An audit shows spending priorities at the Portland Bureau of Transportation need to put maintenance first.
City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade has released an audit on Portland's transportation finance. The report, "Transportation Funding: Revenues up, spending on maintenance down," found that despite recent increases in transportation revenue, spending for transportation maintenance has been reduced.
"We found that new transportation projects displaced core services like maintaining streets," said Auditor Griffin-Valade, "and this reduction in maintaining key infrastructure places the City's long-term fiscal sustainability at greater risk."
The report provides the public with information about how the Transportation Bureau spends its money. Parking and gas tax revenues are up, giving the City more transportation money. However, the City reduced spending on street maintenance, traffic signals, and structural maintenance in favor of increased spending on programs including streetcar operations, downtown marketing, and transit mall upkeep.
The report recommends that the City develop and adopt a transportation strategy that clearly states the overall transportation goals and objectives, and measure and report its progress on this strategy.
"The City has many competing priorities around transportation," Griffin-Valade said, "and it's critical that City Council figure out where its emphasis should be to best maintain our $8 Billion transportation network."
"This is an appropriate time to take stock of Portland's street maintenance situation," Griffin-Valade said, "since estimates through 2016-17 show revenues from both gas taxes and parking continue to rise." As the City gains additional transportation funding, planning now can help shape where increased revenues are best spent.
The report is at the following link: