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Dylan Rivera

Public Information Officer


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News Blog: Portland in the Streets: Creating community in East Portland through neighborhood block parties

East Portland block party August 2017

A block party on SE Insley in East Portland this past summer. Photo by Kristen Clark

(October 24, 2017) This past summer, PBOT’s Block Party Program conducted a pilot project for the neighborhoods east of 82nd Avenue and Cully. The pilot area included thirteen Portland neighborhoods which historically had low participation in block party permits. Thanks to PBOT’s Livable Street Strategy development this past year, permit barriers in this area of Portland were identified and removed. 

After looking at historical data, the bureau discovered that areas of the city had a pattern of under-participation in the Block Party Program. As part of PBOT's overall equity mission to bring PBOT programs to under-served communities, the Block Party team organized a pilot program with the goal of increasing participation. PBOT endeavored to relieve some of the barriers by creating an online application, translating documents into five languages, eliminating permit fees and offering free use of our pink “street closed barricades” available within the pilot area at various community centers. PBOT staff also participated in outreach to promote the project at many community events including Sunday Parkways, APANO Night Market and Oregon Walks Lents Founders Fair.

The pilot project it was an incredible success. PBOT issued four times as many block party permits in East Portland than in previous years. A follow up survey (with over a 55% survey response rate) with the participating permittees has revealed some compelling stories. Here are some of the survey results:

Most block party permittees were first-time applicants who had always wanted to participate in the permitting program. Said one survey response, “Before this event, many of the people in the neighborhood had not met. The block party provided a safe, open, casual, and fun space for people to interact. Several of the attendees expressed their previous desire for this kind of thing, and everyone seemed really happy that it finally happened.” 

One family in Cully had never seen or met some neighbors despite having lived on the same street for 14 years, noting that they wish they could have one every month but that they would surely hold another block party next year: “I meant to do it every month but personally couldn’t pull it off with my schedule – more people wanted to join in for the next one, so we will definitely do it again next summer.”

survey responses

Words used by survey respondents in response to the question, "What did this block party mean to you and your neighbors?”
block party kids

Overall, participants felt that the block party was a unifying event that brought about a sense of community and resilience.  One organizer said, “Many were initially skeptical and fearful, but it turned out very well, and people want to do it again next year. Others who didn't come said they would next year. [Our block party] really brought us all together!” 

The parties themselves were very popular. Attendance numbers were moderate to high; one first-time block party in Mill Park had approximately 75 attendees.  In Hazelwood, an August block party brought nearly eighty people together in a quintessential summer scene: “It was fabulous for us to get together and get acquainted. We must have had about 40 children and almost as many adults. We BBQed hot dogs and had a potluck. We rented a bouncy bounce. A unit of the fire department paid us a visit so the children could see the fire truck up close and personal. It was a wonderful event.”

We can’t wait to see more block parties around the city in the coming years. They remind us that creativity, diversity, and community are truly what makes Portland such a special place.

Learn more about Portland's Livable Streets Strategy by tuning in to tomorrow's City Council hearing at 9:45 a.m. Watch City Council live here.

PBOT Traffic Advisory: Intersection of SW Main St & SW First Ave to close this weekend for street improvements

SW Main St progress 10-12-17

As of Thursday Oct. 12, crews have made progress on rebuilding SW Main Street between SW First Ave and SW Second Ave. A complete rebuild of the pavement and realignment of the bike lane are in progress, thanks to the voter-approved Fixing Our Streets Program. (Photo by Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation.)

(Oct. 12, 2017) Southwest Main Street, a key entrance into downtown Portland for people biking, walking and driving, is getting a facelift that will require the closure of the intersection of SW Main St and SW First Ave this weekend.

The intersection will be closed from 7 p.m. on Friday Oct. 13 to midnight Sunday night. 

Fixing Our Streets logo

Westbound traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge will be directed to make a left turn, going south in the slip lane at SW First Ave. 

The public is advised to use alternate routes and expect delays in the area this weekend. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all signage and directions by reader boards and flaggers.

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

Intermittent daytime lane closures resume after 9 a.m. on Monday Oct. 16, through Oct. 27 on SW Main St, between SW First Ave and SW Second Ave.

The project will greatly improve a section of failing roadway that serves as a main entrance to downtown Portland from the Hawthorne Bridge. The pavement is cracked, buckling and sagging. The roadway is being completely rebuilt.

People riding bicycles westbound on the bridge, one of the busiest bike routes in North America, find it difficult to navigate the road surface. A new bikeway design will provide a bike box to increase visibility of people on bicycles at SW Main St and SW First Ave.

Funding for the reconstruction and bicycle safety improvements comes from the Fixing Our Streets program, which results from the voter approved Measure 26-173. In May 2016, Portland voters approved the measure, which provides a 10-cent tax on motor vehicle fuels and Portland’s first local funding source dedicated to street repair and traffic safety projects.

