PORTLAND – Portland Mayor Sam Adams took to his website to defend his priorities regarding city transportation budgets amid budget shortfalls and the likely possibility of delayed road repairs.
The Portland Bureau Of Transportation (of which Adams is commissioner) could soon decide to delay repaving for five years. More: Oregonian article
Adams cited safety in his prioritization for projects like a new Sellwood Bridge and light rail to Milwaukie.
“The actual story about Portland's roads is less sensational -- but more important -- than (Sunday’s) account,” Adams wrote. “We have rebuilt or resurfaced 520 miles of pavement -- almost the distance from here to Reno,” Adams wrote Tuesday. “Your drive may be a bit bumpier on the last few blocks, but you're more likely to make it home alive.”
Deferring the work is not what they want to do, but what they must do, given a $16 million budget gap, according to PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck. Details: Paving delays
Adams said a recent interview with Oregonian reporter Beth Slovic “squandered an opportunity” to be objective, and posted a Q and A on his site in response Thursday. Mayor's response
The piece on Sunday was entitled “Portland’s roads to ruin,” and examined the condition of Portland streets in response
“What's a priority?” the paper asked, “Bike routes, conferences, and staff. What's not? Repaving and cleaning your crumbling roads."
The bureau was also recently under fire as federal investigators arrested and charged former parking manager Ellis McCoy last fall with taking tens of thousands in bribes over electronic parking meters.
The United States Attorney for the District of Oregon said 60-year-old McCoy took $124,000 between June 2004 and July 2011, along with "gifts of travel." More: Fed parking investigation