Commissioner Steve Novick and PBOT Director Leah Treat discuss transportation issues with NECN’s Land Use and Transportation Committee
December 5, 2013 – At a monthly meeting of NECN’s Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) last night, Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick and Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Director Leah Treat described the need for new revenue sources for PBOT. Responding to questions from a group of 35 neighbors and LUTC members, Novick and Treat said that a wide range of potential revenue sources is being considered to address neighborhood and citywide transportation infrastructure and maintenance needs.
“The specific needs are different in different parts of the city,” Treat said, “but the common thread is that more resources are needed to address them.”
Novick, who oversees PBOT, said that the bureau is working to be more efficient within its existing budget. However, he said that the City is faced with a growing maintenance backlog, a long list of needed safety improvement projects, and declining gas tax revenues. As an example of the scale of the needed investments, Treat pointed to Portland’s 59 miles of unpaved roadways. PBOT estimates that paving them would cost $600 million.
While Treat and Novick declined to identify specific revenue sources that are under consideration, they indicated that a proposed revenue package will be put forward in the near future. “We have not ruled out very much,” Novick said, adding that some outside-the-box options are part of the discussions.
Treat, Novick and Dan Bower, PBOT Division Manager for Active Transportation, also answered questions about a variety of Northeast Portland transportation issues:
- Regarding the upcoming reconfiguration of N. Williams Ave., Bower said that the street was designed to handle the increased demand created by more density along the corridor, including current and future residential and commercial development.
- Treat voiced her preference for separated and protected bicycle infrastructure, as opposed to bike lanes on arterial streets, as a means of attracting more female cyclists. While Portland’s bicycle ridership has tripled over the past decade, Treat said, the gender gap has not narrowed. PBOT’s 2012 Bicycle Count shows that only 31% of cyclists are female.
- In response to several neighbors’ concerns about coal trains, Treat and Novick emphasized that railroad regulation is the purview of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Novick spoke against an attendee’s proposal that a portion of development fees be earmarked for improvements in the immediate vicinity of the development in question. The Commissioner prefers to apportion development fee funds based on a prioritization of projects at the citywide level.
- Treat stated that the 2014 update of the Transportation System Plan will align its priorities with the recently adopted Portland Plan and the 2009 Climate Action Plan.
- In the coming months, PBOT will assign transportation planners to be district liaisons for each of the City’s seven neighborhood coalitions.
|Wednesday, Dec. 4, 7pm
@ NECN office
4815 NE 7th Ave.
At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 4, NECN’s Land Use and Transportation Committee will host City Commissioner Steve Novick and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat to discuss transportation priorities for our neighborhoods. Other agenda items will follow the discussion. Come get involved with this active NECN committee!
The King Neighborhood Association’s ‘Green King’ project – sponsored by NECN — is nearing completion. On Saturday, Nov. 9, volunteers added compost and scores of native plants to a strip of the King Neighborhood Facility parking lot that had been ‘depaved’ in October. The last remaining step is to install parking bumpers to keep cars from driving into the new bioswale, which will capture stormwater and naturally infiltrate it into the ground.
The project is expected to reduce flooding and standing water in the parking lot, and to provide a more healthful and beautiful environment for the King Farmers’ Market, which takes place on Sundays, May-November. Click here to donate!
Three new staff members have recently joined the NECN team. Please join us in welcoming them!
Project Coordinator: Committees
Claire’s experience includes public policy research, communications and outreach, volunteer coordination, and facilitation. Claire previously served as a project coordinator for Healthy Democracy, where she supported a voter information process around state ballot measures called the Citizens’ Initiative Review. She also coordinated Oregon’s Kitchen Table, an online engagement platform linking public input with state government decision-making.
Project Coordinator: Special Projects and Initiatives
Fran brings years of experience in project management, outreach, event planning and community consensus-building and collaboration. Having served as the Regional Manager for The Meals on Wheels People, Fran has extensive experience tracking and managing projects. Fran has also worked in the areas of youth development and affordable housing, and brings skills in fundraising, evaluation and budgeting. She is a long-time resident of N/NE Portland.
Cameron’s background is in community organizing, grassroots political advocacy, and communications. He also has experience in design and layout, fundraising, and public involvement. He most recently worked at the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, where he helped the Community Watershed Stewardship Program revamp its messaging and outreach to more effectively reach underrepresented groups. Cameron is proficient in Spanish.
Cameron will manage NECN’s communications and outreach, including the website, newsletter, social media, and community calendar. He will also support neighborhoods in developing and implementing their communications and outreach strategies.