Street maintenance backlog exceeds $1B in Portland

A new report reveals high cost of fixing the city’s streets; city officials draw blank for a proposed solution.

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A new report reveals the cost of fixing Portland’s streets would be in excess of $1 billion.

Commissioner Steve Novick, who heads the Bureau of Transportation, has drawn a blank for a proposed solution after his street fee plan fell flat last year.

Novick said he has no timeframe for proposing a new funding plan and doesn’t know whether one will materialize before next year’s election.

Novick said he learned from last year’s fight, after he and Hales proposed a plan in May 2014 without public feedback and pushed the City Council to approve it two weeks later.


Novick is running for re-election in 2016.

For his part, Novick says he is now willing to refer a new street fee to the voters, something always supported by commissioners Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman. But Novick is waiting for someone else to propose both the fee and the campaign to pass it.

“I always said to anyone who suggested sending something to the ballot: “Show me the poll that shows your option has a fighting chance, and show me the coalition that has the resources to launch a credible campaign.” Last year I didn’t think we heard good enough answers to that question. If someone can show me those two things, I’ll be interested,” says Novick.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

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