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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 800, Portland, OR 97204

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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 


News Release: SW Portland’s most dangerous street for biking is getting a safety update

The most southwestern stretch of SW Capitol Highway will be restriped to improve safety for all travelers along the corridor.

Photo of SW Capitol Highway

SW Capitol Highway’s current multilane configuration will be updated to make it safer for people walking, biking and driving. Photo courtesy of Google Street View.

(Sept. 5, 2019) The segment of SW Capitol Highway, between SW Huber Street and Kerr Parkway will be getting a safety upgrade starting this Saturday, Sept. 7 as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Vision Zero goal of eliminating deadly and serious injuries from Portland’s streets. The project will make it easier and safer for people to cross the street and get to bus stops along this busy thoroughfare. The project will also reduce speeds and improve the existing bike lanes.  View a map of the project area.

SW Capitol Highway is identified as a High Crash Street on PBOT’s Vision Zero High Crash Network. From 2012 to 2016, there were 55 total crashes on the corridor, including: two serious injuries, six moderate injuries, 33 minor injuries, one bicycle crash, and two pedestrian crashes.

 “I think the new design will definitely help traffic flow and safety for drivers, bikers, and walkers,” said Tina Tiedemann, owner of Bullseye Pub at SW Capitol Highway and Pomona Street. “I believe anything we can do to increase the safety of all is a huge benefit.” Bullseye Pub will be open for business during construction on Capitol Highway.

During phase one of the project, crews will restripe the roadway to provide one automobile lane in each direction with a center turn lane between SW Alfred Street and SW Stephenson Street. This striping will also add protection to existing bike lanes with plastic bollards or parking protection. Additionally, PBOT will optimize the traffic signal at SW Pomona Street and SW Capitol Highway to minimize vehicle backups. PBOT will also install a new marked crosswalk at SW 49th Avenue.

During phase two of the project later this fall, PBOT crews will build new pedestrian crossings with median islands and lighting at SW Coronado Street and SW Dickinson Street. They will also increase visibility at the existing crossing at SW Alfred Street with new street lighting and pedestrian islands. Lastly, PBOT plans to request speed limit reduction from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) from 35 mph to 30 mph.

The reason SW Capitol Highway from Huber Street to Kerr Parkway is a High Crash Corridor is, in part, due to it being a large multilane road. This type of road configuration encourages speeding and can be hazardous for pedestrians and for people driving.

Through the use of a center median and turn lane, and left-turn pockets at intersections, PBOT improves road efficiency, making it safer and ensuring it handles the same amount of traffic. The changes made by this project will resemble the following graphic:

Graphic of future changes for Cap Hwy

PBOT expects these improvements to result in a 19-47% reduction in all crashes and an 11-46% reduction in pedestrian and bike crashes. Construction of phase one is expected to take about two weeks, though the timeline could be impacted by rain or unforeseen events. Vehicle travel will be reduced to one lane in each direction and travel times could be slower than usual.

Elsewhere on SW Capitol Highway, paving from Multnomah Boulevard to Texas Streetwill be wrapping up later this fall, design plans for the SW Capitol Highway: Multnomah Village – West Portland project are reaching a 95% design milestone at the end of September, and PBOT continues to coordinate with ODOT on the scope of ODOT’s Barbur Crossroads Safety Project.

During construction, we ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane detours and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible. Learn what you can expect in our work zones and how you can help everyone stay safe by watching this video: https://youtu.be/lx3RkJjkjSE

The total budget for the SW Capitol Highway Complete Streets- SW Huber Street to Kerr Parkway project is $275,000, with funding provided by the Cannabis Tax and General Transportation Revenue.

For more information, visit the SW Capitol Highway – Huber to Kerr Parkway Complete Streets Project webpage or contact the project manager:

Liz Rickles, 503-823-7078, elisabeth.rickles@portlandoregon.gov

Traffic Advisory: A smoother street coming to SE 26th Avenue from Powell to Holgate boulevards

(Sept. 5, 2019) – Street improvements on SE 26th Avenue from Powell to Holgate boulevards are underway and will continue through Sept. 20 from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. each business day - and possibly weekends – with periodic lane closures during that time.

The lane closures will allow crews to grind and pave 1.57 lane miles of pavement to create a new, smoother street for travel.

grind and pave screen shot

How do crews with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) repave a street? In this short video, PBOT crew members explain how they grind and pave our city streets to create new, smooth roads for you: https://youtu.be/f9tyo3NyLJ0

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.

