1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
(5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16, 2017) The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for the Portland metropolitan area. The current forecast calls for freezing rain to start early Tuesday morning and last at least into Tuesday afternoon. Up to 0.4 inches of ice accumulation is likely. Based on this forecast, the Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for severe winter weather that may create hazardous traveling conditions during the Tuesday morning commute.
The Weather Service has also advised that freezing rain is likely to last the longest, with more ice accumulation, in areas East of Interstate 205.
Drivers should be aware that freezing rain creates treacherous travelling conditions. If possible, travelers should avoid all travel unless absolutely necessary. Travelers should monitor conditions closely throughout the day.
PBOT is closely monitoring conditions and will bring on extra crews starting at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to put down sand and gravel at critical intersections. Travelers should still be prepared for very slippery conditions.
Black ice is defined as ice that remains on roadways that are not subjected to direct sunlight. Black ice commonly forms on roads that wind around lakes and rivers, in tunnels, on overpasses and in highly shaded, rural areas. Black ice is almost invisible to the naked eye. Be especially careful when driving or riding into shaded areas, on bridges and overpasses, and on infrequently traveled roads. Slow down during your approach.
Be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Share the Road safely and responsibly.
Carry an emergency weather kit in your vehicle to help keep you safe and more comfortable during long waits. Your kit should include chains, battery jumper cables, first aid kit, shovel, basic tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver and knife), blanket, extra clothing (hats, socks, boots, and mittens), flashlight, bag of sand, and cellular phone or CB Radio.
(Jan. 13, 2016) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public to expect continued challenging travel conditions this weekend. The National Weather Service has also warned the City of Portland to expect the possibility of severe flooding in the Johnson Creek area by the afternoon hours of Tuesday Jan. 17.
Since the afternoon of Tuesday Jan. 10, PBOT crews have been working 24 hours a day to clear the city’s 518 miles of plow routes, which cover critical routes for hospitals, police and other first responders and public transit service. Continued freezing temperatures, including a record low 11 degrees early Friday morning, refroze many streets that had previously thawed. PBOT equipment can only plow down to 1 inch above the street surface. PBOT crews attempt to rough up the surface and apply gravel in critical places to provide traction, but slick areas may linger through the weekend, until temperatures rise and rain clears the streets. People driving or biking are urged to use caution.
Everyone is urged to continue to clear sidewalks adjacent their home or business, as required by city code.
PBOT’s plowing has cut the number of road closures by two-thirds and made many roads passable in severe subfreezing conditions. Earlier in the week, the City of Portland had up to 25 road closures. With plowing and continued de-icing, that number was reduced to eight closures by 2 p.m. on Friday.
The City’s 518 miles of designated plow routes make up about 26 percent of city streets, as measured by the centerline distance from one point to another on a given street. That does not account for the multiple lanes on city streets.
PBOT snowplows, service vehicles and deicing trucks make multiple passes on each street to clear snow from all the travel lanes. Including multiple passes on the many lanes on the routes, these vehicles drove more than 6,000 miles in aggregate since Tuesday afternoon.
Working in conjunction with the Seattle Department of Transportation crews, PBOT conducted a test of road salt in three locations Thursday afternoon: SW Terwilliger between SW Sam Jackson Park Road and SW Capitol Highway; SW Broadway between West Burnside and Interstate 405; and N Going Street from Interstate, west on the N Lagoon Ave-Dolphin Ave-Channel Ave loop on Swan Island. The Seattle road crews applied road salt in one lane and PBOT crews applied Portland's standard liquid de-icer in the lane to the left of the Seattle crew.
In the initial assessment, the effect of the road salt was limited and did not provide significant improvement compared with the bureau’s standard de-icer. Since this experiment was limited in both duration and the number of locations, PBOT will continue to look for opportunities to assess alternative treatment options, including road salt, in the future.
PBOT is very grateful to the Seattle Department of Transportation for the opportunity to conduct this test. The exchange of technical and professional expertise that occurred between the two agencies is sure to be valuable in developing responses for future severe weather events in the northwest.
Tows requested by public agencies between 6 p.m. Jan 10 and 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2016.
To locate your vehicle that may have been towed in Portland, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.
The following roads are closed as of 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 19, 2017.
West Burnside at Hermosa -- Burnside is restricted to one lane westbound
NW Santanita Terrace between Hermosa and MacLeay
For information on Multnomah County roads, see: https://multco.us/roads/current-road-closures
For information on road closures from state, county and city agencies across the Portland area, see PublicAlerts.org
Call 503-823-1700 to report road hazards in Portland. Our maintenance dispatchers are available 24/7.
Be prepared for snow, icy conditions
(Friday, Jan. 6, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for severe winter weather that may create hazardous traveling conditions Saturday and Sunday, potentially also affecting the Monday morning commute.
The National Weather Service has advised the City of Portland to expect 1 inch to 2 inches of snow on Saturday, following by freezing rain that could produce .25 to .6 inches of ice.
Freezing rain is snow that melts into water and freezes upon contact with the ground, causing a glaze of ice. This is the worst type of precipitation to drive in since ice offers almost no traction at all. Freezing rain on bare pavement creates an ice rink on the roadway.
