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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Dylan Rivera
503-823-3723

For breaking news from Portland Bureau of Transportation see our Twitter feed: @PBOTinfo

For breaking news on overall service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, go to @publicalerts or see www.publicalerts.org 


Winter Weather Travel Advisory: PBOT encourages the public to use caution, clear storm drains, as lingering freezing rain and rains continue overnight

 Get Home Safe Banner

Snow shovel and storm drain

(5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation encourages the traveling public to use caution as lingering freezing rain in East Portland and slushy conditions citywide could make travel challenging tonight and early Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service has advised that freezing rain is likely to last the longest, with more ice accumulation, in areas East of Interstate 205. Drivers should be aware that freezing rain creates treacherous traveling conditions.

 

The public should be alert to tricky road conditions

  • Water ponding on streets may cause vehicles to hydroplane or splash nearby properties and people walking or biking. Slow down and look out for others.
  • Slick spots of lingering slush, especially in areas at high elevation, may cause slippery conditions for people driving, biking and walking.
  • Be aware that trees may begin to fall, after days of being laden with freezing rain and snow. Fallen trees may block roads or cut power lines. Clear limbs from travel lanes if you can safely. For large trees blocking travel lanes or sidewalks, call PBOT's maintenance dispatchers at 503-823-1700. Stay away from downed power lines, and call 9-1-1 to report them.

 

Do your part to help everyone Get Home Safe!

  • Mayor Ted Wheeler has said this storm presents a "community moment" when Portlanders should try to help make neighbors and fellow Portlanders safe.
  • Clear the storm drain near your home or business! With more than 58,000 storm drains citywide, we need everyone to help keep them clear so melted snow and ice can drain. Clogged storm drains cause water ponds along streets, causing vehicles to hydroplane, and splashing people biking and walking. Learn more about storm drains at PBOT's web site.
  • Everyone is urged to continue to clear sidewalks adjacent their home or business, as required by city code.
  • Be watchful for people walking and biking who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Travel safely and responsibly.

PBOT crews continue to work through the night to clear roads

 

  • PBOT crews will clear storm drains of slush and snow, making way for melting snow and ice to seep into the stormwater system and prevent street flooding. But with more than 58,000 citywide, we need the public's help to clear them too!
  • Tonight, PBOT crews will work to clear slush from primary and secondary plow routes.
  • Crews will also work to push frozen, rutted icy material from streets, pushing it away from travel lanes.

Winter Weather Travel Advisory: With freezing rain in the forecast, PBOT urges travelers to exercise extreme caution, avoid travel if possible

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(5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16, 2017) The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for the Portland metropolitan area. The current forecast calls for freezing rain to start early Tuesday morning and last at least into Tuesday afternoon. Up to 0.4 inches of ice accumulation is likely. Based on this forecast, the Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for severe winter weather that may create hazardous traveling conditions during the Tuesday morning commute.

The Weather Service has also advised that freezing rain is likely to last the longest, with more ice accumulation, in areas East of Interstate 205.

Drivers should be aware that freezing rain creates treacherous travelling conditions. If possible, travelers should avoid all travel unless absolutely necessary. Travelers should monitor conditions closely throughout the day.

PBOT is closely monitoring conditions and will bring on extra crews starting at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to put down sand and gravel at critical intersections. Travelers should still be prepared for very slippery conditions.

 

Watch for black ice

Black ice is defined as ice that remains on roadways that are not subjected to direct sunlight. Black ice commonly forms on roads that wind around lakes and rivers, in tunnels, on overpasses and in highly shaded, rural areas. Black ice is almost invisible to the naked eye. Be especially careful when driving or riding into shaded areas, on bridges and overpasses, and on infrequently traveled roads. Slow down during your approach.

 

Look out for people walking and biking

Be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Share the Road safely and responsibly.

 

Carry an emergency weather kit

Carry an emergency weather kit in your vehicle to help keep you safe and more comfortable during long waits. Your kit should include chains, battery jumper cables, first aid kit, shovel, basic tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver and knife), blanket, extra clothing (hats, socks, boots, and mittens), flashlight, bag of sand, and cellular phone or CB Radio.

 

See more safety tips: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/319804

 

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Winter Weather Travel Advisory: PBOT urges public to use caution this weekend, releases initial impressions of road salt test, stats from three days of severe conditions

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(Jan. 13, 2016) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public to expect continued challenging travel conditions this weekend. The National Weather Service has also warned the City of Portland to expect the possibility of severe flooding in the Johnson Creek area by the afternoon hours of Tuesday Jan. 17.

