That's how Portland Bureau of Transportation director Leah Treat described the situation here. The bicycling enthusiast seems more than a little prone to drama, as despite the fact that Portland actually has fewer deaths per year than cities of comparable size, she paints things in the most dire colors she can muster.
“I’d call it a public health crisis in Portland,” she told KOIN 6 News.
“It’s because of fatalities and injuries and it’s a health crisis because the numbers increased last year,” Treat said, adding increased safety is her top priority.
It seems like a transparent effort to gin up support for a $12/month street tax - which, she maintains, isn't a tax; it's a fee. But if it walks like a tax and quacks like a tax.... And of course, she's also pushing another fee that would charge residents who park in front of their homes.
But about that public health crisis: it's just not there. We even have fewer car wrecks than most burgs.
And an annual All State insurance report showed Portland ranks 154th out of the top 200 large cities in the likelihood of drivers being involved in an accident.
Meanwhile, Treat might want to look into the operations she supposedly directs:
PORTLAND, Ore. – Police arrested a 53-year-old city of Portland employee Wednesday, accusing her of being involved in an auto theft ring.
Barbara Lorraine Peterson, an employee at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Abandoned Auto Section, was arrested after she arrived at work, said Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Maybe she should clean up her own crime-infested little bailiwick before making yet another grab for our wallets while crying "crisis".