A report from Portland’s auditor sharply criticizes the city for neglecting street paving projects. Its analysis suggests the transportation bureau has strayed so far from basic street maintenance, it’ll take a generation to catch up.
If Portland spent $75 million dollars per year, the report points out, bringing street paving up to speed would still take ten years. And Portland doesn’t have that kind of money in the transportation budget, says Drummond Kahn, Director of Audit Services in the Portland Auditor’s office.
“The city has about ten million a year to maintain street pavement,” Kahn says. “But that ten million is just a shadow of what the department itself estimates it would need to restore all pavement to fair or better condition.”
The audit recommends the city develop a strategic plan for transportation spending, and meaningful performance measures.
Kahn says this research dovetails with a prior Auditor’s report on the Transportation Bureau, which found while transportation revenue is up, PBOT and city Council made decisions to spend on other projects like streetcars, light rail, and new sidewalks.