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Media Relations

Dylan Rivera

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News Advisory: Annual Portland Aerial Tram evacuation exercise set for Sunday, October 4 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Interagency team led by Portland Fire & Rescue to evacuate seven people

(Oct. 1 2015) – The annual evacuation exercise for the Portland Aerial Tram is set for Sunday morning, Oct. 4, 2015. The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and should be concluded by noon.

Members of the Portland Fire & Rescue Technical Rescue Team will lead the exercise. They will be assisted by representatives from both the City of Portland, whose Bureau of Transportation owns the tram,  and Oregon Health & Science University, which operates the tram in conjunction with Doppelmayr USA.

Using ropes and harnesses, the team will lower seven volunteers playing the role of passengers 100 feet to the top floor of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s parking garage. 

The training allows crews to practice an aerial rescue in the event the tram is stopped for an extended period of time with passengers on board. If members of the public contact you with questions about the training, please inform them that this is a scheduled training exercise and not a real emergency.

The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened on Jan. 27, 2007 and is designed to provide personnel with experience in executing a last resort safety measure.  There has never been a real emergency.

More than 7,000 daily commuters and tourists ride the Portland Aerial Tram; the tram is one of only two used for urban transit in the U.S.


WHEN:  9 a.m. Sunday, Oct.4, 2015 - The exercise should be completed by noon.

WHERE:  The training will take place above the OHSU Casey Eye Institute parking garage. At that location a small number of exercise participants will be evacuated from the tram and lowered via ropes and harnesses down to the top of the parking structure. Local news crews are encouraged to cover the training, but we ask that you do so from the ground and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot so as not to interfere with the exercise.

SPECTATORS:  The Portland Aerial Tram is closed on Sundays during the fall and winter. As a result, the training exercise will not interfere with regular operations. For those interested in observing, please do so from nearby locations and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot. 



The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and operated by OHSU.  It opened to the public on Jan. 27, 2007. The cabins, named Walt and Jean, travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway. Visit . Find the tram on Twitter @PortlandTram  and Facebook at

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Sunday Parkways ends 2015 with record annual visitors

Link to this post:

Download photos of Sunday Parkways from Flickr:

Editors: Please consider this post for republication.

By Dylan Rivera, PBOT staff

(Sept. 28, 2015) An estimated 28,000 people participated in the Tilikum Crossing-Sellwood Sunday Parkways on Sunday, helping lift the event to an annual record turnout of 119,000 for 2015.

Sunday Parkways children on bikes near bridgeGreat weather and the landmark opening of the Tilikum Crossing: Bridge of the People provided a huge draw for the event Sunday Sept. 27.

Sunday Parkways introduces Portlanders to biking as a transportation option by opening miles of streets to biking, walking and rolling. The routes are designed to introduce new bicyclists to neighborhood greenways, the low-traffic residential streets where the Portland Bureau of Transportation has prioritized safe, comfortable access for people riding bicycles. The events also offer an opportunity for residents to connect with each other, by volunteering their time to help with traffic, distribute refreshments and spread the word about community organizations.

Sunday’s 28,000 participants marked among the largest Sunday Parkways events. Only five of the 33 events held since 2008 have had a higher turnout. The highest was 31,500 at the North Portland Parkways event in 2011.

Growth in Sunday Parkways attendance in East Portland helped produce the record turnout this year, said Linda Ginenthal, who leads Sunday Parkways for the Active Transportation Division of PBOT. Attendance there has grown from 12,000 in 2010 to more than 16,000 this year.

“As we have done more community outreach in East Portland, there are more people who are riding and coming out to enjoy it,” she said. “It has built on the investments we’re making.”

Volunteers and sponsors make Sunday Parkways possible. About a third of the budget for the event, which takes place five times a year, comes from the City of Portland. The balance is funded by sponsorships, led by presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente, as well as fees for participating organizations and businesses and donations from individuals.Sunday Parkways volunteer shows woman a map

About 300 to 400 people volunteer their time for each event. Wearing pink shirts, some direct traffic, helping neighbors access driveways along the route. Others talk with the public about community organizations. A handful of “Superhero Coordinators” ride up and down the route, passing out snacks and water to volunteers and giving them pointers as needed.

