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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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Dylan Rivera

Public Information Officer

503-823-3723

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News Release: City Council considers major step forward for Southwest Corridor MAX line, affordable housing

Long-anticipated $2-plus billion project would link Portland, Tigard and Tualatin

City leaders also announced regional agreement to promote affordable housing along proposed route

(Nov. 1, 2018) The Portland City Council today will consider a major step forward in bringing faster, more convenient public transit to Southwest Portland.

The Council will consider supporting a 12-mile route for the MAX line that would travel southwest along SW Barbur Blvd and parallel to Interstate 5 in Portland. Along this route, the $2.3 to 2.8 billion project will connect downtown and Southwest Portland with Tigard, and Tualatin ending near the Bridgeport Village regional mall.

The project will serve an average 43,000 weekday commuters in 2035, carrying 20 percent of southbound evening rush-hour commuters.

In an important measure to support more affordable housing options along the transit route, the City developed an agreement with Tigard, Washington County, Metro and TriMet to promote affordable housing along the route by making excess land available for housing construction.

“Ensuring that public transit serves all our residents is a top priority,” Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said. “That is why I strongly support the regional agreement to secure land for affordable housing along this route. With the agreement in place, this much needed project will not just improve regional mobility, it will protect against displacement and gentrification. I look forward to serving on the Southwest Corridor Steering Committee to guide future project decisions, ensuring that this project meets our transportation, housing, economic and equity goals."

In the past, TriMet has teamed up with governments and community-based organizations to use individual parcels of land from previous light rail projects for affordable housing, but the Southwest Corridor agreement is unique in looking at a comprehensive housing strategy for the entire alignment.

“Creating more affordable housing is a region-wide priority and that urgency requires we all think creatively and aggressively about how we tackle the challenge,” said TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey. “TriMet is dedicated to help meet the need for affordable housing in the Southwest Corridor, and we see 950 units as the floor, not the ceiling of what we and our partners can achieve together to put roofs over the heads of those in need.”

Learn more:

The project is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Portland City Council meeting, at City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave. 

Watch it live online

“As a City, we’ve learned some very hard lessons about what happens when we fail to prioritize affordable housing and displacement prevention alongside our major transportation infrastructure investments,” said Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan. “With this strategy, we are taking action to build from those hard lessons and ensure that the residents along the Southwest Corridor are able to share in the benefits and opportunities that come with the region’s next light rail line.”

A Southwest Corridor public transit improvement has been in regional plans since the 1980s, but other routes were built first.

The proposed route will include a connection to Marquam Hill and a shuttle to the Portland Community College Sylvania Campus. It was developed over the last seven years by Metro, TriMet, ODOT, City of Portland staff and staff from Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood and Washington County with significant public input.

The proposed route will support improved transit time; convenient connections between stations and jobs, businesses and homes; and improved traffic safety for all travelers and keep all travel lanes on Barbur.

After local agencies and jurisdictions formalize their support for the route, the Metro Council will vote to adopt the final route into the Regional Transportation Plan. This will allow TriMet to design the project and ultimately apply for state and federal funds in support of the project.

As the project moves into implementation, TriMet will convene a Southwest Corridor Steering Committee made up of the jurisdictions directly affected by the project. This will likely include Cities of Portland, Tigard, and Tualatin along with Washington County, ODOT, Metro and TriMet.

The Steering Committee will make decisions on key items such as finalizing alignments, size and location of park-and-ride lots, station locations, and will provide direction on budget.

Commissioner Eudaly will represent the Portland City Council and community interests on the Steering Committee to lead the project through design and construction.

Learn more about the Southwest Corridor Project

Traffic Advisory: Crane work to close SW Clay Street, between SW 5th and 6th Avenues, November 7-9

(November 6, 2018) - The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that crane work will close SW Clay Street between SW 5th Avenue and SW 6th Avenue from Wednesday, November 7 at 4 a.m. to Friday, November 9 at 3 p.m.

A detour will be in effect during those times. Traffic will be directed north on SW 4th Avenue to SW Jefferson to SW Broadway, and back to SW Clay. Sidewalks on SW Clay between 5th and 6th Avenue will also be closed during crane work for the safety of the traveling public.

The closure is necessary for a private contractor to use a crane to lift mechanical equipment to the roof of the 1515 Market Square Building.

The traveling public is advised to expect delays during the road closure. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

Traffic Advisory: Street improvements on N Going Street between N Interstate Ave and I-5, November 9-11

Work area on N Going

During street improvements on N Going Street travel will be reduced to one lane eastbound and westbound. Message boards, traffic signs and flaggers will direct traffic during construction.

Fixing Our Streets Logo

(Nov. 8, 2018) The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements on N Going Street from the I-5 North Exit 303 to N Interstate Ave will require lane closures beginning Friday, November 9 through Sunday, November 11, during all hours and all days.

