PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Just after taking office last year, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales made it clear the city would work to make street maintenance a bigger priority. That was just after an independent audit revealed the city needed to do two things: prioritize where the tax dollars should go first and protect the condition of the street pavement.
The audit gave the city a year to come up with a transportation strategy to do a better job with street paving. The Portland Bureau of Transportation said that’s implemented but they are still updating the transportation system plan — and that won’t be ready until 2015.
This year, $17 million will be spent on street preservation. The city is working to do a better job on what taxpayers want done to fix the roads.
The audit last year also found the city has not adequately protected street pavement. More than 33% of them are in poor-or-worse condition, and the city was told to do maintenance to keep that cost from multiplying.
Portland officials said they are doing that where it can, but doesn’t have enough money to maintain all city streets.
Five years ago, city leaders made another big change when they signed a resolution to focus transportation money on arterial streets, not neighborhood streets. Now, though, they’ve done away with that.