(Oct. 30, 2014) The Portland Bureau of Transportation invites the public to learn more about the Our Streets PDX transportation funding effort and provide comments at two upcoming public meetings.
An open house will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Carvlin Hall at St. Philip Neri Church, 2408 SE 16th Ave. Enter Carvlin Hall from the parking lot, which can be accessed from SE 16th Avenue or from SE Tamarack St. Information will be available about transportation safety projects and maintenance programs proposed for funding and options for new transportation revenue. PBOT subject matter experts will be available to answer questions and the public is welcome to provide comments that will be forwarded to the City Council.
A City Council hearing and first reading on an ordinance for the funding effort will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, at City Council Chambers, 1221 SW Fourth Ave. A second reading and vote are expected in December.
Discussion of a transportation user fee was started earlier this year by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick. The Our Street PDX effort to develop a new transportation funding mechanism has involved inclusive outreach, including town halls, online surveys, advisory committee meetings and a five-hour public hearing in May. The Transportation Needs and Funding Advisory Committee, formed in January, continued meet through the summer to explore transportation funding options, while two additional workgroups were convened in July to provide a recommendation to Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick on alternative transportation funding approaches.
One discussed how to lessen the impact of a transportation fee (and other City utilities) on low-income residents as well as non-profits and public institutions. The other consisted of leaders in the business community considering how to refine the business and non-residential component of the fee. Instead of a transportation user fee based on average daily trips, the workgroups recommended a personal income tax and a business flat fee. The workgroups’ full recommendation report is available at www.OurStreetsPDX.com.