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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

503-823-3723

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 www.publicalerts.org 


News Release: Reduced Rate Swing Shift Pass for SmartPark Garages to Provide Improved Access for Low-Income Downtown Workers

(March 10, 2016) – A new Reduced Rate Swing Shift Pass Program for the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation’s SmartPark Garages starts on April 1, 2016. The new parking pass will give people with an annual income of less than $35,000 and who work a swing and/or evening shift a reduced rate at SmartPark Garages between 3 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The new reduced rate is $35 per month and will apply at all SmartPark Garages except for the O’Bryant Square Garage, which is closed in the evenings. The non-reduced swing-shift rate ranges between $90 and $100 per month.

The Reduced Rate Swing Shift pass is a direct response to stakeholder concerns about the impact of new downtown on-street parking rates on lower-income workers. On February 1, 2016, the City increased the on-street parking rate in Downtown from $1.60 to $2.00 per hour. During the discussion of this increase, stakeholders focused attention on how this increase could negatively affect downtown employees earning low wages, working swing or evening shifts and who are not well served by available transit options. To mitigate this impact, the SmartPark Program developed the new monthly pass. The program will provide a reasonable, low-cost option to lower income workers while leaving readily accessible on-street parking spaces available for evening customers and visitors.

"When I learned from the Committee that on-street parking occupancy had reached 95% in some areas of the Central City, I agreed that something needed to be done," said Commissioner Steve Novick. "During this process, committee members asked PBOT to consider the effect on workers earning low wages and working swing and evening shifts. This new monthly pass shows the importance of an effective committee."

Said PBOT Director Leah Treat, "As our city grows and parking demands increase, we must ensure that the needs of all Portlanders are taken into account. This new program creates additional flexibility for downtown Portland parking, while supporting the employees who are so important to our city’s economy."

"Folks that work downtown doing janitorial and similar work simply can’t afford the cost of parking on the low wages we make. It costs us over $100 per month, which is more than any of us can afford. I personally have had to pay over $5000 in parking costs, just to be able to work!" said Joe Huggins, Lead Janitor for ABM Janitorial at the Pittock Block and Member of SEIU 49. "Increasing the cost of parking again could have been a real hardship.  I appreciate the city officials working with us to make this pass a reality. It is encouraging to see our City stepping up and doing the right thing for low wage workers across Portland."

A downloadable application for the Reduced Rate Swing Shift Pass Program can be found on the City’s SmartPark website (www.portlandoregon.gov/smartpark) under “Monthly Parking”. Applications can also be obtained by visiting the Portland Bureau of Transportation offices at 1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 800; or by contacting the City’s contracted parking garage operator, Central Parking, at (503) 790-9302 ext. 111 or by email at RRmonthly@parking.com.

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City and partners offer driver safety class for New Portlander community

Driver education for new immigrants, refugees and English language learners

(March 11, 2016) A new program in Portland is providing driver safety education training to new immigrants, refugees and English language learners over the age of 18. The training includes two days of in class instruction and one day of behind-the-wheel practice. Offered in April or May, each course is limited to 50 students.

This program is a partnership of the Portland Police Bureau, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Oregon Driver Education Center (ODEC), Oregon Impact and ODOT. It is supported by the Portland Police Bureau, with funding provided through grants from the East Portland Action Plan 2015 Municipal Partnership Project, a City of Portland Municipal Grant, and State Farm Insurance.

On completion of the course, there may be opportunities for lower auto insurance rates from participating carriers, and driver license behind-the-wheel testing through ODEC rather than the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A limited number of vouchers for driver license test fees are available.

The trainings take place at the Portland Police Training Facility at 14912 NE Airport Way and are offered on the following dates:

  • Saturday, April 9, 23 & 30 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Saturday, May 14, 21 & 28 from 9:00am to 3:00pm

Call 503-297-4813 or go online to register.

You can view a video about the program here and help us spread the word to New Portlander communities.

News Blog: A note for Portland's bus drivers and train operators

streetcar moody avenue

Dear TriMet Bus Drivers and MAX & Streetcar Train Operators,

In honor of Transit Driver Appreciation Day, we’d like to say thanks.

Thank you for braving heavy rain, snow and ice to help us get home safely.

Thank you for yielding to people biking and sharing the road so graciously.

Thank you for always stopping for people crossing at marked and unmarked crosswalks.

Thank you for helping Portlanders get to their destinations day in and day out.

Thank you for being a Vision Zero partner and making safety your top priority.

We are so grateful you are here to help keep our city moving!

 

All the best,

Your friends and riders at PBOT (Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Do you have a TriMet bus driver or train operator you want to thank? March 18 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day — to celebrate, TriMet is collecting notes from riders about the hard-working drivers who keep them moving. Add your story at trimet.org/tdad/.

News Blog: What's happening on Foster Road?

