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Phone: 503-823-5185

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1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Dylan Rivera
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 


Traffic Advisory: Street improvements on SW Terwilliger Boulevard from SW Sam Jackson Park Road to SW Sheridan Street on Feb. 11

(Feb. 9, 2017)  – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require a northbound lane closure on SW Terwilliger Boulevard from SW Sam Jackson Park Road to SW Sheridan Street on Saturday, February 11, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The southbound lane will remain open to all traffic on SW Terwilliger Boulevard.

The road closure will allow crews to repair and repave .66 lane miles of pavement.

Northbound traffic on SW Sam Jackson Park Road will be detoured southbound onto SW Terwilliger Boulevard to SW Capitol Highway and then to SW Barbur Boulevard.

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.

For potential impacts to bus routes, please check trimet.org/alerts.

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

News Release: Saltzman expands Portland’s winter storm strategy with 100 tons of road salt, expanded PBOT plow routes, more resources

get home safe

News Release: Saltzman expands Portland’s winter storm strategy with 100 tons of road salt, expanded PBOT plow routes, more resources

(Feb. 1, 2017) Commissioner Dan Saltzman today announced a broad strategy to boost the City of Portland’s winter weather response, including increasing the use of road salt and expanding the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s plow routes to include more school bus routes.

“I share the frustration Portlanders have expressed over recent snowfalls that lingered for far too long,” said Saltzman, the commissioner who oversees PBOT. “PBOT crews performed admirably during the several storms that covered the city with an exceptional snowfall and record low temperatures. But when slick roads lingered for a week, businesses lost sales and children missed time in class. We need a broader strategy to address winter storms, starting this week and continuing into next winter.”

The strategy announced today will help increase Portland’s ability to clear snow and ice, starting with preparation for a storm that is forecast for Thursday evening. The National Weather Service has told the City of Portland to expect as much as 1 to 2 inches of snow on Thursday evening, potentially during the evening rush hour, followed by 0.10 to 0.30 inches of freezing rain overnight continuing into Friday morning’s peak commute hours. Thawing is not likely until Friday afternoon or evening.

The storm may bring between a trace and 1 inch of snow to low elevations such as downtown Portland. Conditions are expected to be worse and linger longer, east of Interstate 205, where Columbia River Gorge winds bring colder temperatures. Drivers should be aware that freezing rain creates treacherous travelling conditions. If freezing rain occurs, travelers should avoid all travel unless absolutely necessary and continue to monitor conditions throughout the day. The public is advised to prepare to adjust travel plans, delaying travel or taking public transit if necessary. If using transit, plan extra time and expect delays as trains and buses will likely not be on schedule. Check trimet.org/alerts before you head out. Monitor weather forecasts closely through the weekend and adjust plans as warranted.

The strategy also includes several elements that will be in place, pending City Council budget approval, in time for winter 2017-18.

“This has been an exceptional winter,” Saltzman said. “While we can’t keep winter weather from hitting the Portland area, we as a community can do more to provide clearer, safer passage sooner in the aftermath of these winter storms.”

 

To address storms this week, PBOT will:

  • Use up to 100 tons of road salt on at least three busy corridors to help clear snow and ice. This is the largest use of road salt in the modern history of Portland. It will also help PBOT test the effectiveness of road salt in a variety of locations that could indicate how it may be more effectively used citywide in the future.
  • Expand the city’s 1,120 lane miles of plow routes to include up to 340 lane miles of additional public school bus routes. This is a 30 percent increase in the number of lane miles covered by PBOT.
  • Reinstate the requirement for chains or traction tires on West Burnside and SW Sam Jackson Park Road, as conditions warrant. These two routes serving regional hospitals have often been blocked by vehicles that were abandoned when drivers found themselves unprepared for winter conditions. A first-time implementation of this requirement in January resulted in far fewer abandoned vehicles. Drivers who ignore this requirement will be subject to a citation by Portland Police in the amount of $160.

 

PBOT is also seeking additional public and private resources to expand the City’s winter weather response next winter by:

  • Negotiating a Mutual Aid Agreement with the Seattle Department of Transportation that would make it easier and faster for the two cities to share resources in response to severe winter weather events.
  • Seeking information from the private sector about potential plows and other resources the city could hire to address winter storms. A formal Request for Information is being prepared to send to the contracting community, so companies can describe what services they may be able to provide in future storms.
  • Working with the Portland Water Bureau to see if their planned equipment purchases could include trucks that could accommodate a snow plow attachment, as PBOT dump trucks are equipped currently.

In addition, PBOT on Tuesday filed a budget request for $2.8 million from the City’s General Fund Budget for 2017-18 to expand the bureau’s ability to clear roads during winter storms. Pending City Council approval, the $2.8 million would be available in the budget year starting July 1.

