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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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Organization + Structure

 

Office of the Director 

  • Business Services
  • Communications
  • Transportation Planning
  • Administration 


Engineering + Technical Services

  • Civil Design
  • Bridges & Structures
  • Construction Inspection Survey
  • Signals & Street Lights

 

Development + Capital Program

  • Street Systems/Utilities
  • Permit Engineering
  • Development Review
  • Right-of-Way Acquisition
  • Keep Portland Moving
  • Project Management

 

Maintenance Operations

  • Transportation Street Systems
  • Environmental & Operational Systems

 

System Management

  • Traffic Operations
  • Transportation Options
  • Parking Operations
  • Parking Enforcement

 

 

Office of the Director

Within the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Office of the Director consists of the following programs: Business Services, Transportation Planning,  Administrative and Communication Services.

The Office of the Director  provides leadership as well as overall planning, policy, financial, communications, and administrative services for Transportation. Portland has an international reputation as a well-planned city, with citizen involvement and livability at the forefront, ensuring that economic growth and the region’s acclaimed high quality of life are sustained into the future.

Office of the Director also helps operating sections integrate new technologies and new leading-edge methods into their business practices to maximize efficiency, particularly with Infrastructure Management System (IMS) implementation and support of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In these tough economic and fiscal times, Transportation carefully manages its revenues and expenditures to ensure that citizens obtain the maximum benefit from every dollar invested in their transportation system.

Responsibilities include:

- Recommending and ensuring the achievement of local, regional, and federal transportation policies.

- Coordinating program development as requested by the Commissioner-in-Charge.

- Representing Transportation to public and private sector agencies.

- Providing overall administrative guidance and direction for Transportation.

- Developing and recommending funding that provides long-term fiscal stability for Transportation’s capital and operating programs.

- Reviewing and authorizing operational procedures.

- Improving the efficiency, responsiveness, and effectiveness of services and programs.

- Participating in regional planning for transportation projects and advocating for the interests of the City of Portland.

- Coordinating personnel administration, loss control, training, and public information efforts through the media and other outreach methods.

- Ensuring the most effective use of available information technology tools and resources, such as Infrastructure Management System (IMS) implementation and support of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), services and data, and development and stewardship of Transportation’s data resources.

 

Business Services 

Business Services provides accounting and budget/finance services for Transportation. Business Services leads Transportation financial planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting, and revenue policy development. The program manages the three Transportation Funds (Operating, Reserve, and Debt) and assists in monitoring all Transportation financial resources.

Responsibilities include:

- Leading the preparation of the Transportation financial plan and budget.

- Coordinating the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget development process.

- Documenting the repair, preservation, operating, and maintenance needs of transportation capital facilities.

- Identifying the construction and expansion needs of the transportation network and proposing funding options for transportation activities.

- Providing billing and payment services.

- Providing financial and management information reporting services.

- Upholding professional standards and principles of fiscal responsibility throughout Transportation by providing advice to groups on financial matters.

- Maintaining data integrity in financial management services.

- Leading major new revenue development initiatives and assisting bureaus to expand existing revenue sources.

- Implementing continuous improvement in efficiency and effectiveness in Business Services through the use of business performance indicators and other tools.

- Serving as the Transportation financial spokesperson to OMF and City Council.

- Providing Transportation management analyst services.

- Working cooperatively with other City bureaus.

- Monitoring, developing, initiating, and responding to federal, state, and regional transportation legislation and policies.

- Coordinating and overseeing Human Resources, Contract Services & Payroll, Information Management, and Asset Management.

 The Information Management program has responsibility for development, stewardship, and application of data resources that support the work of the organization. Included within this program are the following:

Infrastructure Management System (IMS) automates and integrates transportation facility information. When implemented, IMS will improve public safety through better inventory management; automate project coordination in the right-of-way; link requests for service with work performed; reduce energy, material and equipment costs by providing faster, easier access to accurate inventories; and provide inventory and condition information on transportation facilities by location. Transportation will be better able to share and analyze transportation information, improve the efficiency of maintenance operations, and improve the ability to forecast the maintenance costs of capital improvements.

Geographic Information System (GIS) maintains, manages, and deploys spatial information, mapping services, and analysis in support of infrastructure management and operational activities. It ensures that up-to-date information regarding the community's $8.1 billion dollars worth of transportation assets is maintained and made available to users. Applying high-end GIS technology to solving service delivery and asset performance challenges enhances our decision-making processes. In addition, incorporating GIS access into day-to-day operational activities improves the effectiveness of our field personnel.