"Everyone in Portland should prepare today for winter weather to ensure their safety," Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman said. "We encourage everyone to pay close attention to the weather forecast, understanding that conditions can change quickly and vary from place to place within Portland. Delay your travel to avoid the worst conditions and take public transit if you must travel."
While neighborhoods at elevations at 500 feet above sea level often experience more snow and ice accumulation than the rest of Portland, forecasters say the snow accumulations for this storm could vary widely at low elevations across the metropolitan area. Some low-elevation sites may in fact have more snow than high-elevation areas.
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
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 pedestrians and bicyclists 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.
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
(Dec. 30, 2016) Portland’s Transportation Director Leah Treat, Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Meyers and Police Captain Michael Crebs gathered at Fire Station #7 on SE 122nd Avenue today for a look ahead to Vision Zero actions taking place in Portland in 2017 and to remind the public to travel safely this upcoming holiday weekend.
Director Leah Treat shared a list of safety projects on the city’s High Crash Network streets and intersections that will go to construction 2017 as part of Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan. “Our partnership with the Fire Bureau and Police Bureau is absolutely paramount to the success of Vision Zero,” she added.
Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Meyers reiterated his bureau’s commitment to partnering with PBOT and supporting Vision Zero by using safety messages and education to reduce the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities on Portland's streets.
“There is nothing more to the Portland Fire Department than to reduce deaths in general and reduce these traffic deaths,” said Chief Meyers.
“This weekend, do not drink and drive. If you cause a crash while drinking and driving and someone is seriously injured or killed, you will be going to prison,” said Captain Mike Crebs of the Portland Police Bureau. “I see the tragedy involved in these crashes. It is devastating to walk to someone’s house and let them know their loved one was killed in a crash.”
The Police Bureau has pledged their continued commitment to partner with PBOT on crosswalk enforcement efforts as well as traffic safety missions, partnering with each of the three police precincts. Additionally, the Police Bureau will continue to proactively message safety information to reduce the likelihood of injuries and fatalities on Portland streets.
Officials urged the public to make good choices when celebrating the new year this weekend by taking TriMet, a taxi or ride-hailing service or choosing a designated driver for the evening.
Looking ahead to the 2017, the biggest safety improvement will take place on Southeast Foster Road between 50th Avenue and 90th Avenue. The Foster project is a $5.8 million, federally funded project that will add wider sidewalks, safer crossings, street trees and bike lanes to improve safety, especially for people walking, biking and using mobility devices.
Enhanced sidewalks and crossings are nearly complete on East Burnside Street, and will be finished by next summer on 122nd Avenue, Southeast Foster Road and Northeast Sandy Boulevard Portland City Council provided $5.6 million in general funds for the work in 2015. In addition, safety projects are wrapping up on 82nd Avenue and Southeast Powell Boulevard Both projects include additional lighting, updated curb ramps and signals, and enhanced crossings. ODOT is planning two additional safety projects for Powell Boulevard that will be constructed after 2017.
Next year on North/Northeast Marine Drive, PBOT will buffer the existing bike lanes, add missing multiuse path links, improve crossings at key locations and install a new traffic signal at 122nd Avenue. The $1 million project uses a combination of city and federal funds. Marine Drive will also receive speed safety cameras in 2017.
On Southeast Division Street, PBOT will install speed safety cameras and speed reader boards, begin filling sidewalk gaps, enhance crosswalks, add lighting and more. PBOT will also coordinate signal timing from 82nd Avenue to city limits to help reduce the risk of serious and deadly crashes.
On West Burnside, PBOT will make significant safety improvements where 18th Avenue, 19th Avenue and Alder Street meet. PBOT is also building a new sidewalk in 2017 along the north side of West Burnside between 24th Avenue and Uptown Terrace. Both projects use $3.6 million in system development charges. In 2018, PBOT will install a new traffic signal at West 20th Pl.
On Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard and 43rd Avenue, PBOT will install new crosswalk signage and markings and a temporary median island in the coming weeks, and will construct a permanent median island in the spring when warmer weather allows. The changes follow a traffic death at this location in 2016.
The Fixing Our Streets program, the result of the passage of Measure 26-173, will also help move forward safety projects across the city. PBOT will spend $200,000 on sidewalk infill along Northeast 102nd Avenue from Sandy Boulevard to Interstate 84, with construction set for 2017. A $330,000 corridor treatment, yet to be scoped, is planned for 2018 along Northeast 102nd Avenue. Both projects are funded through Fixing Our Streets.
Next spring, PBOT will construct safety improvements on Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway from Southwest 30th Avenue to Southwest 39th Avenue, including sidewalks, protected bike lanes, narrowed motor vehicle lanes and additional rapid flashing beacons. PBOT is paying for the $446,000 project through Fixing Our Streets and other funds. Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. received speed safety cameras in 2016.
Fixing Our Streets will provide an additional funding for better lighting and enhanced crossings in 2017, including street lighting infill for multimodal safety to provide street lights at up to 25 locations to improve safety for vulnerable street users traveling on Portland’s High Crash Network.
Portland is committed to ending traffic violence in our communities. Through the Vision Zero program, the City of Portland and our partners are working to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our streets by 2025.
Learn more at www.visionzeroportland.com