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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Dylan Rivera
503-823-3723

Diane Dulken
503-823-5552

For breaking news from Portland Bureau of Transportation see our Twitter feed: @PBOTinfo. 

For breaking news on overall service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, go to @publicalerts or see www.publicalerts.org 

PBOT releases rosters, schedules for transportation funding workgroups

(July 11, 2014) -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation has posted the rosters and schedules of upcoming meetings for the workgroups that will advise on the Our Streets PDX transportation funding community conversation. While the meetings are open to the public, public testimony will not be taken. Comments and questions can be submitted to TUF_Administrator@portlandoregon.gov

Full schedules and rosters are available at www.OurStreetsPDX.com

Non-Residential, Business Stakeholder Workgroup
Businesses stakeholders will advise Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick and PBOT on how to refine the non-residential portion of the Transportation User Fee to minimize negative impacts to the business community. This group will be chaired by Fred Miller, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Portland.

First meeting: Monday, July 14, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Portland Building, Room C


Non-residential, Non-profit and Low-income Stakeholder Workgroup
Nonprofit and government partners will advise Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick and PBOT on how to refine the non-residential portion of the Transportation User Fee (TUF) to minimize the impacts to non-profits and public institutions. This workgroup will also advise on how low-income discounts for the transportation funding proposal and discounts for existing water and sewer ratepayers can be more easily accessed by low-income Portlanders. This group will be chaired by Ruth Adkins, Board Member for Portland Public Schools and Policy Director for Oregon Opportunity Network.

First meeting: Tuesday, July 29, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Portland Building Room C


The City Council delayed a proposed Transportation User Fee on June 4, after five months of Our Streets PDX town halls, online surveys, advisory committee meetings and a five-hour public hearing May 29. Public outreach and community engagement will continue, leading up to a City Council vote, expected in November.

For more information about the Our Streets PDX funding conversation and the proposed Transportation User Fee, see the project web page: www.ourstreetspdx.com.

See updated information on the proposed fee the council amended on May 29:

-- Updated online calculator: PBOT has updated an online calculator that estimates the monthly fee for residential and non-residential ratepayers. PBOT has updated the web calculator from the proposed $11.56 fee to the 3-year phase-in starting at $6 a month for single-family properties.

-- Transportation User Fee rate details: Details on the way the fee is calculated, to help business owners find the right information.

-- Frequently Asked Questions: This series of questions and answers will help the public learn more about why the fee was proposed and what it would pay for.

-- Email us for more information at TUF_Administrator@portlandoregon.gov

-- Talk about it on twitter, using hashtag #ourstreetspdx or see @pbotinfo

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New survey provides further information for transportation funding working groups

(July 17, 2014) — A new survey provides some additional information on Portlanders’ attitudes about transportation funding options for the citizen working groups the City has convened to advise the City about funding mechanisms to address its significant transportation needs. 

"Some business owners were concerned that the proposed non-residential fee, based on trip generation, didn't take into account the profitability of the business. So we tested people's attitudes toward increasing the tax on business profits," said City Commissioner Steve Novick. "The most common concern we heard about the residential fee was that it was regressive. So we tested new versions of a progressive income tax. We also tested a revised version of a sales tax, combined with a business profits tax," Novick said. 

The survey, conducted by DHM Research on June 19 through 22, tested separate sets of 300 voters on each of 4 funding options. It found that: 

  • Portlanders were closely divided – 47% yes, 48% no - on the idea of raising the city tax on business profits to 4% from its current rate of 2.2%. (That option would raise the entire $53 million annual goal set by the Mayor and Commissioner Novick.) 
  • They supported, by 50% to 45%, the idea of an income tax of one-quarter of one percent on incomes below $100,000; 1% on the amount of income between $100,000 and $250,000; 2% on the amount of income between $250,000 and $500,000; and 3% on income above $500,000.
  •  And, Portlanders supported, by a margin of 60% to 37%, the idea of an income tax of 1% on incomes above $125,000, 2% on income above $250,000, and 3% on income above $500,000. 
  • The survey also tested the concept of combining a smaller increase in the business profits tax (to 3.1%) with a sales tax of one-quarter of one percent that would exclude uncooked food and have a rebate for low-income people. Portlanders disapproved of that option by a margin of 59% to 36%. 

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick have set $53 million as a target for a new transportation funding mechanism. When we asked the State Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) for a rough estimate of the revenue that could be generated by these income tax options, LRO indicated that the “$125,000 and up” option would likely raise an amount in the $50-$55 million range and the option including an 0.25% rate on incomes under $100,000 would likely raise an amount in the $60-$65 million range. 

