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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


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 

News Release: Eastbank Esplanade Improvements: Temporary Closure Ahead

Maintenance and repair work begin February 1 – use Better Naito for detour

(Jan. 11, 2019) Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC), will be making safety, maintenance, and planting improvements to the popular Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade.

Work will begin on February 1, 2019 to repair the section of the Eastbank Esplanade between the Steel Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge. PP&R will close this segment of the Esplanade to make the improvements and repairs. The trail will reopen to the public on April 1, 2019

WHAT: Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade closed for repairs and improvements.

WHERE: Between the Steel Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge.

WHEN: Work begins February 1 with the trail reopening on April 1, 2019.

“The Eastbank Esplanade is treasured by Portlanders for both commuting and recreation,” says Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “This long-planned project will improve safety and park amenities, replace invasive vegetation with native species, and restore our public art. I want to thank our partners at BES, PBOT, and RACC for working together on this important project.”

Project work will include:

  • PP&R replacing degraded surfaces and amenities
  • PP&R installing new and improved lights
  • PP&R removing graffiti and trash
  • PP&R power-washing hard surfaces and repairing irrigation
  • PBOT providing the Better Naito detour (see below)
  • BES removing dead trees and invasive plant species
  • BES planting native plants
  • RACC restoring art installations

Previously-scheduled events will not be affected by the closure. The trail will be opened and safe for the public during two special events:

  • Worst Day of the Year Ride: Sunday, February 10
  • Shamrock Run: Sunday, March 17

Some repairs, including lighting, concrete work, and painting, are weather-dependent. Any work extending past April 1 will not affect the reopening date or public access to the Eastbank Esplanade.

Closure ahead? Use Better Naito instead!

better naito

PBOT and PP&R are pleased to announce that Better Naito will open on January 28, 2019 to provide a safe detour during the Eastbank Esplanade maintenance project. Better Naito provides the closest continuous connection between the Hawthorne and Steel bridges on the west side of the Willamette River.

Eastbank Esplanade Detour Map

This is the third year of the Council-approved, 5-year implementation of Better Naito. Like past years, PBOT will install plastic posts to separate one northbound motor vehicle lane on Naito Parkway between SW Main Street and NW Couch Street. There will also be a designated passenger drop off zone on SW Taylor Street to better accommodate people being dropped off by personal vehicles, taxis, and rideshares.

PP&R has placed signage noticing the upcoming closure on and near the affected portion of the Esplanade. The City will continue public involvement notifications and updates on the Eastbank Esplanade maintenance project throughout the closure. Thank you to all neighbors and visitors for their patience while we repair this well-used Portland pathway.

“Better Naito is once again proving its worth, this time as a safe and convenient alternate route for the thousands of people who walk and bike along the Eastbank Esplanade every day,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “It is also an important first step in the implementation of projects within the Central City in Motion Plan approved by City Council in November. Community members have requested quick implementation of the projects within the plan, and we are listening. I look forward to more progress in 2019, 2020 and beyond.”

Additional information about Better Naito can be found at


Background: Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade Maintenance Project

The Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade is one of Portland’s iconic sites and pathways, both a beloved City park and a major bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfare running approximately 1.5 miles along the east bank of the Willamette River from the Hawthorne Bridge to the Steel Bridge. The City’s 2018-19 Adopted Budget includes $500,000 in one-time General Fund resources, plus $200,000 in ongoing funding for maintenance, to begin addressing the issues on the Esplanade and making safety and functional improvements.

According to PBOT, during summer months the Eastbank Esplanade sees approximately 2,400 daily bicycle trips (almost 500 during the two-hour peak) and approximately 1,200 daily walking trips. The SW Naito Corridor (including the Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park path) is one of Portland’s busiest bikeway corridors. In the summer of 2018 it attracted approximately 5,200 daily bicycle trips.

The Esplanade was named after Mayor Vera Katz in November 2004 to honor her vision and leadership for Portland - which included support for the construction of the esplanade. Along with the iconic bronze statue of Mayor Katz located just north of the Hawthorne Bridge, five other significant works of public art populate the esplanade as it makes its way to the Burnside Bridge.

Questions about the project? Please go to the Esplanade maintenance project page or contact Portland Parks & Recreation Community Engagement Specialist Ken Rumbaugh at

Photos are courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation and Portland Bureau of Transportation:

Eastbank Esplanade

Eastbank Esplanade jogger with native plants



This way to Better Naito

Better Naito


News Blog: Moving to Portland in the new year? PBOT's here to help you find your way

(Dec. 27, 2018) Do you know someone moving to Portland in the new year? Make sure they know about the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) SmartTrips program, which helps Portlanders find their way around the city by walking, biking and taking transit to get where they want to go.

