January 24th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, Transportation

Novick Using Committee, Phone Survey to Decide What Transportation to Fund

UPDATE: Phone survey costs $28,000

novicksanta2City Commissioner Steve Novick delivered a letter to Santa Claus at Lloyd Center Mall on Dec. 19, asking for additional transportation funding. - Alex Tomchak Scott

UPDATE, 2:03 pm Friday, Jan. 24: The Portland Bureau of Transportation's phone survey, designed to decide how much money the city will seek to raise for the cash-strapped bureau, will cost the city $28,000.

As WW previously reported, PBOT is paying for the poll, which is being conducted by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall.

PBOT released the cost estimate today in response to a request by WW.

The survey's questions were designed as early as Jan. 7 by an advisory committee quietly selected by City Commissioner Steve Novick. He announced the formation of the committee only Thursday.

PBOT has launched a website explaining the committee's purpose, and says it will announce future meetings there. Today, the bureau announced dates for three town-hall meetings on transportation funding.

Novick's meeting in East Portland—where residents are incensed by a lack of sidewalks and crosswalks—is Feb. 25.

ORIGINAL POST, 4:20 pm Thursday, Jan. 23: WW reported in December that City Commissioner Steve Novick was shopping ideas for new taxes and fees to fund the cash-strapped Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Novick has now taken the next step. He's placed a phone survey in the field and selected an advisory committee—both moves designed to ask citizens which transportation problems the city most needs to  fund.

He tells WW the feedback City Hall gets will tell officials how much money they will seek to raise.

"The committee can help us get feedback on what is most critical," Novick says. "Is it paving gravel streets? Is it building sidewalks? Is it rapid-flash beacons for crosswalks? There's no shortage of needs—from bicycle safety to making freight transportation easier."

PBOT is paying for the poll, which is being conducted by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall. Novick's office did not immediately release the survey's cost.

The 26-member advisory committee includes Bernie Bottomly of the Portland Business Alliance, Carmen Rubio of the Latino Network and Jonathan Ostar of transit activist group OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon.

Novick, still enjoying the glow of his Richard Sherman-style rant against The Oregonian on Tuesday, described the advisory committee enthusiastically.

"With all due respect to previous committees," Novick says, "we think it's the best damn citizen advisory committee in the history of the city of Portland."

Novick adds, "It's the ACOB"—which stands, of course, for the "Advisory Committee of Boom."

 
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