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Media Relations

Dylan Rivera
503-823-3723

Diane Dulken
503-823-5552

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 

News Release: Community asks, City Responds: Commissioner Fritz, Leah Treat dedicate new Safe Routes to School path through Pier Park to North Portland schools

(September 12, 2014) -  Friday’s walk home from school was a celebratory occasion for North Portland school children who joined with City officials to parade along a new paved path from Sitton Elementary School through Pier Park to a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

The new paved path, which is roughly as long as five downtown City blocks, replaces a dirt route that often turned muddy for the hundreds of families that cross Pier Park daily.  The path connects several large apartment complexes in this section of St. Johns neighborhood to Sitton and George Middle School as well as to transit, shopping and other services along Lombard and Fessenden Streets.  

“It makes me proud to help lead a city that can work together and deliver on an important neighborhood request,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  “The trail will be an important connector and improve safety for kids, parents, and other neighbors here in St. Johns.”

The City paved the path in response to community members who organized a petition signed by 400 families asking for improved safety for their children as they traveled to school. 

“You asked, and we are delighted to respond and create this safe route to school,” said Leah Treat, who directs the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “I am committed to improving safety throughout Portland, especially around schools.  Walking and biking to school safely also means that kids can get a healthy and fun start to their day.”

“Our parks deliver many benefits to Portlanders, and now we can add one more: providing an essential route for kids and families,” said Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Director Mike Abbaté.

The project’s $60,000 cost was shared equally by PBOT and PP&R, with each contributing $30,000.

The project brought together many partners to create a solution to neighbors’ concerns. PBOT’s Safe Routes to School team worked with parents, managers of the apartment complexes next to Pier Park, PP&R, the City’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Crime Prevention program, Portland Public Schools, Friends of Pier Park, and many other partners to put together a strategy to better serve the families in the neighborhood.

Managers of the nearby apartment complexes are also building new paved paths on their campuses so that families have a continuous network of paved walkways.

Photos of the event are available for publication. Find them here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115983598@N06/sets/72157647121317199/ Please credit the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Ryan Kost.

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Contact:

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Transportation

503-823-5552  c: 503-577-8236

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation

503-823-5300, 503-823-6634

mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

 

Traffic Advisory: Street improvements to close lanes on NE Halsey St from NE 60th to 70th avenues week of Sept. 15

(September 11, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures of NE Halsey Street from NE 60th Avenue to NE 70th Avenue. The lane closures will be in effect Monday, September 15 through Friday, September 19, 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each weekday, but may also include some weekend work.

The lane closures will allow crews to grind 3.57 lane miles and prepare for paving. Paving will occur as weather permits.

Parking restriction barricades will be in place one or two workdays before the start of work. Traffic restrictions will be in place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents.

The public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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News Advisory: Commissioner Fritz, Leah Treat join school kids to celebrate new Pier Park trail to North Portland schools

(September 11, 2014) -  Hundreds of North Portland children who previously walked or biked to school along a dirt path that often turned muddy now have a new all-weather paved path through Pier Park to get to school and other key destinations. 

On Friday, September 12, city officials will join school kids to celebrate the new safe route that connects low-income apartment residents to Sitton Elementary School and George Middle School, as well as to services and transit on Lombard and Fessenden Streets.  The path was constructed in response to the community which organized a petition signed by 400 families asking for improved safety for their children as they traveled to school. 

WHO:  

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees Portland Parks & Recreation

Portland Bureau of Transportation Leah Treat
Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté

Sitton Elementary School Principal Dana Nerenberg, students and their families

WHEN and WHERE

Friday, September 12, 2014

2:15 p.m.  Sitton Elementary School, 9930 N Smith Street: celebratory walking and biking procession begins at dismissal and continues along the Pier Park path to nearby apartment complexes

2:40 p.m. N. Iris Way north of Swenson Street: ribbon cutting with Commissioner Fritz at the path exit along with kids’ activities

VISUALS:  A colorful procession of kids and officials walking the new path in a ‘walking bus’ procession.  Ribbon cutting and kids activities including clowns at the 2:40 p.m. celebration at the path’s entrance, which connects to four large apartment complexes that are home to hundreds of low income families with a large immigrant population.

MEDIA PARKING:   Members of the news media may park on the street near Sitton Elementary School and walk with the procession or park at the community gardens north of N. Ivy and Swenson Street.

 

Contact:

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Transportation

503-823-5552  c: 503-577-8236

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation

503-823-5300, 503-823-6634

mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

Traffic Advisory: Street improvements to close lanes on NE Halsey Street from NE Weidler to NE 126th Sept. 5 to 19

(September 3, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures of NE Halsey Street from NE Weidler Street to NE 126th Avenue from Friday, September 5, through Friday, September 19. Work will take place from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each weekday but may also include some hours during the weekend.

The lane closures will allow crews to grind and pave 3.57 lane miles.

Parking restriction barricades will be in place one or two workdays before the start of work. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents.

The public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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News Advisory: Crosswalk enforcement action Friday, Sept 5 at NE Killingsworth St and NE 22 Ave.

(Sept. 3, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 5, from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws.

Transportation Director Leah Treat will serve as the designated pedestrian crossing the street during the second half of the action and Sharon White, Portland Bureau of Transportation staff member, will serve as the designated pedestrian during the first half of the action.

Near the front entrance to Vernon Elementary School, the site of Friday’s enforcement action is heavily used by families walking or biking to school and to Alberta Park.

“With the start of school, it’s more important than ever for everyone to look out for children crossing our streets,” Treat said. “As a mother of four, I know how important it is for people to slow down when driving near schools. As transportation director, I’m proud of our partnership with police, schools and neighborhoods to spread the word about traffic safety.”

To ensure student safety and increase awareness of the start of the school year, the Portland Police Bureau is conducting high visibility patrols around all Portland schools as part of a "Back to School" safety campaign.

As part of this campaign, the Portland Police Bureau has released this short video with a friendly reminder that "20 is Plenty" in school zones: http://youtu.be/_llfG13Yo0I

The Portland Police Bureau Youth Services Division, Traffic Division, Transit Police Division, Central Precinct, North Precinct, East Precinct and Gang Enforcement Team personnel will be providing a highly visible police presence in and around schools in the Parkrose, Reynolds, Riverdale, David Douglas, Centennial, and Portland Public School Districts.

In addition, the bureaus offer these safety tips:

• If you're driving, obey the 20 mph speed limit in school zones

• Be vigilant and courteous to children crossing the street.

• If you're a parent, consider walking or biking to school with your students where possible to reduce congestion, improve safety and provide young people with needed physical activity.

For more information on the Portland Safe Routes to School program visit http://www.saferoutesportland.org

Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation.

The NE Killingsworth at NE 22nd Avenue crossing has a marked school crossing across Killingsworth, along with signage to alert drivers to the possible presence of pedestrians in the crossing.

Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions about once each month in response to requests by community members, city traffic safety engineers, and Portland Police to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings.

Learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s safety work at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390 and pedestrian rights and responsibilities at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879

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