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.