 

The budget request includes:

  • $1.2 million in one-time General Fund investment for equipment, including:

    - $342,000 for a grader that will allow PBOT crews to clear hard packed snow from the pavement on critical public safety routes. This will provide a different level of service from snow plows, which only plow to about 1 inch above the pavement.

    - $50,000 to convert two six yard dump trucks into de-icing vehicles.

    - $12,000 for two aerial drones for use in evaluating landslides and floods;

    - $45,000 for three covered storage units to store different de-icing materials such as road salt

    - $200,000 for eight drop in sanders/salters to expand de-icing and sanding capacity;

    - $100,000 for four fixed, electronic variable message signs to better communicate traveling conditions to the public;

    - $120,000 for eight portable, electronic variable message signs to better communicate traveling conditions to the public;

    - $45,000 for a fixed camera on West Burnside for timely response to travel hazards, including the need for traction tire requirement;

    - $150,000 for two additional storage tanks for anti-icing liquid;

    - $150,000 for six new plow blades to attach to de-icing trucks.

  • $1.6 million in on-going General Fund investment for additional capacity to address winter storms, including five additional full-time equivalent PBOT staff for weather response; use of Water Bureau trucks and staff to be used as snow plows and plow operators; maintenance of equipment and purchase and storage of larger supplies of de-icing material.

 

Stay informed with email, text alerts and report road hazards to PBOT

  • Sign up for email or SMS text message updates on traffic advisories, winter weather tips and more: bit.ly/PBOTupdates

  • If conditions require a road closure, notices will be posted to PBOT's Twitter account @PBOTinfo and a road closure web page will be established under FEATURED section of PBOT's web site portlandoregon.gov/transportation 
  • For updates from PBOT and other city, county and state agencies in the region, see PublicAlerts.org - a one-stop clearinghouse for alerts and weather information.
  • Report road hazards including downed trees or water blocking travel lanes to PBOT’s 24-hour hotline: pdxroads@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-1700.

 

Advice for the public:

Be prepared, expect conditions to vary

While the snow and ice amounts may vary, it never hurts to be prepared!

The best advice for traveling in bad winter weather is not to travel at all if you can avoid it. Wait until conditions improve before venturing out in winter weather. Allow the snow plows, sanding trucks, and other emergency vehicles to get out ahead of you to treat conditions. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

The City of Portland’s Snow and Ice Plan discourages private vehicle use and encourages public transit use instead. Plan ahead for your public transit commute by calling 503-238-RIDE (7433), visiting TriMet.org for bus and MAX light rail schedules and alerts or PortlandStreetcar.org for streetcar schedules and alerts. In snow and ice, plan for bus delays of 20 to 30 minutes. Know where your transit stops are before venturing out.PBOT provides tips for winter travel for people walking, biking or driving. Learn more at: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/47307

Check www.PublicAlerts.org for breaking news and information on major service disruptions. Visit http://bit.ly/snowicepdx to learn more about how PBOT responds to snow and ice events in Portland.

Winter travel safety tips

Carry an emergency weather kit

Have a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle to keep you safe and more comfortable during long waits. Your kit should include chains, shovel, bag of sand, battery jumper cables, first aid kit, basic tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver and knife), blanket, extra clothing (hats, socks, boots, mittens), flashlight, and a cell phone or CB Radio.

Expect slippery sidewalks; clear your own as well

In a winter storm, the sidewalk in front of your neighbor’s house may be the slickest surface you encounter. PBOT applies anti-icer and uses snow plows to clear streets along bus routes, but property owners are responsible for ensuring safe passage on sidewalks.

Look out for people on bike or out walking

Be watchful for people walking and bicycling who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Share the Road safely and responsibly.

You are responsible for your vehicle

If you choose to drive, stay with your vehicle in a snow and ice storm. Any abandoned vehicle is subject to being cited and impounded. To locate your vehicle, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.  If you are driving and visibility and conditions are getting worse rapidly, do not stop in a travel lane. Any vehicle creating a safety hazard is subject to towing. The citation for "preventing free passage" is $80 and the current contractual cost of a tow is $168, so motorists can expect to pay at least $248. The cost to store a towed vehicle past the initial four hours is $25 per day.

Look for an opportunity to pull off the road into a safe parking area and wait for conditions to improve. If you cannot reach your home, move your vehicle off a major street or plow route onto a side street so that plows can completely open up major streets. If you become stuck or stranded in severe weather, stay with your vehicle for warmth and safety until help arrives. While you wait for help to arrive, open a window slightly for ventilation, run your motor sparingly, and use your emergency flashers.

