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Portland Transportation Funds Climb, But Less Goes To Roads

Portland has more money for its transportation infrastructure, according to new figures from the city auditor’s office. But spending on potholes and other road maintenance needs has been reduced.

Portland’s system of streets, traffic signals and bridges is worth more than $8 billion. And City Council has adopted a number of plans to improve it with bike lanes and streetcars.

Michael Clapp/OPB

The good news is that improving gas tax and parking revenues mean the city has more money. But Director of Audit Services Drummond Kahn says it’s being spent on streetcar operations, downtown marketing and transit mall upkeep, rather than maintenance.

“We’re recommending that the city transportation and City Council develop a funding strategy to take all available money and decide where it’s best spent to maintain the city’s transportation structures,” Kahn says.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says the report provides useful information to help him refocus the transportation bureau and ensure appropriate maintenance.

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