Please avoid the area if possible and expect delays as we repair this section of road. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane detours and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

Learn what you can expect in our work zones and how you can help everyone stay safe by watching this video: https://youtu.be/lx3RkJjkjSE

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

News Blog: New Safe Routes to School projects make walking and rolling safer for young Portlanders, thanks to Fixing Our Streets

12 Safe Routes to School projects were constructed over the summer break and there are more on the way

SW 14th speed cushion

A newly painted crosswalk and emergency vehicle-friendly speed cushion at SW 14th Avenue and Spring Garden Street. Photo by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Fixing Our Streets Logo

(Sept. 5, 2019) In the next few weeks, families will have had time to adjust to their routine for the new school year. Many will discover their walk or roll to school is a lot safer than it was at the end of the last school year because of 12 Safe Routes to School projects that were constructed over the summer.  

These projects are just some of the total 88 Safe Routes to School projects identified and funded by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) through Fixing Our Streets, a voter-approved 10-cent gas tax for fixing our streets and making them safer. Fixing Our Streets was the first local funding source in the city’s history dedicated exclusively to the city’s transportation needs. 

Slower speeds 

As part of this work, PBOT installed speed bumps and speed cushions along primary school routes. Speed cushions are a type of speed bump PBOT installs on emergency routes that have grooves for emergency vehicles like firetrucks. PBOT installed: 

Speed bumps along: 

  • SW 45th Avenue (between Hamilton Street and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway) 
  • SW 47th Avenue (between Hamilton and Julia streets) 
  • SW 17th Avenue (between Spring Garden Street and Taylors Ferry Road) 
  • SW Spring Garden Street (between 20th Avenue and Taylors Ferry Road) 

Speed cushions along: 

  • N Fremont Street (between Albina and Gantenbein avenues) 
  • N Willis Boulevard (between Hereford and Druid avenues) 
  • SE Stark Street (between 16th and 18th avenues) 
  • SW Shattuck Road (between Windsor Court and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway) 
  • SW Huber Street (at 40th Avenue) 

Why the focus on speed?  

PBOT’s Safe Routes to School program has been conducting biannual travel surveys from families of Portland students for the last decade. These surveys aim to understand the kinds of barriers that exist for students which might keep them from walking or rolling to school. Year after year, the number one barrier listed by parents and guardians is “traffic safety.” 

“I often see vehicle[s] speeding through school zones.” 

-Spring 2019 travel survey, Franklin High School cluster  

“Cars … continuously ignore the school zone signs and speed in the school zone.” 

-Fall 2018 travel survey, Lincoln High School cluster 

PBOT's Safe Routes to School team frequently hears from concerned school staff, community members, and families about dangerous driver behaviors on their routes to school, particularly speeding and a failure to stop for people crossing the street at crosswalks.  

Many students in Southwest Portland walk or roll along narrow streets without sidewalks. PBOT installs speed bumps and cushions to make people driving slow down and follow the speed limit. Research shows that family-friendly roadways that feel safe and comfortable attract new riders, providing Portland families with more options to get to and from school.

Speed cushion on SW Shattuck

An emergency vehicle-friendly speed cushion on SW Shattuck Road. Photo by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Improved crossings 

Even families that live close enough to walk or roll to school may choose to take a car because of dangerous intersections and crossings along their route. Crossing safety was a top concern families reported to PBOT during the community outreach stage of planning these improvements. 

 Over the summer, PBOT has installed and is improving these crossings: 

  • Extended the curb and added posts to protect pedestrians on NE Fremont Street at 131st Place 
  • Filled in a median island and cleared vegetation to improve the visibility of pedestrians where NE Buffalo Street crosses Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard 
  • Added a median island at SE 46th Avenue and Henry Street (still under construction) 

Pedestrian crossing at NE MLK Jr. Blvd and Buffalo Street.

PBOT crews filled-in this median island and cleared vegetation to improve pedestrian visibility at NE Buffalo Street and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. Photo by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

How were projects chosen? 

In 2016, PBOT’s Safe Routes to School team embarked on an extensive planning process to identify projects Portland families needed to get to school safely. PBOT staff and volunteers categorized and mapped six years of school travel data to capture comments from over 3,000 parents and guardians and understand what safety improvements they wanted to see. Safe Routes staff attended over 60 meetings and events with parents and guardians, school staff, parent leadership, and culturally specific parent groups.  

PBOT identified over 1,200 projects through this process. With feedback from school communities, a Stakeholder Advisory Committee and the Fixing Our Streets Oversight Committee, the list was narrowed to a priority list of 88 projects. The Safe Routes team verified the routes and projects with each school before moving forward and gaining approval for these 88 projects from City Council in June 2018. 

 Community outreach

The full prioritized list PBOT generated from this process will help with the implementation of these 88 as well as any future projects as new funding becomes available. 

More Safe Routes to School projects on the way 

PBOT will be hard at work constructing more Safe Routes to School projects through the end of construction season. Families will continue to see improvements to their route to school thanks to Fixing Our Streets.  