“The only way we can do this is with our strong volunteer program,” Ginenthal said.

Sunday Parkways routes are designed to introduce people to comfortable routes for people new to biking. So they focus on neighborhood greenways rather than wider, busy streets.

“You won’t take your 8-year-old on Burnside or Sandy but you might take him on Northeast Going Street, or Southeast Ankeny or Bush Street in East Portland,” she said. “They are like Sunday Parkways every day.”

Sunday Parkways view of downtown from Sellwood

Planning for 2016 has already begun. Look for news about routes, sponsors and more in February.

For maps and more information, visit or call 503-823-7599. Follow us on Facebook at PortlandSundayParkways and on Twitter @SundayParkways.


News Release: City Leaders and bike share executives celebrate major Portland bicycle milestones

Bike share program unanimously passes City Council

Recent U.S. Census data show dramatic increase in Portland bike commuting rates

New Portland bike count report shows record number of women bicycling,

20,000 peak summer bike trips across the Willamette and record helmet use

(Sept. 24, 2015) – This afternoon, Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioners Steve Novick and Nick Fish gathered at City Hall with Metro Councilor Sam Chase, Jay Walder, President and CEO of Motivate, and Ryan Rzepecki, the CEO of Social Bicycles, to celebrate the passage of Portland’s bike share by the City Council and other major milestones in Portland bicycling. This milestones include recent US Census data showing that Portlanders set a bike commuting record in 2014 and City-compiled data demonstrating high bicycling rates among women and more persistent bike use by all bicycle commuters.

Mayor Hales at Bike Share news conference

Passing unanimously, the bike share measure amends the City’s contract with Motivate, the country’s leading bike share operator. Working with Social Bicycles, Motivate will bring a next generation bike share program to Portland in summer 2016 and expand the transit options available to Portlanders.

The new system will feature 600 smart bicycles that will be available across the Central City and inner North Portland. With all of the communications and locking technology contained on the bicycles, Portland’s system will operate with fewer docking stations and kiosks and make it easier to find, reserve and park a bike. The system will also have one of the lowest price points in the country.

“Starting this summer, Portlanders will have another way to get around our great city,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, “one that is easy to use, affordable and, best of all, a lot of fun.”

“We waited a long time for the right bike share proposal, but it was worth the wait,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “We have a great, experienced partner in Motivate; and we are taking advantage of new ‘smart bike’ technology. Bicycles are great weapons against two of the biggest threats we face: climate disruption and rising health care costs. Bike share is a great addition to our arsenal - and it's also an important tourist amenity.”

Commissioner Novick at bike share news conference

“I look forward to signing up for bike share in Portland,” said Commissioner Fish.  “What could be better than getting healthy while running errands?”

“Bike share is just the latest in a long list of innovations that set this region apart. Metro is proud of our role in making Portland’s vision a reality. I can’t wait to try bike share next year,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase.

“Portland is one of the best bike cities in the country, and we’re tremendously excited to be a part of expanding bicycling in a community with such a robust bike culture," said Jay Walder, President & CEO of Motivate. "We will deliver one of the most innovative bike share systems in the nation, fitting the city that has been on the cutting edge of bike innovation.”

"Social Bicycles is excited to partner with Motivate and the City of Portland to deliver bike share to one of the country's most bicycle and transit friendly communities,” said Social Bicycles CEO Ryan Rzepecki. “We believe Portland has the infrastructure, bike culture, and density to become one of the most successful programs in the world."

“This has been a great week for bicycling,” said Transportation Director Leah Treat. “Census data and our own bike count clearly show that Portlanders are biking more than ever. Now with bike share, we’re making biking an even more attractive transportation option for Portlanders.”

