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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: Annual Portland Aerial Tram evacuation exercise set for Sunday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon

(Sept. 30, 2016) – The annual evacuation exercise for the Portland Aerial Tram is set for Sunday morning, Oct. 2. The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and should be concluded by noon. News media seeking access will need to follow the instructions below and contact OHSU by 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Members of the Portland Fire & Rescue Technical Rescue Team will lead the exercise. They will be assisted by representatives from both the City of Portland, whose Bureau of Transportation owns the tram, and Oregon Health & Science University, which operates the tram in conjunction with Doppelmayr USA.

Using ropes and harnesses, the team will lower four Doppelmayr employees playing the role of passengers 100 feet to the top floor of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s parking garage. 

The training allows crews to practice an aerial rescue in the event the tram is stopped for an extended period of time with passengers on board. If members of the public contact you with questions about the training, please inform them that this is a scheduled training exercise and not a real emergency.

Tram evacuation drill 2013

The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and operated by OHSU. This photo shows the evacuation drill conducted in 2013. The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened in 2007. Photo by Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened on Jan. 27, 2007 and is designed to provide personnel with experience in executing a last resort safety measure.  There has never been a real emergency.

More than 7,000 daily commuters and tourists ride the Portland Aerial Tram; the tram is one of only two used for urban transit in the U.S.


9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 - The exercise should be completed by noon.


The training will take place above the OHSU Casey Eye Institute parking garage. At that location a small number of exercise participants will be evacuated from the tram and lowered via ropes and harnesses down to the top of the parking structure. Local news crews are welcome to cover the training but arrangements must be made before 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 2. To arrange access, contact the OHSU operator, 503-494-8311, and ask for the on-call media coordinator.  


The Portland Aerial Tram is closed on Sundays during the fall and winter. As a result, the training exercise will not interfere with regular operations. For those interested in observing, please do so from nearby locations and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot.



The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and operated by OHSU.  It opened to the public on Jan. 27, 2007. The cabins, named Walt and Jean, travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway. Visit . Find the tram on Twitter @PortlandTram  and Facebook at  


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. Learn more at

UPDATED Traffic Advisory: Street improvements to close lanes on N Broadway from the Broadway Bridge to NE 3rd Ave Oct. 3-14

(Oct. 3, 2016) - UPDATE: This project has been extended to include NE Broadway from N Williams to NE 3rd. Work will continue each weekday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 14, 2016. 

(Sept. 30, 2016)  – The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on N Broadway from the Broadway Bridge to N Vancouver Avenue, on Monday, Oct. 3, through Monday, Oct. 10, 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. each weekday.

The road closure will allow crews to grind and pave 1.1 lane miles of pavement. 

Streets with ground down surfaces are open for travel. Lane closures are only in effect during project hours. Access will be maintained for businesses and residents during the project.

This area is a popular route for people traveling by bicycle and public transit. During work hours, expect to see signs indicating detours for all travelers. Consider using alternate routes.

For information on possible impacts to TriMet service, check and for Portland Streetcar, see

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

This work is weather-dependent and the schedule may change.


News Blog: Portland in the Streets: New Stakeholder Advisory Committee to Guide PBOT’s Livable Streets Strategy

portland in the streets logo

(Oct. 6, 2016) - Tomorrow, Friday, October 7, is the first Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting for one of PBOT’s newest initiatives: the Livable Streets Strategy.

Back in May, City Council proclaimed the summer of 2016 to be Portland in the Streets season. This proclamation highlighted that open streets events and initiatives like block parties, Sunday Parkways and our new Ankeny Plaza offer Portland residents and visitors the opportunity to experience their streets and their city in new and exciting ways. View our Portland in the Streets interactive map to learn more about these community-building events and places.

In response to the recognition of the importance of these community-based places and events, PBOT is now developing our Livable Streets Strategy - a roadmap for the City that will reinforce the idea that public streets are public places to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.