Since the afternoon of Tuesday Jan. 10, PBOT crews have been working 24 hours a day to clear the city’s 518 miles of plow routes, which cover critical routes for hospitals, police and other first responders and public transit service. Continued freezing temperatures, including a record low 11 degrees early Friday morning, refroze many streets that had previously thawed. PBOT equipment can only plow down to 1 inch above the street surface. PBOT crews attempt to rough up the surface and apply gravel in critical places to provide traction, but slick areas may linger through the weekend, until temperatures rise and rain clears the streets. People driving or biking are urged to use caution.

Everyone is urged to continue to clear sidewalks adjacent their home or business, as required by city code.

PBOT’s plowing has cut the number of road closures by two-thirds and made many roads passable in severe subfreezing conditions. Earlier in the week, the City of Portland had up to 25 road closures. With plowing and continued de-icing, that number was reduced to eight closures by 2 p.m. on Friday.

The City’s 518 miles of designated plow routes make up about 26 percent of city streets, as measured by the centerline distance from one point to another on a given street. That does not account for the multiple lanes on city streets.

PBOT snowplows, service vehicles and deicing trucks make multiple passes on each street to clear snow from all the travel lanes. Including multiple passes on the many lanes on the routes, these vehicles drove more than 6,000 miles in aggregate since Tuesday afternoon.

Working in conjunction with the Seattle Department of Transportation crews, PBOT conducted a test of road salt in three locations Thursday afternoon: SW Terwilliger between SW Sam Jackson Park Road and SW Capitol Highway; SW Broadway between West Burnside and Interstate 405; and N Going Street from Interstate, west on the N Lagoon Ave-Dolphin Ave-Channel Ave loop on Swan Island. The Seattle road crews applied road salt in one lane and PBOT crews applied Portland's standard liquid de-icer in the lane to the left of the Seattle crew.

In the initial assessment, the effect of the road salt was limited and did not provide significant improvement compared with the bureau’s standard de-icer. Since this experiment was limited in both duration and the number of locations, PBOT will continue to look for opportunities to assess alternative treatment options, including road salt, in the future.

PBOT is very grateful to the Seattle Department of Transportation for the opportunity to conduct this test. The exchange of technical and professional expertise that occurred between the two agencies is sure to be valuable in developing responses for future severe weather events in the northwest.

Public agencies requested towing of 251 abandoned vehicles

 Tows requested by public agencies between 6 p.m. Jan 10 and 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2016.

Chart of towed vehicles by agencies

To locate your vehicle that may have been towed in Portland, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

Get Home Safe: Road Closures

 Weather-related road closures as of 6 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

** Chains or traction tires are REQUIRED for West Burnside and SW Sam Jackson. 

Location Reason
NE 48th Ave from NE Alameda St to Wistaria Dr Ice
SE 70th and E. Burnside at Thornburn Ice
NE Gilham and E Burnside Ice
NE 71st and Burnside Ice
SW 2nd and SW Terwilliger Ice
NE Wisteria Dr from NE Alameda/NE 48th to NE 51st  Ice
SW Cardinell Dr from SW College St to SW Rivington Dr  Pre-emptive closure

Call 503-823-1700 to report road hazards. Our maintenance dispatchers are available 24/7.

Click here to learn more about winter weather travel in Portland.

 

Winter Weather Travel Advisory: PBOT urges public to prepare for snow, icy roads on Saturday and Sunday, announces police enforcement of traction devices requirement for two key corridors

Be prepared for snow, icy conditions

Commissioner Saltzman at news conference

(Friday, Jan. 6, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for severe winter weather that may create hazardous traveling conditions Saturday and Sunday, potentially also affecting the Monday morning commute.

The National Weather Service has advised the City of Portland to expect 1 inch to 2 inches of snow on Saturday, following by freezing rain that could produce .25 to .6 inches of ice. 

Freezing rain is snow that melts into water and freezes upon contact with the ground, causing a glaze of ice. This is the worst type of precipitation to drive in since ice offers almost no traction at all. Freezing rain on bare pavement creates an ice rink on the roadway.

"Everyone in Portland should prepare today for winter weather to ensure their safety," Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman said. "We encourage everyone to pay close attention to the weather forecast, understanding that conditions can change quickly and vary from place to place within Portland. Delay your travel to avoid the worst conditions and take public transit if you must travel."

While neighborhoods at elevations at 500 feet above sea level often experience more snow and ice accumulation than the rest of Portland, forecasters say the snow accumulations for this storm could vary widely at low elevations across the metropolitan area. Some low-elevation sites may in fact have more snow than high-elevation areas.