Recover your vehicle as soon as possible

Parking regulations and other road safety regulations remain enforceable during a winter storm. If you leave your vehicle parked in a metered parking space or other time zone during a winter storm, recover your vehicle as soon as possible when conditions improve. If you receive a citation, follow the instructions on the back of it to resolve it or contest it with the County Circuit Court.

Chains - your link to safety!

Buy chains, practice putting them on your car, carry them in your vehicle, and use them. You may need them unexpectedly! 

Do not bike, walk or drive in front of a snow plow. Do not pass snow plows or sanding trucks, which are focused on the city's busiest streets. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

 

News Blog: Tell us about your apartment’s bicycle parking

Tell us about your apartment’s bicycle parking

Where do you currently store your bike? 

Where do you WANT to store your bike?

bike parking

As the City of Portland continues its work to reach 25% bicycle mode split, have you ever wondered where all the bikes will park? We’ve seen the public, blue staple racks along the right-of-way, but what about the office worker – where do they park their bike for the 8+ hours during the work day; or what about people who live in apartment buildings – where do they store their bikes every evening?

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is currently in the middle of reviewing and updating the Bicycle Parking code requirements to ensure the provision of adequate, comfortable, accessible and secure bicycle parking for new buildings and major redevelopment throughout Portland. The current text of the Bicycle Parking section of City Code (Chapter 33.266 Parking and Loading) was largely written and adopted in 1996 [there was a significant update in 2004 for short-term bicycle parking; and in 2010 to update the amount of required long-term bicycle parking spaces for multi-family dwellings].

PBOT has convened a Stakeholder Advisory Committee to help guide the process and address key issues around short and long term bicycle parking in new buildings. While the committee is grappling with a number of key issues, one of the current focus areas is on apartment/ multi-family dwelling bicycle parking, and specifically how and where to provide long-term, secure bicycle parking for residents.

We have developed an online community survey regarding apartment bicycle parking, because, at this time, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee doesn’t feel that it has enough user input on this topic. The survey addresses questions regarding the types of bicycles people own, where they are able to park their bicycle (long-term, secure), and their personal preferences for bicycle parking. A popular statement is that, “Portlanders love their bicycles so much that they want to sleep with them as close by as possible.” While there might be some truth to that statement, we want to hear from users about their issues with bike parking and where they would prefer to store their bicycles.

Please weigh in on the bicycle parking and rack usability of your apartment by taking our survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/apartmentbikeparking

The results of the online survey will be used by PBOT and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee during the code update process. 

Want to know more about bicycle parking in Portland? Click here for more info on all of PBOT's bicycle parking programs and services.

News Release: The Portland Tram turns 10! Elected leaders, OHSU officials and community members celebrate the Portland transportation icon's 10th Anniversary

Portland Tram

News Release: 

The Portland Tram turns 10! Elected leaders, OHSU officials and community members celebrate the Portland transportation icon's 10th Anniversary

(Jan. 27, 2017) U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer joined Mayor Ted Wheeler, Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman, former U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley, officials with Oregon Health & Science University and Doppelmayr USA and community members to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Portland Aerial Tram.

Since it launched Jan. 28, 2007, the tram has been a catalyst for the local economy by enabling the growth of housing and bioscience jobs on a former brownfield site. The tram provides an essential public transit link between OHSU’s Marquam Hill and South Waterfront campuses.

“The Portland Aerial Tram is the quintessential example of the private and public sector working together to build a vibrant, livable community,” Blumenauer said. “Thanks to the tram, Portland has added thousands of jobs and created a world-class bioscience education hub with OHSU. The tram has been essential to the transformation of South Waterfront into a vibrant, livable community where people can live without a car because they can walk, bike, or go by streetcar or tram.”

Before the tram was opened, the South Waterfront area was a little used industrial area, cut off from the rest of the region by Interstate 5.

“The Portland Aerial Tram has become an iconic symbol of our city’s long tradition of transportation innovation,” Wheeler said. “It has made our economy stronger by helping us grow the downtown area and grow the bioscience jobs and talent of the future. This anniversary offers all Portlanders a chance to reflect on what a tremendous accomplishment it was to build the tram and how much it has done for Portland.”

Since opening, the tram has provided 16 million trips, with about 9,500 trips a day on an average weekday.

“The tram has become vital to Portland’s transportation system,” said Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “It has provided millions of trips in the last decade. In the recent snow and ice storms, the tram was the only link in the region’s transportation system that did not suffer any service disruptions. In fact, the tram expanded its hours of operation, offering service around the clock, and becoming a true lifeline for people to reach OSHU, the VA and Shriners’ hospitals.”

“When I realized that the Gibbs Neighborhood would not have access to the Tram or the bike path or the river, I went to work to find the funds so that we could build a bridge over the 13 lanes of traffic and connect them to their neighbors and public services,” said former Congresswoman Darlene Hooley.

