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(Oct. 16, 2014) Commissioner Steve Novick will join neighborhood leaders, community members and Portland Bureau of Transportation staff in celebrating the reopening of the Thurman Street Bridge on Friday, after a rehabilitation project that modernized the oldest bridge in Oregon. As part of the celebration, a Portland Fire & Rescue fire truck will cross the bridge for the first time in about 20 years. PBOT experts will be on hand to describe a recent award for the project from the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
WHO: Commissioner Steve Novick
Phil Selinger, Northwest District Association
David O'Longaigh, City Bridge Engineer
Robert Hadlow, Historian for the Oregon Department of Transportation
WHAT: Celebration of the reopening of the Thurman Street Bridge
WHEN: 10:30-11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 17, 2014
WHERE: Entrance to Macleay Park, 2960 NW Upshur St. Vehicle parking is very limited. News media and public are advised to arrive early, park and walk.
WHY: The modernization of the oldest bridge in Oregon means that PBOT can lift a weight restriction that had limited fire truck and bus access to Northwest Portland neighborhoods. PBOT, Portland Fire & Rescue and the Northwest Portland community are celebrating the reopening, after a six-month closure for construction.
VISUALS: Commissioner Novick, staff and community members to unveil a bridge plaque replica. Participants will walk to the bridge and view the first crossing by a Portland fire truck in about 20 years.
(October 15, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws.
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how people who are driving, bicycling and walking 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 N Lombard Street at N Leavitt Avenue crossing has a marked crosswalk (marked on one leg), curb extensions, and signage to alert drivers to the 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.
(October 14, 2014) – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures of NE Killingsworth Street from NE 33rd Avenue to NE 41st Avenue from Thursday, October 16, through Monday, October 20, 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each weekday. Some work may also be done this weekend.
The lane closures will allow crews to grind and pave sections of the road equaling approximately 1.01 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.
(Oct. 9, 2014) – The Portland City Council will discuss the Our Streets PDX transportation funding approaches recommended by two workgroups at a work session at 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 13 in City Council Chambers.
The work session will be the first opportunity for council to review the workgroup recommendations. No decisions will be made at the work session. Public comments may be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. A first reading of a transportation funding proposal is currently scheduled during the Nov. 12 regular Council meeting.
The workgroups’ recommendations were published on Sept. 26 and are available at www.ourstreetspdx.com. The report summarizes areas of agreement and differences. Additional details of a funding proposal will be refined by Council in the coming weeks.
Areas of agreement by workgroup members include the following: our transportation system needs more resources, impacts on low-income residents should be minimized, and new transportation funds should be spent on prioritized maintenance and safety needs. The workgroups also recommend funding mechanisms that collect revenue from businesses through a fee correlated with transportation use and from residents through an income tax.
Consensus was not reached on the following four areas:
Safety and maintenance split: Some workgroup members support allocating 50 percent of funds to maintenance and 50 percent to safety (e.g. sidewalks, crossing improvements, etc.). Some support a higher percentage for maintenance.
Residential income tax rates: For the highest income residents, workgroup members considered three cap options at either $20 a month for taxpayers making over $250,000 (annual gross income for 2-person, joint filers), $100 a month for taxpayers making over $500,000 (annual gross income for 2-person, joint filers), or $200 a month for taxpayers making over $500,000 (annual gross income for 2-person, joint filers). Since all options are designed to raise the same amount of money, a higher cap for high-income people translates to lower taxes for some people with lower incomes, while a lower cap for high-income people translates to higher taxes for some people with lower incomes.
Sunset: Some support automatically ending the program after six years of implementation, unless it is approved by voters at that time. Some support referring it only if an oversight committee and the city council decide to refer it, after six years.
Reallocating current City resources: Many workgroup members supported a reallocation of additional City general fund resources. Some recommend increasing the share of Utility License Fee revenue to transportation.
At the www.ourstreetspdx.com web site, the public can learn more about transportation funding. The web site has been updated with three two-page summaries describing the planned investments in preventive maintenance, plus safety and maintenance on busy streets and residential streets.
Public involvement in the Our Streets PDX funding effort began in January, when the Transportation Needs and Funding Advisory Committee was formed to advise Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick. In the months since, PBOT held nine town hall meetings, conducted two public opinion surveys, convened advisory committees and gave staff presentations at more than a dozen neighborhood coalition and business group meetings.
A Business Workgroup and a Nonprofit and Low-Income Workgroup were both formed in July to provide additional input from stakeholders. Throughout the summer, committee and workgroup members met to review the Transportation User Fee proposed in May and to provide feedback on alternative residential and business funding mechanisms. The members represent diverse interests from across Portland, including neighborhoods, businesses, low-income residents, community organizations and public institutions.
For more information, see the project web page: www.ourstreetspdx.com.
Photos from today's event may be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/115983598@N06/sets/72157648127022090/.. For additional photos, follow Twitter @ppsconnect @pbotsaferoutes @pbotinfo
(October 8, 2014) – Thousands of school children from more than 60 schools in Portland celebrated International “Walk Bike to School Day” on October 8, 2014, showing that it’s easy, fun and healthy to walk and bike to school.
City Commissioner Steve Novick, Transportation Bureau Director Leah Treat, Principal Pam Joyner and other officials joined students in a “walking school bus,” on the way to Southeast Portland’s Hosford Middle School and lauded the Safe Routes to School program that has dramatically expanded the number of children who get to school on foot and bike in the Portland area.
Since its start in 2005, Safe Routes to School has increased the number of elementary school students who bike and walk to school by 35 percent. The program, which combines education and fun events
with safety improvements to streets around schools, now operates in 100 percent of K-8 schools in the Portland area.
The Hosford celebration marks the expansion of Safe Routes to School into Portland’s 14 middle schools, and sends the message that biking and walking is a lifetime healthy activity.
“I’m thrilled to announce the expansion of the Safe Routes to School program to our middle schools,” said Commissioner Novick. "Portland's Safe Routes to School has proven to be a national success for our elementary students-- of whom 42 percent walk or bike to school. Yet, without sidewalks or bikeways, walking or biking to school isn't a viable option to students in all neighborhoods. We'll continue to work hard to secure the resources to make infrastructure improvements that making getting around safer in any neighborhood."
“I’m pleased to say that as you grow up, the Safe Routes to School program is growing with you,” said Leah Treat, transportation bureau director. “Students who walk, bike, skate, scoot and use their own power to get to school arrive with their engines running and brains ready to learn.”
On their morning walk to Hosford, Novick and Treat were joined by dozens of students as well as Principal Joyner, Portland school board members Bobbie Regan and Greg Belisle, and advocates for walking and biking such as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Rob Sadowsky and Oregon Walks’ Noel Mickelberry and Cory Poole from the NW Skate Coalition, as well as Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Fern Russak.
Portland Safe Routes to School is a partnership of the City of Portland, schools, neighborhoods, community organizations and agencies that advocates for and implements programs that make walking and biking around our neighborhoods and schools fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and families while reducing our reliance on cars.
Diane Dulken 503-823-5552
Portland Bureau of Transportation