The lane closures will allow crews to grind and pave the street as part of the Fixing Our Streets Program. This particular project is funded by the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax.

As part of the paving work, N Going Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction during all hours and all days for the duration of the project. Additionally, the I-5 northbound Exit 303 off ramp will be closed starting at 11:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9 through 4:00 a.m. on Monday, November 12. Eastbound traffic on N Going Street, as well as northbound and southbound traffic on N Interstate, should follow the signed detours to I-5.

Eastbound traffic on N Going will may use the N Greeley Street offramp from N Going St. north to N Killingsworth to access I-5 southbound or can use N Interstate Ave to N Alberta to access I-5. People driving north on N Interstate can access I-5 by following detour signage to N Alberta Street. People driving south on N Interstate can access I-5 either at Alberta or by proceeding south to the Steel Bridge interchange at the Rose Quarter.  

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: Creating a more reliable and efficient transportation system in Portland's Central City

CCIM logo

News Blog:

Creating a more reliable and efficient transportation system in Portland's Central City

Schedule Update: PBOT's Central City in Motion Plan goes to City Council on Thursday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m.

(Nov. 8, 2018) Between now and 2035, our Central City – already the densest concentration of people and jobs in Oregon – will continue to grow. The Central City, which stretches from the West Hills to SE 12th Avenue and from the Lloyd and Pearl districts to Powell Boulevard and South Waterfront, will add an additional 38,000 new households (a roughly 160 percent increase) and about 51,000 new jobs (a roughly 40 percent increase). The catch? All this growth will happen in 5 square miles – only three percent of the land area in Portland.

Central City in Motion recommends 18 key projects, building upon a robust trajectory of plans designed to create a better city: The Comprehensive Plan; Central City 2035 Plan; Transportation System Plan; NE, SW, and SE Quadrant Plans; and 2030 Bicycle Master Plan. Central City in Motion prioritizes specific transportation projects to be built over the next five years, as well as providing guidance for the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s plans over the next 10 years, recommending a total of $72 million of investments. These projects will dedicate more than nine miles of right-of-way to transit investments, create nearly 100 safer crossings for people walking and rolling, and create or improve nearly 30 miles of low-stress bikeways. Taken together, these improvements will create a more reliable transportation system, both in the Central City and throughout the region.

growth in the central city

Since 2012, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has been grappling with how to accommodate all these new Portlanders. Portland’s iconic Central City has long been the center of innovation, from transforming a parking garage into Pioneer Courthouse Square, to the removal of SW Harbor Drive to make way for Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The question now is, how do we support the continued growth of our vibrant city core? After over 50 meetings, workshops and outreach events with community stakeholders and three online open houses with over 9,000 participants, a plan has taken shape that we believe will help move Portlanders to their businesses and homes efficiently, while also helping us meet crucial carbon emission reduction goals as we continue to battle the global impact of climate change. We call the plan Central City in Motion.

Planning transportation improvements in the Central City poses unique challenges and opportunities. Portland has a narrow street grid, especially in the Central City. And even with those narrow streets, public rights-of-way already account for 39 percent of the Central City’s land area, thanks to the city’s founders’ decision to lay out the downtown core in short, 200-foot-long blocks.

Downtown Portland looking east in 1883.

Downtown Portland looking east in 1883. Courtesy of the City of Portland Archives

Even though our population is growing and the economy is expanding, our roadway space is not. Since we can’t add new streets to the Central City as we grow, we will need to invest and upgrade the existing transportation system to make it more predictable, reliable and safe for residents and businesses to use other travel modes. If we don’t take action now, it will become more difficult to travel around the Central City – whether you’re on foot, a bike, riding a bus, or in a car or truck.

street capacity

Portland isn’t the first city to face this challenge. We talked to business and transportation leaders in peer cities – Seattle, Vancouver and Calgary – all of whom have made significant investments in human powered transportation (biking, walking, rolling) and transit in their central cities in recent years because of substantial population growth in their communities. Those investments have paid off. Seattle added 60,000 jobs in its downtown core and yet 4,500 fewer people drove to work. Smart investments in their transportation network meant all the new commute trips were accommodated by transit, ridesharing, walking, and biking. Seattle’s transit ridership is now growing faster than any other city in the country. In Vancouver, the investment in protected bike lanes downtown on two of their main streets increased the percentage of trips made by women on bike by 11 percent and, between 2007 and 2012, the average daily distance driven per resident fell by 27 percent citywide. In Calgary, the percentage of bike trips made into and out of downtown increased by 40 percent in a single year following a protected bike lane pilot. Numerous survey respondents to PBOT’s Central City in Motion surveys provided similar feedback: Build protected bike lanes and I will bike downtown. Make transit faster and more reliable and I will take the bus. Every bike or bus trip is one less car on Portland’s streets. With that in mind, isn’t it everyone’s best interest that we encourage as many people as possible to choose alternate modes of transportation? Less cars equals less traffic, more parking and cleaner air. Despite the divided times we live in today, PBOT’s outreach suggests this is something all Portlanders can agree on.

central city modes

If we do nothing and all the new residents and commuters in our Central City traveled around as we do today, the result would be a 35 percent increase in the number of cars on Central City streets. Imagine thousands of additional cars attempting to jam into our already congested streets at the busiest times of day. The investments in the Central City in Motion plan are designed to avoid this future, holding traffic congestion steady for the next two decades, despite the thousands of new residents and jobs.

