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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: Novick, Treat join Walk + Bike to School Day tomorrow, Oct. 8; thousands to participate nationally

Event celebrates a safe and healthy way to get to school and expansion of Portland Safe Routes to School’s program into middle schools

WHAT:     Thousands of school children from more than 60 schools will participate in International “Walk + Bike to School Day” on October 8, 2014, showing that it’s easy, healthy and fun to walk and bike to school.

At 8 a.m. on Oct. 8th, City Commissioner Steve Novick, Transportation Bureau Director Leah Treat, Principal Pam Joyner and other officials will join school youth in the walk to Hosford Middle School in Southeast Portland and celebration at the school.   The Hosford celebration also marks a milestone in the popular Safe Routes to School program, marking its expansion from elementary schools to middle schools.  The program has helped expand walking and biking by elementary school students by 35% since it began in 2005.

WHO:      More than 150 students and parents walking and biking to school ; City Commissioner Steve Novick; Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat; Hosford Principal Pam Joyner, Portland Public School Board Members Greg Belisle and Bobbie Regan; Representatives from community organizations.


8 a.m. Wednesday, October 8 at Sewallcrest City Park at SE 31st and Stephens Street: Commissioner Novick, Director Treat and other officials will meet and join the “walking school bus” to the school. 

8:15 to 8:45 a.m.  at Hosford Middle School , 2303 SE 28th Place: Officials and youth from two “bike trains” and the “walking school bus” will converge at the school, where there will be youth activities and a celebration.

Additional information may be found at


Media Contact:

Diane Dulken 503-823-5552

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Twitter @PBOTinfo



PBOT Analysis: Road Reconfigurations Reduce Crashes and Speeding in Portland

Projects result in 37% fewer crashes, 10% reduction in speeding

(October 7, 2014) –   A Portland Bureau of Transportation analysis of 20 years of traffic data found that road diets, or reconfigurations, on Portland’s streets lowered speeds and significantly reduced traffic crash rates.

The results demonstrate the value of these reconfigurations as a tool to improve safety on busy multi-lane streets. 

Portland Road Diet Evaluation: 1994 - 2014
Project Location Project Length (mi) Construction Year Before Data Range After Data Range % Change in Crash Rate % Volume Change % Change in 85% Speed
NE Glisan, 22nd - 32nd 0.57 1997 1993-1996 1998-2012 -42.25% -3.93% N/A
SE 7th, Division - Washington 0.85 1994-1996 1993-1994 1997-2012 -32.62% -5.79% N/A
SE Tacoma, 6th - 11th  0.25 2002/03 1993-2001 2004-2012 -36.76% -13.45% N/A
SE Division, 60th - 80th 1 Fall 2013 2008-2012 2014-2015 N/A -6.27% -12.50%
NE Glisan, 60th - 80th 1 Fall 2013 2008-2012 2014-2015 N/A -2.60% -7.14%
Average 0.52       -37.21% -6.41% -9.82

Sources: Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Crash Data, 1993-2012, Portland Bureau of Transportation (vehicle speeds)

PBOT analyzed crash data on all five road sections in Portland where the bureau reorganized a two-way arterial from four vehicle lanes to two vehicle lanes and a center turn lane. In some instances, Portland also added bicycle lanes. PBOT often refers to these changes as “road reconfigurations.” Nationally, this treatment is known as a “road diet.” 

On Portland’s streets that have undergone road diets, PBOT’s analysis found on average:

  • 37 percent reduction in traffic crash rates
  • 10 percent reduction in the 85th percentile speed*

Before/after comparison of NE Glisan at 78th AveIn addition, the amount of traffic dropped six percent, which mirrors traffic volume reductions across the City since 2005.  

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified these road reconfigurations as one of nine “proven counter safety measures” to reduce speeding, crashes and fatalities.

Portland’s experience mirrors national data. FHWA cites a 29 percent reduction of traffic crashes nationally on streets undergoing road reconfigurations. 

