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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 

Plant trees by bike this weekend

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Join Friends of Trees in SE Portland to beautify our neighborhoods and clean the air

Do you love Portland's tree lined streets? Do you like to bicycle? Do you like to join with your fellow Portlanders in neighborly outdoor activities?

The forecast for Saturday morning looks pretty good, so why not join Friends of Trees for their first bicycle tree planting of the 2010-11 season?

This Friends of Trees planting will take place in the Richmond, Buckman & HAND Neighborhoods in SE Portland.  As always they’ll be hauling all of the trees, tools and people for the planting crews using bicycle trailers and cargo bikes.  Breakfast and Lunch will be fed to all participants!


Meet at the St. Paul Lutheran Church at 3880 SE Brooklyn St by 8:15 am on Saturday, Dec 4th. This is about a 4.5 hour commitment; you will be done by 1:00 pm.  For the bike tree planting crews, bring your own bicycle and if you have a cargo bike or bike trailer please bring that.  Also dress for the weather as they will plant rain or shine. Work gloves and tools are provided.


Those who want to plant trees but don't feel like biking are always welcome as well!


For more information on this weekend's bike tree planting, contact Peter Niergarten at peternierengarten <at>, 503-367-4444.


Safe Routes Haiku Contest

Sidewalks, puddles, splash! Write a winter walk haiku Send by the New Year

Building on the success of our student essay contest (read the winning essay here) and our more recent T-shirt design contest (see the winning artist, Aaron, sporting his design to the right), we've cooked up another student contest.

That's right, it's Haiku time. If the student in your life gets bored over the winter break, see if they can't cook up something worth sending in. There are some instructions to share with them below...

Sidewalks, puddles, splash!
Write a winter walk haiku
Send by the New Year

Instructions: A haiku is a non-rhymed verse genre of Japanese origin; it means “playful verse.” Write your own haiku in the English form of three lines, with a rhythm of five, seven and five syllables. The winner will receive a prize and their haiku will be printed in our newsletter.

Mail to:
Safe Routes Haiku Contest
Attn- Taylor Sutton
1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 800
Portland, OR 97204

Or email to:

Please include:
Name, age and school

January 1, 2011

Secrets of a transportation professional: hitting a green light every time

Among the many benefits of working in the transportation world is learning all of the guild-protected secrets of the profession.  Perhaps you'll remember our past post on how to hit all of the walk signals while ambling downtown?

image courtesy: Curtis Gregory Perry

But our most cherished and protected trade secret is how to get a green light while traveling on city streets. 

Please disregard the urban myth that you can flash your high beams at a red traffic signal to activate some secret, emergency light-changer-thingamajiggy; pure baloney (yes! I used the word baloney).  You can't use your tv's remote either, but I don't believe that any of our readers would buy that anyways.

So what's the secret? Well it depends...(What a bureaucratic answer).  Essentially, if you travel a few mphs below the speed limit many of Portland's streets, particularly our one-way streets, have signals synchronized to turn green in succession.

So, when you're in downtown Portland most of the signals are timed at 12 mph.  Go about 11 and you're golden.  Later in the evening some of the signals increase to about 15 mph - crusing!

On Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Grand Ave, travel 27 mph (just slightly below the speed limit of 30 mph) and you'll be basking in the glorious green wave of unimpeded travel. 

Have you noticed this on any other streets?  I promise you this - there are a lot more!  Portland has updated hundreds of signals to reduce congestion and air pollution and increase automobile efficiency.

Options to School

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We often hear from commuters who want to get back on the bike or bus for their commute but find getting their kids to school and themselves to work too great a challenge.  As a new parent, I'm starting to really understand the hardships of transporting the wee ones.  Although my girl still has a few years before heading off to school for the day, we do enjoy our bus ride home everyday.  Still, I find that short trips to the grocery store have gone from a quick pedal to a family car ride.

Stop and Walk! One great way to build a little physical

activity into the morning school trip

For those of you commuting parents, what are the biggest challenges? Is it the time constraints? Getting schedules to line up? Difficulty finding transit routes or bike routes to get to school and work?  All of the above?

We want to help.  The SmartTrips Business team will design you a customized bike and/or transit trip plan from home to school and to work (or any combination, thereof).  All you need to do is go to our on-line order form and click "YES" (see helpful diagram below).  Let us know you want a trip plan from home-to school-to work in the comments section.

Here are some other great options for getting to school and work:

Episode 1: A Left Turn

Check out this terrific video our comrade Joel, at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, put together...

Check out this terrific video our comrade Joel, at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, put together...