Ankeny Plaza

Portland's newest public space, Ankeny Plaza, at SW 3rd and Ankeny. Photo by Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The strategy will support innovation in the public right-of-way by opening Portland’s streets, parking spaces, plazas, and alleys to a range of events, programming, and physical infrastructure. The Livable Streets SAC is responsible for providing direction to the Project Management Team to guide development of the Livable Streets Strategy vision, goals, policy-recommendations, actions, and performance measures. Among them:

  • Looking at how we can better open our streets (our largest form of public space) to all Portlanders.

  • Providing guidance to the Bureau on how we design and manage those spaces in the public right-of-way. A critical piece of the work on the Livable Streets Strategy is the work on the nuts and bolts of the permit process.

  • Making it easier for community organizations to follow and understand the permit process so they can easily activate their own street.

Ultimately, our goal is to create a citywide program that helps community groups create and activate their own spaces, that are unique to their own neighborhoods. The SAC will help provide understanding and reflection upon trends in community placemaking, barriers to community involvement, potential for public/private partnerships, and opportunities for innovation.

intersection repair project

Neighbors working on the intersection of North Holman Street and Wilbur Avenue in May 2012. Photo by Greg Raisman.

Because the Livable Streets Strategy is looking at ways to open our streets to all Portlanders, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee was formed with that broad reach in mind. Artists, community members, the business community, and placemaking experts will come together to advise the program process, as well as provide their expertise on the community experience for implementing placemaking projects and programs. You can view a list of committee members here. We recognize there are current barriers to implementing these types of projects, and the SAC will help identify these barriers to be addressed in the Livable Streets Strategy.  The SAC will meet five times between now through spring 2017. Meeting information will be posted on the Livable Streets Strategy project website. Tomorrow’s SAC meeting will take place from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the Portland Building’s Broadway Conference Room. All meetings are open to the public.

A critical piece of the Livable Streets Strategy is the work on the nuts and bolts of the permit process. This involves coordination and collaboration among a number of City of Portland bureaus. Therefore, in addition to a SAC we are convening a Livable Streets Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which will be responsible for providing technical expertise on areas including, but not limited to policy goals and language, the permitting process, traffic engineering, implementation, maintenance, enforcement, community outreach, and data collection. The TAC is comprised largely of technical staff from across City of Portland bureaus that are involved in various community and neighborhood event processes.

In addition to working with the Livable Streets SAC and TAC, PBOT will be conducting a broader community survey to get input on the broader vision and goals. We want to hear from the community at large about the placemaking projects or programs that are important to them and their community. The survey will also continue to collect information on the barriers community members are facing currently when applying for community event and use permits with the City of Portland. In the meantime, please take a look at some of the existing Livable Streets projects happening in Portland on our Portland in the Streets interactive map. It’s the perfect time to start planning next summer’s block party and/or street fair!

News Blog: Transportation, school leaders celebrate new sidewalks and International Walk + Roll to School Day

Novick sidewalk Gilbert Park Elm

Commissioner Steve Novick walks with students and families on new sidewalks that lead to East Portland's Gilbert Park Elementary. The PBOT sidewalks project was completed over the summer. Photo by Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

By Dylan Rivera
PBOT staff

(Oct. 12, 2016) Dozens of children had a surprise on their way to school at Gilbert Park Elementary last Wednesday.

Commissioner Steve Novick, Transportation Director Leah Treat, David Douglas Superintendent Ken Richardson and safety advocates joined the grade schoolers and their families in walking to Gilbert Park Elementary. The grownups and students celebrated International Walk + Roll to School Day.

And they were able to celebrate something more than symbolism: New sidewalks were completed over the summer, thanks to a state grant the Portland Bureau of Transportation obtained for building safer routes to two East Portland schools.

 Kids jumping rope

Students at Gilbert Park Elementary enjoyed jump rope, games and other fun activities to celebrate International Walk + Roll to School Day on Oct. 5, 2016. Photo by Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Principal at Gilbert Park


Stacie Moncrief, principal at Gilbert Park Elementary talks about how new sidewalks have opened up new possibilities for students and families. See her on PBOT's YouTube channel.

