Mayor Ted Wheeler was absent Thursday for Portland City Hall's most significant vote on transportation during his tenure in office.
Central City in Motion is the city's plan to to transition downtown toward more bike- and bus-friendly streets.
Wheeler's absence for the big-ticket, $36 million list of priorities—a list that includes elements controversial in the business community—raised a question about whether Wheeler supports the proposal. It's a time-honored tradition for city commissioners to duck out of a vote when they're hoping to skirt a controversy.
But Wheeler, who had earlier in the day muttered in public about his desire to see the remaining months of his term pass swiftly, supports the transportation proposal, says his staff. He missed the vote because he was meeting with police to prepare for another round of dueling protests this weekend.
"He supports the plan," says Wheeler spokeswoman Eileen Park. "He had to attend briefings at PPB in the afternoon about Saturday."
City Commissioner Nick Fish was also absent, for personal reasons, but similarly supports the plan.