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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: Portland City Council to review transportation funding options at work session on Monday, Oct. 13

(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 ourstreetspdx@portlandoregon.gov. 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.

Web Site Update

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.

Background

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.

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News release: Novick, Treat join ‘Walk + Bike to School Day’ Wed., Oct. 8, celebrating expansion of Portland Safe Routes to School’s program into middle schools

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.

 

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Contact:

Diane Dulken 503-823-5552

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Twitter @PBOTinfo

 

News Advisory: Novick, Treat join Walk + Bike to School Day tomorrow, Oct. 8; thousands to participate nationally

Event celebrates a safe and healthy way to get to school and expansion of Portland Safe Routes to School’s program into middle schools

WHAT:     Thousands of school children from more than 60 schools will participate in International “Walk + Bike to School Day” on October 8, 2014, showing that it’s easy, healthy and fun to walk and bike to school.

At 8 a.m. on Oct. 8th, City Commissioner Steve Novick, Transportation Bureau Director Leah Treat, Principal Pam Joyner and other officials will join school youth in the walk to Hosford Middle School in Southeast Portland and celebration at the school.   The Hosford celebration also marks a milestone in the popular Safe Routes to School program, marking its expansion from elementary schools to middle schools.  The program has helped expand walking and biking by elementary school students by 35% since it began in 2005.

WHO:      More than 150 students and parents walking and biking to school ; City Commissioner Steve Novick; Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat; Hosford Principal Pam Joyner, Portland Public School Board Members Greg Belisle and Bobbie Regan; Representatives from community organizations.

WHEN and WHERE:

8 a.m. Wednesday, October 8 at Sewallcrest City Park at SE 31st and Stephens Street: Commissioner Novick, Director Treat and other officials will meet and join the “walking school bus” to the school. 

8:15 to 8:45 a.m.  at Hosford Middle School , 2303 SE 28th Place: Officials and youth from two “bike trains” and the “walking school bus” will converge at the school, where there will be youth activities and a celebration.

Additional information may be found at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/

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Media Contact:

Diane Dulken 503-823-5552

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Twitter @PBOTinfo

 

 

Traffic Advisory (Update): North Williams left lane closure begins on Monday, October 6

(October 3, 2014 UPDATE) -  The contractor for this project will prepare to restripe the left lane of N Williams on Saturday, October 4 and begin to close the left lane for restriping on Monday, October 6. By Thursday, the entire left lane from NE Broadway to Killingsworth Street will close for restriping.

Travelers should expect delays.  Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, such as NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  Bicyclists may continue to use the right bicycle lane on N Williams Avenue this week or may use NE Rodney Street as an alternate route.  Construction hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day but the lane closure will be in effect around the clock.

Additional details about the North Williams Safety Project may be found in the news release below and at www.northwilliamssafety.org. . View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” banner campaign. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure.

 

News Release: North Williams Avenue street design installation begins; left lane to close shortly

edit contentAs street design takes shape, “A Safer Place for Everyone” outreach campaign gets underway featuring safety messages from residents

(September 16, 2014) – Construction begins later this week on a new street design for North Williams Avenue, a corridor that serves a growing neighborhood as well as being a popular commute route between downtown and North Portland.

The new street design will extend from NE Broadway to Killingsworth Street and will require up to three months to complete.  Safety improvements will benefit all travelers, especially pedestrians, and changes will affect the look of the street and traffic flow for all travelers.

Early in the project, the left lane of North Williams Avenue will close to all traffic. It will reopen in mid-October as a left side bike lane.  No detours will be in effect during construction but alternate routes are available.

The alternate route for people traveling by bicycle is NE Rodney Street, a neighborhood street that has been upgraded with speed bumps to discourage cut through motor vehicle traffic.  The alternate routes for drivers are NE Martin Luther King Boulevard or N Interstate Avenue.

The new street design will include these major improvements:

  • A new traffic signal will be installed at the busy N Cook Street crossing.
  • New striped crosswalks and curb extensions at five crossings will improve pedestrian visibility, making it safer and easier to cross.
  • Bus and bike travel are being separated to reduce conflicts and improve safety.  Buses will continue to stop on the right side of the street while the bike lane will be expanded to a width of 12 feet and transferred to the left side.
  • The speed limit is being lowered to 25 mph along most of the corridor; and 20 mph where foot traffic is highest, between NE Fremont and Skidmore streets.
  • Green transition zones in the left side bike lane indicate where motor vehicles cross the lane to turn left.

The left side bicycle lane is expected to open in mid-October, once the Cook Street traffic signal is operational.  The additional construction, such as crosswalk restriping, is expected to entail minimal traffic disruption.

The project was developed in 2012 after a 16-month public involvement process to identify how to make N Williams Avenue a safer place for all travelers and to address longstanding community concerns over pedestrian safety in particular.

“A Safer Place for Everyone”

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is launching “A Safer Place for Everyone” outreach campaign to inform people of the new street design and encourage all travelers to share the road.  The campaign is an outgrowth of the public involvement process where people suggested increased outreach around safety.

The “A Safer Place for Everyone” campaign features residents sending their safety messages to fellow residents via a series of banners and A-boards. The banners, soon to be posted to light fixtures along the corridor, will be displayed through the winter. 

The transportation bureau also mailed an “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure to area residents and distributed to local businesses and other gathering places.  The public is encouraged to share photos and their own messages on social media with the tag #northwilliams. 

More information is available at www.northwilliamssafety.org  including a map and construction highlights. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” banner campaign. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure.

Contact:

Diane Dulken Portland Bureau of Transportation

503-823-5552 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

News Release: E. Burnside Street safety project to restripe lanes this weekend from SE 14th to Cesar Chavez Boulevard

(October 2, 2014)  -  To improve safety on one of Portland’s High Crash Corridors, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will restripe and reconfigure lanes this weekend on East Burnside Street from SE 14th Avenue to Laurelhurst Place, just west of Cesar Chavez Boulevard. 

The safety improvements are projected to reduce crashes by about 30 percent. The Transportation Bureau recorded 383 crashes and one pedestrian fatality in the ten-year period ending in 2012. Additional benefits include improved pedestrian crossings and access to transit and a better environment for the business district. 

The East Burnside Transportation Safety Project was requested by adjacent business and neighborhood associations and developed in partnership with community members. Burnside Street is one of the city’s ten High Crash Corridors, roadways with unusually high crash rates and that are targeted for safety improvements for all.

As part of the East Burnside Transportation Safety Project, this stretch of road will change from two lanes in each direction to one westbound lane, one center turn lane, and two eastbound lanes. The new configuration will add about 15 on-street parking spaces.

Restriping is scheduled for this weekend, October 4 and 5, with some additional work possible on October 6Work is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  During work hours, parking will not be allowed on the westbound side of the street.

People traveling during work hours should expect delays and are advised to use Sandy Boulevard as an alternate route. This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

A second phase in spring 2015 will install three pedestrian islands and marked crossings at 18th, 22nd and 24th avenues on the west leg of each intersection. In addition, PBOT will apply to the Oregon Department of Transportation for posted speed reduction from 35 to 30 mph.  More information is available on the project brochure and the Burnside High Crash Corridor website.