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News Advisory: Commissioner Novick welcomes Naito Pilot Project, a temporary opening of public space and traffic safety during Rose Festival

(May 18, 2015) – At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Commissioner Steve Novick will welcome community groups who are announcing the Naito Pilot Project, a temporary safety solution that will create a pleasant route for people to get to and enjoy the Rose Festival.

Better Block PDX, a local group of public space advocates, has obtained a permit from the Portland Bureau of Transportation to provide one northbound motor vehicle lane that is physically separated from a protected bicycle and pedestrian space to help everyone safely and comfortably access the waterfront. The lane will be converted on Friday May 22 through June 5, and will open nearly a mile of street, 15 feet wide, to public use.

WHO:  Commissioner Steve Novick, oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation Ryan Hashagen, Better Block PDX Leah Treat, Transportation Director, Portland Bureau of Transportation Rich Jarvis, Rose Festival spokesman Vice President Jonathan Fink, Research and Strategic Partnerships, Portland State University representative Oregon Walks, pedestrian safety group

WHAT:  Announcement of a big change to a key downtown street during Rose Festival. For two weeks starting Friday, the four-lane SW Naito Parkway have three lanes plus a lane of open space for the public to walk and bike safely to the festival.

WHEN:  1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WHERE: Salmon Springs Fountain, intersection of SW Salmon and SW Naito Parkway. Parking available on street nearby on Naito Parkway.

WHY: Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Rose Festival have become so successful and popular, they draw hundreds of thousands of people to the waterfront. But to reach the festival, Oregonians are too often forced to squeeze into narrow sidewalks, walk in a bike lane, or bike in a travel lane with high-speed traffic. The goal of this project is to alleviate these conflicts and to create a safe space for all Oregonians. This innovative pilot project will allow the community to provide feedback on potential changes to the Naito Parkway street design. Better Block PDX has obtained funding for this project from People for Bikes and Clif Bar.

VISUAL:  Commissioner Novick, Director Treat and project leaders stand with handheld microphones at the site where the road closure and public space opening will start on Friday. Volunteers will also show how the facility will be utilized by walking and biking on a closed section of Naito Parkway that approximates what the area will be like during the pilot project. In case of rain, the event will be held in a nearby covered stage inside the Rose Festival grounds. A mult box for audio feeds will be provided.


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility.