It's Time To Fix Our Streets.

After years of discussions, community forums, and organizing, it comes down to this.

Next week, Portland will vote to invest in the streets that tie our community together by addressing the thirty years of backlogged maintenance on our streets. It's fiscally irresponsible to continue to defer on these necessary street improvements that’ll only get more expensive the longer we wait.

Maybe you’re a Portlander who is "Feeling the Bern" or "Standing With Her.” You may be supporting any of the 15 candidates running for Mayor. You might identify as a small business owner, environmentalist, Republican, Democrat, Socialist, senior citizen, millenial, parent, teacher, social justice, or all/none of the above. Whoever you are, there’s one thing that all Portlanders agree on.

It's time to Fix Our Streets. Vote Yes on Measure 26-173.

A first-of-its-kind coalition of Portlanders and our local news publications support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign and urge a YES vote on Measure 26-173 for safer, better-maintained streets. There'll be more potholes paved, more sidewalks built, and easier access for Portland's students to safely walk and bike to school. Every dollar raised by the temporary gas tax will be reviewed by an independent citizen oversight committee. 

Unfortunately, big oil interests have spent tens of thousands of dollars spreading misinformation about the campaign. They’ve proven they’re willing to say anything to deter Portlanders from voting on the proposal our civic leaders agree is an urgent priority for our livability, our safety, our fiscal health.

Meanwhile, our pals at Disability Rights Oregon, AARP, Portland Association of Teachers, and City Club of Portland have written moving statements highlighting why it's important for this gas tax to pass. 

There's three things you can do to help ensure that next week, we vote to Fix Our Streets:

  1. SHARE our image on Facebook, and tell your friends why you plan on voting YES on Measure 26-173 . Every voice in support will help ensure Portlanders know why we can't afford to wait.  

  2. JOIN US  at Sunday Parkways this weekend. We'll be at SE Reedway and SE 88th from 11-4, and we need more volunteers!

  3. VOTE. Make a plan right now to turn in your ballot, if you haven't done so already. Ballots must be in the mail by Friday or dropped off at one of Multnomah County's ballot dropboxes by 8:00 on Tuesday, May 17th. 

Continued thanks for your ongoing support. Let's go win this thing.

Portlanders write in: Lets Fix Our Streets

Portlanders are fired up to vote YES on Measure 26-173. Check out the editorials and letters to the editor published in the last few weeks.

Here's an except from an Op-Ed published in the Oregonian today written by Gwen Sullivan and Elaine Friesen-Strang, writing on behalf of the Portland Association of Teachers and AARP - Oregon, respectively.

For younger Portlanders, traffic safety investments near schools mean increased physical activity, better air quality near schools and increased independence and autonomy. Measure 26-173 would direct $8 million to schools in Portland, David Douglas, Parkrose and Centennial School Districts, prioritizing improvements in the East Portland neighborhoods that need safety fixes the most.

Concurrently, the 65-plus population in the Portland metro area is projected to grow by 106 percent, compared to an increase of 35.6 percent in the general population. Improvements to pedestrian safety, crosswalks and access to transit are fundamentally important if we want to ensure that Portlanders of all abilities are empowered to maintain their mobility while aging in place.

It's in our best interest to pass Measure 26-173. Crossing the street shouldn't mean crossing your fingers. Mauricio deserved better, and, frankly, all of us in Portland do.  Our organizations urge Portlanders to vote yes on Measure 26-173. We can make Portland a safer and healthier place to live for everyone.

Last week, City Club of Portland wrote an op-ed in support of the gas tax as well:

Portland's leaders are finally addressing this issue head-on. Rejecting the tax now would punish Portlanders, not chasten elected officials. Portlanders must instead look forward. The current proposed gas tax has checks built in. Revenue must be spent on streets, and the tax is limited to four years unless Portlanders vote to renew it.

The proposed gas tax stops kicking the can down the road for our children and grandchildren to manage. It's time for Portland to take action, and the City Club of Portland urges Portland voters to support the gas tax as an excellent first step.

Everyday Portlanders have also been writing letters, expressing enthusiasm for a YES Vote on Measure 26-173.  

Yes on Portland gas tax: 

Shocking no one, The Oregonian/OregonLive editorial board is against the proposed gas tax increase because all $64 million isn't dedicated solely to fixing potholes. Sure, that makes sense — why would we try to keep people from dying on high crash streets when we can patch a pothole? Why bother installing sidewalks on streets with a history of crashes when walking in the road is so darn pleasant? Why should we try to create roads where families can bike to school when 6-year-olds should just be mixing it up with cars on major streets?

