Unwilling to be deterred by the twin handicaps of living outside the city limits and being a fictive personality, I had announced my willingness to serve as Portland's mayor back when Mayor Adams's continued tenure seemed uncertain. I proposed an eight-point transportation platform:
1. Replacing the Sellwood Bridge is the highest transportation priority in the City, and we will not contribute toward any other new transportation facilities until the Sellwood Bridge is replaced. We will help Multnomah County pay to replace the bridge in its current location with a four-lane bridge capable of handling today's level of traffic. This means that the City will not contribute money toward any new tram, trains, or other toys until we have a new bridge in place.
2. The City will not sell its parking meters as a tax shelter, nor will it change them out for even cooler meters until they become actually obsolete.
3. The City will not build any bike paths that it can't commit to sweep regularly.
4. NW Lovejoy and Marshall will be returned to one-way operation forthwith. NW 14th and 16th Avenues will be returned to two-lane operation, with bicyclists encouraged to use NW 18th and 19th in their place.
5. For those properties in North Macadam / South Waterfront that aren't already under construction, the maximum allowable density will be reduced to the level that the existing street system can support.
6. Provisions in the zoning code that assume that if you prohibit people from building garages and parking areas, they will cease to own cars, will all be repealed. The City will understand the difference between owning a car (and needing somewhere at home to park it) and using a car for a trip that could be done on mass transit.
7. The City will support a tri-county gasoline tax of five cents a gallon, to be allocated among the cities in proportion to their population, which the cities may use only to improve dirt and gravel roads. The City of Portland will use its share of the tax to curb and pave any unimproved or underimproved street in the City which 50% of the residential property owners want to have improved, and will pay 75% of the cost to improve the street. Because the City has for so long shorted its most eastern residents, the City will start paving at its eastern border and work its way west, not using any of this fund on streets west of the Willamette until everyone on the east side who wants a paved street has one. (I'm throwing this in to get Commissioner Leonard's vote.)
8. The City will redesign and rebuild the intersection of E. Burnside and Sandy Boulevard so that all lanes go in the direction they're pointed in, instead of their current Peter Max-like slaloms.
Point 8 and a portion of point 4 have already come to pass, so unlike the other announced candidates I'm already in the enviable position of having accomplished nearly 20% of my transportation program, without even taking office. I'll be offering my take on some other city policies in the next few months. And in the unlikely event that one of the candidates with a physical presence wants some advice, I'm always happy to provide it.