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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Dylan Rivera

Public Information Officer


For breaking news from Portland Bureau of Transportation see our Twitter feed: @PBOTinfo

For breaking news on overall service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, go to @publicalerts or see 

News Release: Parking Kitty honored with WTS Portland 2017 Innovative Transportation Solution award

       Portland Bureau of TransportationWTS logo

Parking Kitty

(Dec. 4, 2017) The Portland chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International is pleased to announce the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Parking Kitty as the 2017 WTS Innovative Transportation Solution award winner. The Parking Kitty project team will be honored at the Portland Chapter’s 32nd Anniversary Winter Gala at the Downtown Portland Embassy Suites on December 7, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. 

The Innovative Transportation Solution award is given to a project with notable leadership and involvement by women that has been particularly innovative from initiation to completion. The Parking Kitty mobile app gives Portlanders the option to pay for parking with their mobile phones. The multi-faceted initiative, which included developing a new system and protocols to integrate the mobile parking app into Portland’s parking enforcement program, creating a strong brand identity and a marketing and communications campaign to bring the app to Portlanders, was led entirely by women.

The successful launch of Parking Kitty in May 2017 led to a six percent adoption rate of the app by the end of August. Parking transactions using the app rose from six percent in August to over 13 percent by mid-November, following the release of the Parking Kitty rap and music video starring Portland artist Moshow the Cat Rapper.

“The launch of Parking Kitty has been a first step for PBOT into a new era of parking management and technology,” said Transportation Director Leah Treat. “We’re honored to win this award from WTS and thrilled to have a happy pink kitty icon and a tremendously talented cat rapper leading us towards the future of parking in Portland.”

Registration information for the Winter Gala and award ceremony can be found on the WTS Portland website:


About WTS

Founded in 1977, WTS is an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women. Boasting more than 5,000 members -- both women and men-- WTS is helping women find opportunity and recognition in the transportation industry. Through its professional activities, networking opportunities, and unparalleled access to industry and government leaders, WTS is turning the glass ceiling into a career portal. The Portland Chapter’s website can be found at

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. Learn more at

News Blog: Introducing Sullivan’s Crossing, a new biking and walking bridge over I-84

See design examples and speak to PBOT staff about the new bridge project at an open house on Tuesday, December 5.

sullivan's crossing illustration

An illustration of the "Stretch" bridge design option for Sullivan's Crossing facing west over I-84.

By David Backes, Portland Bureau of Transportation

(Dec. 1, 2017) In 2021, a new bridge will reach across I-84, connecting the Lloyd District with the Central Eastside Industrial District. Sullivan’s Crossing (as it’s called now) will allow people to stroll and roll separate from motor vehicle traffic, all while taking in stunning views of downtown Portland. In the event of a major earthquake, Sullivan’s Crossing’s robust engineering will also allow it to remain functional and provide access for emergency vehicles.

This stress-free biking and walking route between the two growing districts provides a much-needed connection across the natural barrier of Sullivan’s Gulch and human-made barriers below, I-84 and the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, people driving between the two districts have several nearby options (Grand, MLK, 12th Avenue), but safe, comfortable options for people biking and walking are limited. Sullivan’s Crossing bridges that gap, while also completing a key link in the Green Loop.

Green Loop map

Determining the south landing location – 7th or 8th Avenue

The north side landing of Sullivan’s Crossing is NE 7th Avenue, due to its existing bike lanes and through connection to NE Lloyd Boulevard. On the south side, the bridge will either land at NE 8th Avenue & NE Glisan Street (Alignment 1) or NE 7th Ave & NE Flanders Street (Alignment 2). Both alignment alternatives have been studied, and both have advantages and tradeoffs—see below for a high-level overview (and for a more detailed look download the full report here).

The final alignment decision will be made in December, following further analysis, conversations with stakeholders, and feedback received at the open house.

Sullivan's Crossing alignment options

NE 8th Avenue Alignment Snapshot

  • Shorter span is less expensive to build (+)
  • PBOT would need to acquire right of way (-)
  • Sightlines of the bridge from the south side are not as continuous as with 7th (-)

NE 7th Avenue Alignment Snapshot

  • Longer span is more expensive to build (-)
  • PBOT owns more right of way here and would not need to acquire property (+)
  • Likely better sightlines of the bridge from the south side (+)

Exploring different bridge types

It isn’t possible to fully vet bridge types until an alignment alternative has been selected, but preliminary assessment of bridge types has already begun. In 2016, PBOT worked with consultants to prepare an alternatives analysis of different bridge types and alignments. From this analysis, one preferred bridge type emerged, which is now being compared to additional options.

Models of these bridge types are shown below as conceptual examples of what the new crossing might look like.

Join us at the open house to see the models and learn more about the project on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. (drop in anytime) at Oregon Metro, 2nd floor lobby (600 NE Grand Ave, 97232). We’ll have snacks. Click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook.