Technology Management supports the organization by ensuring early assessment of emerging technology issues and the delivery of IT support services.

Data Management provides for an effective data environment, including data architecture, database administration, and quality assurance in the use of our data resources, including data warehousing for effective analysis of data resources.

 

Transportation Planning

Transportation Planning provides policy and systems planning to ensure that the City is making transportation infrastructure improvement choices that are modally balanced and support the Citywide Comprehensive Planning goals. The Planning Division’s primary responsibilities are to implement the tenants of the Transportation System Plan, provide policy and capital project coordination with regional partners, and develop concept transportation plans for corridors and large geographic areas.

Planning consists of three program areas:

  • Administration, which houses the division manager, Rail-Volution, and support staff.
  • Policy and Systems Planning, which focuses on broad policy initiatives both locally and with regional partners.
  • Centers and Corridors Planning, which focuses on planning for major transportation corridors and the Metro 2040 Town Centers. This section also provides support for new light rail initiatives and other transit efforts. 

 

The Transportation System Plan implements the required portions of the state's transportation plans as well as Metro's Regional Transportation Plan. It includes updated transportation policies, a transportation facilities plan (both a complete needs list and a strategic investment list) as well as action items to implement the non-capital recommendations of the plan. This work will be coordinated with the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning's work to implement the Metro Urban Growth Managaement Functional Plan requirements, and documents Transportation's participation in the completion of the SW Community Plan.

The Transit Section provides support work for the South/North Light Rail project as well as other city and regional\ transit efforts, including TriMet's Transit Choices for Livabilty program.

The Project Section provides planning support to the St. Johns Truck Study, the South Portland Circulation Study project development for the McLoughlin Neighborhoods Study, and the Belmont-Morrison project.

The entire division manages and/or participates in Transportation and Growth Management studies for the Gateway, Lents, Hollywood and other centers to identify their transportation facility requirements and the modal split plans. Additionally, the division leads city involvement in several regional transportation studies, including the South Willamette River Crossing Study and the I-405 Reconnaissance Study.

 

Administration and Communications Services 

Administrative Services manages administrative and communications personnel for the organization and provides central secretarial and public reception support.

Communications Services include community outreach, media relations, public information, public involvement, and web-based information management.

 

Engineering + Technical Services 

Engineering and Technical Services provides technical support for transportation projects that enhance neighborhood access and livability, preserve and rehabilitate facilities, and support land use through improvements to the city street and structures system. Engineering Services provides technical support for capital projects, including structural and civil engineering. Construction inspection and survey services are also provided.

Civil Design drafts, designs, and prepares construction contract plans, specifications, and estimates for Transportation's Capital Improvement Program. The section manages construction through public contracting.

Bridges and Structures manages the design, inspection, and construction of City-owned structures (bridges, tunnels, stairways, and retaining walls). It is responsible for the plan review of any public or private structures permitted for use within the public right-of-way. Bridges and Structures is responsible for conducting federally mandated detailed safety inspections of all City-owned bridges on a bi-annual cycle.

Construction Inspection provides quality assurance and inspection services on City permit and City Capital Improvement (CIP) projects. This section inspects the construction of structures and streets, sidewalks, driveways, catch basins, and curb extensions to assure they are built to City standards.

Survey is responsible for establishing and maintaining a network of benchmarks throughout the city, each having a known elevation expressed in feet in the City of Portland's own datum (established in 1896).  Benchmarks are survey markers that provide a point of particular elevation used as a reference for determining elevations of other points in a survey. They are used by surveyors, engineers, planners, and contractors for establishing elevations for planning, designing, and/or construction of various projects. For more information about differential leveling, the process of transferring benchmark elevations to a project site, click here.

 

Signals/Street Lighting/ITS Program 

Signals / Street Lighting / ITS promotes pedestrian, bicycle, and motorist safety and mobility through the efficient operation, monitoring, and improvements to the City's traffic signal and street lighting systems. The program employs technology to the advantage of all modes, with a focus on maintaining the competitiveness of transit.

Responsibilities include:

- Operating, monitoring, modifying, and maintaining signals and street lights.

- Planning, designing, and constructing capital improvements for signals and street lights.

- Planning, designing, and constructing the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), and the communications backbone for the City and region.

- Providing payment for all traffic signal and street light power and maintenance costs.

- Monitoring external power and maintenance costs and utility rate developments.