Here are the Safe Routes projects PBOT expects to complete by the end of 2019: 

  • Median island, curb ramps, and a marked crosswalk at NW Miller Road and Miller Hill Drive 
  • Median island, curb ramps, and a marked crosswalk at NW Miller Road and Spencer Street 
  • Two medians, curb ramps, and crosswalks at NE Killingsworth Street and 9th Avenue 
  • Upgraded island where the Springwater Corridor Trail crosses SE 92nd Avenue 
  • Median island and a marked crosswalk at SE Henry Street and 46th Avenue  
  • Pedestrian pathway and a marked crosswalk where SW Pedestrian Trail meets Shattuck Road 
  • A marked crosswalk and pedestrian signage at N Willis Boulevard and Haven Avenue  

You can find the map, details on projects, routes, and more information about the planning process at SafeRoutesProjects.com 

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Fixing Our Streets Banner

Traffic Advisory Update: Additional paving on W Burnside Street at 18th and 19th avenues rescheduled for Wednesday night

(Sept. 9, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) advises that night paving on W Burnside Street was postponed on Sunday due to rain and has been rescheduled to the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Work will begin at 10 p.m. Wednesday night, allowing Portland Thorns fans time to leave Providence Park after the match vs. North Carolina. Paving will be completed by 6 a.m. Thursday. 


 

(Sept. 5, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises that night paving on W Burnside will continue on Sunday evening, Sept. 8. Work will begin at 9 p.m. and will be completed by 6 a.m. on Monday morning. Crews have completed paving on the outer lanes of W Burnside, and will now pave the two innermost lanes. 

w burnside paving

A freshly paved lane on W Burnside, looking west. Photo by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Nearby residents can expect construction noise and people driving can expect significant delays on West Burnside between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. One outer lane in each direction will remain open on W Burnside. Sidewalks will remain open for people walking. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane detours and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible. Learn what you can expect in our work zones and how you can help everyone stay safe by watching this video: https://youtu.be/lx3RkJjkjSE

The night work is necessary to ensure crews can work in a safe and efficient manner without closing down this critical transportation corridor during the day. West Burnside is a difficult location for road work and PBOT greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of nearby residents and businesses as we work to wrap up this construction project.

Following this night work, crews will test and active the new traffic signals and install remaining concrete islands during regular working hours. 

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

These improvements are part of the West Burnside Multimodal Project, one of a series of safety improvements PBOT is making along the corridor. For more information or to sign up for e-updates, visit our project webpage

w burnside before and after rendering

PBOT Traffic Advisory: Crews open two lanes on North Going Street Bridge, with one lane of traffic each direction to Swan Island, as evaluation of damage from train crash continues

(Sept. 8, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that as of 2:30 p.m. today, crews have opened two travel lanes on the North Going Street Bridge, which was closed on Saturday morning after a train crashed into bridge support columns.

Travelers are directed to the north side of the bridge, where one lane in each direction is open. A multiuse path that provides bicycle and pedestrian access on the north side of the bridge is also open. A detour route that was used over the weekend on N River Street -- a narrow, private street -- has been removed. The public should not use River Street any longer.

The North Going Street Bridge provides the only public street access to Swan Island, a key location for industrial employers, with hundreds of workers and significant freight traffic.

The public is advised to use caution. Expect significant congestion and travel delays in the area. The bridge normally has three travel lanes in each direction.

Structural engineers continue to investigate and assess the bridge damage. There is no timeline for when the other lanes may be reopened. It could take weeks or months to repair the bridge.

The bridge was closed on Saturday morning, after a Union Pacific train derailed and crashed into concrete columns that support the bridge.

Going Street Bridge

North Going Street Bridge provides the only public access to Swan Island, a key industrial area in North Portland. Mpa by Portland Bureau of Transportation and Google Maps.

Union Pacific locomotives pulling tank cars crashed into columns that support the bridge. There are no known injuries from the crash.

PBOT structural engineers assessed the scene on Saturday, and again on Sunday morning. After the train wreckage was removed, engineers could access more of the bridge on Sunday for further structural evaluation and damage assessment.

The northern side of the bridge does not appear to be damaged, but damage to other parts of the bridge was found on Sunday to be worse than initially thought. A second support column was damaged, and damage to the bridge deck was also discovered.

Further inspections will take place in coming days, which may include taking core samples and removing parts of the structure and surrounding soils to gain a better understanding of the extent of the damage.

 

Sign up here for email updates about the repairs to the North Going Street Bridge and access to Swan Island

Sign up to receive PBOT's citywide traffic advisories by email or text message, and monitor our Twitter account @PBOTinfo for breaking news and alerts

 

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation