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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 


PBOT News Release: Downtown SmartPark garages open early Friday morning for holiday weekend shopping

On-street parking is free at meters on Thanksgiving Day

(Nov. 21, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises visitors to Downtown Portland that all SmartPark garages will close at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, for Thanksgiving Day and will reopen early on Friday morning.

The City will not charge at the meters for on-street parking on Thanksgiving Day, one of nine holidays observed in all parking meter districts, including Northwest Portland, the Central Eastside and Lloyd District. Regular parking rates and hours will apply Friday through Sunday.

In addition to the SmartPark garages for vehicle access, Downtown Portland is well served by public transit with TriMet and Portland Streetcar, as well as biking and walking options.

SmartPark Garages to open Friday morning at 12 a.m., then return to normal 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service:

3rd & Alder - SW 3rd Avenue and Alder Street

4th & Yamhill - SW 4th Avenue and Yamhill Street

10th & Yamhill - SW 10th Avenue and Yamhill Street

1st & Jefferson - SW 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street

Naito & Davis - NW Naito Parkway and Davis Street

O’Bryant Square - 808 SW Stark Street - CLOSED for repairs

After opening Friday morning, SmartPark garages will remain open for regular business hours and all days, except for the O’Bryant Square garage, which has been closed for repairs since September.

The six PBOT SmartPark parking garages include nearly 4,000 public parking spaces and serve shoppers, business clients and visitors to Downtown Portland. The public can contact Central Parking at (503) 790-9302 for questions related to SmartPark garage operating hours or visit portlandoregon.gov/smartpark

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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. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation 

PBOT News Release: Transportation agencies are ready for winter weather, urge public to be prepared

“We’re ready for winter. Are you ready?”


First responders urge public to not abandon vehicles in travel, transit lanes

 

(Nov. 15, 2017) The Portland area’s four major transportation agencies are prepared for snow and ice, and Wednesday advised the public about the best ways to prepare for winter conditions.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Washington State Department of Transportation and TriMet have been coordinating their efforts and planning for winter conditions since October. Maintenance managers have met with meteorologists to discuss the weather outlook for the season. The agencies also monitor weather conditions around the clock and have developed plans to check trouble spots and adjust operations as conditions warrant.

Chris Warner, Deputy Director of PBOT November 2017 winter weather

“Winter weather can be unpredictable, so everyone with a car in the Portland area needs to have snow chains and practice using them,” said Chris Warner, deputy director of PBOT (pictured, at left). “Abandoned vehicles were such a big problem last year, blocking snowplows, first responders and public transit, that we are going to continue to ticket and tow abandoned vehicles and require chains or traction devices on West Burnside and Sam Jackson Park Road. Since last winter, we have been updating our winter weather plan. With our new online Winter Weather Center, PBOT will provide the public with real-time access to snowplow and anti-icing vehicle locations and other current information about road conditions. In winter weather, we focus on making key roads passable for public transit service and first responders, and we are working together with our regional partners to help everyone get home safe.” 

  

WSDOT snowplow at winter weather media kickoff 2017

A Washington State Department of Transportation snowplow was among the vehicles on display at the winter weather kickoff news conference Nov. 15, 2017. Photos by Sarah Petersen, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Ted Miller, ODOT’s Portland area maintenance and operations manager, said getting ready for winter may involve preparing for things that don’t happen. But, he said, everyone, ODOT and the public at large, need to do their part when bad weather hits.

“Are you ready to go?” Miller asked. “Do you have your snow tires mounted, chains fitted, and emergency kits ready? Are you ready to make plans to take alternate transportation to work, telecommute, rideshare? We want you to be prepared by watching the local news, going to [www.tripcheck.com]tripcheck.com, and calling 511 to check conditions on your route. Please be prepared for the worst and those things you worry about maybe won’t happen anyway.”

WSDOT Maintenance Supervisor Aaron Yanez said the public needs to be prepared, especially when traveling on area highways.

“Interstates 5 and 205 are our priority routes in the Vancouver area,” said WSDOT Maintenance Supervisor Aaron Yanez. “If there is a need to travel with snow or ice in the forecast, those behind the wheel should be prepared and drive for the conditions.”

Anthony Fuller TriMet

TriMet Director of Operations Command Center and Field Operations Anthony Fuller said the region’s public transit agency relies on regional partners to clear the roads that buses rely on.

“We appreciate the help of PBOT, ODOT and the rest of our regional partners as their efforts to keep main arterials open help keep transit moving,” said TriMet Director of Operations Command Center and Field Operations Anthony Fuller (pictured, at left). “While we don’t want a repeat of the conditions we faced last winter, we are geared up for it. We have fully restocked supplies and have made strategic improvements to our severe weather plans. During wintry weather, plan extra time and check [www.trimet.org/alerts]trimet.org/alerts before you head to the bus stop or train station. Also, now is the perfect time to learn your snow route.