- Coordinating with other groups, bureaus, and regional partners for the operation of the transportation network during construction and emergencies.

- Participating in regional traffic control efforts directing drivers to alternative routes to alleviate congestion and improve traffic safety.

 

Development + Capital Program 

The Development and Capital Program facilitates public and private development opportunities which lead to job creation, housing construction, and enhanced neighborhood livability. Development Services is responsible for implementing Transportation’s role in Blueprint 2000, the City’s development review system. This is accomplished by:

- Working with the Bureau of Development Services and other City bureaus to ensure that transportation policies are met through good urban design and development.

- Overseeing private development activities that affect the transportation system.

- Overseeing expansion and management of the pedestrian system.

- Overseeing regulation of private use of the street right-of-way.

- Reviewing land use review and development applications for compliance with policy and code requirements.

The program consists of several subprogram areas:

Street Systems/Utilities Management coordinates Transportation responses to development proposals and facilitates resolution of policy issues. This subprogram also regulates private use of the City's street system through various permitting processes. It provides assistance to all PDOT bureaus in addressing environmental regulations and hazardous materials issues.

Permit Engineering supports development and neighborhood livability by managing developer funded street improvements for residential and commercial/industrial expansion.

Development Review/Building Plan Review provides engineering review and construction inspection services to ensure the safety and maintainability of developer funded street improvements.

Right-of-Way Acquisition is a centralized service provider with the specialized resources necessary to acquire public right-of-way, easements, and property needed for public infrastructure by the Office of Transportation and the Bureau of Environmental Services. This subprogram also manages the street vacation process and negotiates and administers sub-surface and air rights leases.

Keep Portland Moving began in 1996 as a multi-agency effort to coordinate large public projects to reduce traffic impacts. It currently reflects a focus by the Portland Office of Transportation on providing public information and minimizing the combined construction impacts of multiple public works projects on the inner eastside, including the Portland Streetcar Loop project, the Burnside/Couch couplet project, and the Oak Basin Sewer project. 


 

Project Management

Implements the Office of Transportation Capital Program with projects supporting development needs and livability.

Project Management is home for six teams of project managers who work on the significant capital projects within the Transportation Capital Improvement Program. All projects are designed to be contextually sensitive and sustainable to preserve and conserve the infrastructure. Successfully managing multi-modal, high-quality, customer-oriented projects delivered in a timely manner is the program's goal. The program's objective is to develop project managers who implement transportation projects serving a variety of transportation modes and who are responsive to the requirements of land use and urban design objectives in the community. Key to the success of program is the use of "lifecycle" or "cradle-to-grave" project management.

Projects are categorized into six types: 

Town Centers and Main Street Projects: urban design projects to retrofit commercial and mixed-use areas to support redevelopment. The Centers and Main Streets were developed through the Metro Region 2040 Growth Concept and Regional Plan and were incorporated into the City of Portland's Comprehensive Plan.

Neighborhood Projects: livability projects that enhance urban neighborhoods with sustainable improvements that support preservation of residential areas. Traffic safety and calming in neighborhoods, pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, and pedestrian improvements represent the type of projects done in neighborhoods. Project managers are chosen for this area based on their public involvement and multi-modal design skills.

Local Improvement Districts: oversight of property owner and developer initiated residential and commercial street improvements, project management of residential LIDs, as well as expanded maintenance options allowing adjacent property owners to maintain unimproved streets.

Streetcar Projects and Operations: extensions of the existing streetcar and planning for future alignments to support sustainable growth and redevelopment patterns.

Special Area Projects: projects primarily funded by grants and contracts with other agencies that will provide improvements to support redevelopment, economic development, and assist in urban renewal. Larger scale projects within tax increment development districts and the Regional Center are the focus of this area.

Freight Projects: infrastructure projects to improve freight mobility to promote local, regional, and state economies while protecting adjacent neighborhoods from adverse impacts.

 

Maintenance Operations

Within the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Maintenance Operations group has helped position the City as a national leader in adopting new technologies and innovative work methods that result in a cost-efficient and well-functioning transportation system. From coordinated scheduling of maintenance work with other City, regional, and private sector roadway activities to innovative, cost-recovering recycling programs and nationally recognized asset management planning, Maintenance Operations continues to demonstrate its ability to pro-actively respond to an increasingly complex environment in a fiscally responsbile manner.

