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Portland Bureau of Transportation

We keep Portland moving

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Crosswalk Enforcement Action Planned for Tuesday, December 16 [Updated]

In an active city like Portland, drivers should expect to see pedestrians and cyclists out at all times.

Officer talking with driver who failed to stop(December 15, 2014)  The Portland Police Bureau and PBOT have scheduled a crosswalk enforcement action during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, December 16 at East Burnside Street and 24th Avenue. The crosswalk enforcement action will take place from 6:00-7:30pm. Crosswalk enforcement actions are intended to highlight the need for drivers to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in the crossing at all times and to be extra alert during the low light conditions of late fall and winter.

Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crossing while police monitor how well people who are driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. The Oregon Crosswalk Law (ORS 811.028) requires motorists to “…stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian is in the motorist’s lane or the adjacent lane.” Vehicle operators 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.

These enforcement actions remind vehicle operators to share the road and be ready to stop or yield the right-of-way as needed, so we can all arrive at our destinations safely. The City urges all travelers to be alert and look out for each other, especially during the darker and shorter days of winter. Drivers can do their part by driving at or below the posted speed and by continuously scanning the environment for people walking and bicycling (and other non-auto road users) and to be ready to stop when needed.

(Update, December 17, 2014)   During the crosswalk enforcement the Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division witnessed 42 violations and issued two warnings.  Of the 42 violations, 22 were for failure to stop and remain stopped at a crosswalk, 2 were for passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, along with 18 other violations.  All crosswalk enforcement actions are advertised in advance, and signs are posted ahead of the intersection to alert road users that an enforcement activity is taking place.

Up Your Visibility Game

Fluorescent for Day, Reflective for Night

(December 11, 2014)  What is the best strategy for being seen and staying safe while out and about during a Portland winter? Invest in some time or money in high visibility gear or clothing.

Man wearing fluorescent and reflective jacketHigh visibility gear and clothing is made of fluorescent colors with added reflective tape or designs. To best be seen in all conditions - during the day, at dusk and at night - you should be wearing both fluorescent and reflective items.

Daytime Visibility

Wear something fluorescent to be most visible during the daytime. Fluorescent materials appear bright during the day and even brighter near dusk, but are less effective for nighttime use.

It has to do with optics theory and physics, but fluorescent colors look really bright because of the way they absorb and emit different kinds of light. Lots of colors can be fluorescent but the yellow and orange clothing worn by road crews and emergency personnel as well as some green and pink colors are the most popular and effective.

During the daylight hours the sun’s ultraviolet rays react with the fluorescent colors to make them appear to glow, or fluoresce, and this effect is even stronger in poor light conditions such as in rain, fog or toward dusk, which are typical Portland winter conditions.

Nighttime Visibility

Wear something reflective to be the most visible at nighttime. After dark, the light from sources like car headlights bounces off reflective materials, actually making them glow, and reflects at least some of that light back to the source.

Since reflective materials work at night by bouncing back the light from a source, to work properly it needs to be dark and there must be a light source such as car headlights. These materials are not so effective during the daytime.

Not all reflective materials are created the same, however. Some technology scatters the reflective light with only some of the light being directed back to drivers. Retro-reflective materials are designed to bounce most of the light back to its source rather than scattering it. The light from a driver’s headlights will go straight back to the driver allowing them to see the retro-reflective material, and thus the pedestrian or bicyclist wearing it, extremely well.

Up Your Visibility Game

Black backpack with bright stickersWhat can you do if you don’t want to buy all new outerwear? If your rain gear is dark colored or even black, it’s a good idea to wear or carry something fluorescent on rainy days. Think a bright orange or yellow umbrella or even a safety sash or vest.

You can also add reflective tape to your regular clothing to be more visible at night. Reflective tapes and sew-on materials can be purchased online, at some craft or fabric stores, hardware stores, safety supply stores such as Sanderson’s Safety Supply, and even auto supply stores and bike shops.

The best place to add strips of reflective materials are around the joints or moving parts of the human form. Adding reflective bits of material to the ankles, knees, elbows and wrists will help the driver recognize you as a person on the move and send the message that they need to slow down. The main thing to remember is: Fluorescent for day, Reflective for night.