FHWA notes that road diets provide multiple benefits to all road users. These benefits include improved vehicle compliance with posted speed limits and a corresponding decrease in crash severity; reduction of “multiple threat” crossings for pedestrians (one driver stops for pedestrian while driver in adjacent lane does not); reduction of rear-end and side-swipe crashes; increased opportunity for on-street parking, and improved safety for bicyclists when bike lanes are added (which also provide an additional buffer for pedestrians).

In 2013, PBOT implemented road reconfigurations on SE Division between 60th-80th avenues and NE Glisan between 60th-80th avenues. Both segments saw more than a 50 percent decrease in vehicles driving over the posted speed limit (see links). PBOT anticipates an accompanying reduction in crash rates, although crash data is not yet available.

Over 90 percent of Portland traffic crashes take place on busy streets. PBOT’s High Crash Corridor program employs short-term, low-cost treatments to improve safety on these roadways. Given their high cost-benefit ratio, road reconfigurations are an important tool in that program’s tool box.


 *The 85th percentile speed is a value that is used by many states and cities for establishing regulatory speed zones. It is the speed that 85% of vehicles are observed traveling at or under during free flowing conditions.


Traffic Advisory (Update): North Williams left lane closure begins on Monday, October 6

(October 3, 2014 UPDATE) -  The contractor for this project will prepare to restripe the left lane of N Williams on Saturday, October 4 and begin to close the left lane for restriping on Monday, October 6. By Thursday, the entire left lane from NE Broadway to Killingsworth Street will close for restriping.

Travelers should expect delays.  Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, such as NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  Bicyclists may continue to use the right bicycle lane on N Williams Avenue this week or may use NE Rodney Street as an alternate route.  Construction hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day but the lane closure will be in effect around the clock.

Additional details about the North Williams Safety Project may be found in the news release below and at . View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” banner campaign. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure.


News Release: North Williams Avenue street design installation begins; left lane to close shortly

edit contentAs street design takes shape, “A Safer Place for Everyone” outreach campaign gets underway featuring safety messages from residents

(September 16, 2014) – Construction begins later this week on a new street design for North Williams Avenue, a corridor that serves a growing neighborhood as well as being a popular commute route between downtown and North Portland.

The new street design will extend from NE Broadway to Killingsworth Street and will require up to three months to complete.  Safety improvements will benefit all travelers, especially pedestrians, and changes will affect the look of the street and traffic flow for all travelers.

Early in the project, the left lane of North Williams Avenue will close to all traffic. It will reopen in mid-October as a left side bike lane.  No detours will be in effect during construction but alternate routes are available.

The alternate route for people traveling by bicycle is NE Rodney Street, a neighborhood street that has been upgraded with speed bumps to discourage cut through motor vehicle traffic.  The alternate routes for drivers are NE Martin Luther King Boulevard or N Interstate Avenue.

The new street design will include these major improvements:

  • A new traffic signal will be installed at the busy N Cook Street crossing.
  • New striped crosswalks and curb extensions at five crossings will improve pedestrian visibility, making it safer and easier to cross.
  • Bus and bike travel are being separated to reduce conflicts and improve safety.  Buses will continue to stop on the right side of the street while the bike lane will be expanded to a width of 12 feet and transferred to the left side.
  • The speed limit is being lowered to 25 mph along most of the corridor; and 20 mph where foot traffic is highest, between NE Fremont and Skidmore streets.
  • Green transition zones in the left side bike lane indicate where motor vehicles cross the lane to turn left.

The left side bicycle lane is expected to open in mid-October, once the Cook Street traffic signal is operational.  The additional construction, such as crosswalk restriping, is expected to entail minimal traffic disruption.

The project was developed in 2012 after a 16-month public involvement process to identify how to make N Williams Avenue a safer place for all travelers and to address longstanding community concerns over pedestrian safety in particular.

“A Safer Place for Everyone”

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is launching “A Safer Place for Everyone” outreach campaign to inform people of the new street design and encourage all travelers to share the road.  The campaign is an outgrowth of the public involvement process where people suggested increased outreach around safety.