The Multnomah County Courthouse, Multnomah County Morrison Bridge Closure, and PBOT’s Fixing Our Streets Program have been coordinating through the Get Portland Moving effort to limit the effects of construction projects in the right-of-way on the general public.

Before image of SW Main St at First Ave

This image from early September shows the intersection of SW Main St and SW First Ave, where pavement has been buckling and failing. A Fixing Our Streets project started to rebuild SW Main St on Sept. 18. The intersection will be closed this weekend for repaving. (Photo by Portland Bureau of Transportation.)

 Get Portland Moving logo


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 

News Blog: Youth-designed bike lane art hits the streets of Portland

Four winning designs, chosen from almost 200 entries, installed in bike lanes around the city.

Brooklyn Kavanagh

Brooklyn Kavanagh, winner of the 3rd-5th grade category, sees his bike lane art design on the street for the first time. Photos by Kelsey Kavanagh. 

(October 5, 2017) Portland’s bike lanes just got a little more colorful, thanks the hard work of PBOT’s striping crews who prepared and installed the winning designs from the Bikes to Books coloring contest in bike lanes around the city.

This past May, PBOT and Multnomah County Library, with support from Metro, invited students living in Multnomah County from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th Grade to design bike lane art for Portland’s “Bike to Books” Bike Month coloring contest. For years Portlanders have enjoyed the smile-inducing bike lane art designed by PBOT’s striping crews. The designs are created by crew members and can be found in bike lanes and on neighborhood greenways across the city.

Singing Bicycle in Progress

Bike lane art in progress. Each design is hand cut from scraps of thermoplastic from other projects that would otherwise go in the trash. Photo by Kirstin Byer, Portland Bureau of Transportation


In June, staff from PBOT's Active Transportation, Maintenance and Communications teams reviewed the approximately 200 entries received and named the firstsecond and third place winners of each age division as well as honorable mentions from each group. The final step was for PBOT’s striping crews to prepare and install the designs on Portland streets. Final design locations were chosen based on their proximity to the winning artist’s local Multnomah County Library branch.

Chloe Unflat

Wilson High School sophomore Chloe Unflat smiles next to her winning bike lane art design on SW Sunset at Dewitt, adjacent to the Hillsdale Library. Photo provided by Chloe Unflat.

We asked contest winner Chloe Unflat, a sophomore at Wilson High School, Hillsdale Library volunteer and first place winner in the high school category, about her experience participating in the Bike to Books contest:

Why did you enter the contest?

I entered the contest because I volunteer at the Multnomah County Library each summer for the summer reading program and heard about the contest through there! I thought it would be a fun thing to do, and took an afternoon working on the design. 

What was the inspiration for your design?

I chose to use the Portland flag in my design because whenever I think about biking, the Portland culture is at the heart of it. Many if my friends bike to school and work, and I love to go on bike rides with my family to explore our city. The Portland flag summed that all up for me.

Do you bike?

I love to bike, even though I don't do it too often. During the summer, I love going on rides over the bridges and sometimes to Sunday Parkways with our family friends. It's super fun and I wish I had more opportunities to get out and ride.

What does Portland’s bike lane art mean to you?

I really had no idea that Portland bike lane art was something to think about until this contest. But after looking a previous designs that others have done, and the winners of this year, I think that it's a great way to get people to be aware of our love of biking and enjoy something special in their ride.

All the designs are now installed and ready to be discovered on your next ride to the library! Enjoy!


“Ride Portland” by Chloe Unflat, Hillsdale Library
Design location: SW Sunset and Dewitt

Ride Portland

“Winning” by Vinhson Nguyen, Woodstock Library
Design location: SE 52nd (northbound) at Woodstock


“Cyclist in Space” by Brooklyn Kavanagh, Belmont Library
Design location: SE Taylor (westbound) at Cesar Chavez

Cyclist in Space

“Singing Bicycle”by Vivian Jacobsen, Midland Library
Design location: SE 122nd (southbound) and Morrison

Singing Bicycle

About the Portland Bureau of Transportation:

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

About Multnomah County Library:

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi River, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house nearly 900 computer stations for the public and a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services. 

Learn more at

About Metro:

Metro works with communities, businesses and residents in the Portland metropolitan area to chart a wise course for the future while protecting the things we love about this place. Learn more at

News Release: PBOT and PPS celebrate International Walk + Roll to School Day

Since 2006, PBOT’s Safe Routes to Schools program has increased walking and biking to Portland schools by 35%

Guerrero Group Photo PPS Safe Routes to School

New Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero celebrates International Walk + Roll to School Day with the Jason Lee K-8 School community, seen here with Capt. Mike Crebs of Portland Police, Terese Harris, a parent and staff member at Jason Lee, PBOT Assistant Director Chris Warner, PBOT Safety Program Manager Dana Dickman and Noel Mickelberry, Executive Director of Oregon Walks. Photo by Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

(Oct. 4, 2017) New Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and PBOT Assistant Director Chris Warner today joined local leaders and advocates, as well as students and parents from Jason Lee K-8 School in NE Portland for a walk to school in celebration of International Walk + Roll to School Day. This annual event, celebrated by students around the globe, is an opportunity for families to see firsthand how fun, easy and safe walking, biking or rolling to school can be for students.