Entering its 15th year, SmartTrips is a PBOT program aimed at new movers with the goal of encouraging people to walk, bike or take transit either for their commute or for those shorter trips to take care of daily needs – such as a trip to the grocery store or neighborhood coffee shop. Getting more Portlanders to rethink how they use the automobile and consider the benefits of active transportation not only reduces some of the pressures on our transportation system, it can help lead to a healthier Portland as well.

With nearly 140,000 new households expected in our city in the next 25 years, growing traffic congestion and increased demands on our transportation system will continue to be a frustrating fact of life. While the region will continue to invest in a transportation system to help Portlanders get to where they need to go, it will take all of us working together to create a better Portland.

Portland was the first North American city to pilot the concept of using individualized marketing to get people to bike, walk, and take transit. Used extensively in the public health field, individualized social marketing is an approach that aims to change people’s behavior for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. 

How does SmartTrips work? Using direct mail, recent Portland movers receive newsletters about transportation options and an invitation to order incentives, maps and information about walking, biking and transit options in their new neighborhood. Participants get to choose what information they find to be most useful to them.

Smart Trips order form

SmartTrips served nearly 50,000 new mover households in 2018, up from nearly 40,000 households in 2017. Ten percent of our new mover households chose to take up our offer and order customized packets of materials that PBOT delivers by bike right to their doorstep. Like the welcome wagon of old, bicycle delivery is both cost effective given the volume of orders, while also allowing our staff to interact with program participants in-person and provide a human touch. In 2018, PBOT staff members biked a combined total of approximately 4,300 miles to deliver more than 5,000 custom-packed orders. No wonder that they are experts in the best ways to navigate the city by bicycle.The 2018 SmartTrips order form for new movers in Portland.

Does SmartTrips work? Surveys show that our new mover participants specifically are taking active trips to work six percent more since moving to their new address and experiencing the program, and they are using active modes for neighborhood trips 18 percent more. Portland is one of a few cities that offer this service to new movers and do it almost year-round (February to December). Thanks to the generous support of Metro, we are looking forward to welcoming another batch of new movers to Portland in 2019 and showing them all the great ways to travel around our wonderful city.

SmartTrips delivery

Portland Bureau of Transportation staff deliver SmartTrips packages by bicycle to new movers in Portland from February through December. Photo by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Do you already walk, bike or take transit in Portland? Talk to your neighbors about what transportation options you love best, or consider becoming an Active Transportation Ambassador in 2019. If you have new neighbors, encourage them to order transportation materials at

News Advisory: Crosswalk education and enforcement action planned for W Burnside at NW 20th Place on Wednesday, Dec. 26

Raising awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws

Vision Zero Portland logo

(Dec. 21, 2018) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau will conduct a crosswalk safety education and enforcement action on Wednesday, Dec. 26, at the marked crossing on West Burnside Street at Northwest 20th Place from noon to 1:30 p.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws. PBOT also reminds Portlanders to watch for people walking at all hours of the day or night and encourages people to think about how they plan to get home before they leave to attend a New Year’s Eve party or other holiday event. 

Under Oregon law, EVERY intersection is a legal crosswalk, whether it is marked or unmarked. People driving must stop and stay stopped for people walking when the pedestrian is in the travel lane or the adjacent lane.

The crossing on West Burnside Street at NW 20th Place has marked crosswalks and signage but no signals or flashing beacons.  The intersection is scheduled to have a full traffic signal installed in the future and has an anticipated installation date of 2021.

This intersection is the 11th worst intersection for pedestrians on the Vision Zero High Crash Intersection List that examines intersections with the highest numbers of reported collisions for people walking and biking in the five‐year period from January 2012 through December 2016. 

Crash data from 2007 through 2016 indicate 14 crashes occurred at this intersection with 10 of the crashes involving people walking (7 moderate injuries, 3 minor injuries).

East and West Burnside is a high crash network street, where a total of 85 fatal and serious injury crashes occurred in 2007-16, the most recent 10-year period for which data are available.

People driving can do their part by having more patience, driving at or below the posted speed, continuously scanning the environment looking for people walking and bicycling, and being ready to stop as needed.

West Burnside at 20th Place

West Burnside at Northwest 20th Place. Image by

Education and enforcement actions such as the Dec. 26 event are a key part of the City of Portland’s citywide effort to achieve, Vision Zero, the goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how people driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation. A PBOT staff member will serve as the designated pedestrian crossing the street during Wednesday’s action.

