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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 


News Release: Citing safety and economic development benefits, Commissioner Novick welcomes back Naito Pilot Project during Oregon Brewers Festival

(July 17, 2015) – Commissioner Steve Novick and community partners today announced the Naito Pilot Project, a temporary safety solution that will create a pleasant route for people to get to and enjoy the Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) at Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of several major summer events in Portland’s waterfront park. The festival attracts some 85,000 visitors, with more than 30 percent coming from out of state. But to reach the festival, visitors and tourists are too often forced to walk in a bike lane, or bike in a travel lane with high-speed vehicle traffic.

“The safety of residents and visitors is our top priority,” said Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “That’s particularly true for events and festivals along the waterfront. We want everyone to have a great time, be safe and enjoy some of Oregon’s finest beer!”

Starting Tuesday, July 21 at 6pm and lasting through Monday, July 27 at 6pm, the four-lane SW Naito Parkway will have three travel lanes, plus a lane of open space for the public to walk and bike safely to the festival. The pilot project will open nearly a mile of street, 15 feet wide, to public use, from SW Salmon Street to SW Ankeny. The Brewers Festival has in the past used parts of SW Naito for loading.

The pilot project will be similar to an opening of Naito conducted during the Rose Festival in June. To help keep visitors safe, Better Block PDX, a local group devoted to creating temporary public space, worked with PBOT to create the project. Better Block volunteers will build safety barriers and pedestrian lanes, monitor traffic, and count people walking and bicycling along the waterfront.

Unlike the Naito pilot project in June, people on bicycle will be able to travel in both directions of the public space. During the weekend, the northern end of the project will begin at SW Ash Street in order to facilitate Saturday Market activities.

“Better Block is excited to continue the conversation about public space on our downtown waterfront that was started by Gov Tom McCall,” said Ryan Hashagen, a volunteer with the group. “The legacy of Gov. McCall and Waterfront Park has proven so successful and is often at peak capacity, Better Block PDX is happy to partner with Oregon Brewers Festival to create a safe space for all Oregonians to enjoy our downtown Waterfront.”

Transportation Director Leah Treat said PBOT is collaborating with the festival and Better Block on their request to create safer public access to the waterfront. “We are eager to help create a safe, enjoyable experience for the thousands of people walking and biking to this great event,” she said.

“We are excited to partner with the City of Portland, Better Block PDX, Oregon Walks, and Portland State University to create a safe space for our patrons as they come to the waterfront to enjoy some of the best tasting beer in the world,” said Art Larrance, director of the Oregon Brewers Festival.

Portland State University engineering students designed traffic control measures for the project, which were reviewed by PBOT staff. “For a university that strives every day to heed the motto, 'Let Knowledge Serve The City,' there is no clearer sign of success than a student project being brought to life in the heart of our city," said Wim Wiewel, president of PSU.

An economic analysis conducted by Eastern Oregon University during last year’s festival found:

  • Women accounted for nearly half (44%) of OBF attendees.
  • Nearly half (42%) of the attendees utilized public transit to reach the festival.
  • 41% of OBF patrons were attending the festival for the first time.
  • The largest demographic of attendees are 21-29 year olds (29%) followed by those over the age of 50 (25%).
  • 290 jobs were created as a direct result of the economic impact of the Oregon Brew Festival.

 

Have your say about the Naito Pilot Project:

Twitter: #BetterNaito

Email comments: NaitoParkway@portlandoregon.gov

Web site: portlandoregon.gov/transportation/naitoparkway

Facebook: Portland Bureau of Transportation

Leave a message by phone: 503-823-4321

 

Better Block PDX has obtained funding for this project from Clif Bar.

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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: Director Treat announces PBOT surpasses Back to Basics goal to preserve 100 miles of streets

Back to Basics map

(click image to view full-size PDF)

(July 14, 2015) Transportation Director Leah Treat announced today that the Portland Bureau of Transportation surpassed its goal of preserving 100 lane miles of City streets during the budget year that ended June 30.

The 103 miles preserved in fiscal year 2014-15 equals the total miles treated in the prior year, but represents more than double the lane miles of streets preserved in 2012-13.

Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick set the goal of 100 miles of street preservation two years ago and have continued their advocacy for more transportation investment.

“Basic maintenance is a smart investment because it saves money in the long run,” said Novick, who oversees PBOT. “If we spend a little money now to keep roads in good condition, more costly road rebuilds can be prevented and delayed. The Mayor and I set the 100 miles of preservation goal, and I’m glad the transportation bureau is making it an annual tradition to surpass that goal, even with limited resources.”

Treat said that PBOT has its sights set on a third year of preserving 100 miles of streets in fiscal year 2015-16, which started July 1.

“This is no longer an aspirational goal. This is business as usual for the City of Portland,” Treat said. “Portland Progress, the two-year workplan that PBOT adopted in February, makes it clear that street preservation is fundamental to our mission as the steward of the City’s transportation system. Our asset managers pick the right projects to preserve the system. And our maintenance crews work hard and always search for new techniques to get the job done.”

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick continue to make maintenance a high priority. They successfully advocated for a budget for 2015-16 includes the largest General Fund investment in transportation in 30 years. The Council approved $20 million more for basic transportation investments, for a total $29 million from the city’s General Fund.

