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Media Relations

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

As 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: Community asks, City Responds: Commissioner Fritz, Leah Treat dedicate new Safe Routes to School path through Pier Park to North Portland schools

(September 12, 2014) -  Friday’s walk home from school was a celebratory occasion for North Portland school children who joined with City officials to parade along a new paved path from Sitton Elementary School through Pier Park to a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

The new paved path, which is roughly as long as five downtown City blocks, replaces a dirt route that often turned muddy for the hundreds of families that cross Pier Park daily.  The path connects several large apartment complexes in this section of St. Johns neighborhood to Sitton and George Middle School as well as to transit, shopping and other services along Lombard and Fessenden Streets.  

“It makes me proud to help lead a city that can work together and deliver on an important neighborhood request,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  “The trail will be an important connector and improve safety for kids, parents, and other neighbors here in St. Johns.”

The City paved the path in response to community members who organized a petition signed by 400 families asking for improved safety for their children as they traveled to school. 

“You asked, and we are delighted to respond and create this safe route to school,” said Leah Treat, who directs the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “I am committed to improving safety throughout Portland, especially around schools.  Walking and biking to school safely also means that kids can get a healthy and fun start to their day.”

“Our parks deliver many benefits to Portlanders, and now we can add one more: providing an essential route for kids and families,” said Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Director Mike Abbaté.

The project’s $60,000 cost was shared equally by PBOT and PP&R, with each contributing $30,000.

The project brought together many partners to create a solution to neighbors’ concerns. PBOT’s Safe Routes to School team worked with parents, managers of the apartment complexes next to Pier Park, PP&R, the City’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Crime Prevention program, Portland Public Schools, Friends of Pier Park, and many other partners to put together a strategy to better serve the families in the neighborhood.

Managers of the nearby apartment complexes are also building new paved paths on their campuses so that families have a continuous network of paved walkways.

Photos of the event are available for publication. Find them here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115983598@N06/sets/72157647121317199/ Please credit the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Ryan Kost.

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Contact:

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Transportation

503-823-5552  c: 503-577-8236

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation

503-823-5300, 503-823-6634

mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

 

Traffic Advisory: Street improvements to close lanes on NE Halsey St from NE 60th to 70th avenues week of Sept. 15

(September 11, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures of NE Halsey Street from NE 60th Avenue to NE 70th Avenue. The lane closures will be in effect Monday, September 15 through Friday, September 19, 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each weekday, but may also include some weekend work.

The lane closures will allow crews to grind 3.57 lane miles and prepare for paving. Paving will occur as weather permits.

Parking restriction barricades will be in place one or two workdays before the start of work. Traffic restrictions will be in place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents.

The 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 flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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News Advisory: Commissioner Fritz, Leah Treat join school kids to celebrate new Pier Park trail to North Portland schools

(September 11, 2014) -  Hundreds of North Portland children who previously walked or biked to school along a dirt path that often turned muddy now have a new all-weather paved path through Pier Park to get to school and other key destinations. 

On Friday, September 12, city officials will join school kids to celebrate the new safe route that connects low-income apartment residents to Sitton Elementary School and George Middle School, as well as to services and transit on Lombard and Fessenden Streets.  The path was constructed in response to the community which organized a petition signed by 400 families asking for improved safety for their children as they traveled to school. 

WHO:  

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees Portland Parks & Recreation

Portland Bureau of Transportation Leah Treat
Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté

Sitton Elementary School Principal Dana Nerenberg, students and their families

WHEN and WHERE

Friday, September 12, 2014

2:15 p.m.  Sitton Elementary School, 9930 N Smith Street: celebratory walking and biking procession begins at dismissal and continues along the Pier Park path to nearby apartment complexes

2:40 p.m. N. Iris Way north of Swenson Street: ribbon cutting with Commissioner Fritz at the path exit along with kids’ activities

VISUALS:  A colorful procession of kids and officials walking the new path in a ‘walking bus’ procession.  Ribbon cutting and kids activities including clowns at the 2:40 p.m. celebration at the path’s entrance, which connects to four large apartment complexes that are home to hundreds of low income families with a large immigrant population.

MEDIA PARKING:   Members of the news media may park on the street near Sitton Elementary School and walk with the procession or park at the community gardens north of N. Ivy and Swenson Street.

 

Contact:

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Transportation

503-823-5552  c: 503-577-8236

diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation

503-823-5300, 503-823-6634

mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

Traffic Advisory: Street improvements to close lanes on NE Halsey Street from NE Weidler to NE 126th Sept. 5 to 19

(September 3, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures of NE Halsey Street from NE Weidler Street to NE 126th Avenue from Friday, September 5, through Friday, September 19. Work will take place from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. each weekday but may also include some hours during the weekend.

The lane closures will allow crews to grind and pave 3.57 lane miles.

Parking restriction barricades will be in place one or two workdays before the start of work. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents.

The 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 flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

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