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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Better Streets, Safer City: Street Repair and Safety Program

What is the proposal?

Over the last two years, Portlanders have been engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about how best to fix city streets and make it safer for Portlanders who walk, bike, roll and drive to get around. In recent months, support has grown to create a specific fund of money to finance street maintenance and safety improvements.

The Vision: $64 million of additional funding dedicated for targeted investment in pavement repair, traffic signal modernization, more crosswalks and safety beacons, better and safer access to schools, transit and community services for Portland’s kids, seniors and families. Spending from the program will be overseen by a Citizen's Oversight Committee representing the many communities with a stake in Portland's streets and roads.

The Tool: A temporary 10 cent gas tax that sunsets after four years. Voters will have the opportunity to vote to create the Street Repair and Safety Program during the May 2016 election


Why a dedicated program?

  • Portland’s streets are one of our most valuable public assets. They’re worth the targeted investment.

  • Invest now to save money later. If we fix our streets today, we’ll have better, safer roads and we’ll save money over the long term.

  • We can’t count on DC or Salem. A significant increase in federal or state road and safety funding is unlikely. We would need to create our own local source of funding.


What do Portlanders think?

Portlanders have been very clear: they want better maintained and safer streets.

86% of Portlanders support funding for sidewalks and safety features in places where children need them to get to school and seniors need them to get to transit

77% of Portlanders support funding for long delayed maintenance that will reduce the future cost of road repair


Why a gas tax?

A gas tax is one of the most direct ways to raise money from road users. The City Club of Portland recently stated the following in their report on Portland street funding:

“At the moment, the most technically feasible [funding option] is a city gas tax.  A gas tax would generate revenue from most users—including those transportation goods across Portland streets and those who don’t reside in Portland—and would discourage congestion and pollution.“    Portland Streets: End the Funding Gridlock, City Club Report

Watch the City Club Friday Forum: Portland Streets: End the Funding Gridlock

The panel included City Engineer Steve Townsen of PBOT, DHM Research’s Vice President and Political Director John Horvick, and City Club Street Fee Research Committee Chair Jennifer Rollins. Moderated by Jeff Mapes.

This information was reviewed by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office for Compliance with ORS 260.432.

Portland Transportation Needs Guidebook

This is your guide to understanding safety and maintenance needs in your area.

Council Documents

Refer a measure to City voters for the May 17, 2016 election authorizing the creation of a program dedicated to street repair and traffic safety through a temporary, ten-cents per gallon tax on motor vehicle fuels in Portland.