PBOT encourages everyone who use West Burnside Street when walking, biking and driving this holiday season to choose wisely when traveling after consuming alcohol and/or drugs.  PBOT is working with taxis, transportation network companies, Police and bar owners to offer reduced-cost rides home on targeted holidays with the goal of preventing people from driving under the influence. 

Safe Ride Home 2018

PBOT’s Safe Ride Home program is offering up to $20 savings on taxi rides with designated taxi services from 8 p.m., Dec. 31, 2018 to 8 a.m., Jan. 1, 2019 and $5 savings on rides with Lyft and Uber.  TriMet and Portland Streetcar are offering free rides on Dec. 31, 2018 at 8:00 p.m., until service ends.  For more information about the Safe Ride Home program see

See more details and spread the word with our Facebook event page!

Safe Ride Home Uber Taxi

Crosswalk education and enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate traffic laws to people driving and walking. The transportation and police bureaus do education and enforcement actions in response to requests by community members, city traffic safety engineers, and Portland Police to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings.

Learn more about rights and responsibilities for crossing streets in Oregon (in EnglishEspanol); and view the results of previous actions.

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.

For more information about Vision Zero, or to request a community briefing or enforcement action in your area, email or call Matt Ferris-Smith, program specialist, at 503-823-5831.

News Release: SmartPark garages closed on Christmas Day

On-street parking will be free at parking meters on Christmas Day.

(Dec. 20, 2018) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises people driving to Downtown Portland for the Christmas holiday that all SmartPark garages will close at 11 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24, for Christmas Day and will re-open at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26. On-street parking will be free at parking meters on Christmas Day.

SmartPark garages will re-open on Wednesday according to the following schedule and then will operate according to regular business hours:

SmartPark Garage Opening Times

  • 3rd & Alder - SW 3rd Avenue & Alder Street - 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26
  • 4th & Yamhill - SW 4th Avenue & Yamhill Street - 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26
  • 10th & Yamhill - SW 10th Avenue & Yamhill Street - 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26
  • 1st & Jefferson - SW 1st Avenue & Jefferson Street - 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26
  • Naito & Davis - NW Naito Parkway & Davis Street - 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26
  • O’Bryant Square - 808 SW Stark Street - Closed temporarily

New Year’s Holiday
All SmartPark Garages will be open for regular business hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. On-street parking will be free at the meters on New Year’s Day.

The six Portland Bureau of Transportation SmartPark parking garages include nearly 4,000 public parking spaces and serve shoppers, business clients and visitors to Downtown Portland. Contact Central Parking at (503) 790-9302 for questions related to SmartPark garage operating hours and rates or visit

Click here for information about parking at a meter in Portland.

Traveling by public transit? Get step-by-step directions using TriMet's Trip Planner.

Planning to walk or bike downtown? For walking and biking maps of Portland's Central City and beyond, visit and click here for a map of on-street bicycle corrals in Portland.

PBOT Travel Advisory: Heavy rains Monday night through Tuesday may lead to road hazards, street flooding

Get Home Safe logo for Stormy Weather

(Dec. 17, 2018) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) warns the traveling public to be prepared for heavy rain that could create hazardous traveling conditions tonight and Tuesday. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind advisory for the Portland area from 6 p.m. Monday through 8 a.m. Tuesday with southerly 25 to 40 mph wind with gusts up to 45 mph. Higher gusts up to 55 mph are likely for exposed terrain such as the West Hills and Mount Scott. In addition, NWS has issued a flood watch from late Monday night into Wednesday afternoon, with 1.5 to 3 inches of rain expected in the Portland area.

The heaviest rain is expected Tuesday morning between 4 and 10 a.m., when up to 1 inch could fall in a two-hour period, enough to cause significant urban flooding.

PBOT asks the traveling public, residents and businesses to take steps to reduce hazards associated with these conditions. The best way to prevent streets from flooding is for everyone to help keep Portland's 58,000 storm drains clear before a storm arrives. Use a rake, shovel or broom and clear by standing in the sidewalk, not the street. Be aware of passing vehicles and check the drain again during and after a storm. It's also a good idea to clear inlets that lead stormwater to the green street planters in city streets. See more tips at

Heavy rain over a short period of time, in the range of 1 inch of rain in three-to-six hours, could overwhelm the city’s stormwater system and cause flooding, even in areas with clear storm drains. The Weather Service has compared the coming rainstorms to the events of Halloween 2015 and December 2015, when widespread urban flooding occurred in Portland. Heavy rain also can also vary significantly from one neighborhood to another within the city, so expect varying conditions throughout the city and the metropolitan area.

