1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
(December 19, 2013) – Commissioner Steve Novick posted a letter, cosigned by Mayor Charlie Hales, to Santa Claus Thursday afternoon at Lloyd Center Mall. On their wish list? The funding for a number of badly needed transportation projects. Basic street maintenance, neighborhood greenways and safety measures, to name a few. Below is a copy of the letter in full. Is there something you think they ought to have included? Share it with us by tweeting to us @PBOTInfo with the hashtag #12dayspdx.
We hope you will agree that Portland has been a good city this past year. We hope you will be able to give her something she desperately needs: funding for her transportation priorities.
As a start, it would make the people of Portland very happy if you could find a way to fill our stocking with (in no particular order):
$850 million to address our basic street maintenance needs.
$58 million to fund the elements of the Outer Powell Concept Plan.
$23 million to complete the projects on the East Portland in Motion priority list.
$30 million for maintenance and improvement of our signal network to the latest technology.
$2.5 million for a historically and aesthetically appropriate replacement for the safety barrier on the Vista Bridge.
$2 million a year to clean our street signs, making them more readable and improving safety
$1 million a year in grants for community uses of unpaved streets, including community gardens, mulched paths and other community defined projects
$30 million to build the North Portland Greenway Trail, connecting downtown, Lower Albina, St. Johns and Kelley Point Park
$50 million for sidewalks that will make it safer to walk to school, to the bus, and elsewhere, especially in East Portland and Southwest
$19 million to implement the Capitol Highway Plan in Southwest
$15 million for a North Rivergate Boulevard overpass over the UPRR tracks in North Portland
$200 million for improvements to gravel streets
$20 million for 10 years of frequent bus service on 122nd Avenue
$10 million for Intelligent Transportation System improvements to three key freight routes
Now Santa, we understand you may feel this seems like a very long list. It sure is! We have not raised the resources to meet the needs of the dynamic, growing city that Portland has become.
And remember - We’ve been really good, making a lot of progress on that this year. Remember the fog seal street program we started? Such an efficient use of maintenance dollars! Remember the financial wiz we lured from Chicago to take over the transportation bureau?
We’ve also got a great cookie recipe for you this year. The organic milk is on its way from the neighborhood store. Give our best to Mrs. Claus.
Charlie and Steve
Commissioner Novick to post Dear Santa letter at Lloyd Center Mall
Contact: Dylan Rivera
Portland Bureau of Transportation
(December 18, 2013) – Leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to find funding for the city’s transportation infrastructure, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, will unveil a letter to Santa Claus, making the case for why Portland deserves a stocking full of street maintenance, sidewalks and safety features on Christmas Day.
“The mayor and I are willing to go to the North Pole in the search of more transportation investments,” Novick said. “It’s so easy to see the needs all over the community, we decided to whip together a list to help the big man and his elves know the kinds of things that would really bring smiles to Portlanders’ faces.”
Who: Steve Novick, Transportation Commissioner
What: Commissioner Novick will discuss the City's need for investments in street maintenance, safety improvements, improved access to transit, and other transportation amenities, and send a detailed letter to Santa Claus requesting assistance.
When: Noon, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
Where: Santa’s Mailbox, Nordstrom entrance, Level I, Lloyd Center Mall, Portland, OR 97232
Visuals: Commissioner Novick, unveiling Dear Santa letter to news media, next to mailbox (see attached photo) and putting the letter in the mailbox.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commissioner Steve Novick
(December 18, 2013) – Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick will introduce a resolution to City Council on December 19 designed to significantly changePortland’s current parking regulations for people with disabilities within the metered district.
The current policy allows free on-street parking for anyone displaying a disabled parking placard. This encourages the use of on-street parking as all-day commuter parking, instead of its intended use as short term parking for shoppers and others taking short trips downtown. It also costs the City an estimated $2.4 million a year in foregone parking revenue at a time when there is a large street maintenance backlog and unmet needs for sidewalks and safety features throughout the City. Finally, there is reason to believe that the lure of free parking has created some abuse of the disabled parking policy – e.g., commuters “borrowing” the placards of relatives.
The proposal would end free, unlimited parking for holders of disabled placards, and instead offer several payment options. Those options would give placard holders a ‘grace period’ at short-term spaces, allowing them to park for up to 3 hours at any space. In addition, the new program would establish at least 30 designated parking spaces for wheelchair users and 50 designated spaces for other holders of disabled placards in order to increase accessibility to high-demand destinations. Finally, commuters with disabilities who do not have workplace garages and cannot use TriMet could buy a permit to park on the street, at the same price as local garage permits.
