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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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503-823-3723

Diane Dulken
503-823-5552

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News Release: Real-time map helps Portlanders track new energy-saving LED street light installations in each Portland neighborhood

(April 30, 2015) –  Portland’s largest ever energy-efficiency project is happening citywide with the installation of energy-saving LED street lights in each neighborhood, and an interactive map allows the public to track real-time progress on their street.

LED graphicThe Portland Bureau of Transportation crews are converting 45,000 of the City’s 55,000 street lights to environmentally-friendly LED (light-emitting diode) lights, a process that is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

The map and program may be found at http://bit.ly/PDXLED. Green dots show lights that have been installed; red indicates lights that will be converted. The map also allows the public to send in questions and feedback on each street light.

The new LED street lights are easily identifiable: they cast a crisp light similar to moonlight, unlike the yellow-tinged light from the high-pressure sodium bulbs they replace.  The new LEDs bring numerous benefits: they use half the energy of the high-pressure sodium bulbs and are expected to last four times longer, or up to 20 years. That translates to a $1.5 million annual savings in energy and maintenance, and a reduction of about 10,500 tons of carbon pollution each year.   

“We can all be proud of the savings that the new LED street lights bring to each neighborhood,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “This is a program that saves money, protects our environment and improves reliability by providing street lights that last longer and burn out less often.”

“The new streetlights deliver benefits to each neighborhood, to our city as a whole and to our efforts to address climate change,” said Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat. “We are making a difference street by street and light by light.”

Cities around the world are switching to LED lights as a way to save both money and energy, including Portland’s neighbors to the north in Seattle and nearby in Gresham, Lake Oswego, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Clackamas County and Milwaukie.

The new lights provide the same coverage to illuminate city streets as the old fixtures. They also cut down on light pollution by projecting more light downward and less upward, making it easier for people to star gaze.

The final environmental benefit? The City is recycling the old high pressure sodium bulbs. 

City Council unanimously passed an ordinance in December 2012 dedicating $18.5 million to the conversion project from a general obligation bond.  Conversions began in August and once the project is complete, about December 2016, the City can expect to save $1.5 million a year in maintenance and energy costs. At that rate, the project will pay for itself in eight years, with future years’ savings providing funds for other transportation projects. 

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation.  

Traffic Advisory: Spring paving to close lanes on SW Stark Street from SW Broadway to SW 10th Avenue from May 4-7

(April 30, 2015)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on SW Stark Street from SW Broadway to SW 10th Avenue from Monday, May 4 to Thursday, May 7, 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each work day.

The lane closures will allow crews to prepare the road surface and pave .39 lane miles.  Crews will also refresh and repaint the green bicycle lane on that stretch of Stark.

Streets with ground down surfaces are open for travel. Lane closures are only in effect during project hours. Access will be maintained for businesses during the project.

One lane will be open at all times, and bicycles and motor vehicles may share that open lane during work hours or use alternate routes.

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

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

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

News Release: Leaf Day compost now available for sale at Sunderland Recycling; expanded hours to include three weekends

(April 21, 2015) – Leaf Day has come full circle, with spring garden compost now available for sale to the public from leaves collected last fall during the bureau’s zero waste Leaf Day Pickup service.   

For this year’s spring compost sale, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation is expanding its hours at the Sunderland Recycling Yard, and is now open during the next three weekends except for Mother’s Day in addition to regular weekday hours.

leaf day graphicThe recycling yard, at 9325 NE Sunderland Road, will be open to the public the weekends of April 25-26, May 2-3 and May 16-17 from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  In addition to the special weekend openings, Sunderland is open to the public during its regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The cost for each cubic yard, which will typically fit in a small truck bed, is $24.

“For the first time, PBOT is expanding hours to make more compost available to the public,” said Sunderland Program Manager Jill Jacobsen. “Those who do purchase Leaf Day garden compost return year after year because of the quality and the price.” 

As a member of the United States Compost Council, the recycling yard monitors its compost six times a year for quality, maturation, organic content, trace metals, pathogens, and particle size.

After collecting 14,691 cubic yards of leaves from city neighborhoods during the 2014 Leaf Day program, the bureau has turned 99.98 percent of the leaves into compost, yielding 4,301 cubic yards of compost and creating only .02 percent of waste.

In addition to making compost available for purchase by the public, Leaf Day compost also is used by City crews for plantings and erosion control and also is donated to community gardens.

Portland’s Leaf Day collection program begins in early November and runs through mid-December to pick up leaves from neighborhoods with large numbers of mature trees.  Removing leaves from streets helps reduce slippery road conditions, increasing the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Street leaf removal also reduces street flooding caused by clogged storm drains.  Portland’s infrastructure also benefits from the reduced amount of leaves entering the storm drains.

More information about the leaf composting program at Sunderland Recycling Facility can be found at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/319723.