The Portland Police Bureau wants to remind community members to be aware of ever-changing weather during the winter months.  During inclement weather, police ask those without traction devices to stay off the roadways when possible.  Abandoned autos, especially on major roadways, can cause delay for first responders as well as present a hazard for other vehicles.

Captain Louisa Jones Portland Fire and RescuePortland Fire & Rescue reminds everyone to plan ahead for winter weather. Create an alternate route, plan for public transit, or a car pool plan now if you are unable to telecommute to work. Have de-icer available at home and work to put out on sidewalks and walkways. Snowy and icy weather always brings an increase in falls and related severe injuries like broken hips, arms, collar bones, and shoulder injuries, so only venture out if you absolutely have to, and avoid icy walkways when possible. (Capt. Louisa Jones, Public Information Officer for Portland Fire & Rescue, pictured at left.)

 

Online tips for winter weather

 One-stop clearinghouse for emergency information from state, regional

and local agencies across the metropolitan area
PublicAlerts.org

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Get Home Safe: Stormy Weather Travel Tips

portlandoregon.gov/transportation/weather

Oregon Department of Transportation

Driving Tips from ODOT

oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/Pages/winterdriving.aspx

TriMet

If you're riding during snowy or icy weather, here's what you need to know

trimet.org/winterweather

WSDOT, ODOT snowplows and PBOT sand spreader at winter kickoff news conf 2017

View more photos from today's news conference at PBOT's Albina Yard at PBOT's Flickr Page. Photos by Sarah Petersen, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

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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. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

PBOT News Release: Portland prohibits sale of hazardous recreational vehicles, offers free turn-in day for proper disposal

(Oct. 5, 2017) To address a growing public health and neighborhood livability concern, the Portland City Council on Wednesday voted to ban the sale of hazardous recreational vehicles. The City will also offer to dispose of recreational vehicles for free for Portland residents at a first-ever RV Disposal RV Turn-In Day on Oct. 29.

With the emergency ordinance passed unanimously by City Council, Portlanders who sell, lease, donate or give away an RV that leaks waste water or fuel may be fined $500 or subject to six months in jail, or both. The ordinance does not apply to sales of RVs to licensed repair facilities or dismantlers.

The hazardous RV ordinance, which may be unprecedented on the West Coast, comes in response to growing public concern about derelict RVs on city streets. The Portland Bureau of Transportation received 4,000 complaints about derelict or abandoned RVs parked in public right-of-way in 2016. So far this year, PBOT has received nearly 7,000 such complaints. PBOT has towed 156 abandoned RVs this year. Portland Police have towed another 100 RVs that were occupied and posing a public safety hazard.


Portland residents, PBOT parking enforcement officers and Portland Police have observed RVs leaking raw sewage or fuel, as well as instances when RV owners were dumping sewage onto public streets and storm drains.

"Portlanders are justifiably concerned by the growing public health and safety threat posed by abandoned or derelict RVs on our streets," Mayor Ted Wheeler said. "Portland Police have been working closely with transportation staff to address this issue and this ordinance and turn-in day will help catch unsanitary RVs before they get to our streets and become a problem for our community."

Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees PBOT, sponsored the ordinance, along with Mayor Wheeler.

"Every week, I hear from Portlanders who are concerned about derelict or abandoned RVs," Saltzman said. "This ordinance will help us keep the worst of the worst RVs off our streets, to protect the environment and public health."

The new approach may also save money. The cost of removing abandoned and derelict RVs from city streets has been rising and is expected to cost more than $1.3 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Preventing RVs from being abandoned would prevent the City from paying the cost of enforcement and removal.

FREE RV Disposal Turn-In Day

Working with Portland Police and Metro, PBOT will offer its first-ever opportunity for Portland residents to dispose of their older RVs free of charge. Owners must make an appointment online for the Turn-In Day, which will be held Oct. 29 at Portland International Raceway.

The Turn-In Day event is intended to address the disposal cost of older RVs, which is a barrier to people who no longer want to own the vehicles. It can cost an RV owner $1,000 to $2,000 to properly dispose of an older vehicle, because of the expertise required to dispose of water and waste water systems and other parts. Many older RVs are worth less than the cost of proper disposal.

Our goal is to provide the public a way to dispose of unwanted RVs.

The Turn-In Day is only available to residents of Portland who are the registered owner of the vehicle. Learn more and make an appointment online.

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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. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

News Blog: “Be Seen. Be Safe.” Traffic safety during the darker days of the year

terwilliger walk in the rain

SW Terwilliger and Taylors Ferry on a rainy afternoon.

(Nov. 7, 2016) - Daylight savings time ended on Sunday, so it’s time to step up your visibility and make sure you’re doing your part to travel with care.

People driving can increase visibility by using their headlights, leaving a safe distance between vehicles to increase your cone of vision, and continuously scanning the environment looking for people walking and bicycling. Always be alert and practice extra caution during winter’s rain and low light.

