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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Media Relations

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 

Streetcar free over Broadway Bridge during sidewalk closure

Pedestrians and bicyclists detoured to Steel Bridge July 16 - 18

Streetcars crossing the Broadway Bridge

To reduce the inconvenience to the traveling public during an upcoming closure of the Broadway Bridge sidewalks, Portland Streetcar Inc. will provide free rides across the bridge during the closure.

Work to maintain safety on sidewalks on the Broadway Bridge will require closing both sidewalks to the public from 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 16 until 5:30 a.m. on Friday. Pedestrians and bicyclists are advised to follow

City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said the offer of free service demonstrates how the different parts of the city’s multimodal transportation system can work together.

“Our transportation system provides many ways for Portlanders to get around,” Novick said. “Sometimes we inevitably have to inconvenience the public, and when we do we should take advantage of any way we can help reduce the disruption.”

The temporary “free” zone for streetcar service will be in place Tuesday, July 16 through Thursday, July 18, 2013 to allow an alternative to the Steel Bridge detour for pedestrians and cyclists. Fares will be required for all other trips on Portland Streetcar.

Rides covered by this program are westbound from the N Broadway & N Ross Avenue streetcar stop to NW 11th Avenue & Northrup Street, and eastbound from the NW 9th Avenue & Lovejoy Street stop to N Weidler Street & N Ross Avenue.

Free streetcar service could be especially helpful to pedestrians, who would otherwise need to walk more than half a mile to the Steel Bridge.

The Broadway Bridge is on one of the busiest bike routes in Portland, carrying 4,432 cycling trips a day in summer 2012, according to Transportation Bureau figures. Signs will indicate bicycle and pedestrian traffic detours to the Steel Bridge. Cyclists are advised to expect delays and use alternate routes, including the Steel Bridge.

The closures are required for crews to repair the non-slip coating on bridge sidewalks. The coating was installed as part of the Central Loop extension of the Portland Streetcar. Flaws in the coating are being repaired at no cost to Portland Streetcar or the City of Portland.

To limit the inconvenience to the public during the work period, the City of Portland and the contractor performing the work agreed to a full closure of the sidewalks, 24 hours a day for three days, rather than a partial closure for five days. Crews are expected to finish before Friday morning rush hour, but the work is weather dependent and schedules may change.

Streetcar service will not be affected by the weekday closures. The public is advised to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes.

The closures will not impact river traffic.

[Photo courtesy of]

Bicycle Brown Bag profiles New Columbia skills track, more

Community Cycling Center’s Executive Director to present

Kids fixing bikes at New ColumbiaBicycle Brown Bag

Transforming a vacant lot into a healthy, active space for bicycles

Thursday, July 18th,  Noon – 1:00 p.m.

1221 SW 4th Avenue

City Hall,  Lovejoy Room (2nd Floor)


Beginning with the Understanding Barriers to Bicycling Report in 2009, the Community Cycling Center collaborated with community leaders in New Columbia to broaden access to bicycling and its benefits.

In 2012, the Bike Repair Hub opened, turning what was once a vacant lot into a community resource for affordable bike repair, bike safety education, and a meeting spot for summertime bike rides. This year, the new Bike Skills Park is underway. Come learn from the CCC's Interim Executive Director Anne Lee about the latest project and plans for the future.

Photo credit: Community Cycling Center / Randi Orth

More than just a sidewalk

Learn how PBOT's creating healthy, safe ways to travel around Portland

Active transportation is a phrase describing something most of us do every day.  Whether you ride the bus to work, walk or roll to the coffee shop, or ride your bike to the store you are engaged in active transportation.  In fact, 25% of Portland commuters choose active transportation to get to work – every day. 

Active Transportation inforgraphic

While sidewalks and bike lanes may be the first things that comes to mind, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is working on many projects and programs that make walking and rolling easy, safe, and accessible to all Portlanders.

This brochure shows many PBOT programs that make walking, biking and rolling a convenient and safe way to get where you’re going. Click on the descriptions to learn more about specific programs.  


