July 3, 2013
The Portland Police Bureau has stepped up enforcement of speeding and other traffic laws near the closure of SE Cesar Chavez Boulevard to ensure motorists follow detour and construction signs and to prevent cut-through traffic on residential streets.
On Friday, June 28, sewer construction closed SE Cesar Chavez from SE Hawthorne Boulevard to SE Division Street for up to 21 days. During the 24-hour-a-day closure of Cesar Chavez, detour signs are directing traffic to SE 30th and SE 50th avenues.
As of late Monday, officers from the Traffic Division had issued more than 80 traffic citations in the neighborhoods surrounding the construction area. The police enforcement is part of a collaboration among multiple city bureaus and public agencies to minimize the impact of several large-scale construction projects this summer in southeast Portland.
“Police are really concerned that people will come to these closures, get frustrated and drive too fast through the neighborhood streets,” said Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “So please plan your trip, don’t drive fast through the neighborhood streets and know that the police are going to be doing some targeted enforcement of the neighborhood streets to catch people if they are speeding.”
TriMet, the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation are working on projects to expand public transit access, update the streetscape design on SE Division Street and improve sewer service. To minimize the inconvenience to the public, the agencies have coordinated their construction schedules to try to ensure that major road closures on north-south corridors don’t overlap. They are working with the Police Bureau to provide targeted traffic enforcement in neighborhoods near the construction zones.
“Residents in the area surrounding the Cesar Chavez construction zone have noticed a significant increase in traffic through their neighborhood,” said Lt. Chris Davis of the Traffic Division. “The city has received numerous complaints about speed and stop sign violations in the area. The Portland Police Bureau encourages people travelling through the area to use major streets instead of side streets.”
Residents passing through southeast Portland can plan ahead by viewing the SE Portland Summer Construction Road Closures maps and details at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation. The site includes links to the several major street closures in southeast Portland this summer.
Anyone who uses SE Cesar Chavez as a regular commute route is advised to use SE 30th or SE 50th avenues, the designated detours, or other major north-south streets.
Some of the largest transportation corridors in southeast Portland will be closed around the clock for weeks at a time this summer.
SE Cesar Chavez closed on June 28 for up to 21 days for a sewer construction project. Construction related to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project will close SE 8th through 12th avenues from July 15 to August 5. On August 5, sewer construction will close SE Division Street from SE 26th Avenue to SE 28th Place for up to three weeks.
Linc Mann, Environmental Services, 503-823-5328
Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation, 503-823-3723
Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police Bureau, 503-823-0830