Unlike the editorial board, I can see the many needs Portland's roads have beyond the pothole. That's why I look forward to voting for the gas tax. The projects we'll build are smart, fair and balanced. Bring on the ballots!

Jessica Roberts
North Portland

Yes on Portland gas tax: In an average month, the price of a gallon of gas may increase 10 cents or more. When gas prices rise, the vast majority of the money we pay leaves the local economy. It goes to large oil companies and to unsavory countries overseas. Most of us don't even blink.
It is interesting to me that when politicians propose an increase in the gas tax — which hasn't been raised at the federal level since 1993 and has only increased 6 cents per gallon at the state level since 1993 — there is opposition. The revenue generated from Portland's proposed 10-cents-per-gallon gas tax will almost entirely stay in the local economy. It will repave streets and make it safer for people to get around.
When I fill up at the tank, I'd much rather have the money go to fixing Portland's streets than to oil companies and other countries. That is why I am joining environmental groups, the Portland Business Alliance, the leading mayoral candidates and thousands of Portlanders in voting yes on Measure 26-173.

Bob Kellett
Southeast Portland

Portland gas tax: Somebody said he's not voting for the temporary gas tax because the potholes aren't that bad. Somebody else said the tax unfairly funds your kids' safe routes to school but not her freight route. I travel along Naito Parkway, Sandy Boulevard, Taylor's Ferry Road and see crumbling pavement, unsafe crossings and roads that have ditches where there should be sidewalks.

I will vote yes for Measure 26-173, the temporary gas tax, because the potholes are that bad and because fixing any one pot hole or crossing will benefit me.

Then, over the next four years I will support those leaders in city government, media and the business community who effectively craft stable and fair funding for our streets.

Katie Urey
Southwest Portland

 

City Club of Portland: Vote Yes on Measure 26-173

We're honored to have the support of the City Club of Portland. The nonpartisan organization, founded in 1916 and boasting over 1,800 members throughout the city, has been heavily engaged in the conversation about how best to address Portland's potholes and unsafe streets. Last week, City Club of Portland endorsed a YES vote on Measure 26-173 with this statement:

Ballot in hand? Vote YES on the temporary gas tax.
The City Club of Portland urges Portlanders to vote YES on Measure 26-173. Having closely studied the issue over the last two years, City Club believes that this temporary gas tax represents an important first step at raising revenue to fix our deteriorating streets.
A YES vote on Measure 26-173 is not just a vote for safer streets, paving potholes, and safer routes to school for Portland students; it's a vote in support of a community-led, collaborative approach between politicians, stakeholders and City Club to invest in the infrastructure that preserves our economic vitality and our quality of life.
City Club's advocacy and engagement with the issue has led to a coalition of business leaders, local politicians, affordable housing advocates, traffic safety supporters, environmentalists, social justice champions, educators and more who all agree: Please vote YES on Measure 26-173, and encourage your peers, colleagues and friends to do the same.
Ballots are due by May 17; learn more about the campaign at www.fixourstreetsportland.com, and read City Club's Street Funding Report at pdxcityclub.org/streetfee.
 

Portland Teachers Endorse Gas Tax for Safer Routes to School

Right now in Portland, many neighborhoods are lacking even the most basic sidewalks, crosswalks, and safe streets to allow Portland students to walk and bike to school. Lack of safe routes to school burdens parents with unnecessary car trips and endangers many young students who lack alternative ways to get to class. That’s why today, the Portland Association of Teachers officially joined the growing coalition of Portland-based organizations who believe that a YES vote on Measure 26-173 is an appropriate and long-needed investment in the health, safety, and well-being of Portland’s children.

"Portland teachers strongly believe that safer routes to school makes for healthier children, and healthier communities. The Portland Association of Teachers is excited to vote YES on Measure 26-173 to Fix Our Streets, including over $8 million to make walking and biking to school safer for all Portland students” stated Gwen Sullivan, President of the Portland Association of Teachers. 

Joining the Portland Association of Teachers in endorsing a yes vote on Measure 26-173 are other local education advocates including Safe Routes to School - Pacific Northwest Chapter and the PTAs of Beverly Cleary School and Chief Joseph / Ockley Green School.

Fix Our Streets Portland includes over $8 million to build crosswalks, sidewalks, and safer streets near elementary, middle and K-8 schools in Portland Public, David Douglas, Reynolds and Parkrose School Districts. This money would be spent on safety projects all over the city including sidewalks near NE Portland’s Sacramento Elementary, crosswalks to SE Portland’s Buckman Elementary, traffic calming on SW 35th Avenue near Jackson Middle School, and new crosswalks near North Portland’s George Middle School.

To see the full list of proposed projects and read about the Citizen Oversight Committee who will monitor and audit gas tax’s revenues and expenditures, check out our Projects page.