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick have called for a transportation funding mechanism that splits the responsibility for new revenue between businesses and residents.  Therefore, if the working group recommends and the City moves forward with one of the income tax options, the rates outlined above will likely be halved to yield the goal amount from residential payers. In that case, the first option above would be adjusted to become an income tax of 1/8 of 1% on incomes below $100,000, ½ of 1% on income between $100,000 and $250,000, 1% on income between $250,000 and $500,000, and 1.5% on income above $500,000. The second option would be adjusted to an income tax of ½ of 1% on income between $125,000 and $250,000, 1% on income between $250,000 and $500,000, and 1.5% on income above $500,000.

LRO used Oregon taxable income (not gross income) as the basis for its rough estimates. LRO said that a couple making $60,000 in gross income, with a typical amount of deductions, would likely pay about $50 a year – or slightly over $4 a month – under an income tax rate of 1/8 of 1%.

Novick said that he expected the working groups to take the information - as well as previous surveys - into account as they work to develop modifications or alternatives to the transportation user fee Mayor Hales and Novick had proposed. "One message I take from the survey is that a sales tax is unacceptable to such a large percentage of Portlanders that we can safely say that's off the table," Novick said.

SURVEY RESULTS AVAILABLE HERE

Traffic Advisory: Rolling closures planned for SE 19th Ave July 10-12 from SE Reedway to Clatsop streets for fog sealing

July 10 Update: Crews will fog seal the SE Spokane Street to SE Clatsop Street stretch on Monday, July 14 instead of Saturday, July 12.  On Saturday, crews will fog seal N Flint Avenue between Russell Street and NE Broadway.

(July 9, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require rolling closures on SE 19th Avenue from SE Reedway to SE Clatsop streets for fog sealing from July 10 to 12, 7 a.m. to about 6 p.m. each day.

All traffic, including vehicles and bicycles, will be detoured onto SE 17th Avenue.  Pedestrians may use the sidewalks but crossings for pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles will be limited to SE Reedway, SE Bybee, SE Spokane and SE Tacoma streets while work is in progress and while the fog sealant dries.

The rolling closures are as follows: SE Reedway to SE Bybee will be closed on July 10; SE Bybee to SE Spokane will be closed July 11 and SE Spokane to SE Clatsop will be closed on July 12.

The rolling closures allow crews to apply fog seal, a mixture of liquefied asphalt and recycled rubber tires that leaves a tough film on the street, protecting the pavement from weather and wear and preventing more costly and lengthy repairs in the future. 

The public is asked to stay off the street until the fog sealant is dried and barricades removed. To ensure an effective seal and prevent the sticky fog seal from getting on clothes, pets and vehicles, please keep all vehicles, people and pets off the pavement until the street reopens.

The public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes.

Fog sealing depends on warm and dry weather and the schedule may change.

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Traffic Advisory: Street rebuilding and paving closes lanes on SE 130th Avenue July 7 to Aug. 22

(July 3, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on SE 130th Avenue between SE Stark and SE Lincoln streets from Monday, July 7 through Friday, August 22, 2014.

The lane closures will allow crews to rebuild and repave 3.15 lane miles of street and upgrade four corners to provide curb ramps and ADA access.

Work will require intermittent lane closures during the weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Occasionally, when the work allows for only one lane of travel, the southbound direction on SE 130th Avenue will be closed between SE Market and SE Stark streets. The northbound direction will remain open at all times.

Detour signs will route southbound Stark Street traffic to either SE 122nd or SE 135th avenues.  On-street parking on SE 130th Avenue will be restricted during the work day to facilitate construction.

The public is advised to expect delays, travel cautiously, observe traffic signing and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible to avoid congestion.

Local access to residences and businesses will be provided.

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Traffic Advisory: Street improvements to close lanes on N Willamette Blvd from N Portsmouth to N Woolsey avenues July 7 to 18

7/8 Update:  Traffic heading northwest (away from downtown) will be detoured onto  N Lombard Street between Woolsey and Portsmouth avenues. People on bicycle will be detoured onto Amherst Street.

(July 2, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures of N Willamette Boulevard from N Portsmouth Avenue to N Woolsey Avenue for two weeks from Monday, July 7 through Friday, July 18,  7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each weekday.

These lane closures will allow crews to grind and pave 2.36 lane miles.

Parking restriction barricades will be in place one or two workdays before the start of work.

Access will be maintained for businesses and residents. The public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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