Portland Bureau of Transportation praises program funded by 10-cent gas tax, heavy vehicle use tax.

PBOT PHOTOS - The city's 10-cent gas tax has helped pay for 48 blocks of new sidwalks, including this stretch of cement leading to a TriMet bus stop on Southeast Flavel Street in the Lents neighborhood.
The city's 10-cent gas tax and trucking tax means more Portlanders are strolling above the muck and mire — or avoiding bumps in the road, officials say.

By the end of 2019, the tax-funded Fixing Our Streets program will have paid for 48 blocks of completed sidewalks — at a cost of roughly $2.7 million. The fund will also pay for 375 repairs to sunken stretches of traffic lanes in every quadrant of the city through 2019, according to city officials, among other things.

New sidewalks will be completed this summer on Northeast 148th Avenue between Halsey and Glisan streets, and workers will also make improvements on Southwest Capitol Highway from Multnomah Village to West Portland this fall.

In 2018, the Portland Bureau of Transportation filled in gaps in the sidewalks in East Portland on Southeast Flavel Street, 102nd Avenue and 112th Avenue, creating 2.25 miles of uninterrupted pavement on both sides of the street.

PBOT says the Fixing Our Streets fund has added safe walking routes to Prescott Elementary, the Gateway Transit Center, Kelly Butte Natural Area, Mall 205, Floyd Light Middle School, the MAX Green Line, the Interstate 205 multi-use path and the Springwater Corridor trail.

The new sidewalks are just a drop in the bucket compared to the 350 miles of busy thoroughfares that do not have sidewalks within city limits. "There are also many miles of residential streets without sidewalks," notes PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera.

The Fixing Our Streets program was created after Portland voters approved a four-year local gas tax in May, 2016. It will expire unless re-approved by voters in 2020. PBOT says it is the city's "first local funding source for transportation."

The Fixing Our Streets program, which comprises less than 5 percent of PBOT's overall budget, is also supported by a heavy vehicle use tax created by the City Council in May, 2016.

COURTESY PBOT - A sunken stretch of pavement that hasn't been repaired yet.

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