Maintenance Operations is charged with the responsibility of preserving the public investment of over $8.1 billion in transportation facilities and $1.5 billion in sewer infrastructure by inspecting, cleaning, maintaining, and repairing all transportation and sewer related infrastructure within the City of Portland. The infrastructure consists of paved streets, sewers, sidewalks, bridges, curbs, street corners, retaining walls, guardrails, stairways, traffic control devices, street lights, and parking spaces. In addition, the Bureau performs around-the-clock response to emergencies such as storms, floods, and other incidents that inhibit safe transportation.

Maintenance Operations is currently organized into two primary programs: Transportation Street Systems and Environmental & Operational Systems.

 

Transportation Street Systems 

The City maintains local and arterial streets. Maintenance Operations uses a Pavement Management System (PMS) based on visual inspection and structural testing to identify and prioritize all street maintenance projects. The PMS helps identify the most cost-effective maintenance technique for each street based on its pavement condition. These techniques range from sealing cracks and patching holes to base repair and asphalt overly. This program also provides recycling and environmental assistance to Transportation.

Transportation Street Systems supports the maintenance of bridges and structures, parking meters, parking signs, pavement markings and striping (including crosswalks, legends on the street surface, and painted lines), sidewalks, street lights, street name signs, street pavement, traffic control signs, and traffic signals. This program also oversees the maintenance of sidewalks, curbs, and corners.

 

Sidewalks 

The City Charter assigns the responsibility for the maintenance of sidewalks to the owner of the abutting property; therefore, Transportation inspects the sidewalks and notifies the property owner of needed repairs. Non-reimbursed activities include inspections, permits issuance, corner maintenance, and mall maintenance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains provisions that significantly affect facilities within the public right-of-way. This program's budget continues the on-going program to upgrade existing corners to ADA standards.

 

Structures

Transportation Street Systems is also responsible for maintaining vehicle and pedestrian structures in the City's right-of-way system. With engineering assistance from the Bureau of Transportation Engineering & Development, the Program plans and conducts an annual maintenance program to ensure public safety and convenience and control deterioration of these structures. Within the City of Portland these structures include major and minor bridges, stairways, retaining walls, the harbor wall along the Willamette River, guardrails, tunnels, fencing, and street furniture.

 

Emergencies 

The Emergency Management Program provides around-the-clock response to emergencies, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, snow & ice, wind storms, and severe weather conditions; hazardous materials incidents; cleanup following certain police actions; sewer breaks or backups; sinkholes; and other natural or manmade incidents that inhibit safe transportation or threaten public safety. During emergency operations, the Bureau is reorganized and all personnel are available to make up the emergency crews.

 

Evironmental + Operation Systems 

Environmental & Operational Systems is responsible for mechanically cleaning, on a regular basis, residential streets, arterial streets, the Central Business District, pedestrian subways, stairways, and trash receptacles. This program also responds to special events such as Clean Sweeps and Rose Festival activities.

This program in conjunction with the Bureau of Environmental Services is charged with maintaining the surface storm drainage system within the City of Portland. The Clean Water Act of 1972 established the City's responsibility for the quality of the outflow from the City's sewer and drainage systems. In order to comply with the regulations and guidelines set forth by a variety of federal, state and local agencies, a comprehensive program to manage the storm water drainage system and roadside vegetation has been developed.

Environmental & Operational Systems is also responsible for cleaning and inspecting the sewer system, investigating customer problems, and repairing and reconstructing damaged, broken, or deteriorated sewers. This program was established in cooperation with the Bureau of Environmental Services, which funds the entire cost of this program through an interagency agreement.

To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the field operations, the Operations Support program provides specialized, administered support services to the other programs. These services include equipment management, materials handling, communication and radio dispatch, public information, facilities maintenance, personnel administration and loss control, finance and accounting, and program management.

 

System Management

Within the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the System Management group has pioneered solutions in safety, intersection improvements, and promoting transportation choices to enable the community to maximize the effective use of its transportation investments. Innovative programs such as cooperative safety programs with Police and advocacy groups, solar-powered SmartMeter technology, and capturing and reinvesting Business Energy Tax Credits illustrate BTSM's creative approach to tackling congestion, neighborhood speeding, economic viability, and intersection safety problems. 

Transportation System Management is responsible for managing the City's Traffic Operations, Parking Operations, and Parking Enforcement systems. This group also provides education and outreach services to encourage the use of smart Transportation Options.

