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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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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!

Gordon Price Lecture

Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University will lecture on transportation and land use in the Pacific Northwest.

(November 10, 2014) Come hear a distinct perspective on transportation and land use in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

This Thursday evening (11/13), Gordon Price will give a free presentation on the effective integration of transportation in high-density environments with an emphasis on land use. If you’ve seen Price speak before, fear not! He always has a new presentation and a trick or two up his sleeve.

To learn more about Price check out his electronic magazine, PriceTags or his daily blog on Vancouver and worldwide urban affairs. Price is a former City of Vancouver, B.C. Councilor and current Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia Professor who teaches, researches, and writes extensively on urban development and planning.

What: Gordon Price Presentation 
When: Thursday 11/13, 6:40 – 8:40 p.m. 
Where: Portland Building Auditorium, 1120 SW 5th Ave 
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Questions? Contact: Scott Cohen City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (503) 823-5345

Let Portland By Cycle keep you active through the winter

Staying active throughout the winter is a great way to fight the seasonal blues and bicycling is a great way to accomplish that!

Person on bicycle with umbrella(November 6, 2014) Let Portland By Cycle (PBC) keep you active and on your bike all winter long. Just in time for the rainy weather, PBC is offering a free All Season Cycling Class on Thursday, November 13 from 6:30-8pm at the PCC Climb Center, 1626 SE Water Avenue. Here are a few examples of what you will learn:

  • Simple bike maintenance tips for winter
  • Strategies for staying warm and dry without breaking the bank
  • Bike handling techniques for wet weather
  • More…

Bike with donuts for wheelsFor some additional motivation for trying out your new skills, join PBC for the Coffee and Donuts Ride on Saturday, November 15 from 9:45am-1pm starting from Irving Park at NE Fremont and 7th Avenue.

This ride will be an easy paced loop with several stops along the way to refuel and is great for folks new to biking or new to the area. The approximately 14-mile route will follow mostly low-traffic streets and neighborhood greenways with some off-street paths. As always, the ride is free but helmets are required.

Be sure to bring your own cup for coffee and cash for snacks. As an added incentive, there will also be a free raffle at both the class and the ride. We hope you’ll join us! 

To sign up for the Portland By Cycle e-newsletter, click here.

PBOT Analysis: Road Reconfigurations Reduce Crashes and Speeding in Portland

Projects result in 37% fewer crashes, 10% reduction in speeding

(October 7, 2014) –   A Portland Bureau of Transportation analysis of 20 years of traffic data found that road diets, or reconfigurations, on Portland’s streets lowered speeds and significantly reduced traffic crash rates.

The results demonstrate the value of these reconfigurations as a tool to improve safety on busy multi-lane streets. 

Portland Road Diet Evaluation: 1994 - 2014
Project Location Project Length (mi) Construction Year Before Data Range After Data Range % Change in Crash Rate % Volume Change % Change in 85% Speed
NE Glisan, 22nd - 32nd 0.57 1997 1993-1996 1998-2012 -42.25% -3.93% N/A
SE 7th, Division - Washington 0.85 1994-1996 1993-1994 1997-2012 -32.62% -5.79% N/A
SE Tacoma, 6th - 11th  0.25 2002/03 1993-2001 2004-2012 -36.76% -13.45% N/A
SE Division, 60th - 80th 1 Fall 2013 2008-2012 2014-2015 N/A -6.27% -12.50%
NE Glisan, 60th - 80th 1 Fall 2013 2008-2012 2014-2015 N/A -2.60% -7.14%
Average 0.52       -37.21% -6.41% -9.82

Sources: Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Crash Data, 1993-2012, Portland Bureau of Transportation (vehicle speeds)

PBOT analyzed crash data on all five road sections in Portland where the bureau reorganized a two-way arterial from four vehicle lanes to two vehicle lanes and a center turn lane. In some instances, Portland also added bicycle lanes. PBOT often refers to these changes as “road reconfigurations.” Nationally, this treatment is known as a “road diet.” 

On Portland’s streets that have undergone road diets, PBOT’s analysis found on average:

  • 37 percent reduction in traffic crash rates
  • 10 percent reduction in the 85th percentile speed*

Before/after comparison of NE Glisan at 78th AveIn addition, the amount of traffic dropped six percent, which mirrors traffic volume reductions across the City since 2005.  

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified these road reconfigurations as one of nine “proven counter safety measures” to reduce speeding, crashes and fatalities.

Portland’s experience mirrors national data. FHWA cites a 29 percent reduction of traffic crashes nationally on streets undergoing road reconfigurations. 

FHWA notes that road diets provide multiple benefits to all road users. These benefits include improved vehicle compliance with posted speed limits and a corresponding decrease in crash severity; reduction of “multiple threat” crossings for pedestrians (one driver stops for pedestrian while driver in adjacent lane does not); reduction of rear-end and side-swipe crashes; increased opportunity for on-street parking, and improved safety for bicyclists when bike lanes are added (which also provide an additional buffer for pedestrians).

In 2013, PBOT implemented road reconfigurations on SE Division between 60th-80th avenues and NE Glisan between 60th-80th avenues. Both segments saw more than a 50 percent decrease in vehicles driving over the posted speed limit (see links). PBOT anticipates an accompanying reduction in crash rates, although crash data is not yet available.

Over 90 percent of Portland traffic crashes take place on busy streets. PBOT’s High Crash Corridor program employs short-term, low-cost treatments to improve safety on these roadways. Given their high cost-benefit ratio, road reconfigurations are an important tool in that program’s tool box.


 *The 85th percentile speed is a value that is used by many states and cities for establishing regulatory speed zones. It is the speed that 85% of vehicles are observed traveling at or under during free flowing conditions.