Vision Zero(March 17, 2016) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is moving forward with the Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Project. We are currently finalizing the engineering and design phase and expect to complete it by fall 2016. We anticipate construction to begin in early 2017.

Currently, SE Foster Road is designated a High Crash Corridor with over 1,200 crashes and 8 fatalities reported in the last 10 years. As a Vision Zero city, we aim to make our transportation system the safest possible and to move towards zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the next 10 years. In order to improve safety on Foster, PBOT is reallocating the roadway to create three motor vehicle lanes, bicycle lanes and on-street parking on both sides of the street. The change will extend from SE 54th to SE 90th Avenues. This change is expected to reduce all types of crashes by a minimum of 20 percent. Recent road realignments on other corridors in Portland have seen an average crash reduction of 37 percent.

Foster before and afterIn addition to reducing crashes, the changes on Foster Road will help turn it into a successful Main Street by providing greater accessibility for all modes and a safer and attractive corridor that supports businesses and neighborhoods. This will be achieved by:

  • Widening the sidewalks in Lents from five feet to nine feet
  • Adding street trees and lights
  • Installing marked protected crossings and curb extensions
  • Adding transit shelters
  • No major impact to existing on-street parking along the corridor
  • Adding bike lanes and connecting them to existing bike lanes in Lents Town Center and SE 52nd Avenue.

How will the changes affect traffic on Foster?

During most of the day, Foster Road will have enough capacity to accommodate current and future traffic volumes, except for the AM and PM peak periods at some key intersections. The reconfiguration to three motor vehicle lanes will not lead to congestion during most of the day. PBOT anticipates that travel times during peak hours will increase by up to 3 minutes to travel the entire corridor. This change is supported by our Vision Zero data-driven focus on where serious injuries and fatalities are occurring in Portland. By reducing the risk of collisions (and the congestion they cause), travel time on Foster Road will be more reliable.

Who supports this project?

The project is the result of a 16 month planning process that has demonstrated strong community support from businesses, neighborhoods, local schools, local organizations and hundreds of residents. PBOT held five open houses with over 450 people attending. In addition, over 430 people filled out a survey with 80 percent supporting the plan. PBOT’s public outreach also included culturally specific outreach to communities of color and English as a second language speakers within the neighborhood. The Foster Area Business Association voted unanimously to support the plan in 2014 and urged Portland City Council to pass it.

Portland City Council unanimously approved the Foster Transportation and Streetscape plan at a public hearing in June of 2014. Since then, PBOT has been diligently working to design and engineer the project. We expect to complete those plans in fall 2016 and look forward to beginning construction in early 2017. We are grateful to the Foster Area Business Association for their work reaching out to all businesses on the street to educate and support them through the coming changes. 

Alert: Avoid Steel Bridge for evening commute, weekend during track and field championships

The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public to avoid the Steel Bridge during Friday evening rush hour and over the weekend, as a nearby closure of NE Oregon Street will cause delays.

During the World Indoor Track and Field Championships, NE Oregon Street is closed, from NE Lloyd to NE First by the Oregon Convention Center (OCC), through 11:59 p.m. Sunday night. To reduce eastbound traffic congestion on the Steel Bridge, PBOT has closed the ramp from southbound NW Naito Parkway to the Steel Bridge for the duration of the closure of NE Oregon St.

NE Oregon Street is closed to motor vehicle and bicycle traffic but the sidewalks remain open for people walking.

Travelers on NW Everett Street should expect delays and consider turning at NW Broadway to use the Broadway Bridge or Burnside Bridge.

People attending the World Track & Field championships are strongly encouraged to ride the MAX light rail system or Portland Streetcar to the events.

No disruption is expected for people using bicycles on the Steel Bridge.

Portland will be the center of the track and field universe this weekend. From March 17-20 the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships are being held at the convention center in Portland. It's also the first time in almost 30 years that the championships have been held in the United States, giving our city a rare opportunity to host thousands of fans, coaches, and international world-class athletes -- most Olympic-bound. The City of Portland is a proud sponsor, providing security as well as youth engagement opportunities.

FREE Events: In addition to the main competitions at the OCC, Pioneer Courthouse Square is the place to be for Portland 2016. FREE for the public to attend, Portland's "Living Room" will be the Medal Ceremony Plaza, March 17-20; you can watch all the action, sample Northwest food and beer, and stay for the FREE concerts in the evening.

Street Closures: Please note that with these large events scheduled, there will be traffic impacts around the OCC and Pioneer Square areas through March 21, so make sure you plan ahead with the Street Closures Map and check PBOT's downtown traffic impacts page (bit.ly/downtowntraffic) for the latest info. As both events are easily accessible by MAX light rail, bus, and streetcar lines, we encourage you to skip the drive and take public transit. See trimet.org or portlandstreetcar.org to plan your trip on public transit. Find a map of the closures under Spectator Information on the Portland2016.com web page.


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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation