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