“When children can't walk or bike to school, it increases neighborhood traffic, diminishes local air quality, and deprives students of opportunities for physical activity,” stated Kari Schlosshauer, SE Portland parent of two and co-chair of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. “Neighborhood schools are an integral part of Portland’s cherished walkable communities. We’re honored that education advocates see the connection between education and Safe Routes to School, and are joining us in encouraging Portland to vote YES for investment in our public right of way.”

Fix Our Streets Portland encourages a Yes Vote on Measure 26-173. The campaign for the temporary gas tax has been endorsed by forty community organizations including City Club of Portland, Upstream Public Health, Disability Rights Oregon, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Community Alliance of Tenants and the Portland Business Alliance.

Portlanders’ ballots are due by 8pm on May 17. 

Police, Firefighters: Gas Tax a Vote for a Safer Portland

Portland’s public safety advocates expressed their strong support for Measure 26-173 today, citing the urgent need for traffic safety improvements and an end to the epidemic of traffic violence on our streets.

“No one should have to grieve the loss of a loved one because we weren’t able to afford a safer intersection, a crosswalk near an elementary school, a sidewalk near a grocery store.” said Alan Fershweiler, President of the Portland Firefighter’s Association. “This year alone, 19 Portlanders have died in traffic collisions, and as first responders, firefighters see the impact of this traffic violence on our communities every day. We urge a YES vote on Measure 26-173 because we support the City’s commitment to Vision Zero and we hope to eliminate traffic fatalities from our streets.”
 
"Our officers are fully committed to the City's campaign to eliminate traffic fatalities. We believe this gas tax is a good first step in immediately fixing many dangerous intersections and paving potholes to make streets safer for every Portlander. We can't afford to wait, and as public safety advocates we encourage a YES vote on Measure 26-173," said Daryl Turner, President of the Portland Police Association.

 

Henry Schmidt, a Northeast Portland resident who was struck by a car biking home from his job at a restaurant three years ago, expressed a similar sentiment. "Every time I hear of another traffic fatality and every time I cross the street,I think back to my collision and how important it is for Portland to build safer streets. I support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign because Portland’s walkers, bikers and drivers can’t afford to wait to invest in ending traffic violence.”

Kari Schlosshauer, a co-chair of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign, celebrated the endorsements. “Our campaign is honored to have the support of the public safety community. Their consideration highlights the urgency expressed by everyday citizens that are worried about their children’s safety walking to school, or their ability to walk to the store. We’re happy to see so many Portlanders agree that we can’t wait any longer to fix our streets.” 

Fix Our Streets Portland has received endorsements from public health, traffic safety, small business, and affordable housing advocates from all across Portland. $28 million of the $64 million raised by the temporary gas tax would go towards street safety projects including safer routes to school, improved crosswalks on dangerous intersections, and sidewalks near important community centers. The $35.8 million in street maintenance projects will address Portland's thirty years of deferred maintenance on our streets, and every dollar spent on road maintenance now will save Portland taxpayers as much as $10 in the future. 

Ballots are due by 8pm on Tuesday May 17. Click HERE to look up your local Ballot Drop Box Site. 

Housing Affordability Advocates: Vote Yes on Measure 26-173

Worried about Portland's affordable housing crisis? Yeah, us too.  It's hard not to be these days. 

That's why we're proud to announce that the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign has received the endorsement of Portland's affordable housing advocates including Oregon Opportunity Network,  Community Alliance of Tenants, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Orange Splot, OPAL - Environmental Justice Oregon and ROSE Community Development. 

As housing advocates wrote in an editorial in Street Roots: 

The temporary gas tax is a smart, fair, cost-effective investment to ensure the longevity and safety of our transportation system. Affordable housing advocates, environmentalists, business advocacy groups, and Portland’s entire City Council and top mayoral candidates all agree that this gas tax is a necessary first step to avoid costly road repairs in the future and to help stem traffic violence in East Portland. Please vote yes for safer streets this May; we can’t afford to wait any longer to fix our streets."