The new disabled parking program would not affect free parking for people with wheelchair placards, which is mandated by state law.
“I believe that this action will free up parking spaces that have been occupied by all-day users, which means that shoppers will have an easier time finding open spaces,” Commissioner Novick said. “This benefits businesses and all downtown visitors. Meanwhile, we’re giving people with disabilities what they really need – some extra time, designated spaces, and, for those who work downtown and really need an on-street space, a chance to buy one. I don’t think most people with disabilities think they’re entitled to free parking, any more than free gas or free cars; they just want some reasonable accommodations.”
A September survey of the metered district by the Portland Bureau of Transportation found that 1,033 vehicles parked on city streets displayed disabled placards, or about one in nine of all available spaces. That number reflects a steady increase over the years from 586 placards in 2007.
The proposed new program was formed in consultation with the City ofPortland’s Disabled Parking Task Force, which includes representatives from the business community, as well as the Portland Commission on Disabilities and other stakeholders.
The new rules cover currently metered areas – the Central City,LloydDistrict, Central Eastside, and the area aroundOregonHealth & ScienceUniversity. Enforcement of the program would begin on July 1, 2014.
Among the specifics:
The proposed changes also direct the Portland Bureau of Transportation to monitor and evaluate the program in concert with the Commissioner’s office, Disabled Parking Task Force and the Portland Commission on Disability.
(December 18, 2013) – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on SE 26th Avenue between SE Caruthers Street and SE Harrison Street Thursday, December 19 and Friday, December 20, 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. each day.
One traffic lane will remain open at all times. Local access to residences and businesses will be provided. The lane closures are necessary to allow crews to grind down the existing pavement and repave .47 lane miles of the street.
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.
Despite freezing temperatures this week, PBOT crews work to repave a section of road in Northeast Portland.
By Ryan Kost
(Dec. 12, 2013) -- It was about 10 a.m. in Portland’s Kerns neighborhood and any trace of snow from the night before had already faded.
“I put on my wrong boots,” said Jason Lemke, a construction equipment operator with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Lemke had woken up to a thin layer of white spread out across the streets Tuesday. But, as it happened, he wouldn’t spend his morning dealing with any of it. Instead, he was running a roller over hot asphalt as a crew repaired a 675 square-foot area of road on NE 16th Avenue just south of NE Irving Street.
A tree’s roots had worked its way through the sidewalk and into the road. “It looked like something out of Dr. Seuss,” said William Clark, a PBOT public works supervisor.
The temperature was around freezing and had created its own set of minor hiccups, but, all in all, work was proceeding as usual.
The Bureau had been prepared for a much different story. Between Friday and Sunday, crews had put 3,450 gallons of deicer on city roads. Then, between 10 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday, they put down another 3,750 gallons. Additional crews were ready in the early morning (as in 4 a.m.) to start clearing roads.
In the end, though, not a single snowplow was needed.
A section of road and sidewalk had to be replaced after a trees roots had grown too large.
PBOT employees who were watching weather conditions early Tuesday morning said little snow fell and what did had a relatively low moisture content so it generally evaporated quickly.
“It’s kinda funny doing it on a cold day like this,” Lemke said about the base repair project on NE 16th Avenue.
The cold weather meant Lemke had to “roll a little different” over the steaming new asphalt to account for the frozen ground below -- all told they’d run through about 45 tons -- but he seemed unfazed. Base repair jobs, for the uninitiated, are focused on spots that are or could become safety hazards.
After he was done checking in at that location, Clark, the supervisor, took a drive out to a home near the foot of Rocky Butte. A water main had broken, leaving the road pockmarked. A temporary layer of asphalt has been laid out, but road crews would have to come replace the whole area.
Generally, Clark goes out first to get a sense of the job and draw out a quick map. He also has to set some guidelines on the road in white spray paint. But after he shook one of the canisters and started drawing on the street, the paint started sputtering.
He went back to his truck for another can and shook it hard. Nothing.
“Paint’s frozen,” Clark said. He grinned slightly. “Never had that happen before.”
(Follow the Portland Bureau of Transportation on Twitter @PBOTInfo)
William Clark, a PBOT public works supervisor, maps out the location of an upcoming road repair project.