How green is your city leader?
- Janine Robben
- Portland Tribune - News
City leaders like to tout Portland's livability, but how do they handle rush hour?
The Tribune recently surveyed the commissioners and the mayor Ñ who have final say on Portland transportation issues Ñ to see who goes green. Here's what we found:
Mayor Vera Katz
Commutes about 3 miles round-trip from her Northwest Portland neighborhood via the car and driver provided as part of her security detail. She also takes the bus or walks to daytime appointments.
Saving grace: Portland gets good national press for having a mayor who doesn't drive to work, albeit from reporters who fail to notice that someone else drives her.
Commissioner Jim Francesconi
Usually commutes 8 miles round-trip from Northeast Portland's Alameda neighborhood in a 10-year-old Lexus, according to his assistant, Mike Harrison. Francesconi also has a minivan.
Saving graces: Per Harrison, the commissioner is a fair-weather bike commuter; lets his staff (most of whom take the bus) use the Lexus during the day; and walks or buses it to downtown meetings.
Commissioner Randy Leonard
Commutes 24 miles round-trip from his outer Southeast Centennial neighborhood via his Mazda pickup. His wife drives a Chevy TrailBlazer.
Saving grace: Leonard gives rides from time to time to chief of staff Ty Kovatch and others
Commissioner Dan Saltzman
Commutes 4 miles round-trip from the Hillsdale neighborhood in Southwest Portland, typically in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. He takes the bus, streetcar or taxi to workday appointments.
Saving grace: Even though SUVs don't get a lot of miles per gallon, Saltzman does have a short commute.
Commissioner Erik Sten
Commutes 6 miles round-trip from Northeast's Irvington neighborhood via TriMet.
Saving graces: According to Sten's assistant, Marshall Runkel, Sten typically commutes via the No. 8 or No. 9 bus, where he frequently holds informal salons or focus groups based on riders' topics du jour. He drives a city-supplied car, takes the bus or walks to daytime meetings and is a Flexcar member, which Runkel says enables him and his wife to have one car, a four-wheel-drive Subaru.
Ñ Janine Robben