Portland boasts of being bike-friendly, so why isn't there better street cleaning? As a cyclist, I'm continually getting rocks and glass in my tires. With the population growing and more tax dollars coming in daily, why isn't anything being done? —Pascuale R.
Rocks and glass? Say it ain't so! Hang on, I'll call the children of war-torn Syria and see if they want to stage a vigil in honor of the flat tire on your $2,500 road bike.
I'm not trying to give you a hard time, Pascuale, but count your blessings. For most of history, the stuff on the side of the roadway was not rocks and glass, but human shit. Everybody got shit on them every day. If you were the king, maybe you only got shit on you once a week, but that was as good as it got.
These days, Portland surface streets get swept twice a year. Arterials get swept every couple of months. Neither of these schedules is likely to change, so you're just going to have to adapt. (Maybe you could hire some of those guys from the U.S. curling team to run ahead of you with little brooms to groom your path.)
Also, your assumption that Portland's fast-growing population must be accompanied by equally fast-growing city revenues is, sadly, wrong. After all, it's not like we charge every new resident $1,000 to move here (though maybe we should).
It's true that Portland has a lot of people, and people pay a lot of taxes. But if you take a look at your paycheck, you'll notice that, unlike the feds and the state, the city of Portland doesn't get a cut of your wages. (TriMet does levy an income tax of 0.6318%—give or take—but that's a separate thing.)
Instead, Portland gets its money from a hodgepodge of business taxes, user fees, government grants, bond proceeds, hotel taxes, construction permits and God knows what else. You know how rich people always have one job, while people with five jobs are always broke? Well, our city's budget is all side hustles. Get used to it.