For weeks, PBOT's street sweeping and Leaf Day service have cleared leaves and other debris in preparation for fall and winter rainstorms. On Monday, PBOT crews cleared large storm drains in the West Hills that have a history of flooding and restocked sandbag three locations available to the public. PBOT will have extra crews working overnight and before dawn Tuesday, available to clear clogged storm drains, and to place road-closed barricades.

All travelers should be alert, regardless of how they are moving throughout the city:

  • When driving, go slowly. Use extra care and look for people walking or biking. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, treat intersections like an all-way stop and proceed with caution. The driver who stops first has the right of way to go first. 
  • Do not drive through standing water or around barricades on flooded streets. Turn around safely. The wake from your vehicle can cause public and private property damage and flood houses and businesses. Barricades sometimes mark hazards that are not visible in the immediate area, but may be located hundreds of feet away, in order to direct traffic to alternate routes. Areas with standing water could have displaced manhole covers, leaving a 3-foot wide manhole uncovered and exposed, creating a hazard for anyone traveling in the area.
  • When biking, allow plenty of stopping distance and avoid road surfaces that are steel, painted or covered in leaves or water. Remember that puddles can disguise potholes.
  • When walking, always cross at a crosswalk or at the corner. Look for oncoming vehicles before stepping down from the sidewalk and crossing the street. If possible, establish eye contact with drivers and continue looking left-right-left while crossing. Remember that oncoming vehicles may approach more quickly than anticipated and may have difficulty stopping at an intersection in rainy conditions.
  • When taking public transit, check for service alerts before you go at and 

See more travel tips on PBOT's website:

PBOT crews are prepared to close streets and may set up detour routes for closures of long duration.

Residents are advised to notify PBOT of debris, mud, rocks, trees or branches blocking a street by calling our 24/7 maintenance dispatch hotline at 503-823-1700 or by email at Property owners should keep sidewalks clear of small debris.

During a severe weather event, many people may report the same incident. Residents may find it more convenient to report using the PDX Reporter website at To report standing water on a roadway, use the category Plugged Storm Drain/Inlet. To report rock or mudslides or other debris blocking a travel lane, use the Debris in Roadway category. We strongly encourage the public to submit photos with their service requests, because that helps PBOT crews assess changing conditions as they respond to reports.

Heavy rain can increase the risk of landslides, especially in steep areas in Northwest and Southwest Portland where slides have occurred in the past. Learn more about how to prevent or report landslides and review guidance for property owners.

Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) will continue to monitor the Sycamore gauge for Johnson Creek water levels. See the gauge at Bank full is 10 feet; flood stage is 11 feet. Because of BES restoration in the Foster Floodplain Natural Area, the risk to the Lents area is reduced and it takes about 13 feet for that area to be affected. But other areas along the creek may still experience flooding at 11 feet.

The last observed level was about 1.89 feet (12:30 p.m. on Dec. 17), and it is predicted to reach 11.33 feet by 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. So, there is a possibility that Johnson Creek may have minor flooding, which could affect buildings and roads.

To help residents and business owners prepare for a flood emergency, sand and sandbags are available at no charge to anyone who wants to use them to protect their property from flood damage. PBOT crews confirmed Monday that the sites are stocked with sand and sand bags. No shovels are provided, so the public must bring their own. Locations are:

  • SE 88th Avenue just south of SE Holgate Boulevard in the parking lot at Lents Park. Enter parking lot at the bottom of the hill, and follow one-way traffic to the sand pile at the exit on the eastside of SE 88th Avenue;
  • SE 111th Avenue and Harold Street at the southeast corner of the intersection; and
  • SW 42nd Avenue and Vermont Street in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park; enter Gabriel Park from Vermont.

If travelers encounter downed utility wires or power lines in the Portland area, they should call 911. Never touch a downed power line. In fact, do not even get close. Even if a power line is not sparking, it could still be energized. Remember that water and electricity do not mix. Never try to free lines or to remove tree limbs from lines by yourself.

In addition, to report power outages or downed lines, contact PGE at 503-464-7777 or Pacific Power at 877-508-5088. To report traffic signals out, call PBOT's 24/7 dispatch hotline at 503-823-1700. Please dial 911 for emergencies only.

The City recommends Portlanders monitor conditions where they are planning to travel, watch the forecast, and use as their source for emergency updates. The site provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information.


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