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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

More Contact Info

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 


Bailout Bill Begets Bicycle Benefits

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Law allows employer re-imbursements of bike commuting costs

You might have read that the bailout of the distressed financial sector was sweetened with a number of additional provisions, including language of Congressman Earl Blumenaeur's bicycle commuter bill.

 

According to our fellow transportation eggheads at the University of South Florida, the Emegency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) expands transportation fringe benefits (Section 132(f) that allows up to a $20.00 per month for tax deduction for bicycle commuters.

 

photo courtesy of Jonathan Maus: www.bikeportland.org

The act allows employers to make tax deductible reimbursements of bicycle commute expenses (it doesn't require anything your employer to do anything). For example, the tax code already allows employers to reimburse employees of parking and public transit fare costs as tax deductible expenses. Now, if you buy a bicycle for commuting (and you actually commute with it), it appears that your employer could choose to reimburse up to $240 a year of those costs: you get the cost of the commuter bike reduced and your employer reduces its tax liability.

 

The bill's language will still need to be interpreted by the IRS.

You may view HR 1424 here: http://www.thomas.gov/

 

See IRS' Taxable Fringe Benefits Guide for more information about Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Guide: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/fringe_benefit_fslg.pdf 

 

Portland Marathon Storms Into Town Sunday

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The 38th annual Portland Marathon will be run on Sunday, October 5, 2008.  Traffic will be affected throughout the day, and some major streets and bridges will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or later.  

SW Naito Parkway, SW Salmon Street, SW 3rd and 4th avenues, SW Broadway, NW Davis Street, NW Lovejoy, NW 9th Avenue, NW Raleigh and Thurman streets, NW Wardway, NW St. Helens Road, N Willamette Boulevard, N Greeley, and N Interstate are all impacted by the race to a significant degree throughout the day and should be avoided.

The Broadway Bridge will be CLOSED to westbound traffic from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and the Morrison Bridge will be CLOSED to westbound traffic between 6:00 and 8:45am. The Burnside Bridge will be CLOSED to westbound traffic between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. The St. Johns Bridge will have one lane open to traffic in each direction.

TriMet routes will also be affected.  Click here for more on TriMet detours.

The Marathon Course route is closed to all unauthorized vehicular and bicycle traffic.  For more detailed information on the street closures, or to download a PDF map of the traffic control plan for this event, visit the Keep Portland Moving special events page.

Pedestrian Advocates Wanted

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Portland's Pedestrian Advisory Committee looking for new members

The City of Portland's Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a group of citizens that meet montly to advise the Office of Transportation and City Council on pedestrian issues city-wide, are looking for a few good members. 

To read the notice and learn more, click here.

The Post-Carbon Future: Portland?

The Sacramento Bee ran an interesting article this past Sunday entitled "The Conversation: How do we become less dependent?" a rumination on California's escape from auto-dependency.

The author, Daniel Lerch, who lives here in Portland writes: "Trying to make our communities less car-dependent simply by adding more buses, streetcars and light rail is like trying to make a bowl of chicken soup vegan simply by picking the chicken out. It's just not that simple," he explains.  The way our communities are built plays a vital role, too.

Lerch then points to Portland as a model for other cities:

Portland, Ore., remains the best American example of this fundamental rethinking, with its vibrant downtown, pioneering light-rail system and strict constraints on suburban sprawl. Portland achieved its successes not by executive fiat, but through decades of work by countless elected officials, planners and community members to forge regional agreement on land use and transportation issues. Car independence has been a central part of the Portland vision, and today the city boasts some of the nation's highest rates of walking and bicycling, despite miserable weather half the year.

Portland wasn't always the walkable, bikeable place it is today.  Lerch alludes to the long-term process the city continues to work through to change the built environment and our transportation system.  The most iconic milepost might be our waterfront's transformation in the 1970s, as this photo depicts.

More Transportation Wonky-ness

At SmartTrips Downtown, we don't like to dabble even in the fray of politics, however, the Brookings Institute has released a side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates' transportation policies.  Most of the policies cited in the fairly short paper come directly from the candidates' websites or interviews.   

 

 

 

  

This picture really has nothing to do with my posting

image: www.daylife.com