Check out what other housing advocates had to say about their support for Measure 26-173:

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“Oregon Opportunity Network is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that provide housing and economic opportunities for working families, people with disabilities, and seniors in communities across Oregon. We hear from Portlanders everyday who are concerned with transportation, affordability, and traffic safety issues in their neighborhoods. We strongly urge a YES vote on the temporary gas tax this May to address backlogged maintenance and street safety in our community."
- Ruth Adkins, OregonON’s Policy Director. 
Justin Buri, Executive Director of Community Alliance of Tenants

Justin Buri, Executive Director of Community Alliance of Tenants

“Portland’s tenants are struggling, and this temporary gas tax directs resources to build safer and more reliable streets in neighborhoods where tenants are struggling with Portland’s affordability crisis. We support the gas tax as an investment in economic stability for vulnerable residents to safely get around town.” 
- Justin Buri, Executive Director of the Community Alliance of Tenants
“Historic lack of investment in the basic infrastructure of streets and sidewalks disproportionately impacts the neighborhoods of low-income Portlanders and communities of color. We support the gas tax because the families we serve deserve well-maintained streets and safe sidewalks as much as any other resident.”
- Travis Phillips, Director of Housing and Development at Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc.
"As Portland’s population grows, it’ll be critical that we begin making cost-effective investments in the economic vitality of our transportation system. I am planning to vote yes on the gas tax to help make Portland more accessible and affordable to all.” 
 
- Eli Spevak, owner of Orange Splot LLC, 
Nick Sauvie, Executive Director of ROSE Community Development

Nick Sauvie, Executive Director of ROSE Community Development

These housing groups are just the latest Portland organizations and small businesses to endorse the gas tax. A Yes Vote on Measure 26-173 will save Portland taxpayers money down the road by making cost-effective investments in road repair and street maintenance with a four year, ten cent gas tax. The campaign has been endorsed by the Portland Business Alliance, City Club of Portland, Portland Tribune and the Portland Mercury. 

In Their Words: Mercury, Tribune, BikePortland support YES Vote to Fix Our Streets

Ballots are on their way, and Portland's newspapers are stepping forward to endorse a YES vote on Measure 26-173 to Fix Our Streets.

...Because proponents are right when they say it’s the best temporary, albeit partial, solution they can come up with while they work on a long-term, comprehensive plan to attack the billion-dollar backlog of road projects in the city.That’s not exactly something they can put on a bumper sticker, but it’s enough for us. It also should be enough for Portlanders who want to make their city safer and their roads more passable.

- Portland Tribune, Our Opinion: Portland gas tax a needed temporary fix

No, this gas tax is not a magic bullet for perfect Portland roads, and it will take more revenue sources to completely fix everything. But overall, it's worth it. We can't afford to remain stagnant on this issue and let our streets continue to crumble.

The longer we wait to act, the costlier it'll be to fix. Do the right thing and vote yes on Measure 26-173.

Portland Mercury, Shake Up the City

Yes, $62 per year for the average household is regressive. But $3,270 per year for the average household is far, far more regressive. There is only one path to escaping it, and that is to make Portland a better place to get around without a car.

A “yes” vote wouldn’t be a gift from Portlanders to their city government, which regularly makes mistakes and will continue to. If it passes, it will be up to Portlanders (all of us on BikePortland included) to collect on the promise of this vote by making all these projects as good and smart as they can possibly be.

But without a “yes” vote on this ballot, most of these projects and the others that would follow them simply will not happen for many years to come. 
A “yes” vote would be a gift from Portlanders to themselves. Let’s do this.

-BikePortland.orgOur opinion: Vote ‘yes’ on the gas tax

 

Small Business Owners: Gas Tax A Smart Investment

Entrepreneurs and business leaders across Portland continue to join street safety advocates, environmentalists, education advocates, and elected officials by expressing their support for a YES vote on Measure 26-173.

Kay Newell owns Sunlan Lighting, a light bulb shop on in North Portland, and expressed her support for the gas tax. "I've owned my business on N Mississippi for 27 years, and I've watched our roads crumble due to lack of funding. Maintenance is cheaper than repair, and I think ten cents a gallon is a small amount to address our potholes and missing sidewalks. I'm voting Yes to Fix Our Streets."

James and Laura Armstrong own Alberta Eye Care in Northeast Portland. "We opened our eyewear storefront here because we wanted to invest in our community. We support the gas tax on the ballot this May because it represents a smart investment in the streets that connect our community to the rest of the city, and we're supportive of funding safety projects in neighborhoods that need it the most." Mr. Armstrong also spoke approvingly of the need for new funding for repaving NE Alberta and for Safe
Routes to School funding in East Portland.

Among the new business leaders endorsing the gas tax is the Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce. “This gas tax will provide sorely needed revenue to avoid costly road rebuilds in the future and to ensure Portland remains an attractive and affordable place to raise a family and start a business,” stated William Henderson, PICOC Board member and founder of Knock Software. “PICOC is excited to endorse the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign, our first-ever political endorsement. This is an important first step, and we call on our political leaders to work with Portland businesses old and new to find an equitable, comprehensive and long-term solution to fund investments in safe streets for every Portlander, regardless of which neighborhood they call home,” added Mara Zepeda, PICOC Board Member and co-founder/CEO of Switchboard.