 

PBOT announces police enforcement of traction devices requirement for West Burnside Street, Sam Jackson Park Road

  • For the first time, PBOT will implement a traction devices requirement on two key snow routes where the city has found dozens of abandoned vehicles during past snow and ice storms.

  • Motorists will be required to have chains or other traction devices in order to drive on West Burnside starting at NW 23rd Avenue and Sam Jackson Park Road starting at SW Terwilliger Blvd. The requirement will be enforced by the Portland Police Bureau and the OHSU Police.

  • People driving will be required to show they have traction tires on their vehicles. An area where they can apply snow chains will be provided.

  • Traction tires are studded tires, retractable studded tires or other tires that meet the tire industry definition as suitable for use in severe snow conditions.

  • The requirement will go into effect when conditions warrant. Electronic message signs will alert drivers at that time.

  • OHSU will remain open. The Portland Aerial Tram is expected to extend its hours in snow or icy conditions, operating on Saturday night until midnight.

  • Drivers who ignore this requirement will be subject to a citation by Portland Police in the amount of $160. If drivers abandon their cars in travel lanes, they could be subject to additional fines and costs.

    Saltzman at news conference

    Click here to watch a Facebook video of Friday's news conference with Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman and regional transportation and utility officials. Photos are also available.

Advice for the public:
Be prepared, expect conditions to vary

 

While the snow and ice amounts may vary, it never hurts to be prepared!

The best advice for traveling in bad winter weather is not to travel at all if you can avoid it. Wait until conditions improve before venturing out in winter weather. Allow the snow plows, sanding trucks, and other emergency vehicles to get out ahead of you to treat conditions. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

The City of Portland’s Snow and Ice Plan discourages private vehicle use and encourages public transit use instead. Plan ahead for your public transit commute by calling 503-238-RIDE (7433), visiting TriMet.org for bus and MAX light rail schedules and alerts or PortlandStreetcar.org for streetcar schedules and alerts. In snow and ice, plan for bus delays of 20 to 30 minutes. Know where your transit stops are before venturing out.PBOT provides tips for winter travel for people walking, biking or driving. Learn more at: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/47307

Check www.PublicAlerts.org for breaking news and information on major service disruptions. Visit http://bit.ly/snowicepdx to learn more about how PBOT responds to snow and ice events in Portland.

 

Winter travel safety tips

 

Carry an emergency weather kit

Have a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle to keep you safe and more comfortable during long waits. Your kit should include chains, shovel, bag of sand, battery jumper cables, first aid kit, basic tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver and knife), blanket, extra clothing (hats, socks, boots, mittens), flashlight, and a cell phone or CB Radio.

Expect slippery sidewalks; clear your own as well

In a winter storm, the sidewalk in front of your neighbor’s house may be the slickest surface you encounter. PBOT applies anti-icer and uses snow plows to clear streets along bus routes, but property owners are responsible for ensuring safe passage on sidewalks.

Look out for people on bike or out walking

Be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Share the Road safely and responsibly.

You are responsible for your vehicle

If you choose to drive, stay with your vehicle in a snow and ice storm. Any abandoned vehicle is subject to being cited and impounded. To locate your vehicle, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.  If you are driving and visibility and conditions are getting worse rapidly, do not stop in a travel lane. Any vehicle creating a safety hazard is subject to towing. The citation for "preventing free passage" is $80 and the current contractual cost of a tow is $168, so motorists can expect to pay at least $248. The cost to store a towed vehicle past the initial four hours is $25 per day.

Look for an opportunity to pull off the road into a safe parking area and wait for conditions to improve. If you cannot reach your home, move your vehicle off a major street or plow route onto a side street so that plows can completely open up major streets. If you become stuck or stranded in severe weather, stay with your vehicle for warmth and safety until help arrives. While you wait for help to arrive, open a window slightly for ventilation, run your motor sparingly, and use your emergency flashers.

Recover your vehicle as soon as possible

Parking regulations and other road safety regulations remain enforceable during a winter storm. If you leave your vehicle parked in a metered parking space or other time zone during a winter storm, recover your vehicle as soon as possible when conditions improve. If you receive a citation, follow the instructions on the back of it to resolve it or contest it with the County Circuit Court.

Chains - your link to safety!

Buy chains, practice putting them on your car, carry them in your vehicle, and use them. You may need them unexpectedly! 

Do not bike, walk or drive in front of a snow plow. Do not pass snow plows or sanding trucks, which are focused on the city's busiest streets. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation