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Online guide to Portland transportation needs posted

Photo Credit: COURTESY PORTLAND BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION - Safety improvements like crosswalks are needed in many parts of town, according to the new online guide.The Portland Bureau of Transportation has posted an online guide to the city's maintenance and safety needs.

The Portland Transportation Needs Guidebook was posted on PBOT's website as Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick are urging the City Council to approve a street fee or other funding package to raise around $53 million a year for transportation maintenance and safety projects. Novick, who is in charge of PBOT, conducted a press tour of locations that could use additional transportation funding on Tuesday, Aug. 19, the day the guide was posted.

The guide is not intended to be a list of projects that will be funded if the council approves the fee, however. Such a list is currently being prepared by a workgroup appointed by Hales and Novick. Instead, the guide is meant to help Portlanders understand the scope of the city's transportation needs. According to the guide, "To bring the city’s transportation assets to good condition, it would cost $1.5 billion. This wouldn't include much-needed safety projects beyond maintenance."

The guide is broken into three areas: maintenance needs, safety needs and neighborhoods.Much of it is a compilation of existing maps and project wish lists developed at different times during various studies. As a result, much more detailed information is available for some parts of town than others.

For example, in the section on neighborhood needs, maps are posted showing the locations of potential projects for all parts of town. Itemized priority lists are only posted for two of them, however. A priority list is posted for Southwest Portland that has been developed as part of the Southwest Corridor Plan being overseen by Metro. East Portland has a list developed during the drafting of the East Portland Action Plan. Such lists are not posted for other parts of town, however.

Hales and Novick want the council to vote on the fee in November. They are still being developed it with three workgroups appointed to make recommendation on such issues as how to assess residents and businesses, and whether discounts should provided to low-income families, small businesses and non-profit organizations.

The Portland Transportation Needs Guidebook can be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/65219.