Local business leader Tom Imeson is serving as co-chair of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. “It’s not surprising Portland business owners big and small, old and new endorse this campaign. Anyone who has driven on our roads or walked on East Portland’s busy thoroughfares would agree: It’s time to fix our streets, and a gas tax is a fair way to do it.” 

The proposal would raise $64 million in street maintenance and safety projects to avoid costly road repairs through a temporary, four year, ten cent gas tax. $35.8 million of the revenue raised would go towards street maintenance projects, which city officials estimate will have a 10:1 return on investment by avoiding costly repairs in the future. Measure 26-173 will appear before voters on the ballot on May 17.

Fix Our Streets Portland has a new TV ad!

Have you had a chance to check out our new television ad for the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. The animated ad, entitled "#PatchPDX For Portland", highlights the types of street improvements to be funded by the temporary ten cent gas tax on Portland’s ballot this May. 

This campaign is going to the wire; Big Oil is spending tens of thousands of dollars to defeat our measure. Can we count on you to share our video on social media? 

With your help, we can ensure that East Portland students can safely walk to school, senior citizens can get around in their neighborhoods, and that the city can begin to address our thirty years of deferred street maintenance.

The link to the video is above; we're sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we'd greatly appreciate your help spreading the word about this important campaign. 

 

Thanks for your help. Together, we can Fix Our Streets.
 

Oregon's Top Environmentalists Support Fix Our Streets Portland Campaign

Happy Earth Week, Portland! To celebrate the holiday, we've collected an assortment of quotes from Portland's top environmental, conservation and public health advocates who are supporting the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. 

FOSP - Mary Peveto NCA.jpg

"In the last few months, Portlanders have made it clear: we need to do something about the quality of our air. We support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign because it will help help reduce local air pollutants and will make it easier for Portlanders to safely walk, bike and take transit." - Mary Peveto, Executive Director of Neighbors for Clean Air.

 

“We’re supportive of a ten cent gas tax to build safer streets that give more Portlanders the opportunity to walk and bike their kids to school. OLCV is happy to join the broad coalition of Portland-based organizations in supporting efforts to make our community healthier, cleaner, and safer.” stated OLCV’s Executive Director, Doug Moore. 

“We believe strongly that Portland’s future depends on green transportation options to fight climate change. This gas tax provides a much needed incentive for Portlanders to bike, walk and take public transit while building the necessary infrastructure to make it happen. We encourage Portlanders to vote for clean air, healthy communities and low-carbon transportation options and support the Fix Our Streets campaign.” - Amira Streeter, Chair of the Columbia Network of the Sierra Club,

FOSP - Jason 1000 Friends.jpg

“1000 Friends of Oregon supports the temporary gas tax because maintaining our existing infrastructure encourages smart, compact growth so Portlanders can get around town safely.  This gas tax is a good investment in Portland’s efforts to meet their sustainability, public health, and affordability goals, and we’re happy to see needed investment for biking and walking in East Portland” - Jason Miner, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. 


“Portland’s proposed gas tax encourages more walking and biking, reduces consumption of fossil fuels, and builds sidewalks and crosswalks in the neighborhoods of Portland that need it most. These are important steps towards building healthier communities for all. We support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign, and encourage Portland’s environmentalists and public health advocates to do the same.” - Mel Rader, Executive Director of Upstream Public Health

“By investing in safer streets, more East Portland residents can safely et to ervices as well as eighborhood destinations like Lents Portland Mercado where Depave has worked with esidents to create community greenspaces. We’re leased to endorse the temporary gas tax.” - Eric Rosewall, Executive Director of Depave

"So I can ride my bike on streets safely." Lucas, Chapman Elementary School

 

Why do you support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign?

 

Accessibility Advocates, East Portland Groups: Portland Streets Must be Safe for All.

Portland’s prominent community leaders for accessibility, equity, and transportation safety continue to step forward in support of a YES vote on Measure 26-173 for a four year, ten cent gas tax on the ballot this May. 

Emblematic of these citizen advocates is Kem Marks, who sits on numerous community advisory panels for safer transportation options in Portland. "Fix Our Streets Portland provides funding for crosswalks I've asked the city to build for years. Every Portlander deserves to live in a neighborhood where they don't have to risk their life to catch a bus to work or go to the store. I'll be voting yes to Fix Our Streets this May."
 
Accessibility advocacy organizations Disability Rights Oregon and Community Vision agree with Kem. “We have been assured that every project included on the Fix Our Streets Portland proposal will meet nationally recognized ADA standards for safe, accessible streets,” stated Bob Joondeph, Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon. “This is an investment in an inclusive, equitable transportation system that works for every Portlander.” Sama Shagaga, the Impact and Communications Coordinator with Community Vision, adds that “Our organization supports the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign because vulnerable Portlanders of all abilities shouldn’t have to worry if crossing the street will be a life or death proposition.” 

