In May 2016, Portland voters approved actions by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) when they approved Measure 26-173, a new $0.10 per gallon fuel tax for repairing streets. This was the first local funding source in the city’s history dedicated to the city’s transportation system. That same month, Portland City Council passed a Heavy Vehicle Use Tax on companies operating trucks over 13 tons, which resulted in companies paying 13% of the total fuel tax revenue which was directed for use on Portland’s streets.
In May 2020, Portlanders resoundingly approved Measure 26-209, a four-year renewal of Fixing Our Streets. In Feb. 2020, Portland City Council renewed the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax. As we emerge from the impacts of Covid-19, this investment will be more valuable than ever, bringing millions of dollars into our economy over the next four years. Whether it’s paving our streets, filling potholes, improving street lighting, building sidewalks or helping our youngest Portlanders safely walk, bike and roll to school, the Fixing Our Streets program will help Portland move forward while improving our transportation system for all.
Building on the demonstrated success of the original Fixing Our Streets program, the program’s renewal is providing approximately $74.5 million in street repair and traffic safety projects and services. The list of projects and services includes $25 million dedicated to paving, $5 million for new traffic signals, $4.5 million for sidewalks, and $4.5 million for street lighting, and millions more for better and safer access to schools, transit, and community services for Portland’s kids, seniors, and families. Spending from the program will continue to be overseen by the Fixing Our Streets Oversight Committee, which represents multiple communities with a stake in Portland’s streets and roads.
Fixing Our Streets helps realize the safer, more mobile and more sustainable Portland envisioned by the numerous plans and programs that direct PBOT’s work citywide, including: the Vision Zero Action Plan, PedPDX: Portland’s Citywide Pedestrian Master Plan, Safe Routes to School, area plans like Southwest in Motion and Northwest in Motion, and many more.
Guided by the city’s Racial Equity Goals, Fixing Our Streets (2020-2024) will prioritize projects that address inequities in our transportation system. This means ensuring that marginalized or underrepresented communities have greater mobility, and thus access to social and economic growth.
We also follow the city’s Climate Action Plan. We have an imperative to create safer streets that prioritize pedestrians, people biking, and people taking transit as well as more efficient streets for motor vehicles using low-carbon electricity and renewable fuels.
The new Fixing Our Streets (2020-2024) project list builds on these plans and the extensive public input that informed them. It is also shaped by feedback from neighborhood stakeholders, transportation justice advocates, and business groups. The projects represent an expansion of what made the original Fixing Our Streets so successful: a relentless focus on repairs and improvements to make it easier and safer for all Portlanders to get where they need to go.