Drivers need to:

  • Remember to practice patience and slow down
  • Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
  • Even though the route may be familiar, don't go on autopilot; stay alert and ALWAYS watch for vulnerable road users such as people walking, biking and rolling
  • Don't touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting. Remember, as of October 1, 2017 it is illegal to drive while holding or using an electronic device (i.e. a cell phone or tablet).
  • Slow down at crosswalks and take care when making turns – even at a signal.

Did you know that as we age we have greater difficulty seeing at night? Night vision is the ability to see well in low-light conditions. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old.

Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark for all drivers, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can significantly impact a driver’s vision.  Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds.

People walking and biking can increase their visibility during low-light hours by wearing reflective gear and using safety lights.  When walking, keeping a small flashlight or using the feature on your phone is another helpful way to make sure you can see at night.

Did you know that you’re first visible to people driving from 500 feet away when you’re wearing reflective clothing? Compare this to just 55 feet away when wearing dark colors with no reflective gear or lights.

View more tips for traveling during stormy weather at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/winter

News Release: Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Saltzman announce new steps Portland is taking to be ready for winter

PBOT Get home safe

PBOT News Release:

Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Saltzman announce new steps Portland is taking to be ready for winter

 

City to expand last year’s use of road salt

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has added resources to help fight snow and ice

 

(Oct. 31, 2017) Citing lessons learned from last year’s record winter, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman announced new steps the City of Portland is taking to be ready for this coming winter. Joined by officials for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Saltzman also reminded Portlanders of what they can do to make sure they are prepared for winter travel.

Some of the most severe in decades, last year’s winter storms caused significant disruptions to the City’s transportation system, led to numerous school cancellations and had a negative impact on residents and the local economy. At the direction of Commissioner Saltzman, PBOT developed a new set of procedures and policies based on lessons learned during last winter. The goals outlined today are to improve the City’s winter storm response and better help Portlanders get from place to place safely during and after winter storms. 

Snow Zone sign West Burnside

"We learned a lot of lessons last year, and we are doing everything we can to keep our roads usable and keep people safe during inclement weather this year," Mayor Wheeler said. "I’d also like to focus on a second set of lessons we learned last winter. And that is that most of us are unprepared for severe winter weather. Everyone who has a car should have snow chains in your trunk, so you will have them in an emergency. Know how to avoid driving entirely, by planning to telecommute or take public transit in severe weather."

 “We understand full well the expectations the public has for service during extreme winter events and the impact these events have on their lives and livelihoods,” Commissioner Saltzman said. “We have learned a great deal from the snow, ice and landslides of 2016-2017. We’ve stepped up our response and our coordination with other agencies. And we expect the public to prepare themselves to do their part to help us get through this winter together.”

Approximately 1,750 lane miles of Portland’s streets are on the City’s anti-icing and plow routes. PBOT officials noted that their goal for plowing these streets was one lane clear and passable in each direction as soon as possible after a storm event. Passable is defined as drivable for a front-wheel drive vehicle or a vehicle with traction devices.

Among key steps the City will take this winter are:

  • Expanded use of road salt. Last winter, PBOT piloted the use of road salt, first with the City of Seattle's supply and later with 100 tons bought by PBOT. Based on the success of this pilot, the bureau has purchased new supplies of salt and formulated a Winter Weather Salt Plan to guide its use as a snow and ice fighting tool. PBOT now has 300 tons on hand, and storage capacity for up to 1,300 tons.
  • New equipment and more drivers. With money from the City’s General Fund, the City has purchased snowplow blades to be installed on PBOT and Water Bureau trucks. In addition, Water Bureau personnel have been cross-trained to drive snowplows and will be able to assist regular PBOT plow drivers.
  • Agreements with contractors. To further boost snow fighting capacity, the City has agreements with 10 private contractors for snow removal services.
  • Chain requirements. In response to multiple cars being abandoned on key travel and emergency routes, the City will again require chains or other traction devices on West Burnside and Sam Jackson Park Road which dramatically reduced the number of abandoned cars after being implemented early this year.
  • Helping schools and businesses with expanded anti-icing. During the 2016-17 winter season, the City added the Central Business District to its anti-icing routes. It also began to treat high priority areas identified by the City’s local school districts. PBOT will continue this expanded service this winter.

The full set of new procedures can be found on
PBOT’s Winter Weather web site: 
portlandoregon.gov/transportation/winter

Abandoned Cars on West Burnside Chain up Area Dec 2014

Abandoned vehicles blocked the chain up area on West Burnside in a December 2014 snow storm. Requiring snow chains on West Burnside and Sam Jackson Park Road in January 2017 reduced the number of abanoned vehicles there. Photo by Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Stay informed with email, text alerts

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 update from PBOT and other city, county and state agencies in the region, see PublicAlerts.org -- a clearinghouse of alerts and weather information that allows you to view information from many agencies at once.
  • Report road hazards including downed trees or water blocking travel lanes to PBOT’s 24-hour hotline: pdxroads@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-1700.