Fix Our Streets Portland continues to collect endorsements from East Portland-based community organizations, who are increasingly concerned about traffic safety. "Rosewood Initiative is endorsing the Fix Our Streets campaign because the youth in our community rely on the city for safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and pothole-free roads,” stated Jenny Glass, Rosewood’s Executive Director. “We're gravely concerned about the recent uptick in traffic fatalities on our streets, and this gas tax is an important investment in the safety of our racially and socioeconomically diverse East Portland community. We're encouraging citizens who care about East Portland to vote yes on the temporary gas tax."

Community Vision, Disability Rights Oregon, and the Rosewood Initiative join AARP - Oregon, the East Portland Action Plan, ROSE Community Development, OPAL - Environmental Justice Oregon, Oregon Walks and the Community Cycling Center in endorsing the temporary gas tax. To learn more, visit the campaign website at www.fixourstreetsportland.com.

Support Gas Tax for Strong Neighborhood Schools

Portland educators, parents, and students encourage a YES vote on Measure 26-173 to fund Safe Routes to Portland Schools

Greetings from the Campaign Trail!

While working on the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign, I've been fortunate to meet a wide swath of Portlanders who are excited to cast ballots in support of this necessary investment in our streets. Today, we hear from Portland's students and education advocates about why they support the temporary gas tax:

 

“I can’t safely catch a bus into town after school or walk to my local coffee shop without being worried about speeding cars and narrow shoulders on busy streets. I’m not old enough to vote, but I’m volunteering with the campaign because I believe that students are healthier, safer, and happier when they have the opportunity to walk and bike to school. I hope my classmates and future students at Wilson can enjoy the sidewalks on SW Capitol Highway that would be funded by the temporary gas tax."

- Marley Kinser, Junior, Wilson High School

"I've been on the School Board for over twenty years, and I've asked the city to find the funding to make their walk to school safer while our students patiently waited.  We can't afford to wait any longer, and I'm pleased that an equitable amount of the gas tax raised will go to sidewalks and bike connections, as well as, street safety improvements to East Portland schools that need them the most."

- David Douglas School Board Member Frieda Christopher

“With many PPS families worried about the transportation impacts from the district’s boundary changes and East Portland families asking for more sidewalks and crosswalks, the $8 million for Safe Routes to School in the gas tax couldn’t come at a better time for Portland students.”

-Kari Schlosshauer, Southeast Portland parent, Campaign Co-Chair

Can we count on you to invite ten friends to like the Fix Our Streets Portland Page on Facebook?This grassroots campaign to invest in road maintenance and street safety needs citizens like yourself to help spread the word to counter Big Oil's money. 

Stay tuned for future opportunities to volunteer to help us win this campaign next month.

Aaron Brown
Campaign Manager, Fix Our Streets Portland

EAST PORTLAND ADVOCATES: IT'S TIME FOR A GAS TAX

East Portland advocates and social justice organizations are lining up to express their support FOR the temporary gas tax on the ballot this May

Longtime East Portland advocates and social justice organizations are lining up to endorse the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. Community leaders including housing providers ROSE Community Development, the newly formed Transportation Justice Alliance, and the citizen advocates of the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) endorse a YES vote on Measure 26-173 to address the critical backlog of street safety improvements in East Portland neighborhoods. 

“We are moved to action to endorse the ‘Fix Our Streets Portland’ campaign, because of the urgency dictated by the conditions in East Portland: thirty years of backlogged maintenance on our roads and the glaring lack of safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and streets for East Portland residents” wrote EPAP citizen representatives Arlene Kimura and Linda Bauer in a statement this month. 

The East Portland Action Plan and East Portland Land Use and Transportation Committee represent 150,000 East Portland residents. The Fix Our Streets Portland endorsement represents their first as an entity since adopting their plans for improving East Portland in 2009.

ROSE Community Development, a nonprofit who supplying affordable housing and supporting East Portland’s economic development since 1992, has also endorsed the campaign. Nick Sauvie, Rose CDC’s Executive Director, wrote in a statement that “ROSE works in East Portland neighborhoods, which has poor infrastructure and many unsafe street crossings. This measure will be great for East Portland, and Rose CDC supports a YES vote on Measure 26-173.”

The Transportation Justice Alliance, a newly formed coalition representing social justice and transportation advocate organizations, expressed their support for the gas tax because of the unequal distribution of the impacts of unsafe streets to low income and vulnerable populations. The Transportation Justice Alliance wrote in testimony provided at City Hall this past January, noting that “the projects listed in the proposal steer revenue to the areas of the city that have for too long been neglected and are unsafe.”
 