Community advocates present 7 great ideas for Portland transportation system

Portland Traffic and Transportation class final presentations will highlight seven possibilities for Portland transportation

(December 2, 2014) - On Thursday evening, December 4th, 2014, seven community advocates enrolled in the Portland Traffic and Transportation class will present their proposals for improving Portland's transportation system. Presenters will address a three person panel made up of Portland Bureau of Transportation director Leah Treat, Commissioner in charge of transportation Steve Novick's chief of staff, Chris Warner, and Planning and Sustainability Commissioner and citizen advocate, Chris Smith.

The proposals span the entire city and include topics covering pedestrian safety, electric vehicles, high capacity transit corridors, and more. The community advocates will give brief presentations to the three panelists. Then the expert panelists will ask questions and lead a discussion on the project's benefits, challenges, and next steps for its fruition. Audience participation is welcome and encouraged.

To see past presentations, explore the archive on PortlandTransport.org.

What: Community advocate presentations exploring new transportation proposals
When: Thursday, 12/4/2014 from 6:40 - 8:40 pm
Where: The Portland Building Auditorium (2nd Floor). 1120 SW 5th Ave
Cost: FREE

Screen grab from 2013 presentation Screen grab from Peter Maris's 2013 presentation on Montavilla traffic and livability issues.

Safe Routes Puts the Fix into Fix-it Fairs

Volunteer adjusting a bike at Fix It Fair

(Novermber 26, 2014)  On Saturday, November 22, 2014, the City of Portland Safe Routes to School program participated in the Fix-it Fair held at Parkrose High School.  Every year the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability hosts three Fix-it Fairs.  As part of the event, Safe Routes offers free minor bike repair to families.  Volunteer mechanics from Bikes for Humanity and Bike Farm were busy repairing 16 bikes, including this adorable scoot bike.  

 Mechanic working on a balance bike

Safe Routes staff were also on hand to promote walking, biking and rolling to school.  The Safe Routes program is in over 100 schools in the Portland area working with students through bike and pedestrian safety education, walk and bike encouragement activities, SmartTrips to School, engineering projects, and enforcement. 

Safe Routes will offer free minor bike repair at the other two Fix-it Fairs in January and February – thanks to Bikes for Humanity and Bike Farm.  Click here for fair dates and locations.  For more information regarding Safe Routes to School, check out their website

Bikes for Humanity volunteer with bike

Bike Farm volunteers work on a bike

November Fix-It Fair and other opportunities to stay active through the winter

(November 19, 2014)  Wait! Bicycling season is not over. The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Active Transportation Division has lots of activities planned to help you become an all-season commuter and to stay active all year long.A bike in the snow

You will find us well represented at the upcoming Fix-It Fair on Saturday, November 22 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm at Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver St. We will have a general information table complete with walk and bike maps, other information and fun giveaways. All Fix-It Fairs are FREE and open to the general public.

In addition, we’ll offer a FREE 45-minute All Season Cycling Class at the Fix-It Fair at 1:00 pm. You can learn how to make yourself visible with the right lights, gear and clothing, how to recognize and deal with seasonal road hazards, and how to dress to stay dry and comfortable in all weather conditions. If time allows, we’ll spend some time talking about basic bike maintenance for winter weather.

The Safe Routes to School team will be at the Fix-It Fair talking to families about walking school buses, bike trains and more.  We’ll also have FREE basic bike repair for students and families from 9:45 am to 2:00 pm.  Be sure to have your bike there by 2:00 pm so our amazing volunteers from Bike Farm and Bikes for Humanity have time to complete needed work before the Fix-It Fair closes. Some typical repairs we perform include tightening brakes, fixing flats and adjusting shifters.

Finally, we will again offer our 90-minute All Season Cycling Class, postponed on November 13 due to the threat of winter weather. The newly rescheduled class is on Thursday, December 4 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the PCC CLIMB Center, 1626 SE Water Ave. It’s FREE (no registration needed) and includes a raffle for seasonally appropriate prizes!

We’ll do what we can to help you stay healthy and happy and on your bike all year long!