Key objectives for the Bureau include:

- maintaining and improving the safety of the systems for the traveling public;

- reducing the number of traffic accidents;

- optimizing the efficiency of the transportation system; and

- protecting the livability of the City's residential areas while accommodating economic development.

Transportation System Management is currently organized into four programs:

 

Traffic Operations

Traffic Operations is the initial public contact point for issues regarding transportation system operations and neighborhood livability issues related to transportation. The program comprises Traffic Safety Programs, Traffic Investigations, and Traffic Design. Traffic Operations provides traffic control via signs and pavement marking systems and monitors traffic safety and capacity improvements.

The Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership oversees programs to reduce driver error (speeding, red light running, DUII, seatbelt/child safety seat violations); reduce excessive traffic volumes and calm traffic in neighborhoods; increase pedestrian and bicycle safety; and improve walking and biking routes to schools.

Responsibilities include:

- Establishing traffic control through the use of traffic signs and pavement marking systems.

- Livability through traffic design options and neighborhood traffic calming devices.

- Providing customer service response to public inquiries regarding traffic issues.

- Granting permits for special events.

- Investigating and improving safety and transportation system capacity needs identified through public contact and staff studies.

- Collecting and maintaining transportation data and records.

- Reviewing sign visibility.

- Developing, implementing, and managing traffic safety programs around the "Es" - engineering, enforcement, education, encouragement, and evaluation.

- Identifying transportation needs, developing transportation solutions, helping create construction documents, and assisting with construction.

 

Transportation Options

Transportation Options is responsible for helping to create a balanced transportation system. Options promotes a broad range of safe and convenient transportation choices for Portland residents. Options encourages alternative ways to travel, including biking, walking, public transit, carpooling, work hour changes, and smart use of the automobile. Outreach and educational efforts - such as SmartTrips, Women On Bikes, Ten Toe Express, and It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air - develop and implement programs to educate the public regarding modal choices and safety.

Activities include:

- Reducing dependence on single-occupancy vehicles through innovative approaches.

- Educating school children and adults about safe and smart travel decisions.

- Making the link between providing transportation choices and cleaner air, safer travel, and efficient use of our existing road system.

- Removing physical, informational, and perceptual barriers to travel alternatives.

- Promoting healthy active travel behavior as part of the daily routine through outreach and education.

- Reviewing land use cases in the Central City and their impacts on off-street parking needs, air quality, and mobility.

Parking Operations

Parking Operations manages the parking environment to support the vitality and livability of the City. Parking Operations manages on-street parking by implementing parking policy through control and regulation of on-street parking spaces. Programs place the highest value on traffic safety, pedestrian safety, and access for fire and emergency vehicles. Parking programs are designed to produce parking behaviors that support Portland’s business sector and improve the livability of Portland’s residential neighborhoods.

The goals of this program are to build a successful parking operation organization that relies on teamwork and effective communication; manage the competing demands for customer service, standardization, and efficiency; anticipate growth and development trends and take actions to influence City parking situations; provide parking services to support City land use policy; and use technology effectively and efficiently.

Responsibilities include:

- Ensuring that parking signs, pavement markings, and other parking information clearly communicates appropriate parking behaviors.

- Providing technologies to control and regulate paid parking spaces that include customer payment options.

- Controlling and securing the revenue generated from paid parking districts to fund citywide transportation improvements.

- Implementing special parking programs that control the impacts of commuter parking on neighborhoods.

- Implementing special parking programs that respond to the support needs of downtown businesses.

- Working with the general public and stakeholder groups to determine and plan for areas that need new parking controls and regulations.

- Implementing customer service initiatives that include parking education and outreach programs.

- Anticipating growth and development trends that affect City parking situations.

- Provide parking services to support City land use policy.

- Managing the competing demands for customer service, standardization, and efficiency.

 

Parking Enforcement

Responsibilities include:

- Ensuring vehicle and pedestrian safety.

- Managing parking space turnover and enforcing neighborhood parking rights.

- Clearing obstructions from intersections, crosswalks, and sidewalks.

- Issuing citations for parking violations and providing removal of dangerous or abandoned vehicles. 

Parking Enforcement works to ensure safe and continuous traffic flow and the availability of short-term parking spaces to support retail and commercial business throughout Portland. This program also supports neighborhood livability through removal of abandoned vehicles and enforcement of Area Parking Permit Programs.

Parking Enforcement services generate substantial City revenue every year. In addition to ensuring that meter revenues are generated, enforcement fines are divided between the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Oregon State Circuit Court.

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