“The community and myself were really looking forward to having the sidewalk come in,” said Stacie Moncrief, principal at Gilbert Park Elementary. “Now I feel comfortable partnering with PBOT Safe Routes, so we can do more activities, and do more events to promote walking and biking to school.”

The $1.5 million Powellhurst-Gilbert Safe Routes to School Project built sidewalks on two east-west corridors. On SE Holgate, the paths run from bustling SE 122nd Avenue to Gilbert Heights Elementary School. On SE Ramona Street, they connect 122nd Avenue to Alice Ott Middle School and Moncrief’s Gilbert Park Elementary.

Families at 46 schools across Portland had registered their plans to celebrate the international day for walking, biking and rolling to school last week. 

“Walking to school makes kids safer and heathier,” Novick said. The city will be able to install more sidewalks because voters in May approved a 10-cent gas tax, known as the Fixing Our Streets Program.

“We’re celebrating the fact that it’s now easier for kids to walk to school in this area,” Novick said. “With the Fixing Our Streets program, we’re going to be able to improve the sidewalk network around David Douglas High School and on 122nd Avenue so it’s easier for seniors and students to get to bus stops on that route.”

Treat said that she’s proud that Portland students ride to school at eight times the national average. Bicycling and walking to school has increased 35 percent since 2006.

Gilbert Park mom


Danita Wakamatsu, whose daughter Manaia attends kindergarten at Gilbert Park, said she’s glad to see so many people celebrating safe routes to school. See her on PBOT's YouTube channel.


“Biking and walking to school introduces children to an active lifestyle that can last a lifetime,” Treat said. “As a mom and a transportation director, making sure children have safe routes to school is a high priority for me.”

Danita Wakamatsu, whose daughter Manaia attends kindergarten at Gilbert Park, said she’s glad to see so many people celebrating safe routes to school.

“Besides camaraderie and bonding in the community, it’s nice to see people come together and do better for the environment and have fun at the same time,” Wakamatsu said. She’s hoping to have more facilities for biking and walking in the area.

“I wish she had more space to run and walk around instead of us having to drive,” Wakamatsu said.

Novick crossing on Ramona Street

Commissioner Steve Novick, Transportation Director Leah Treat, David Douglas Superintendent Ken Richardson and safety advocates joined grade schoolers and their families in walking to Gilbert Park Elementary Oct. 5, 2016. Photo by Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Partners in the celebration include Portland Police, Oregon Walks, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, NW Skate Coalition, and Pear Bureau Northwest.

Cass Isidro, executive director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, said the annual celebration is an important opportunity to celebrate the daily commitment many schools make towards ensuring the health and safety of their students.

“The event also challenges other schools to get started with this simple activity once a year, once a month and beyond,” she said. “We congratulate the City of Portland for their commitment to Walk to School Day this year and every day as we work together to promote walking and walkable communities for everyone."

Every year, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance teaches 5,000 second, fourth, and fifth graders Safe Routes to School bike and pedestrian safety education in the Portland public school system. The BTA also encourages kids to try walking and biking to school through fun programs like the May’s Walk + Bike to School Challenge Month.

Travel Advisory: High winds, heavy rains may lead to road hazards tonight through weekend

Get Home Safe banner

Clear storm drains in advance of heavy rain; all travelers should use caution


(Oct. 13, 2016) The Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for high winds and heavy rain that could create hazardous traveling conditions tonight and Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the Portland area from 2 to 10 p.m., with the strongest winds from 4 to 9 p.m.

Wind speeds are expected to reach 15 to 30 mph, with gusts of 35 to 45 mph. Winds of this strength could make travel hazardous by bringing fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines into streets. Debris can also block storm drains, leading to street flooding.

