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Monday, August 27, 2012

Portland City Hall: Bike boxes count as spending on motorists

The Orwellian newspeak emanating from the Portland city bureaucracy gets more alarming by the day. Now they've stopped reporting how much they spend on bicycle projects because, hey, who's to say who really benefits from them?

For years, the bureau broke down its spending by transportation mode. So, percentages were given for budget amounts devoted to bicycles, motor vehicles, pedestrians or transit....

This methodology was flawed, according to Miller, because project expenditures, such as bike lanes, could end up benefiting multiple transportation modes. As a result, the bureau recently started using a different system that will track spending by project, rather than mode....

“When we try to talk about expenditures by mode, the devil is in the details and the methodology is flabby,” Miller said. “(The new system) is a more thoughtful and articulate way of portraying what we do and how we benefit the broad cross section of transportation interests in the city.”

Bureau officials said the change came when Miller took over as director in early 2011....

PBOT’s change matches philosophies held by most independent bike organizations in Portland, according to Gerik Kransky, advocacy director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. He said that transportation expenditures should benefit all road users. A green biking box, for example, provides three benefits, he said: certainty for where motorists can look for bicyclists, an advanced stop bar for pedestrians and a safe space for cyclists.

"It’s impossible to determine for whom that treatment exists, because it’s for safety overall," he said. "When we look at where is all the money going and where all the money is being spent, it’s pretty safe to say that if we spend a dollar paving one of our streets that it’s going to benefit both cars and bikes."

Now, PBOT shares individual project costs along with a list of the modes they will benefit. So, for an intersection project, for example, the bureau states its price and whether the project benefits drivers, pedestrians and/or bicyclists. Additionally, the bureau ranks projects according to safety level and cost-effectiveness.

The new system provides city officials and residents with less hard data; however, it's much more accurate, Miller said.

It's stunning, really. These people are out of their minds. And to think we have 126 more days of them to endure.

Comments (13)

What happens in 126 days?

“We ended up providing information that is flawed actually and ultimately counterproductive to a conversation about what the right level of expense is for what we do,”

Translation: When we told people how we were spending their money, it ticked them off. So, if we hide the ball, maybe they won't figure out just how screwed up this city really is.

Reader: In 126 days, we replace the lying pedophile with either the violent community organizer or the fraud committing developer puppet.

This is fudging of the purest ray serene. They need to base their figures on who USES it, not who might benefit from its use somewhere down the line. Using the second rationale, you could conceivably say, "Doggie Day Care facilities benefit from this expenditure because owners will want to get them off the road where the temptation of too many cyclists to chase will be overly tempting."

"The new system provides city officials and residents with less hard data; however, it's much more accurate, Miller said"

Wow! Why not just say we will spend your money anyway we see fit, so shut up already.

It is OK to list transportation expenditures as having co-benefits, but to lump them into "projects" is another method of obfuscation to push an agenda.

Less data = more accurate. Really???

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Charlie Hales is getting my vote for no other reason than he's indicated he'll get rid of Tom Miller.

Well Miller, using your obfuscating thinking, why can't we just argue that all paved roads benefit bikes, because they certainly go anywhere they want and it benefits them?

So, most transportation expenditures should be in the bike category. Let's be "accurate".

This is what happens when those in charge elevate buddies in places
making decisions for the community.
Then vested interests and lobbying all the way into taking over
the transportation department.

Last year the Oregon Legislature ceded its absolute authority to set speed limits to CoP under certain conditions that no doubt over time will prove to be "movable" conditions.

Another indication of something very fishy going on that's bigger than Sam that's now extending its tentacles into the entire Metro area. Sam is and has always been a sock puppet to serve as distraction and spokesperson while some kind of schedule gets ramped up. And in 126 days we get to choose between two carefully chosen losers to replace him that will make no difference.

When's the last time anyone else on the City Council has said anything of substance?

Getting tired yet of all the insufferable Portland pep-rally bumper stickers and gov't propaganda?

This place is getting more than "Weird", it's like it's quietly being assimilated by a Borg collective.

I look forward to ordering a extra-skinny double latte from Tom Miller at his new job.

Assuming he can pass the background check at Starbucks.

Reducing transparency is always a good sign.

But as Lee says, this should put a ton of transportaton expenditures into the "bike" category, so I guess we no longer have to worry about the "underfunding" the bike crowd is always crying about.

To recap, less data equals less transparency locked behind closed doors, and more scamming of the public by covering up the actual fiscal cost of providing specialized infrastructure that is provived at no cost specifically for the user bicyclists. No wonder here why the independent bicycle organizations (like the not so independent taxpayer subsidized BTA) favor it. Being a Sammyboy crony, Tom Miller heading up PBOT is the real flawed fly in the ointment. Hopefully that will end with the next mayor. Apparently some people in Arizona were also able to see that same similar flawed fly in the ointment in addition to all the propaganda and scamming as it relates to streetcars.

Then again, taking Miller’s methodology to the extreme; adding more miles of additional lanes to Portland’s urban freeway system would in reality move some traffic off city streets making them safer, and therefore aiding the freeloading bicyclists. In addition, less traffic on city streets would greatly add to bicycle arrogance even improving the chances and opportunities for bicyclists to blow through STOP signs and ignore all the other traffic laws they totally refuse to obey.

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