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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 

50s Bikeway Project: Construction underway to create 4.3 mile safety corridor from Woodstock to Rose City Park

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the street that will receive a pedestrian flashing beacon. It is SE Woodward Street not Woodstock Boulevard

(June 5, 2014) – Construction is underway on the 50s Bikeway Project, a 4.3 mile safety corridor along 52nd and 53rd avenues that improves connections to eight neighborhoods, including 12 schools and seven parks, on Portland’s east side.  

When complete this summer, the route will fill in a major missing link within the City’s bicycle network and better connect eight neighborhoods from Woodstock, through Mt. Tabor to Rose City Park.

The route also improves safety and active transportation options for school children. The route begins at Woodstock Elementary School in the south and ends at Rose City Park Elementary School in the north.

During construction in June and July, the public can expect intermittent lane closures on 52nd and 53rd avenues. Delays are expected to be minimal.  

As part of the project, six major street crossings along the route will be upgraded to improve safety for people walking and bicycling.  Crossing improvement techniques will vary by location but will include a combination of curb extensions and medians in addition to a pedestrian flashing beacon at SE Woodward Street and a hybrid beacon at E Burnside Street.

To further improve neighborhood livability and address residents’ concerns at two key intersections, cut-through traffic will be diverted at SE 52nd Avenue and Division Street and NE 53rd Avenue and Burnside Street.

The northern portion of the route will take the shape of a neighborhood greenway on 52nd and 53rd avenues, with signage and bicycle symbols called sharrows painted on residential streets from NE Sacramento Street to SE Division Street.    

On the southern portion, from SE Division Street to SE Woodstock Boulevard, the City will install six-foot-wide painted bicycle lanes on either side of 52nd Avenue.  To provide the necessary space, parking will be removed from the east side of the street.

The $1.5 million project is funded through a federal grant.  After a year-long planning and public involvement process, the City Council unanimously adopted the '50s Bikeway Project in September 2011. In addition to public presentations at open houses, the project involved the guidance of a 17 member citizens’ advisory committee made up of representatives from the neighborhood and business associations along the route. Find out more at the '50s Bikeway Project.


Traffic Advisory: One-day closure of NE 33rd Avenue ramps over NE Columbia Boulevard for paving 6/3; bicycle, vehicle detours in effect

(June 2, 2014)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require ramp closures on NE 33rd Avenue at NE Columbia Boulevard tomorrow, June 3, 2014.  All three ramps will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for one day only.

Vehicle and bicycle detours will be in effect. This closure will allow crews to pave .65 lane miles.

Vehicle traffic will be detoured to NE 21st Avenue from NE Columbia Boulevard.

Bicycle traffic going northbound will be detoured west on N Dekum Street to 15th Avenue and then will be asked to follow detour signs to cross NE Lombard Street and NE Columbia Boulevard. The southbound detour will follow the same route in reverse.

To avoid busy streets, the bicycle detour is fairly lengthy. Alternate routes are advised.

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




Nighttime lane closures planned for two blocks of NE Martin Luther King Blvd May 27 to May 30, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

(May 23, 2014) - The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that utility work will involve night time lane closures on two blocks of NE Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard next week. The lane closures between NE Holland and NE Lombard streets will take place from Tuesday, May 27 through Friday, May 30, 2014 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. 

A lane shift will be in effect during those times.  Southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane and shifted into one of the southbound lanes. Bicycle traffic should follow the same detours as vehicle traffic.  Pedestrian traffic will not be affected.  

The closure is necessary for NW Natural crews to perform gas line maintenance at the intersection ofMLK Boulevard and NE Stafford Street.  Access to NE Stafford Street east of NE MLK Jr Blvd will be provided via NE Lombard Street and NE 6th Avenue.

The public is advised to travel cautiously in the work zone and to observe detours. Travelers are advised to use alternate routes if possible. Utility work is dependent on weather and the schedule may change.


News Release: Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick, Director Treat propose Transportation User Fee at May 22 news conference

News conference on Transportation User Fee

Mayor Charlie Hales announces Transportation User Fee at news conference at Kenilworth Park in Southeast Portland, May 22, 2014. Photo by Ryan Kost/Portland Bureau of Transportation.

“If it’s good enough for Oregon City, it’s good enough for Portland” - Commissioner Steve Novick

News conference materials: View or download the news release, draft ordinance and other materials presented at the May 22 news conference

(May 22, 2014) – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick and Transportation Director Leah Treat proposed a Transportation User Fee today to help address longstanding street maintenance and safety needs.

There were 36 traffic fatalities in Portland in 2013, far more than the 16 homicides in the city that year, and neighborhoods continue to identify difficult intersections that the Portland Bureau of Transportation cannot address with existing gas tax revenues.

The condition of Portland’s paved streets continues to decline, with 48 percent of the busiest streets in poor or very poor condition – the most expensive condition to repair.