"Today we are thrilled to invite bike share into Portland as a new low-cost form of transit,” said Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. “In fact, it is one of the most affordable steps we can take to help us reach Portland’s stated goal of having bicycle trips represent 25 percent of all trips taken by 2030. Bike share, combined with new investments downtown to provide protected bicycle lanes, will make our streets safer for everyone regardless of how they get around.”

Also today, PBOT released the Portland Bicycle Count Report 2013-14, a compendium of locally collected bicycle data that shows how bicycling is changing and growing across Portland. While the U.S. Census Bureau reports on citywide bicycle use, the Bicycle Count report includes data for bike traffic on Willamette River bridges, bike traffic by district within Portland, helmet use by district and bicycle use by women.

Findings include:

  • Bicycle use by women climbed to 32 percent in 2014, a record high for Portland. Inner NE Portland had the highest rate of women riders with 35 percent and East Portland had the lowest with 21 percent.
  • Portlanders are biking more persistently throughout the year. Data compiled by the bike counter on the Hawthorne Bridge show weekday bicycle use remains at an average of 90 percent of peak July use for seven months of the year, from April to October. In the more seasonally challenging months, bike use remains at an average 54 percent of the peak.
  • In 2014, peak summer bicycle trips across the bicycle-friendly Willamette River bridges topped 20,000 weekday trips for the first time, according to the City’s hand counts and automated counts where available.
  • In 2014, helmet use hit the highest recorded rate at 81 percent, up from 78 percent in 2013 and 71 percent in 2004.

All of the results from the report can be found here.

PBOT staff and bike share project partners 


About Bike Share: A bike share system makes public bicycles available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. Bike share systems operate in over 60 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise and Austin. 500 cities worldwide also have bike share systems. These systems have proved popular, safe and successful. They provide residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option for trips around the city. Bike share systems have proven effective in introducing bicycling to new groups of riders.

About Motivate: Motivate is a global leader in bike share. A full-service bike share operator and technology innovator, Motivate works to re-envision how people experience and move around cities.  Motivate currently manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Bay Area Bike Share (California Bay Area), Citi Bike (New York), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C.; Arlington and Alexandria, Va.; and Montgomery County, Md.), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, Mass.), Pronto (Seattle), Bike Chattanooga (Tenn.), Bike Share Toronto and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia. Motivate’s newest system is Citi Bike Jersey City, N.J., that will be compatible with New York City’s Citi Bike program.

About Social Bicyles (SoBi): Social Bicycles (SoBi) is a transportation technology company based in Brooklyn, NY. The company produces a bicycle with an integrated GPS-enabled locking system that users can book via mobile app, website, or RFID access card. The company has deployed over 2,500 bikes across 18 projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Social Bicycles offers one global account, and users can access bikes in their expanding network of cities which includes Santa Monica, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Boise, Topeka, Hamilton (Ontario), and Ottawa.

About PBOT: 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. To learn more about PBOT’s efforts to encourage bicycle use and make safer routes for bicycling, see the bureau’s Active Transportation web site.

News Release: New Portland Sunday Parkways route connects Tilikum Crossing: Bridge of the People and Westmoreland Park Salmon Celebration

Final Portland Sunday Parkways of the Season Coming up this Sunday, Sept. 27

(Sept. 23, 2015) – The season’s final City of Portland Sunday Parkways presented by Kaiser Permanente will take place this Sunday, Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a brand new route that will feature the stunning addition to Portland’s cityscape: Tilikum Crossing.

The 8-mile route in Southeast Portland will allow residents to explore many of the pathways, sidewalks, ramps, bridges and crosswalks that have been designed to make it easy to get from the beautiful neighborhoods of Sellwood up to the Tilikum Crossing.

Participants will also have the chance to try out various outdoor activities at Sellwood and Brooklyn School Parks. At the newly finished Westmoreland Park Nature Play Area, participants can enjoy the Salmon Celebration in honor of the return of wild salmon to the city. Salmon have come back thanks to the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek to its natural flow, a joint project by the City and US Army Corps of Engineers.

