moda Health team for their enthusiastic collaboration on the Healthy Foundations program. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to identify other ways the City can get more from the health benefits we provide our employees. Good ideas are worth sharing, and I hope other local employers will take note of the City’s innovations and actively engage in driving changes that reduce their own health care trends, leaving more money in their employees’ paychecks and improving the overall health and vitality of our community.
For more information on the City of Portland’s Healthy Foundations program and to read the first year report to Council here.
Lincoln Families HEALTH ACTION NETWORK presents a “Courageous Conversation” - What parents need to know about the RESPONSE program
Wednesday, November 20th
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln High School Cafeteria
Presented by School Psychologist Jim Hanson and
Vicki Crow, Lincoln Parent
Our students have high expectations for themselves, and so do teachers and parents. Research shows that 86% of parents are unaware when stress, anxiety, or depression causes their children to think about hurting themselves. Hear from Lincoln parents and staff about what you can do to help your own child or other Lincoln children.
Because our Lincoln community has experienced suicide, the Lincoln staff and the Parent Health Action Network introduced RESPONSE: A Comprehensive High School-based Suicide Awareness Program. RESPONSE is listed as a National Best Practice by the American Society of Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Vicki Crow will tell her story as a Lincoln parent about losing her son and what parents should know. Know what to say and do if someone might be thinking about it, and they learn where to go for help. With RESPONSE, you can learn what you as a parent or community member can do when you feel in your heart that something just isn’t going right.
It might be your child, another parent’s child, or a spouse or co-worker. Come to discuss and learn. Leave prepared.