Here are the bridge designs being considered for Sullivan’s Crossing (all designs are looking eastbound up I-84, away from downtown Portland):

1. “Stretch” expresses the asymmetry of the site by taking advantage of the embankment on the north side of the alignment:



2.  “Skip,” developed during phase one of the project, appears to lightly skip across Sullivan’s Gulch:



3. “Reach” is iconic in its tower expression, serving as a gateway marker for both entering and leaving the City of Portland:



4. “Leap” takes advantage of the ability to anchor into the northern embankment to create an expressive truss structure that seems to spring from the ground:



5. “Weave” creates an iconic structural expression that weaves together the deck and girders to create an integrated fluid form.



Stay up to date

Visit the Sullivan's Crossing project website

Join us at the open house on Tuesday, December 5th, 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. at Metro. Click here for details.

News Blog: A primer on congestion pricing, why Portland doesn't plan to build any new freeways, and benefits for low-income commuters

Follow up on City Council meeting of Nov 30, 2017

(Dec. 1, 2017) Many people on Twitter were intrigued by the Portland City Council conversation Nov. 30, 2017 about adding variable priced tolls to area roadways. Some wondered why Mayor Ted Wheeler would say the City will not build any new freeways. Others wondered specifically about the statement by Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson that affluent people drive more than people living on low incomes.

Here's some data and background on both points. 

Mayor Ted Wheeler:

“It’s obvious to everybody that we live in a region that’s abundant with natural beauty and resources. We’re seeing that our economy is vibrant and continues to grow. One of the side effects of that good news is that we’re also seeing significant growth in congestion on our roadways. These same factors make Portland such a wonderful place to live, work and recreate but they also attract new residents. That of course includes increased housing and increased pressure on our roadways.

While I am mayor, I want to be clear, we’re not building any more freeways in the City of Portland. Congestion pricing not only funds and maintains our transportation system, but also is a very effective tool for managing the traffic that will continue as Portland grows and changes. We also can’t lose sight of the impact traffic emissions have on our public health and our overall environment. Air quality has been and will continue to be a key issue for me as mayor. We can’t deny that vehicles continue to be a source of pollution in the air we breathe. Today’s resolution is not only a statement of our values – advancing our community’s health, protecting our environment and achieving our equity goals – it is also a path forward to better achieve these goals.”


Wondering why it is that building new freeways or widening them without tolls can increase congestion rather than decrease it?

  • WIRED Magazine wrote an article, explaining why this happens:

WIRED Magazine, June 17, 2014: What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse


  • The magazine article is based on academic research, including this article published in a scholarly journal:

Duranton, Gilles, and Matthew A. Turner. 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities." American Economic Review101(6): 2616-52. 


  • This article provides an introduction to the concept and the principle arguments and debates, in layman's terms

Demystifying Induced Travel Demand, By Roger Gorham


  • For case studies on "induced traffic" and implications for climate change, see this national study:

Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change
Reid Ewing, Keith Bartholomew, Steve Winkelman, Jerry Walters, and Don Chen
with Barbara McCann and David Goldberg


  • Because we drive less, the Portland area's economy saves $2 billion a year

Portland's Green Dividend, 2007


Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson:

"Congestion pricing can have benefits for both people who drive and people who use transit. And most importantly for me, it can have benefits for low-income residents as well. While tolls could be regressive, not all low-income people drive. Many low-income people don’t own cars, so tolls may not hurt the most vulnerable and may even help them, if reduced traffic congestion lets buses travel faster, improves frequency and expands bus lines – all of which should be part of a successful congestion pricing plan.

For the many low-income people who do drive, tolls may burden them, but tolls can generate revenue that we can use to offset costs for those low-income drivers.

What we don’t want to do is to assume that the current system of free roads benefits everyone equally. It doesn’t. Driving is expensive. It requires a car, gas, insurance, maintenance, registration fees, the list goes on. That’s why the affluent drive much more than the poor and take more advantage of our current road system.

We have the opportunity now to build a congestion pricing system that’s right for all of our community."


Looking for data on whether low-income people drive less than higher income residents?

  • Portland-area data from Metro

This table, from Metro’s 2014 Existing Conditions, Findings and Opportunities Report for the Regional Active Transportation Plan is based on the 2011 Oregon Household Activity Survey. It shows the people in lower income households (with incomes below $50,000) represent 46.4% of the overall population but represent only 34.8% of all driving. On the other hand, people in households with more than $75,000 annual income represent 35.2% of the population and 46.8% of all driving. Thus, it is people from the higher income brackets that seem more dependent on automobiles than those at lower wages.

 Chart showing income levels and transportation modes


  • Census data

An article in Governing Magazine included Census data that showed Portland transit commuters earned 20% less than all workers (excludes non-workers). See chart here where you can select the city.

Governing Magazine, Feb. 25, 2014: Public Transportation’s Demographic Divide

  • Other, earlier study showing high income drive twice as many miles a year as low-income.

A Purdue University study also found that higher-income people drove roughly twice as many miles a year as low-income residents.


