Friday, March 04, 2016


This is our street.  

And these are our street.

The City of Portland, Oregon doesn’t have the money to fix our street. Or most other streets. It seems that the City of Portland spent a lot of the street maintenance money for other things, special projects and pet projects. And so the City of Portland needs $40,000,000 or more to fix the streets, and they don’t know where to get the money. 

Our mayor and the councilman in charge of the Bureau of Transportation proposed a special street maintenance tax last year. They got hammered by public and business opinion. So they retreated and regrouped and proposed a different kind of street maintenance tax. This one was even nuttier than the first, and they got hammered by public opinion, so they retreated again. Then they mumbled something about maybe a new gas tax, or maybe the State of Oregon would bail them out, or something. And then they were quiet. And now it is an election year, and everyone seems to have forgotten that our streets keep getting worse. 

As I rolled around the corner on my recumbent trike today, one of my tires hit a round stone and sent it flying at dangerously high speed - sproinggggggg! If you look at these photos of our street, you see all the rounded rocks that have eroded out of the decomposing concrete. These round rocks are all over the street as a result of being sproinged by car and truck tires. This seems very dangerous to me. 

When you drive around Portland in your automobile, or on your cycle, you often feel like your fillings will be jarred loose by all the potholes and washboard pavement and ruts and cracks. I wonder how much this costs me in terms of car maintenance? 

And then there is the muck. All the leaves that sit on the street, in the rain, getting rolled over by tires all the time until they turn into soggy muck. The occasional street sweeper goes by, but only around the parked cars - mostly down the middle of the street. And it misses the muck. Yuck. 

And the muck takes over. The muck fills the storm drain grates so the stormwater has nowhere to go. And the water sits there. And the muck sits there. And it really drives me nuts! 

Come on City of Portland. What the muck are you doing? Get it together. We pay taxes. Fix the damn streets and clean up the muck. 

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