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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 

News Advisory: Transportation Bureau preparing for heavy rains and wind tonight, tomorrow

(January 10, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation is preparing for heavy rain and wind that the National Weather Service is forecasting for tonight and tomorrow and advising the public to be alert to the possibility of localized flooding and downed tree limbs or other hazards in the roadway.

The City recommends Portlanders monitor conditions where they are traveling, watch the forecast, and use or Twitter @publicalerts as their source for emergency updates. Public Alerts provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information. The Bureau of Transportation asks people to drive carefully and allow for extra distance when traveling in heavy weather conditions or when visibility is low.

Strong winds may bring fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines in streets and yards.  Citizens can call transportation dispatch at 503-823-1700 to report debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road.   Report a downed power line in thePortlandarea to PGE at 503-464-7777 or PP&L at 1-888-221-7070. Do not try to free lines or to remove tree limbs from lines by yourself.

The Transportation Bureau is adding a crew and dispatcher on Saturday to handle an expected increase in calls to remove road hazards,  clear any clogged storm drains, and close roads temporarily in case of standing water.

Standing water possible: If heavy rain falls in a short period, travelers may encounter standing water in certain areas. The city is prepared to close any streets that may flood and set up detours as necessary. Citizens may also report standing water to 503-823-1700.

Landslide risk low: The risk of landslides is low because November and December were relatively dry and soils are dry enough to absorb rainwater, but crews are ready to respond as needed. If a landslide occurs at night, crews will close the street and wait until daylight when it is safe to work on clearing debris.

Check storm drains for debris that can prevent water from draining: Citizens are advised to check nearby storm drains and clear any debris from them to prevent local street flooding.  The risk of leaves clogging storm drains is low because both citizens and transportation crews cleared streets and storm drains this fall. As part of the Transportation Bureau’s six-week Leaf Day pick up service, crews removed 14,621 cubic yards of leaves from city streets November and December. Those leaves are now being composted at the bureau’s Sunderland Yard in NE Portland.

Because of icy conditions in December, two neighborhoods received a partial leaf clean up with crews scheduled to return for a final sweep in the coming weeks. They are inner Northwest Portland between W. Burnside and NW Marshall streets, and west of I-405 to NW   21st Avenue, and a portion of inner Southwest Portland, an irregularly shaped area roughly between W. Burnside to Jefferson streets and west of I-405 to SW Vista Avenue. Especially in those areas, citizens are advised to check their nearby storm drains and clear any debris from them. Do not remove storm grates; if a storm drain is clogged below the grate, call transportation dispatch at 503-823-1700.

Flooding risk low: Although no flooding is expected for Johnson Creek, Fanno Creek and other rivers and streams inPortland, City crews have stocked sand pile and sand bag locations for any Portland resident or business owner who wants to protect their property. Sand and sand bags are provided at no charge; please bring your own shovel. The following self-service locations are stocked:

  • SE 88th Ave just south of Holgate Blvd in the parking lot atLentsPark,
  • SE 111th Ave and Harold St at the southeast corner of the intersection, and
  • SW 42nd Ave and Vermont St in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park.


Traffic Advisory: SE Yamhill St to be paved this week from SE 69th to 76th avenues

(January 13, 2014) – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on SE Yamhill Street between SE 69th Avenue and SE 76th Avenue from Tuesday, January 14 through Friday, January 17, 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. each day. 

One traffic lane will remain open at all times. Local access to residences and businesses will be provided.

The public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

The lane closures are necessary to allow crews to repave .93 lane miles of the street that was previously ground down. 

This work is dependent on dry weather and the schedule may change.


News Advisory: Commissioner Novick to dedicate 11-block sidewalk in East Portland; serve as school crossing guard Jan. 17 at Prescott Elementary School

prescott sidewalk before and after
Images show the area before the new sidewalk was installed (left) and the area now (right).

News Advisory: Commissioner Novick to dedicate 11-block sidewalk in East Portland;  serve as school crossing guard Jan. 17th at Prescott Elementary School

(January 16, 2014) - Commissioner Steve Novick will join students, parents and Principal Chris McMurray for the beginning of the school day Friday, January 17, 2014 at Prescott Elementary School to celebrate a recently completed sidewalk that spans 11 blocks. The sidewalk connects two schools,  improving safety for students and families of the Parkrose School District.

Visuals: Commissioner Novick serving as crossing guard to help kids and parents arrive at school safely; school children walking on new section of sidewalk; Commissioner Novick meeting with students to discuss transportation and leadership

Where:  Prescott Elementary School, NE 105th Avenue and Prescott Street

When:   8:20 a.m. Friday, January 17, 2014

What:  Commissioner Novick will begin the morning assisting the school crossing guard at NE Prescott and 105th Street at 8:20 a.m. He then will join Prescott’s second-graders for their breakfast and will meet with older students to discuss transportation and leadership.

Why:  Sidewalks are important for safety and convenience and the City of Portland is working to identify funding to add this basic infrastructure throughout East Portland.  The Portland Bureau of Transportation completed the sidewalk project this fall and will plant trees this winter. This is the first full school term that the sidewalk has been open.

It runs along the south side of NE Prescott Street from 105th to 116th avenues, connecting Prescott Elementary School to Parkrose High School, and making it easier and safer for students to walk to both schools.  The project is part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program.



