1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
(Oct. 30, 2014) The Portland Bureau of Transportation invites the public to learn more about the Our Streets PDX transportation funding effort and provide comments at two upcoming public meetings.
An open house will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Carvlin Hall at St. Philip Neri Church, 2408 SE 16th Ave. Enter Carvlin Hall from the parking lot, which can be accessed from SE 16th Avenue or from SE Tamarack St. Information will be available about transportation safety projects and maintenance programs proposed for funding and options for new transportation revenue. PBOT subject matter experts will be available to answer questions and the public is welcome to provide comments that will be forwarded to the City Council.
A City Council hearing and first reading on an ordinance for the funding effort will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, at City Council Chambers, 1221 SW Fourth Ave. A second reading and vote are expected in December.
Discussion of a transportation user fee was started earlier this year by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick. The Our Street PDX effort to develop a new transportation funding mechanism has involved inclusive outreach, including town halls, online surveys, advisory committee meetings and a five-hour public hearing in May. The Transportation Needs and Funding Advisory Committee, formed in January, continued meet through the summer to explore transportation funding options, while two additional workgroups were convened in July to provide a recommendation to Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick on alternative transportation funding approaches.
One discussed how to lessen the impact of a transportation fee (and other City utilities) on low-income residents as well as non-profits and public institutions. The other consisted of leaders in the business community considering how to refine the business and non-residential component of the fee. Instead of a transportation user fee based on average daily trips, the workgroups recommended a personal income tax and a business flat fee. The workgroups’ full recommendation report is available at www.OurStreetsPDX.com.
(Oct. 30, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s annual count of disabled parking placard use in the central city tallied 313 vehicles displaying disabled parking placards, down from 1,033 vehicles the year before. This year’s count is the first since the City’s new Disabled Parking Program took effect on July 1st.
Passed unanimously by the Portland City Council last December, the new program aims to make it easier for persons with disabilities to park near their destinations while increasing the availability of short-term parking for all visitors to downtown and other metered parking districts.
The program made two big changes in parking rules: it ended free, all-day parking for people displaying disabled parking placards and it created 105 designated parking spaces reserved specifically for people with state-issued disabled placards and wheelchair-only placards. The count also found that only 26 of those 105 designated spaces were occupied. By state law, people holding wheelchair placards continue to park free.
“There are two (overlapping) groups of people we especially want to hear this news: holiday shoppers and people with disabilities,” said Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Transportation Bureau. “Holiday shoppers should find it easier to park downtown now than it was a year ago. Many of those 1,033 placard holders were all-day parkers; now, more spaces are available for short-term visits, like shopping trips. And we want to remind people with disabilities that while they can park at any available space we also now have 105 spaces specifically reserved for them. We’re highlighting the location of those spaces on our web site.”
High level of compliance
Before implementing the new program, the Transportation Bureau did extensive public outreach and education, printing 10,000 informational brochures for display at libraries, Oregon DMVs and other public locations, as well as placing them directly on vehicles.
During June of this year, before the program took effect in July, parking officers distributed the brochures to vehicles with disabled placards parked at metered spaces. Beginning in July, parking enforcement officers placed warnings on vehicles that violated the new rules. Vehicles were only cited for infractions after receiving at least one warning.
“PBOT’s approach from the start was to help people adjust to the new rules, so we are seeing a high level of compliance,” Novick said.
This year’s annual count shows that of 8,803 parking spaces in downtown and the Lloyd District, 313 were occupied by vehicles with disabled parking placards. Of those 313, more than 85 percent also displayed parking receipts or permits. Thirty five failed to display receipts and were issued a warning or citation.
“The Commission on Disability is pleased to see that the extraordinary efforts that were put into crafting the new disabled parking ordinance have been successful in minimizing the negative impact on Portlanders with disabilities, while significantly increasing the availability of on-street parking throughout the city,” said Joe VanderVeer, Chair of the Commission on Disability.
“Our commission will continue to monitor the effect of the new ordinance and we will work with PBOT to ensure that the disabled parking program meets the needs of our citizens.”
“We appreciate Commissioner Novick’s leadership in creating a solution that meets the needs of people with disabilities and also benefits businesses and a vibrant central city” said Lisa Frisch, retail program director for the Portland Business Alliance and a member of the city’s Disabled Parking Task Force. “Downtown businesses have seen an increase in the availability of on street parking downtown since the program took effect and that benefits everyone.”
For more information please see www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/disabledparking.
Diane Dulken 503-557-8236
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Bryan Hockaday 503-823-1059
Office of Commissioner Steve Novick
(October 29, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Wednesday, November 5, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws.
Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 2nd, which means the clock turns back one hour and darkness arrives earlier in the afternoon. The City is urging all travelers to be visible and look out for each other, especially as people adjust to the time switch and low light conditions of late fall and winter.
Drivers can do their part by driving at or below the posted speed and continuously scanning the environment for pedestrians and people on bicycles and being ready to stop as needed.
Bicyclists, by state law, must have a white front light and rear red reflector or red light at a minimum.
Pedestrians are encouraged to be more visible by wearing retro-reflective wear, carrying a flashlight or blinking strobe, and investing in bright and contrasting outerwear.
Crosswalk enforcement action promotes safety
The City police and transportation bureaus are holding this month’s crosswalk enforcement action during the evening rush hour to reinforce the need for drivers to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in the crossing at all times.
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how people who are driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws.
Drivers 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.
The N Lombard Street at N Leavitt Avenue crossing has a marked crosswalk (marked on one leg), curb extensions, and signage to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians in the crossing.
Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions about once each month in response to requests by community members, city traffic safety engineers, and Portland Police to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings.
Learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s safety work at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390 and pedestrian rights and responsibilities at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879.
Media Contact: Diane Dulken
(October 28, 2014) - The City of Portland’s annual Leaf Day Pickup Service begins on Sunday, November 2, and extends through December 17, 2014 offering a one- or two-day leaf collection and composting service in neighborhoods with mature trees.
In addition, the Portland Bureau of Transportation urges all residents to keep streets and storm drains clear of leaves in the coming weeks to prevent slippery conditions and street flooding, which can occur when storm grates become clogged or when leaves are left in the street. The Transportation Bureau asks residents to sweep up leaves as they fall and place them in yard debris roll carts for collection and composting.
The city’s leaf pickup service is provided to 30 designated leaf removal districts in neighborhoods whose high concentration of street trees need a higher level of service than residents’ and the city’s regular street cleaning operation can provide.
The Transportation Bureau composts all leaves that are picked up through the program at its Sunderland Recycling Facility. Last year, the Leaf Day service collected 12,681 cubic yards of leaves, turning them into 2,536 cubic yards of compost and zero waste. One cubic yard is roughly the amount that can fill a small pickup truck.
Residents in leaf districts have received letters and brochures notifying them of the service, which typically costs $15 for one Leaf Day and $30 for two. The letters also show how to opt out of the service for residents who wish to remove leaves themselves. The last day for opting out is November 1. People may verify their dates of service and find other information at www.Portlandoregon.gov/leafday. Residents with questions may call 503-865-LEAF (5323).
Leaf Day 2013 Photo credit: Diane Dulken/Portland Bureau of Transportation. Additional leaf photos available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/115983598@N06/sets/72157648810460996/