(Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public to use caution tonight, as icy conditions are expected to return to area streets overnight, especially in areas at high elevation and near the Columbia River Gorge. The National Weather Service has indicated that there is a chance for additional precipitation, a mix of rain and freezing rain, tonight and into Wednesday morning before temperatures rise above freezing mid-morning. People driving tonight and tomorrow morning should use caution, consider public transit, and expect that residential streets may remain icy on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, streets on PBOT's de-icing routes were wet and drivable for many people driving, even in areas at high elevation in the West Hills and Mount Scott. Residential streets, which are not treated with de-icer, remained icy, though thawing and wheel paths made by vehicle traffic have made many of them passable.
On Tuesday morning, PBOT crews closed four streets because of icy conditions. Those streets remain closed today due to continued icy conditions. A list of all road closures is available at bit.ly/pdxroads.
A snow zone, requiring snow chains, traction tires or traction devices for all vehicles, will remain in effect for West Burnside through Wednesday morning. The snow zone requirement is effective from the sign posted at West Burnside just west of NW 24th Place, west to the intersection of SW Barnes Road and SW Baltic Ave, near the entrance to St. Vincent Hospital in Washington County.
West Burnside was wet and mostly passably on Tuesday, after repeated de-icing by PBOT crews and thawing from rising temperatures, but the threat of icy conditions remains overnight as temperatures drop below freezing again. West Burnside rises to 500 feet near SW Tichner Dr, and peaks at about 1,000 feet at the Mount Calvary Cemetery.
SW Barnes Road continued to have icy and snowy conditions on Tuesday, making travel hazardous.
People who disobey the traction device requirement could be cited for failure to use vehicle traction tires or chains (ORS 815.140) and may face a citation of $160. If drivers abandon their cars in travel lanes, they could be subject to additional fines and costs.
As freezing temperatures continue, PBOT reminds the public that property owners are responsible for sidewalks adjacent to private property and driveways, including the removal of snow, ice, slippery leaves, and other debris. Keeping sidewalks clear helps your fellow Portlanders get to where they are going safely.
PBOT crews will again be patrolling Portland streets to monitor conditions and treat roads as needed overnight.
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: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/snow
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.
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
WATCH FOR BLACK ICE
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.
LOOK OUT FOR PEOPLE WALKING AND BIKING
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
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.
View additional winter weather travel tips here.
During a storm, PBOT crews will work 24/7 to ensure that on our designated snow routes there will be one lane in each direction that is clear and passable as soon as possible after the storm is over. That means that front wheel drive vehicles or vehicles with traction devices will be able to get through.