Every weekday, close to 65,000 school kids traverse Portland’s streets to get to school. PBOT’s nationally recognized Safe Routes to School program helps to ensure that they arrive safely. A partnership between the City of Portland, schools, neighborhoods, community organizations and public agencies, Safe Routes to School serves more than 100 Portland schools in five school districts. The program combines educational outreach and targeted street and signal safety improvements along the routes Portland’s kids use to get to school. The goal is to encourage students and their families to get to school in ways that are active, reduce traffic, increase safety and contribute to a cleaner environment. Since 2006, the program has increased walking and biking to Portland schools by 35 percent.

Guadalupe Guerrero, new superintendent of Portland Public Schools

Fixing Our Streets, the locally funded street repair and traffic safety program approved by Portland voters in May 2016, will invest $8 million to make routes to Portland schools safer and more convenient for kids to walk and bike to school. Project installations on primary investment routes are expected to begin in the summer of 2018. In addition, the statewide Safe Routes to School Program will have $10 million a year, growing to $15 million a year in 2022 as a result of the new transportation package passed by the state legislature last session. Portland will be able to compete for grants to build sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes that make it safer for families to bike and walk to school.

“The benefits of active transportation are well known, but there are also well known barriers to why students might not take part, including safety factors,” said Guerrero, who started with Portland Public Schools on Monday. “That’s why PPS supports Safe Routes to School, which works hard to help every student gain all the educational and health benefits of walking or riding a bike to school.” 

“As a parent, I know how important it is to have a safe route to school,” said PBOT Assistant Director Chris Warner. “We are grateful to Portland voters and the state legislature for prioritizing safety for kids in Portland and across all of Oregon.”

“It’s inspiring to witness the progress we’re making in encouraging more kids to get around using active transportation,” said LeeAnne Fergason, The Street Trust’s deputy director. “We’re so grateful for the Oregon Department of Transportation, Metro, and cities who fund these invaluable programs. Together with school staff, parents, and students, we can raise a new generation of commuters with a lifelong passion for walking and bicycling.”

Portland Safe Routes to School works with communities within five school districts in the city: Portland Public, Parkrose, David Douglas, Centennial, and Reynolds.

International Walk and Bike to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. The event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration each October. Today, thousands of schools across America  – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – and around the world participate every October.


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

News Blog: Thanks for another great season of Better Naito

During peak afternoon traffic, one in three northbound commuters on Naito Parkway traveled by bike. No significant delays to vehicle travel times on Naito Parkway during the Better Naito season.

Better Naito infographic

Click to see a larger version of this infographic.

(September 29, 2017) After a successful summer of Better Naito, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) crews will begin removing the two-way bikeway and pedestrian path this weekend. Come Monday, October 2 Naito’s standard configuration will return, with two northbound vehicular lanes and one standard bike lane.

Every year the festivals in Tom McCall Waterfront Park draw hundreds of thousands of people. The Better Naito project was first piloted in 2015 to help manage this influx of visitors, create a safe space for people to travel to these events, and reduce conflicts between people walking and biking and driving along the Waterfront. The success of the volunteer-led effort championed by the non-profit Better Block PDX caught the attention of Portland City Council. After two seasons of volunteer-led effort, Council designated $350,000 to PBOT to implement Better Naito for five seasons.

October 2 marks the end of PBOT’s first season spearheading the project. Throughout the summer, PBOT staff worked to improve upon the project and related Naito safety efforts, including installing a permanent new pedestrian crossing at SW Naito and Main and a new bike and right turn signal at NW Naito and Davis. Staff monitored bicycle and pedestrian usage throughout the season, as well as northbound vehicle traffic and travel times.

By all markers, the season was a success, serving thousands of people walking and biking with minor travel time impacts to people driving in the northbound lane. Better Naito saw twice the cycling rates of the Waterfront Path, reducing conflicts with pedestrians. During peak afternoon traffic hours 1 in 3 northbound commuters were on bike. Travel times for people driving northbound were consistent with previous summers, with trips taking about one minute longer than without Better Naito. And with the addition of Better Naito, Naito Parkway was not just for people driving or biking - over a thousand people walked in the facility on the average non-event day. During events, usage was even higher. On July 3, during Waterfront Blues Fest, over 15,000 people used Better Naito in a 24-hour period.

Check out the attached infographic for more fun facts and data. PBOT will issue a more detailed report on Better Naito later this fall.

Anticipate some delays for northbound travel on Naito this weekend as PBOT Maintenance Crews work to remove the white posts to store them for the winter. 

See you next May!

Learn more about Better Naito 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 about the bureau at