September 24th, 2009 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

On Parking and Potholes: Some Other News Behind The Mayor's Press Release


Mayor Sam Adams' office sent out a press release yesterday saying Adams "will be personally filling in potholes and introducing new signs to encourage Portlanders to report potholes" this afternoon. The goal is to "increase the number of people utilizing an existing service that saves the city money in the long-term through preventive maintenance."

That's all fine and well. But behind the press release is some real news that the mayor's not likely to mention.

Such as this finding from an August 2008 City of Portland audit by then-Auditor Gary Blackmer:


The report goes on to specify how money for street preservation has been spent over the years on other, unrelated expenses, including parking meters (like the out-of-order ones pictured above and below.) The mayor has overseen the Bureau of Transportation since 2005, when he was first elected a commissioner:


A quick glance at the mayor's 2009-2010 budget gives us even more information about the cuts that have taken place in PBOT just this year. Taken together, they total $5.4 million. Since 2000, they've totaled $42.2 million.

This year, various projects faced significant cuts, including:

Local street pavement surface treatments lost $550,000
Street preservation treatments lost $459,000
Traffic maintenance signs and markings lost $250,000
Residential sidewalk inspections lost $415,000
The entire program of installing speed bumps on residential streets was eliminated, saving $150,000.
Residential street cleaning lost $800,000.

All things to keep in mind as Adams shovels gravel this afternoon. The press event takes place at 3 pm on Southeast Caruthers Street between SE 11th and SE 12th avenues.

One footnote: The city is replacing about 275 out of 1,060 parking meters in the coming weeks. Each replacement meter costs about $6,000, according to PBOT.

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