Will more bike paths convince you to give up your car?
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Mayor Sam Adams found $20 million in the sewer and wants to use it as a down-payment on his long-term transportation plan for metro Portland, the $600 million 2030 Bike Plan.
"Green streets have proven themselves to be very cost effective," Mayor Sam Adams said. "Thus preventing in a very cost-effective way from the kind of sewer back ups that occur."
Opponents arrived at Wednesday's City Council meeting to blast the mayor on his funding proposal.
Terry Parker, an opponent of the plan, compared it to embezzlement.
"Raiding taxpayer dollars - ratepayer dollars - to fund a selfish and special interest pet project like bicycle infrastructure is a classic form of embezzling," he said.
The mayor disagreed. He said putting the $20 million of renegotiated contract savings toward the Bike Plan actually saved Portlanders money.
The Bike Plan is as much about safety as it is meeting future transportation needs of the city, he said. It also satisfies mandated environmental improvements to the way the city moves. Tweet defense
"The tax payers win. Public safety wins. And we get to move forward both policies," the mayor said.
Adams muscled the Bike Plan through City Council last month after acrimonious public debate. It passed unanimously. Wednesday, commissioners signaled their intent to vote on using the $20 million as a kickstand for the Bike Plan.
For more on the bike plan, its funding, what it will mean for the city and how it was crafted, follow the links.
(KGW Reporter Randy Neves contributed to this report)