PBOT uses a variety of treatments that help prevent potholes from occurring and save money. A fog seal preventive sealant costs at least $8,500 a lane mile. If PBOT waits for that same street to fall into poor condition, it could cost at least $1 million to $2 million to rebuild.

Crews preserved the 103 lane miles using a variety of street preservation techniques. In 2014-15, PBOT completed a total of 56 lane miles of grinding and repaving the street surface -- work that is mainly conducted on high-traffic streets. Crews treated 44 lane miles with fog seal, a technique used mainly on low-traffic neighborhood streets. On 3 lane miles, workers completed base repairs, in which they dig up, repair and repave badly damaged areas of streets.

A lane mile is one mile of street that is 12-feet wide. In 2015-16, PBOT expects to apply more crack sealing to arterial streets, as a way to extend the life of those streets and avoid more costly rebuilds and repaving projects. At a news conference on North Argyle Street, crews demonstrated how it works.

For every $15 million we invest in preventive maintenance, PBOT estimates the City can avoid at least $50 million a year in future costs.

“We make the most of limited resources by doing the right work, at the right place, at the right time,” Treat said.

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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: Street improvements to close lanes on NE 15th/16th in Lloyd District July 13-16; project to add pedestrian, bicycle safety upgrades

(July 10, 2015)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on NE 15th and 16th avenues from NE Multnomah Street to NE Weidler Street from Monday, July 13  through Thursday, July 16, 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each day.

The lane closures will allow crews to pave .4 lane miles of the street. The paving project also will allow the installation of crossing improvements near a senior center on the superblock and the widening of the bicycle lanes.  This street carries a light level of motor traffic and the widening of the bicycle lanes is projected to have no impact on travel times for motor vehicles, while improving the safety and comfort of people traveling on foot and bicycle.  http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/67736

During the paving project, lane closures will be in effect during project hours. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents.

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 reader boards and 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

News Release: PBOT prepares to install 24 pedestrian safety beacons in East Portland; Educational brochures being distributed in multiple languages

(July 9, 2015) -  To improve safety for pedestrians crossing busy East Portland streets, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will install 24 new Rapid Flash Beacons later this summer and fall at key crossings and is leading a new effort to raise community awareness about the beacons and their use.

RFB on 80th and Foster

Over the next several weeks, the Bureau will distribute multi-lingual flyers about the flashing beacons to community locations including libraries, social service agencies, health centers, and community centers.  In addition, the Bureau has placed multi-lingual ads in neighborhood newspapers.

“A driver is far more likely to stop for a pedestrian at crossings with beacons than without. These flashing lights can be a matter of life and death on busy, wide streets where the beacons will be installed,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “These beacons are a great example of the types of safety improvements that are needed to advance our Vision Zero strategy— certainly in East Portland, but also throughout the entire city.”    

The solar-powered LED beacons flash yellow when a pedestrian pushes a button, signaling drivers to stop and stay stopped to allow people to cross safely.  They are being installed on streets that PBOT has designated as High Crash Corridors because of their safety needs. (See map and listing of the beacons.)

The exact dates for activation will vary and the first beacons to come on line will be near two schools: NE 102nd Avenue and Skidmore near Prescott Elementary School and the west side of SE 122nd Avenue and Lincoln Street, near Mill Park. 

“These flashing beacons deliver a needed safety improvement to East Portland and allow residents of all ages and abilities to travel safely to their destinations.  Shopping, going to work, taking transit, going to the park should not be a dangerous experience. These flashing beacons will make our East Portland streets safer,” said Leah Treat, director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

While EVERY intersection is a legal crosswalk that requires motorists to stop for pedestrians, compliance levels vary and can be especially low on busy multi-lane streets such as those in East Portland.  Another hazard on multi-lane streets occurs when a vehicle in one lane stops, but a vehicle in an adjacent lane doesn’t. Such “double threat” incidents have led to several pedestrian deaths over the years.

The Federal Highway Administration has found that these flashing beacons are highly effective at increasing driver yielding rates to pedestrians in crosswalks. An FHWA study showed that four out of five drivers stop at crossings when flashing beacons are triggered, versus one out of five at marked crosswalks without flashing beacons.

The new beacons and related communications are part of PBOT's Vision Zero initiative to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from Portland’s roadways.  Building enhanced pedestrian crossings on busy roadways is a key strategy to achieving this vision. 

PBOT first installed the devices as an experiment in 2010 on two High Crash Corridors - at SE Foster at SE 80th and SE 82nd Ave south of SE Francis - and quickly found them to be effective. When the 24 installations are complete in 2016, Portland will have 55 beacons throughout the city.

For more information: View Flashing beacon flyers in multiple languages describe how pedestrians should use and drivers should respond to flashing beacons, and a  Beacon Buddies short video about how pedestrians use the flashing beacons.

Photo credit: David Ashton; Photo caption: Flashing beacons, such as this one on SE Foster Road, helps improve pedestrian safety

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Find out more about PBOT’s safety work and Vision Zero, PBOT’s goal of making our transportation system the safest possible and moving towards zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2025. www.visionzeroportland.com.

 

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 Advisory: Parking meters in effect July 3; parking free on July 4th

(June 30, 2015)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation reminds the public that parking meters will be operational on Friday, July 3, and enforcement of meters will be in effect.

Parking meters will be free on Independence Day, Saturday, July 4.

Parking is free on nine holidays in 2015. To view the dates, please visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/369182

Happy Independence Day.  Travel safely.

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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