Food vendors, organizations and businesses will be on hand at all four activity areas/parks, offering something for everyone.

“Three unique things about Portland: Our amazing neighborhoods; our stunning collection of parks; and the willingness of Portlanders to get out of their cars and meet their neighbors,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “These are our shared values of livability and equity, and nothing says it better than Sunday Parkways.”

“I’m very excited by this new route,” said Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat. “Bringing Sunday Parkways and Tilikum Crossing together is a perfect combination and expresses our City’s commitment to be a city that encourages all transportation modes.”

When people discover just how much fun it is to walk, bike, roll, skate, and stroll and how easy it is be physically active during Sunday Parkways, they are choosing to experience “Sunday Parkways Every Day” – walking to the store, riding with their families, playing in the parks and commuting by bike to work. New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Portland set a new, national record for bike commuting in 2014, with 7.2 percent of commuters choosing to bike to work and incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives.

Sunday Parkways is a series of five free community events opening the city's largest public space – its streets – for people to walk, bike, and roll and discover active transportation.  The event series, held in a different neighborhood once a month from May to September, is hugely popular and is poised to break its all-time attendance record of 108,900 participants that rode their bikes, walked, strolled, rolled and enjoyed these traffic-free and fun streets back in 2014.

Neighbors on the route will be able to get to and from their homes during the event with the assistance of pink-shirted Sunday Parkways volunteers who will guide them safely to and from their driveways. Police and traffic flaggers will be on hand to keep traffic moving across the route at designated route crossings throughout the event.

The event’s detailed Sunday Parkways route map  shows the route as well as bus, streetcar and light rail options to help area residents get to Sunday Parkways via bike and transit. A schedule and listing of event highlights are available on the Sunday Parkways Tilikum Crossing/Sellwood Portland brochure.

For maps and more information, visit or call 503-823-7599. Follow us on Facebook at PortlandSundayParkways and on Twitter @SundayParkways.

Tilikum Crossing/Sellwood Portland Sunday Parkways provided by the generous support from the following sponsors:

 Sunday Parkways sponsors



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

News Advisory: Mayor Hales, Commissioners Novick and Fish will join Metro Councilor Sam Chase and Portland Bike Share Executives to celebrate passage of bike share ordinance, other Portland bicycle milestones

Model bike and station available for media test rides

(Sept. 23, 2015) On Thursday, September 24th, Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick, and Commissioner Nick Fish will join the Chief Executive Officers of Motivate and Social Bicycles to mark the passage of the ordinance bringing bike share to Portland. They will also celebrate Portland’s latest bicycle related milestones, including recent U.S. Census data showing to a significant increase in bike commuting and the release of the most recent Portland Bicycle Count Report.

WHO: Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioners Steve Novick and Nick Fish
Metro Councilor Sam Chase
Motivate CEO Jay Walder
Social Bicycles CEO Ryan Rzepecki
Portland Transportation Director Leah Treat

WHAT: Announcement of the passage of the amended contract with Motivate, LLC to operate Portland’s bike share system. The event will also preview bike share equipment, including the smart bikes and a docking station. Interested media will have the opportunity to try out the type of bicycle that will be used in Portland’s system. Bike share is a public bike rental system for short trips. Public bicycles are available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. In cities across the globe, bike share systems have proven popular and successful by giving residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option. Portland’s system is slated to open in summer 2016.

WHEN: 1:15 p.m. Thursday, September 24th, 2015.

WHERE: Fourth Avenue entrance, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue

VISUALS: News media can take turns photographing and riding a Portland-themed bike share bicycle and docking station. The bicycle and station are samples of the equipment that will be available to the public when the Portland bike share system launches in 2016. City and company leaders will speak at a news conference at the entrance to City Hall and may be available for one-on-one interviews. Project supporters are also expected to attend and be available for interviews. A mult box will be available for audio recording.