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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

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

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Idling Gets You Nowhere

10 seconds of idling your car wastes more gas than restarting

Kids walk to school next to cars at curb(September 28, 2015) Now that school is back in session, we’d like to bring you this reminder to reduce unnecessary idling, especially around schools and where children live and play.

Vehicle exhaust is hazardous to human health, especially for children. It’s linked to increased rates of cancer, heart and lung disease and asthma. Children, whose lungs are still developing, breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants per pound of body mass than adults.

Vehicle exhaust is the leading source of toxic air pollution in Oregon. Nearly half of toxic air pollutants in Oregon come from vehicles releasing sulfur dioxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other toxins that contribute to carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

Idling is also expensive and hard on your engine. Ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine and just one hour of idling burns about one gallon of gas with zero miles per gallon. Finally, an idling engine is not working at peak temperature so fuel doesn’t fully combust, causing damage to engine parts.

What can you do?
Turn it off – if you are going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds (especially around schools and where children live and play)
Reduce warm up idling – modern engines don’t need more than 30 seconds of idling to warm up
Spread the word – talk to family, friends and neighbors about the benefits of reduced idling and encourage them to join you in contributing to a healthier community and in saving money

Sunday Parkways, salmon, and a shiny new bridge

Final Sunday Parkways event of the season happens on September 27th!

A child on a climbing wall at Sunday Parkways(Updated 9/29/2015 with link to post on final attendance numbers, see below)

(September 21, 2015)  What do Sunday Parkways, salmon and the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People have in common? They will all be on display and available for all to enjoy on Sunday, September 27th, from 11am-4pm. This new 8-mile Sunday Parkways route will include the Tilikum Crossing and circle the Sellwood area, introducing participants to the Westmoreland, Sellwood and Brooklyn School Parks where music, food and fun await. View the Tilikum Crossing event brochure here.

Bikes decorated like salmon

Westmoreland Park will feature the 2nd annual Salmon Celebration to highlight the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek and the return of wild salmon to the city. There will be tours, a Native American blessing, music, games, crafts, inter-tribal cultural activities, samplings of Native American food, and more.

The Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People is the largest car-free bridge in the United States and the latest addition to our cityscape here in Bridgetown. The Tilikum Crossing carries the Portland Streetcar, the MAX Orange Line, TriMet busses and cyclists and pedestrians, and officially opened to the public on September 12, 2015. 

Update:  Thanks to all 28,000 people who came out for the last Sunday Parkways of the year. Read all about the day and the year's record-breaking attendance by clicking here.

Tilikum Crossing

Summer memories - Safe Routes to School bike camps

Students learned how to get around their neighborhood while learning to ride safely.

Happy bike camp riders on the trail(September 16, 2015)  Every summer for the past seven years the City of Portland Safe Routes to School program has partnered with SUN school programs to lead bike camps. This summer staff led camps in the David Douglas School District. Thirty-eight 3rd-5th grade students from Gilbert Heights, Gilbert Park and Mill Park schools learned safe bike handling skills, laws of the road, signals, and map reading. Then the students ventured out on the roads in outer east Portland to practice their riding skills and explore their neighborhoods.

The Safe Routes to School bike camps also provide summer internships to high school students through the SummerWorks program. This year two interns assisted with the bike camps. The main goal of the Safe Routes internship is to provide leadership skills and job skills to high school youth. During the six weeks the interns learned classroom management, lesson development and how to keep kids safe while riding bikes on the road.

Learning map reading skills at Bike CampAs you can see from the smiles – bike camp was a success!

City Council Accepts Portland’s Neighborhood Greenways Assessment Report

Council action sets the stage to improve existing neighborhood greenways

(August 26, 2015) Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) staff presented a comprehensive report on the city’s 70-plus mile neighborhood greenway system. Neighborhood greenways are streets with few automobiles, traveling slowly, that prioritize bicycling and enhance conditions for walking. They form the backbone of the city's safe routes to school network and they make up a large portion of the low-stress bikeway network. Portland's Neighborhood Greenways Assessment Report evaluated how the routes are working, their role in the city’s transportation system, and what changes could be made both on the ground and in city policies to improve them. City council accepted the report and resolution unanimously.

Neighborhood greenway cargo bike pictureThe first neighborhood greenways were built more than 25 years ago, principally as neighborhood traffic calming projects. They have undergone several design changes through the years and some of the older neighborhood greenways, such as SE Clinton and SE Salmon, operate differently than some of the most recently built routes.

Neighborhood greenways are an important part of our city and our transportation system. In recent years, many community members have expressed concerns about the conditions of neighborhood greenways, particularly that they don’t feel safe using them. PBOT staff undertook the neighborhood greenways assessment report to better understand the issues community members were expressing. 

The report helps quantify and illuminate the issues presented to PBOT and provides clear guidance on how staff should address problems expressed by the community. The report includes guidelines for how neighborhood greenways should operate so that these priority bicycle routes are predictable and consistent for all roads users throughout the city.

Promisingly, the data analysis in the report shows that most neighborhood greenways are functioning very well – they are well used by bicyclists, they have few cars and the speeds are slow. However, there are a few small, critical sections where the number and speeds of automobiles is compromising the street’s comfort and safety.

The report puts forth six neighborhood greenways in need of operational improvements where auto speeds and volumes are too high. When funding becomes available, this list will help the city prioritize where to spend limited funds to bring existing neighborhood greenways up to the guidelines. This list does not impact the five currently funded projects that will continue to move forward, including three projects in East Portland, and two north-south neighborhood greenways in North and NE and SE Portland, respectively.

Portland's Neighborhood Greenway Assessment Report can be downloaded on the neighborhood greenway homepage. An executive summary is also available on the homepage.

For an in-depth look at the report join us at the PBOT Bicycle Lunch and Learn on Thursday, Sept. 17th at noon in City Hall's Lovejoy Room.

Expect additional auto traffic on N Flint Avenue during the school year

Faubion PK-8 School’s temporary relocation to Harriet Tubman means many more vehicles traveling on this popular bike route

(August 24, 2015)  People who drive, walk or bike on North Flint Avenue should prepare for additional traffic and use caution, due to Faubion School’s temporary relocation to the former Harriet Tubman school site. Especially during school drop off and pick up hours, people who bicycle on N Flint may consider using N Vancouver and Williams, respectively.  (See map.)

Portland Public Schools (PPS) is relocating Faubion PK-8 to the former site of the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Young Women at 2231 N Flint Avenue for two years while Faubion is completely rebuilt with proceeds from the School Improvement Bond.

In partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Safe Routes to School program, PPS continues to conduct outreach with families and people bicycling on Flint about the projected traffic uptick. According to PPS, over 40 people stopped at a bike breakfast event held last week to inform travelers about the changes. PPS is conducting training with bus drivers about maneuvering in a highly bicycle trafficked area.

In the fall 2014 Safe Routes to School survey, over 40% of Faubion families reported their students walked, biked or rolled to school. PPS and PBOT anticipate that the five-plus mile distance between the two sites will result in more families driving to school. PPS and Safe Routes will continue to work with the school community to encourage and assist with bike trains, walking school buses and ride sharing.

For more information about the Faubion at Tubman Campus temporary relocation, please contact Teri Brady at PPS. For more information about the PBOT Safe Routes to School program, contact Janis McDonald.