Jon D. Fricker Professor and Raymond K. Kumapley Graduate Research Assistant School of Civil Engineering Purdue University


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. Learn more at 

Apply to serve on the Towing Board of Review!

tow truck in snow

(Nov. 28, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is seeking three volunteer members to represent the community at large who are affected by towing services throughout the City. This is a unique opportunity to influence towing operations to better serve Portland residents. Your input and insight into Portland’s towing industry will help ensure that Portland’s evolving market operates safely, fairly, and efficiently.

The Towing and Private Property Impound (PPI) Program promotes public safety and convenience by ensuring that municipal and private property contract towers are providing vehicle towing and storage services in a timely, courteous, safe, and professional manner. Established in City Code Chapter 3.98, the Towing Board of Review oversees and monitors the performance of Tow Contractors and the Tow Desk (tow truck dispatch service).

Members are confirmed by the City Council and serve for a period of two years.

Upcoming issues include renewal of the City’s Towing Contract and the implementation of a new towing dispatch software system.

Apply to become a member of the Towing Board of Review! Completed applications are due by Friday, December 1, 2017. Selected applicants will be invited to meet with the tow program contact prior to the next Board meeting.

Click here to apply:

Want more information? Learn more at

Contact Patrick Kramer at or 503-865-2489.

News Release: Don’t Get Towed! PBOT reminds residents in Leaf Service Zone NW 2 that cars left on street during Leaf Day service will be towed

Cars in Leaf Zone NW 2 must be off the street between 7:30 am and 10:30 am on Monday, November 27th

(Nov. 22, 2017) –  Residents in Leaf Zone NW 2 should make sure their vehicles are off the street during the zone's Leaf Day service on Monday, November 27th from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Vehicles parked in marked "no parking" zones will be towed at the owner's expense. The boundaries of NW 2 are: NW Wilson Street to the north, NW 29th Avenue to the west, NW Northrup Street to the south, and NW 25th Avenue to the east.

PBOT tows vehicles in Leaf Day service zones where neighborhood leaders have requested the bureau to tow vehicles to facilitate a more effective leaf pickup service. Areas with towing include Northwest Portland, Goose Hollow in Southwest Portland and Sullivan's Gulch in Northeast Portland. Anyone who parks a car on the street in Leaf Day service zones with towing -- whether they live, work or shop there -- needs to be on the lookout for "no parking" signs. In advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, PBOT is posting "no parking" signs today in Leaf Service Zone NW 2, which will be swept on Monday, Nov. 27. A PBOT Public Information Officer will be on site on Monday morning to share information with the news media.

This year, PBOT is offering text message reminders of Leaf Day service in areas where we tow vehicles. Residents are invited to sign up at


Remind your neighbors about Leaf Day by asking them to subscribe to weekly Leaf Day reminders by email

Would you like text message reminders about towing days? 
Click here to sign up.

No parking sign with no phone number

Obey "no parking" signs in Leaf Day tow zones or face towing in Northwest Portland, Goose Hollow and Sullivan's Gulch. This is an example of the type of signs PBOT uses to warn people who park on the street. Signs will include the phone number for recovering a vehicle: 503-823-0044. Photo by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Here are the scheduled dates for Leaf Day zones where vehicles are towed because of neighborhoods' interest in providing the cleanest sweep possible. Most are in Northwest Portland. To reduce the impact to the public, parking restrictions are limited to three hours in Northwest Portland, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

  • Monday, November 27 - NW 2
  • Wednesday, November 29 - NW 7, NW 9
  • Friday, December 1 - SW 1, SW 2
  • Monday, December 4 - NW 6, NW 8
  • Wednesday, December 6 - NW 3, NW 4
  • Friday, December 8 - NE 14

Any cars on the street during Leaf Day in these neighborhoods will be towed at their owners' expense. The current contractual cost of a tow is $179. The cost to store a towed vehicle past the initial four hours is $27 per day. To locate your vehicle, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.

Browse our interactive map to locate your Leaf Zone's boundaries and service dates

View our interactive Leaf Day map to see details of service dates and zone boundaries. Zone numbers that say "clean sweep" on the pop up details are areas where we call tow trucks if you are parked on a block where "no parking" signs are posted. For example, NW 3 is labeled Northwest 3 (Inner West Clean Sweep).

Leaf Day map 2017


Live or work in a Leaf Zone?

Check your Leaf Day brochure for more details

Each year, PBOT sends Leaf Day brochures to thousands of addresses in leaf zones. Those brochures include maps and information about towing in areas where we call for towing to get the most effective sweep possible.

From mid-November to mid-December, removing leaves from our streets is critical because letting them stay on the street can clog storm drains, flood intersections and make streets slippery. Our Leaf Day Pickup program is about getting the leaves cleaned up in a way that makes a better, healthier and safer Portland.

Want us to tow cars in your Leaf Zone?

Email the Leaf Day Program or contact your neighborhood association to work with your neighbors to request it


Contact Portland's Leaf Day Program:

503-865-LEAF (5323)