PBOT asks the traveling public, residents and businesses to take steps to reduce hazards associated with these conditions. The best way to prevent streets from flooding is for everyone to help keep Portland's 58,000 storm drains clear before a storm arrives. Use a rake, shovel or broom and clear by standing in the sidewalk, not the street. Be aware of passing vehicles and check the drain again during and after a storm. It's also a good idea to clear inlets that lead stormwater to the green street planters in city streets. See more tips at

All travelers should be alert, regardless of how they are moving throughout the city:

  • When driving, go slowly. Use extra care and look for people walking or biking. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, treat intersections like an all-way stop and proceed with caution. The driver who stops first has the right of way to go first. 
  • Do not drive through standing water or around barricades on flooded streets. Turn around safely. The wake from your vehicle can cause public and private property damage and flood houses and businesses.
  • When biking, allow plenty of stopping distance and avoid road surfaces that are steel, painted or covered in leaves or water. A puddles can disguise a very deep pothole.
  • When walking, always cross at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection. Look for oncoming vehicles before stepping down from the sidewalk and make eye contact with drivers when possible. Remember that people driving may have difficulty stopping in rainy conditions. Make sure you are seen by wearing contrasting clothing or retro-reflective materials when it’s dark outside.
  • When taking public transit, check for service alerts before you go at and 

See more travel tips on PBOT's web site:

PBOT crews are prepared to close streets and may set up detour routes for closures of long duration.

Residents are advised to notify PBOT of debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a street by calling our 24/7 maintenance dispatch hotline at 503-823-1700. Property owners should keep sidewalks clear of small debris.

During a severe weather event, many people may report the same incident. Residents may find it more convenient to report using the PDX Reporter App on Apple and Android smartphones. To report standing water on a roadway, use the category Plugged Storm Drain/Inlet. To report rock or mudslides or other debris blocking a travel lane, use the Debris in Roadway category. We strongly encourage the public to submit photos with their service requests, because that helps PBOT crews assess changing conditions as they respond to reports.

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) will continue to monitor the Sycamore gauge for Johnson Creek water levels. See the gauge at Bank full is 10 feet; flood stage is 11 feet; and with the restoration work that BES has done in the Foster Floodplain Natural Area, it now takes about 13 feet for Johnson Creek to flood.

The last observed level was about 2.79 feet (11:30 a.m. on Oct. 13), and it is predicted to reach 4.55 feet at midnight tonight and 9.22 feet by 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14. So, there is a possibility that Johnson Creek may approach bank full by early Friday morning, but it is not expected to flood.

To help residents and business owners prepare for a flood emergency, sand and sandbags are available at no charge to anyone who wants to use them to protect their property from flood damage. City crews keep the sites stocked with sand and sand bags. No shovels are provided, so the public must bring their own. Locations are:

  • SE 88th Avenue just south of Holgate Boulevard in the parking lot at Lents Park. Enter parking lot at the bottom of the hill, and follow one-way traffic to the sand pile at the exit on the east side of SE 88th;
  • SE 111th Avenue and Harold Street at the southeast corner of the intersection; and
  • SW 42nd Avenue and Vermont Street in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park; enter Gabriel Park from Vermont.

If travelers encounter downed utility wires or power lines in the Portland area, they should call 911. Never touch a downed power line. In fact, do not even get close. Even if a power line is not sparking, it could still be energized. Remember that water and electricity do not mix. Never try to free lines or to remove tree limbs from lines by yourself.

In addition, to report power outages or downed lines, contact PGE at 503-464-7777 or Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088. To report traffic signals out, call PBOT's 24/7 dispatch hotline at 503-823-1700.

The City recommends Portlanders monitor conditions where they are planning to travel, watch the forecast, and use as their source for emergency updates. The site provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information.

PBOT's Get Home Safe campaign informs the public about what the Transportation Bureau does to help Portlanders travel safely during severe fall and winter weather and what Portlanders can do to prepare for travel during severe weather.Get Home Safe