 

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

UPDATED Traffic Advisory: Spring paving to close lanes on SW Jefferson Street from SW Park Avenue to SW Naito Parkway on May 11 and 12

Update (May 8, 2015) - To complete this project, PBOT crews are scheduled to pave this stretch on Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12,  7:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lane closures will be in effect during those times. This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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Update (May 1, 2015) - To complete this project, PBOT crews are scheduled to pave this stretch on Saturday, May 2, Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5,  7:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lane closures will be in effect during those times. This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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(April 21, 2015)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on SW Jefferson Street from SW Park Avenue to SW Naito Parkway from Thursday, April 23 to Monday, April 27 from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each work day.

The lane closures will allow crews to prepare the road surface to pave 1.1 lane miles.

Streets with ground down surfaces are open for travel. Lane closures are only in effect during project hours. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents during the project. Crews will return during a window of dry weather to complete paving.

The traveling 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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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

Hales, Novick propose 120-day pilot program for taxis and Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Companies

(April 17, 2015) Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick today proposed a 120-day pilot program that will modernize for-hire transportation in Portland and ensure fair competition between all private for hire operators, including both taxis and Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The proposal builds on the recommendations by the Private for Hire Innovation Task Force, which Novick appointed in December to examine the issue and recommend how the City should modernize its regulations. Evolving consumer interests, population growth and a booming tourism industry have generated more demand for taxis and other for-hire transportation service. In addition, Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber and Lyft, have emerged as a new model of for-hire transportation service.

Under the proposal by Hales and Novick, the City would lift the cap on taxi fares, so taxis and TNCs could both set their own fares without city regulation. Both taxis and TNCs would be required to provide service to people with disabilities, provide service 24 hours a day/seven days a week and certify that their drivers have passed City-approved background checks. The City will audit these records to enforce compliance. The resolution directs Transportation Director Leah Treat to create and sign an administrative rule launching the pilot program.

“This is a historic deal,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We were able to move from confrontation to collaboration, with an open process and tough negotiations that have come up with a result that will improve our transportation system and creates a real win for consumers.”

“The existing taxi companies have had two lines of argument against the pilot. One is, simply, that they should be protected from competition in order to ensure a living wage for drivers and good service for people with disabilities. Given that our best information is that the average net hourly income of Portland taxi drivers is $6.22 an hour, and given the complaints people in the disability community have about taxi service, we are not entirely persuaded by that argument,” said Commissioner Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “But the other line of argument is that any competition needs to be fair competition. We agree with that, and in order to ensure fair competition, the proposed framework makes some changes to the task force’s recommendations – and underscores certain features of those recommendations that might not have been well understood.”

The Portland City Council is scheduled to conduct a public hearing and vote on the resolution by Hales and Novick on at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. The hearing will be held at City Council Chambers, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.

Under the proposed framework:

  • The rules for fares will be the same for TNCs and taxis: The City will lift the cap on fares and, as always, have no minimum fare.
  • Background check requirements for taxis and TNCs will be the same. Both can use City-approved third-party background check providers and the City will audit random samples to enforce compliance.
  • Taxis and TNCs will implement service performance measures to ensure timely service for people with disabilities.
  • The TNC companies will not be allowed to pick up passengers until permits have been certified.
  • Taxis and TNCs will both be required to offer 24/7 service. Neither will be allowed to reject trip requests based on the shortness or length of the journey.
  • The City prohibits disclaimers of liability for negligence or other tortious conduct contained in Terms of Service and requires that all tort claims be governed by tort law in effect at the time of a claim.

Click here to read the full resolution.

The framework differs in some respects from the private for hire task force recommendations the City Council heard last week. It does not include a cap on taxi fares. It also includes specific language on TNCs’ legal liabilities.

The Task Force is recommending a two-phase approach, which still guides City action. Phase 1 includes a 120-day TNC pilot program, during which time market data will be collected and analyzed. During Phase 2, the Task Force will assess the market data and solicit public input that will inform recommendations for an overhaul to all of the City’s PFHT rules. The Task Force’s final report is expected this summer and will include recommendations for all modes of for-hire transportation, including taxicabs, TNCs, accessible for-hire transportation service, Limited Passenger Transportation companies, pedicabs and shuttles.

Hales and Novick thanked the Task Force for its recommendations, which were the basis for the resolution. “This task force did the City an incredible service by tackling these tough issues in a very tight timeframe,” Hales said.

“Thanks to the task force, the City Council can rest assured that our pilot program has been thoroughly vetted,” Novick said. “The task force did groundbreaking work, and I look forward to their report this summer on broader for-hire transportation issues.”

The City of Portland has been regulating private for hire transportation for more than a century, and that responsibility was moved in July 2014 from the Office of Management and Finance to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. For more information about private for-hire transportation, visit: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/pdxrides

To file a complaint about taxi service, call 503-865-2486 or email pdxrides@portlandoregon.gov.

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