“The Portland Aerial Tram has been a key component in the development of the South Waterfront and the continued growth of OHSU as a major health and science research university. Since the Tram opened 10 years ago, OHSU has added more than 4,000 jobs and invested more than $1 billion in new buildings in the South Waterfront. Without the rapid and reliable transportation provided by the Tram, OHSU’s expansion to the South Waterfront would not have been possible,” said Brian Newman, OHSU vice president for campus development and administration.

The dignitaries were joined by dozens of people who use the tram on a daily basis. They gathered at the Center for Health & Healing, the first OHSU medical building in South Waterfront, located next to the lower tram landing.

As part of the celebration, the Portland Aerial Tram will throw a Community Day Celebration on Saturday, January 28th, featuring family activities, historical displays, and presentations on the construction of the Tram and the future of South Waterfront. Members of the public will also be able to participate in guided walks, enjoy expert talks and view special Tram Anniversary memorabilia. The event is free and takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tram facts

  • 16 million total rides since opening
  • 2.1 million rides in 2016
  • 9,500 average daily rides M-F
  • $2.4 million annual operating budget
  • Tram employees: 18
  • Trip length: 3,300 feet, rising 500 feet in elevation
  • Travel speed: 22 miles per hour and up

 

  Since the Portland Aerial Tram opened 10 years ago, OHSU has:

  • Added more than 4,000 jobs in Portland
  • Invested more than $1 billion in new buildings in South Waterfront

 

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News Blog: 10 years after Portland Aerial Tram's debut, Portlanders are still discovering the thrilling ride, breathtaking views

10 yr anniversary logo

News Blog: 10 years after Portland Aerial Tram's debut, Portlanders are still discovering the thrilling ride, breathtaking views

Tram St HelensMount St. Helens in view over downtown Portland and the Willamette River during a ride on the Portland Aerial Tram. Photo by Brian Armada.

By Brian Armada

Despite being in Portland for the better part of four years, it is to my shame that I had never taken the Aerial Tram! I had definitely seen it every time that I ventured into the South Waterfront, taking its commuters 500 feet into the air as it traverses 3,300 feet towards OHSU, but never once took it myself.

That was the case until a few weeks ago when I took the aerial commute to OHSU accompanied by Rich Eisenhauer, PBOT’s SDC Program and Portland Aerial Tram Manager. Rich explained that the Aerial Tram is one of only two commuter aerial trams in the United States, the other being in New York City’s Roosevelt Island. Portland’s Tram is owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and operated in partnership with OHSU.

Tram selfie

I got on the Aerial Tram at the South Waterfront terminal and was surprised by how spacious the Tram itself was – even with all the people inside, it felt very comfortable. The windows inside are huge and offer amazing views from every angle. The tram started moving slowly and smoothly at first, but gradually increased its speed. As I ascended, the tram itself was very steady and the ride felt like the climb right before a rollercoaster drop. Once I could see the OHSU terminal clearly, I felt the need to pop my ears!

I got off the tram at OHSU and walked over to the observation deck, to take a couple pictures and I could not believe the view. The day was very clear and I was able to see Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens and Mount Tabor, along with downtown Portland and the South Waterfront. At the observation deck there’s a plaque that has a picture of Portland from 100 years ago and one of contemporary Portland – it was stunning to look down at that and see how the city has changed and then look back at the city and see how it is still changing.

The ride down from OHSU to the South Waterfront is much more fun, the Tram accelerates slightly as it descends and the drop at the terminal is a very satisfying payoff. The whole way down I could see Mount Hood right in between the South Waterfront’s towering structures. I could definitely get used to this as a daily commute!

I also learned that the Tram carries over 9,000 riders a day and sometimes even more during inclement weather. Rich from PBOT explained that although people may think the Tram is susceptible to snowy conditions “these things were made for traversing the alps!” and are considerably resilient.

The Tram’s 10-year anniversary is coming up and I can certainly see the need to celebrate the service it provides - I’m just looking for excuses to take it again! 

Brian Armada is a senior studying economics at Reed College in Southeast Portland.


tram south waterfront

CELEBRATE TEN YEARS OF THE TRAM!

Portland Tram 10th Anniversary Community Day

Saturday, January 28, 2017, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Portland Aerial Tram is hosting a special Community and Family Day to celebrate ten years of service. 

Activities for the kids, historical displays, presentations on the construction of the Tram and the future of South Waterfront, samples from local restaurants and more. We'll also have guided walks, expert talks and special Tram Anniversary memorabilia. Join us for this once-in-a-decade event!

All activities are free and open to the public.

The Tram runs 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Children 6 and under can ride the Tram free with an adult.

Visit gobytram.com for details.