Street User Fee: Discussion for Final Forum

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Street User Fee: Discussion for Final Forum Lisa Marie White 4/27/14 6:14 PM
Hello all!

I wanted to get a discussion going in preparation for the FINAL FORUM ON TRANSPORTATION FUNDING and the proposed streets tax this THURSDAY, May 1: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Woodstock School, 5601 SE 50th Ave. (Join in with some other AROW folks on this ride to the forum!).

So far, the funding methodology that has been proposed consists of a flat-rate free of $8-$12/mo per person, with businesses potentially paying additional or slightly different fees. The potential funding distribution was broken down nicely by BikePortland.

At Bike Walk Vote PAC we've been in extensive discussion over the issue, requesting feedback from the community, and trying to get the community to provide feedback at the forums. We've come to the following conclusions, and if you agree, we need your voice at the forum. Have a critique or feedback? Please let us know before the forum, and we'll make sure to include your input (though, of course, it would be UBER better if you could make it out yourself! The city needs to hear from us!).

Street User Fee Input:
1) We agree that everyone should pay to maintain the streets because the streets are public land.

2) Because the streets are public land, we believe that those who use more of it should also pay more. Personal automobiles are often stored on public streets, whether in front of a house or temporarily at a particular destination, and consequently owners of vehicles should pay for the corresponding dedication of space. This amounts to a weighted fee for people who own cars, leading to decreased fees for those who do not.

3) The additional fees or charges that focus on higher road-space users would serve to make the street fee a more progressive tax.

4) A GREAT PRECEDENT: Chicago's vehicle sticker program. The basics - everyone pays a flat fee for road maintenance, and those who own cars purchase a registration sticker to be able to use their vehicle within city limits. **This addresses the conceptual sticking point of everyone "paying their fair share", since active commuters still pay into the system, but it also begins to address the value of street space for personal storage and the associated costs to the city for personal vehicle usage.

Beyond registration stickers, we support additional funding measures, like the creation of a City Gas Tax.

5) Equity in cost, equity in expenditure: we believe in a flat fee with corresponding vehicle registration stickers, but only if the funds are distributed in an equitable way. The need for more funding is abundantly clear, but the use of that funding is equally as important. The preservation of lives on our roadways should always outweigh any conflicting expenditure - more than 50% of funds need to go to safety. This shows the city's priority for the protection of it's most vulnerable citizens, and a true commitment to Vision Zero.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the forum!
-Lisa Marie
Re: [arow] Street User Fee: Discussion for Final Forum the "other" steph 5/1/14 11:07 AM
HI All,

One quick question (and obviously I have a lot of thoughts about this, like many folks, and have attended a town hall, like fewer folks to date): what is the reasoning behind identifying the parking sticker program as a great precedent when you also talk about equity concerns of a regressive revenue model that disproportionately impacts lower income families? That seems a disconnect to me.


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