The final Central City in Motion Implementation Plan includes an updated prioritized project list, reflecting recent input from project stakeholders. The following projects are now included in the 1-5 year implementation schedule:Another important part of Central City in Motion is maintaining freight access, particularly in the Central Eastside Industrial District, which is home to 1,100 businesses and 17,000 jobs. Ensuring that new residents and commuters have comfortable and convenient transportation options other than driving is critical to the sustainability of the Central Eastside. Shared bus and freight priority lanes have been identified, with wide turning radii maintained in areas where businesses depend upon large trucks and delivery vehicles. In some places, streets have been redesigned to ensure that freight access is maintained while improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Bus priority lanes create a more efficient transit system, helping service workers and others who travel into the Central City to access jobs and other services.

  • The Grand Avenue transit/freight lane at the request of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, Portland Streetcar, and TriMet
  • NW 14th bicycle and pedestrian crossing improvements at the request of the Pearl District
  • NE Multnomah at the request of the GoLloyd board

To ensure adequate time for public testimony, we have moved our presentation to City Council to Thursday, November 15. Join us on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall as we present our plan to City Council to keep Portland’s Central City moving for all.

Interested stakeholders can also sign up for project updates or contact the project manager via the project website: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/ccim. Supporting documents and designs related to Central City in Motion have also been posted there. Portlanders with questions or concerns about the projects are invited to contact the project manager directly – such input will be very helpful as we work to design Central City in Motion projects with the most benefits and fewest impacts.

Questions about Central City in Motion? Contact Gabe Graff, Project Manager, at Gabriel.Graff@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-5291.

News Release: PBOT penalizes e-scooter company Skip for failing to serve East Portland, violating pilot program rules

Skip failed to provide at least 100 e-scooters a day in East Portland as required by the program. It also failed to deploy at least 90 percent of the total number of e-scooters the company has permits for, in violation of the program's rules.

(Nov. 13, 2018) The Portland Bureau of Transportation has issued penalties totaling $9,000 to Skip, an e-scooter company, for violating the rules of the bureau's Shared E-Scooter Pilot Program.

Skip failed to provide at least 100 e-scooters a day in East Portland as required by the program. It also failed to deploy at least 90 percent of the total number of e-scooters the company has permits for, in violation of the program's rules.

PBOT issued a penalty of $4,500 for failing to deploy at least 100 scooters in East Portland, an area of the city that has historically been underserved by the transportation system. The City of Portland's 2035 Comprehensive Plan defines the area's geographic boundaries, which has suburban scale development, and a high proportion of immigrant communities and people living on low-incomes that are dependent on public transit service.

"We will hold e-scooter companies accountable for service in East Portland," Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said. "E-scooter companies must show us that they can follow the rules set out by our program. It is unfair to Portlanders in East Portland for companies to fall short of reasonable public access requirements."

PBOT assessed penalties of $300 a day for each of the two violations, totaling $4,500 each. The penalties stem from violations for 15 days from Oct. 17 to Oct. 31.

PBOT regulates e-scooter companies within the city limits. E-scooter rider conduct is governed by state law and separate city codes.

PBOT issued a second penalty of $4,500 to Skip for violating a requirement to have at least 90 percent of the company's fleet deployed each day during the pilot program. The requirement is designed to help Portlanders, city officials and the companies better understand the potential benefits of access to shared e-scooters.

Skip is allowed to have 683 e-scooters in operation in the city, one third of the total allowed. If there were no minimum number of e-scooters required to be in operation, companies could obtain a high number of permits to reduce the number of permits available to their competitors. This would also reduce the availability of the vehicles to the public and impact PBOT's ability to learn about the potential effectiveness of this emerging transportation technology.

PBOT will not penalize the company for days when it decided not to provide scooter service because of rainy weather.

Portland's e-scooter pilot program will end Nov. 20, and e-scooters will be off the streets starting Nov. 21. In early 2019, PBOT will share findings and data from the pilot program, and seek public input on next steps for e-scooter service in Portland.

Learn more about the Shared Electic Scooter Pilot Program

On the web: portlandoregon.gov/transportation/e-scooter

Send questions or concerns about e-scooters to us by email:
E-scooter@portlandoregon.gov

By phone: 503-823-7483