“Some things that a city does are mandatory, and some are nice, if you can afford it,” Mayor Hales said. “Taking care of our streets is mandatory. And for far, far too long, Portland hasn’t done that. That is why such a large percentage of our roads are in ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ condition. We cannot wait any longer. Commissioner Novick and I were elected to lead. And we are.”

The proposal includes discounts for low-income households and credits for Portland residents who own small businesses.

The proposed fee would assess single-family households $11.56 a month, starting July 1, 2015. That rate is different from the $8 a month or $12 a month concepts transportation officials proposed for discussion during town hall meetings earlier this year, but it is the same rate as Oregon City – one of 28 cities in Oregon that have a local street maintenance fee.

“If it’s good enough for Oregon City, it’s good enough for Portland,” Commissioner Novick said. “There are 28 other cities in Oregon that have street fees, and Portland should follow their fiscally responsible approach. If we don’t invest in our streets now, we’ll continue to fall farther behind on maintenance and safety. I agree with the mayor that the City Council must lead on this issue.”

Novick at Transportation User Fee event

Commissioner Steve Novick discusses Transportation User Fee with the news media at Kenilworth Park in Southeast Portland, May 22, 2014. Photo by Ryan Kost/Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Portland’s transportation infrastructure is largely funded by federal and state gas taxes and vehicle fees, which have not been adjusted for inflation. The average Portland household currently pays $25.19 in state and local gas tax each month, with 11 percent, or $2.82 allocated to the City of Portland. The City’s General Fund, backed by property taxes, primarily pays for police, fire and parks. Only 2 percent the General Fund contributes to transportation.

Maintenance, safety priorities Under the proposal, the funds will be dedicated to transportation. At least 80 percent must be spent on maintenance and safety improvements. No more than 20 percent could be used to improve gravel streets, enhance public transit and cover administrative costs. The Mayor also announced that a Charter amendment will be brought to Council to dedicate revenue generated by the user fee to transportation improvements, and not other uses.

Residential rates, low-income discounts Residential rates in the proposal include: • $11.56 a month for single-family households • $8.09 a month for low-income households • $6.79 a month for households in multifamily buildings, which generate less traffic than single-family households • $4.75 a month for low-income households in multifamily buildings.

Business rates, small business credit As with water, sewer and electricity bills, the transportation fee would apply to businesses, colleges and other non-residential institutions that generate demand for transportation. About half the annual revenue would come from these non-residential ratepayers.

Other Oregon cities with local street fees also charge business and other non-residential customers.

Proposed rates for businesses, public institutions and non-profits vary based on the type of business and square footage of the building. Since 60 percent of Portland non-residential ratepayers generate fewer than 5,000 trips per month, they would pay an average $76 a month.

A proposed Single-Owner Business Credit would reduce the amount owed by Portland-based businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Under the proposal, a business owned entirely by an individual or owned jointly by spouses/domestic partners who live in Portland would be eligible for a discount equal to the monthly single-family residential rate.

To help businesses and other organizations estimate how much their rate would be, the Transportation Bureau posted an online calculator today at An appeals process will be available to ratepayers who wish to contest their rates.

The Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 29. A vote is expected on Wednesday, June 4.


New bike lanes and fresh paving on SW Vermont provide safer connections to SW schools

Project improved bikeways to Rieke Elementary and Wilson High School

Before: Looking west on SW Vermont Street at 12th Avenue(May 21, 2014) - The Portland Bureau of Transportation has just installed bicycle lanes on both sides of SW Vermont Street from SW Capitol Highway to SW 10th Avenue as part of a repaving project that gives a fresh look to the street and safer connections to two schools.  

The Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 originally identified this section as a Neighborhood Greenway (previously known as “bicycle boulevards”).  Community input from residents, the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association, SW Trails, Rieke Elementary, and the Hillsdale Farmers Market and further analysis by PBOT engineering staff resulted in installing bike lanes instead of a shared road treatment common with Neighborhood Greenways.

“The steepness of the hill made a bike lane a better choice for the uphill portions. Since we had sufficient street width, we also chose to add a bike lane to the downhill portions. Incorporating bike lanes to each side should discourage speeding by creating the perception of a narrower roadway,” said PBOT project manager Kyle Chisek.

After: Looking west on SW Vermont Street at 12th AvenueThe lane configuration and existing street width allowed PBOT to keep automobile parking in the commercial area of SW Vermont St. near the intersection of Capitol Highway.  The project removed auto parking on the south side of SW Vermont from SW Chestnut up to the commercial area near Capitol Highway.

Delayed due to program cuts to PBOT’s FY 2012-13 budget, PBOT reduced the project cost significantly by incorporating the lane reconfiguration into a scheduled repaving of SW Vermont.

The project showcases the partnership between PBOT’s maintenance and safety programs. For questions, call Kyle Chisek, 503-823-7041.