Use surplus funds to expand pedestrian, bike infrastructure in Southwest Portland

An open letter to Mayor Wheeler and city commissioners:

On behalf of safety of all pedestrians and bicyclists of Southwest Portland, I request $4 million dollars of the $62 million budget surplus be allocated to installing and retrofitting Southwest crosswalks and related improvements. This request also includes an opportunity for us to evaluate the proposed crosswalks with our criteria to establish a rough priority of projects. We have done such evaluations in the past using GIS tools.

COURTESY PHOTO: SWTRAILS - Southwest Portland lacks many designated or marked bike and pedestrian routes. One volunteer group, SWTrails, has worked to fix that. More funds from a city new budget surplus could help.Southwest Portland has 280 miles of streets, but 210 miles have no sidewalks. While the lack of sidewalks is a very serious problem, crossing our busy arterials without marked and/or signaled crosswalks is even more dangerous.

Southwest residents have not had an opportunity to vet the staff-selected crosswalks appearing in the Southwest in Motion (SWIM) and Ped PDX plans. Several important crosswalks have not been installed for lack of funding. SWTrails representatives were personally assured there would be an opportunity for SWTrails and others to review the crosswalks in Ped PDX. No such opportunity has been offered.

After the crosswalks have been completed any remaining funds would go toward the long list of uncompleted SWIM projects.

We appreciate your serious consideration of this request.

Fellow Southwest residents and neighborhood representatives: Please contact Mayor Ted Wheeler and the four city commissioners in support of this request.

Don Baack

Founder, SWTrails

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