The “A Safer Place for Everyone” campaign features residents sending their safety messages to fellow residents via a series of banners and A-boards. The banners, soon to be posted to light fixtures along the corridor, will be displayed through the winter. 

The transportation bureau also mailed an “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure to area residents and distributed to local businesses and other gathering places.  The public is encouraged to share photos and their own messages on social media with the tag #northwilliams. 

More information is available at  including a map and construction highlights. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” banner campaign. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure.


Diane Dulken Portland Bureau of Transportation


News Release: E. Burnside Street safety project to restripe lanes this weekend from SE 14th to Cesar Chavez Boulevard

(October 2, 2014)  -  To improve safety on one of Portland’s High Crash Corridors, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will restripe and reconfigure lanes this weekend on East Burnside Street from SE 14th Avenue to Laurelhurst Place, just west of Cesar Chavez Boulevard. 

The safety improvements are projected to reduce crashes by about 30 percent. The Transportation Bureau recorded 383 crashes and one pedestrian fatality in the ten-year period ending in 2012. Additional benefits include improved pedestrian crossings and access to transit and a better environment for the business district. 

The East Burnside Transportation Safety Project was requested by adjacent business and neighborhood associations and developed in partnership with community members. Burnside Street is one of the city’s ten High Crash Corridors, roadways with unusually high crash rates and that are targeted for safety improvements for all.

As part of the East Burnside Transportation Safety Project, this stretch of road will change from two lanes in each direction to one westbound lane, one center turn lane, and two eastbound lanes. The new configuration will add about 15 on-street parking spaces.

Restriping is scheduled for this weekend, October 4 and 5, with some additional work possible on October 6Work is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  During work hours, parking will not be allowed on the westbound side of the street.

People traveling during work hours should expect delays and are advised to use Sandy Boulevard as an alternate route. This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.

A second phase in spring 2015 will install three pedestrian islands and marked crossings at 18th, 22nd and 24th avenues on the west leg of each intersection. In addition, PBOT will apply to the Oregon Department of Transportation for posted speed reduction from 35 to 30 mph.  More information is available on the project brochure and the Burnside High Crash Corridor website.


Portland's Street Seats 2014

Diners at the Street Seat in front of Bonfire Lounge(October 1, 2014)  As we head into the fall, the Street Seats installations from this summer continue to provide outdoor seating at many locations through the City.  Two new locations were recently installed at Bonfire Lounge (2821 SE Stark Street, designed by Propel Studio) and Lompoc Brewing (1620 NW 23rd Avenue, by Artifekt Architecture).  Portlanders can take advantage of the outdoor seating at most of Portland’s ten Street Seat locations throughout the year though some will be removed during the winter (please check with the local business about seating availability).

Street Seat in front of Lompoc Brewing

In addition, two finalists from the Design Week Portland design competition have been installed outside of the Center for Architecture (403 NW 11th Avenue). They will be in place through the end of October. The installations are a result of collaboration between the Bureau of Transportation and Center for Architecture in their second annual Street Seat Design Competition.  Of 17 submissions received from across the country addressing the theme ‘Active Streets,' two finalists were chosen to be installed as part of a six week installation outside of the Center for Architecture.  The winning submissions were developed by Hennebery Eddy Architects (“Log Dam”) and Scott Edwards Architects (“A Dialogue”).  Construction costs were covered by sponsor Hoffman Construction.  "A Dialogue" Street Seat designThe installations will find new homes along NE Alberta Street in the spring.

Now in its third year, Street Seats is a program of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that allows businesses and non-profit organizations to convert on-street parking into other public uses, such as café seating or a mini-park. Based on similar programs in San Francisco and New York City, the program enlivens the streetscape by creating spaces for Portlanders to enjoy seating and a meal or drink outdoors, which in turn enhances street vitality and benefits local businesses.

A map of Portland’s collection of Street Seats can be found by clicking here.

See more photos of the 2014 Street Seats on Flickr.

See KGW's story on the Center for Architecture Street Seats here.

Check out the Oregonian's coverage here.

More information about City of Portland’s Street Seat program can be found at