These endorsements follow last week’s announcement of support from street safety advocates. Groups like Families for Safe Streets, OPAL - Environmental Justice, and Oregon Walks endorsed the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign because investment in East Portland’s dangerous streets represents a necessary first step to help Portland achieve Vision Zero, the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. 

You can learn more about our campaign on FacebookTwitter, and Instragram, and the letters in support of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign from the East Portland Action Plan and the Transportation Justice Alliance are available online. 

To see our full list of endorsements, check out www.fixourstreetsportland.com/supporters. 

Fix Our Streets Portland Gains Street Safety Advocates, Community Endorsements

Elizabeth Quiroz, Equity Manager for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Elizabeth Quiroz, Equity Manager for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance

(March 23, 2016--PORTLAND): Street safety advocates including the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, AARP Oregon, Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets, the Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks, and the City of Portland’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee have endorsed Measure 26-173 and the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. 

After years of needless fatal collisions and crashes on Portland’s streets (including two this past weekend), safety advocates are heartened to support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign to invest in safer streets. This funding helps support Vision Zero, the City’s adopted initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities.

“I’ve been working with East Portland residents for years, and with declining revenues the city hasn’t had the necessary resources to build safer streets for biking, walking, and driving” stated Elizabeth Quiroz, the Equity Manager at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). "The BTA is excited to see an investment in these desperately needed projects included in the temporary gas tax proposal, and this local measure is a good first start for creating safer streets and livable communities."

30 years of unmaintained and underinvested infrastructure has left many Portland neighborhoods split apart by busy streets with poor or nonexistent sidewalks, crosswalks, and fast moving cars.

Fix Our Streets Portland supports the temporary ten cent gas tax on the May ballot to raise $64 million for road maintenance and street safety.

The Fix Our Streets Portland campaign includes $16.9 million to make busy streets safer for Portlanders walking, biking and driving, including:

  • Filling sidewalk gaps on streets including NE 148th, SE Flavel and SW Capitol Highway

  • Increased lighting, traffic calming, and safer access to TriMet bus stations

  • Separated Bicycle Lane Projects in City Center, East and Southwest Portland

  • Traffic calming and safety improvements on High Crash Corridors including 122nd, 82nd, NE Sandy and SW Beaverton-Hillsdale

  • Crossing improvements to NE Glisan, NE 102nd, NE MLK, NE 82nd, and SW Naito

The endorsing organizations are among thirty communities partners who have endorsed the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign.

To see the full list of endorsing businesses and organizations, as well as to see the full list of projects and to learn how you can endorse the campaign, check out our website: www.fixourstreetsportland.com/supporters

Local Judge Foils Big Oil, Upholds Ballot Language for Safer Streets

(March 3, 2015--PORTLAND) Legal maneuvers to hamper the local gas tax campaign were denied by a judge today who heard arguments on a challenge to the ballot title filed by Paul Romain, lobbyist for the Oregon Fuels Association.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Karen Immergut denied the challenge that requested the addition of “exempts heavy trucks” to the title for the measure. The industry wanted that added as a way to defeat the gas tax by trying to convince voters trucks wouldn’t pay. The measure will tax trucks, the only exemption is for those subject to the state’s weight- mile tax. Portland’s City Council is currently discussing a plan  to increase what those trucks pay and will be holding a work session in April.  The industry has already stated their opposition to that solution as well.

“The industry is clearly looking for a way to trick Portland voters and today the judge said no,” said Aaron Brown, campaign manager for the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign supporting the measure. “Road maintenance has been deferred for 30 years, and we should not delay any longer because the longer you wait to fix a street, the more it’ll cost Portland taxpayers to fix. After years of discussion and fine-tuning, this measure ensures that the people who use our roads the most will pay the most to fix them. Heavy users cause the most damage, heavy users should pay the most. That’s the fairest way to cover the cost of these needed repairs. Unfortunately, I’m sure we will continue to see national corporate interests attempt to use their money to derail our grassroots campaign to fix our streets.”

Fix Our Streets Portland is the campaign promoting a local initiative that would raise $64 million, through a temporary 10 cent a gallon tax on gasoline, to fund thirty years of backlogged maintenance, road repairs, street safety projects, and improvements to Safe Routes to School in neighborhoods across the City of Portland. It has been endorsed by numerous community partners including the City Club of Portland,  Rose Community Development Corporation, Upstream Public Health, and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

PORTLAND ENTREPRENEURS AGREE: BETTER STREETS MEANS BETTER BUSINESS

 

 

A steady stream of local business owners are stepping up to encourage their neighbors, colleagues and customers to support the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign this May to increase the Portland gas tax by ten cents a gallon for four years to repave roads and improve traffic safety. From mom-and-pop retail shops to tech startups, bike shops to law firms, Portland business owners today announced their support for this prudent, thoughtful investment in our infrastructure to avoid costly road repairs in the future.