News Advisory: Crosswalk enforcement action scheduled for SE Powell Blvd and 31st Avenue on Jan. 23

(January 16, 2014) -  The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Thursday, January 23rd to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law.

The enforcement action will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the marked crossing on SE Powell Boulevard at SE 31st Avenue.  The enforcement action is being conducted by the City of Portland in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Transportation, which owns and manages Powell Boulevard.

A crosswalk enforcement action includes a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.  These actions are designed to inform the public of longstanding Oregon crosswalk laws and to bring more awareness about pedestrian and driver safety, including preventing crashes from a “secondary” or “double threat.”

A “secondary threat” exists when a pedestrian is crossing two or more lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction.  Oregon law requires drivers to slow down and then stop when they see a vehicle stopped in an adjacent lane, regardless of whether a pedestrian is visible.  It is illegal for a vehicle to pass a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk (ORS 811.020).

To protect themselves from drivers who may illegally pass a stopped vehicle, pedestrians are advised to stop and look before crossing each lane of traffic.

Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. They are conducted approximately once a month at locations suggested by the community or at the initiative of the transportation or police bureaus.  This action was initiated by the police bureau.

The Portland Police and Transportation bureaus previously conducted a crosswalk enforcement action at this intersection on June 29, 2011 that resulted in 32 violations and eight warnings.

Powell Boulevard has been designated a High Crash Corridor by the Bureau of Transportation, and therefore is being prioritized for safety improvements as well as education and enforcement by the city in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Transportation, which owns and manages Powell Boulevard.

Learn more about the Powell Boulevard High Crash Corridor Safety Program, additional safety work the bureau is doing at, and a pedestrian rights and responsibilities guide at


Commissioner Novick dedicates new 11-block sidewalk that connects schools, improves safety in East Portland

steve novick crossing guard
Commissioner Steve Novick helped a family cross the road on their way to Prescott Elementary School. 

(January 17, 2014) - Commissioner Steve Novick opened the school day at Prescott Elementary School by serving as a crossing guard, helping students and parents arrive safely as they used a new sidewalk that spans 11 blocks and connects two schools and a park in East Portland.

Novick’s visit was part of a dedication of the new sidewalk, which runs along the south side of NE Prescott Street from 105th to 116th avenues and had been sought by parents, community members and school officials to improve safety and access for students and families in the area. It replaces a gravel shoulder. The sidewalk connects Prescott Elementary School to Parkrose High School and extends east to Senn’s Dairy City Park.

“It certainly keeps our kids safe on their way to and from school. Safety is a big concern for us because we do have a very busy high-traffic area right around Prescott,” Prescott Elementary School Principal Chris McMurray told the commissioner. He added that the new sidewalks are a welcome investment in the community. “We want to be able to provide a safe and high quality neighborhood, and we’re building that community around the school,” he said.

“I’m happy to see the Portland Bureau of Transportation providing these kinds of safety enhancements to improve areas where we have high speeds, few connections, and where transit and active transportation play a crucial role in how residents get to where they need to go,” Commissioner Novick said, “When we’re able to make it safe and convenient for our young people to walk to school, we start them on a path that results in healthier lives and a healthier city. We decrease congestion and health care costs. We get cleaner air and a more sustainable city.”

steve novick crossing guard
Commissioner Novick served as a crossing guard to celebrate a new 11-block stretch of sidewalk.

After assisting the school crossing guards, Novick joined Prescott’s second-graders for their breakfast and concluded his visit by meeting with fourth and fifth graders to discuss transportation and leadership.

Sidewalks help connect community members and increase the safety and walkability of neighborhoods. The City of Portland is working to identify funding to add this basic infrastructure throughout East Portland. The Portland Bureau of Transportation completed the sidewalk project this fall and will plant trees this winter.

This section of sidewalk was prioritized for construction via the Safe Routes to School and East Portland in Motion programs. In community meetings, residents asked the Bureau of Transportation to stretch the impact of limited dollars by building a longer stretch on the south side of the street rather than covering a shorter distance by adding sidewalks to both sides of the street. In addition, community feedback led the Bureau of Transportation to add a stop sign at Prescott Street and 115th Avenue after the sidewalk opened. The fully completed project was built for $940,000.

Prescott Elementary School was one of the first schools to partner with the Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. Since its start eight years ago, Safe Routes to School has grown from serving eight Portland schools to more than 80, representing almost every public K-8 school in the city.

Portland Safe Routes to School is a partnership of the City of Portland, schools, neighborhoods, community organizations and agencies that advocates for and implements programs that make walking and biking around our neighborhoods and schools fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and families while reducing our reliance on cars. Follow on Twitter @PBOTSafeRoutes and

East Portland in Motion is the City of Portland’s five-year implementation strategy for active transportation projects east of 82nd Avenue.  In 2010/2011, the Portland Bureau of Transportation worked with the East Portland community to develop a prioritized list of projects to improve conditions for walking, biking and taking transit in the area. The East Portland in Motion strategy was adopted by City Council in April, 2012. Since then, over $47 million dollars of local, state, and federal funds have been allocated toward projects prioritized in the plan.

steve novick crossing guard
Commissioner Novick says he was delighted to get the sidewalk installed but there is much work to be done.