Statement of Commissioner Steve Novick in response to today’s suicide from the Vista Bridge

(Portland, OR) –  This morning’s incident, in which a man jumped to his death from the Vista Bridge,  is a sad confirmation of the need to take action to prevent further unnecessary deaths, and a sad affirmation that a barrier is necessary to save lives.

Vista Bridge has been known as Suicide Bridge almost from the time it opened in 1926. Today’s death is the fourth this year, more than any year in at least the last decade.  As I have said before, it is time – past time – to do what we can to stop the dying. 

On July 9, 2013, I announced that I had signed an emergency order to install a 9-foot-tall mesh fence with a curved overhang at a cost of $236,000. This mesh barrier is intended as an interim life-saving measure until a long-term structure can be designed and installed that is compatible with the historic character of the bridge and until the estimated $2.5 million to $3 million funding for a permanent solution can be secured.

That interim barrier is being fabricated right now.  Installation is still on track to begin this month with a targeted completion within another two to three weeks following that.

If we can accelerate an already tight timeframe for installation we will do so.  But we also are taking into account the complexities involved in the design, fabrication and installation, such as the need to install and anchor new steel supports between the historic bridge rail pillars so that pedestrians and people in wheelchairs have adequate room on the existing narrow sidewalk.    This is just one of the complexities involved as we are moving rapidly to design, fabricate and deploy the interim barrier.

We also recognize that people in crisis need additional help.  If people know someone in crisis, please reach out and offer help to the people you know.  The Multnomah County Crisis Line is an excellent resource and is available 24 hours a day at (503) 988-4888. 

At the bridge itself, the City will continue to display public service signs that were installed in 2012 with the message “We can help you cross this bridge,” that gives two phone numbers:  1-(800)-Suicide, a national suicide prevention hotline, and (503)972-3456, the local Lines for Life hotline.  As part of this construction project, those signs will be installed on the interim barrier.  

In addition, I have spoken with Lines for Life and Friends of the Vista Bridge about the possibility of having volunteers station themselves at the bridge over the next few weeks. It is possible that simply the fact of having someone else on the bridge might have some deterrent effect; in some cases a volunteer might be able to engage someone who is showing signs of distress.

Friends of the Vista Bridge is willing to coordinate, and Lines for Life is willing to train, potential volunteers. Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to physically restrain someone from jumping, and take the risk of being pulled over the bridge themselves. But Friends of the Vista Bridge welcomes volunteers who wish to be a presence on the bridge. They recommend contacting them through their Facebook page:


While I am deeply saddened by today’s death, I am also determined to move forward on a measure that is proven to be effective.  I know that we are on the right track to save lives. Research and the experience of other cities consistently shows that barriers are the most effective measure, and perhaps the only consistently effective measure, to stop the often impulsive act of suicide by jumping.  





Commissioner Novick announces Broadway Bridge sidewalks to reopen for Thurs. July 18 morning commute – a full day early

(PORTLAND,Ore.) – City Commissioner Steve Novick announced today that the Broadway Bridge sidewalks, which have been closed since 9 a.m. on Tuesday, will reopen before Thursday morning’s rush-hour commute – a full day earlier than expected.

“I’m pleased to announce that this important work will be completed a day early,” said Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “We appreciate the public’s patience during these safety repairs, and thanks to the coordination between Portland Streetcar, the Transportation Bureau and contractors doing the work, we’re able to get the sidewalks back open a day early and in time for the Thursday morning commute.”

The bridge sidewalks will reopen by 7 a.m. Thursday July 18, before the peak of morning rush hour. The closure was expected to remain in effect until 5 a.m. on Friday.

The closure was required for crews to repair the non-slip coating on bridge sidewalks. The coating was installed as part of theCentral Loopextension of the Portland Streetcar. Flaws in the coating were being repaired at no cost to Portland Streetcar or the City of Portland. The team of Stacy and Witbeck Inc. and Hamilton Construction performed the work.

The Broadway Bridge is on one of the busiest bike routes inPortland, carrying 4,432 cycling trips a day in summer 2012, according to Transportation Bureau figures.

To reduce the inconvenience to the traveling public, Portland Streetcar Inc. provided free rides across the bridge during the closure.