 

Leah Benson owns and manages Gladys Bikes, a nationally-recognized bike shop on NE Alberta. Benson stated that her support for the gas tax was based on her experiences with running her small business.

 

“Ask just about any entrepreneur,” Ms Benson explained, “and they'll tell you that learning to manage the books and make prudent, thoughtful investments is an important skill in preparing for long term success. For a long time now, the City of Portland has been unable to secure the necessary funding to keep up with the inevitable deterioration on our streets. This ongoing lack of repairs has implications to my business, and also the overall quality of life in our community: Better streets means safer, more enjoyable biking and, thus, more bike riders. This is a problem that's not just going to go away; let’s fix our streets now before these repairs get too costly.”

 

Justin Yuen, a parent and owner of FMYI [for my innovation], a Portland-based software B Corporation, also endorsed the campaign. “After working in Beaverton, I chose to locate my business here in North Portland because I wanted my office to be centrally located for the convenience and accessibility for my employees, clients, and family. FMYI depends on our streets to be in good condition so our employees can get to work safely on foot, bike, bus, and car, pick up our kids from school, and so that Portland remains a desirable place to live so that we can continue to attract top talent to work at our company.”

 

Matthew Mičetić knows firsthand the importance of safe streets to the vitality of our local small neighborhood businesses. Mičetić owns Red Castle Games, a board game shop in the Mt Scott neighborhood, that faced substantial damages when a speeding car smashed through his storefront last April. “I chose to open my small business on SE Foster because of its accessibility. The Fix Our Streets Portland proposal includes $3.9 million to invest in safety on High Crash Corridors like SE Foster. I’m happy to support a gas tax to make streets safer for my customers and employees who bike, walk, and drive between our vibrant districts in Portland.”

 

Safety is also on the mind of Scott Kocher, an attorney who represents victims of traffic violence and owns Portland-based Forum Law Group. “It’s time for Portlanders to speak up for safe sidewalks, crossings and streets.”  Kocher stated. “My firm supports Fix Our Streets Portland because we support the city’s efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities.  It’s time to get this done.”

 

Portlanders can learn more about the initiative and endorse the campaign online at www.fixourstreetsportland.com.

FIX OUR STREETS PORTLAND CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES CO-CHAIRS, ENDORSEMENTS

A coalition of small business owners, parents, and community advocates have joined to form the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign to support a temporary gas tax to fund road maintenance and safer streets. Last month, Portland’s City Council voted unanimously to refer a four year, ten cent gas tax to Portland voters to address the thirty years of deferred maintenance on our roads and the call to action from citizens asking for safer streets, and Fix Our Streets Portland supports a Yes vote on this initiative on Portlanders’ ballots this upcoming May.

The temporary ten-cent gas tax will raise revenue to fund $64 million of road repairs, street safety projects, and improvements to Safe Routes to School in neighborhoods across the City of Portland, prioritizing dangerous streets and worn-down roads that need it the most.

The campaign will be co-chaired by two community leaders: Tom Imeson, Vice President of Northwest Natural, and Kari Schlosshauer, a Southeast Portland parent of two and advocate for safer streets.

“I’m honored to co-chair the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign,” stated Imeson.  “Our economy depends on Portland’s robust transportation system, and this gas tax will provide the necessary funding to address the critical backlog of deferred maintenance projects and ensure Portland taxpayers aren’t on the hook for costly repairs in the future. This is a much needed opportunity to invest in our basic infrastructure, and I’m excited Portland voters will have the opportunity to affirm our support.”

Schlosshauer has been actively involved with advocacy for livable streets in the Pacific Northwest for years, and declared she was eager to continue expanding the broad base of support for Fix Our Streets Portland. "I'm eager to serve as the co-chair of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign because as a mother of two children, I want my family to be able to safely walk and bike to school and work without fear that we won't get to the other side of the street. I'm thrilled this proposal would invest $8 million in Safe Routes to School in the neighborhoods where it's needed most, so every Portlander can walk their kids to school, regardless of which neighborhood they call home. This is our chance to stand up for safer streets for every family in Portland."

Orange Splot LLC, Red Castle Games, Upstream Public Health and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance have also endorsed May’s gas tax.

Portlanders can learn more about the initiative and endorse the campaign online at www.fixourstreetsportland.com.