Portland travel maintenance, reserve needs have no easy solution: Guest opinion

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By Steve Novick

Hi. I’m Steve Novick, city commissioner overseeing transportation. we wish we can get a few mins of your time to residence some of a issues concerned in a Portland Street Fund discussion. Specifically, we wish to residence 3 questions:

(1) Previous City Councils have never lifted such a bitch about travel funding. Why don’t we only let a matter drop?

The City Council has famous given during slightest 1987 that we weren’t investing adequate in repair and progressing a streets. They also knew that there are tools of a city where, due to a miss of sidewalks and to dangerous intersections, it’s not protected for kids to travel to propagandize or for seniors to travel to movement stops. They deliberate perplexing a new price or taxation several times, yet corroborated divided when they satisfied there was no simple, renouned solution.

I don’t consider it’s obliged to behind away. Every month we wait, a streets mellow serve and turn some-more costly to fix. Eventually we won’t be means to float around city though deleterious your automobile or bike on potholes. And we consider it’s unsuitable that it’s vulnerable for many children and seniors to travel in their possess neighborhoods.

(2) Why don’t we only send a offer to voters?

The regard a mayor and we have about a open opinion is that even a people who determine we need some-more income don’t determine on how to lift it. Some people wish a prosaic fee, some people wish a gas tax, some wish a on-going income tax. So it’s utterly probable that we could send offer after offer to a ballot, and all of them would remove – even yet many people determine we need some-more income – since we can’t get 50 percent-plus to determine on how.  In such a case, a mayor and we consider domestic leaders have a shortcoming to make a preference and get a pursuit done, even if no sold process is really popular.

The offer that has a best possibility to win capitulation in a open opinion – and that is my personal favorite as good – is a on-going income tax. That would need a powerful campaign, fluctuating into 2016. The mayor and we are holding one final shot during flitting a “user fee” by a council, yet if that fails, we devise to debate tough for an income taxation that would be on a list possibly in May or Nov of 2016.

(3) Can’t we find a income somewhere else?

The immeasurable infancy of a city’s “discretionary” money, a ubiquitous fund, goes to police, fire, parks and housing. There doesn’t seem to be most open support for slicing those services to compensate for transportation. we privately consider some things, like a mounted patrol, aren’t generally good uses of money, yet there isn’t a big, prolonged list of apparent things to cut.

Believe me, we wish that these travel hurdles didn’t exist, or that there was some easy solution. But they do exist, and it is my job, as travel commissioner, to do whatever we can to repair a streets and make them safer.

Steve Novick is a Portland city commissioner.

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