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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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News Release: Commissioner Eudaly, transportation agencies share winter plans, advise the public to get ready for winter travel

 Transportation agencies, police and fire officials

Transportation agencies and first responders gather at PBOT's Maintenance Operations Headquarters to share information about winter weather preparedness Nov. 21, 2019. Photos by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

"We're ready for winter. Are you ready?"

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

(Nov. 21, 2019) Portland Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Portland-area transportation agencies shared their winter weather plans on Thursday, and 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 for months. Maintenance managers have met with meteorologists to discuss the weather outlook for the season.

During a Thursday news conference at Albina Yard in PBOT's Maintenance Operations Headquarters, emergency response managers gathered in front of the City of Portland’s road salt supply to discuss how they have been preparing for winter. Officials with the Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue were on hand to encourage safe travel and thank transportation agencies for clearing the routes they depend on to respond to emergencies. Portland Streetcar, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and C-TRAN transit agency were on hand to share information.

Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

“In advance of the expected severe winter weather, I encourage everyone to focus on clearing your sidewalks,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “Remember that we are all a part of one community and that your neighbors may need your help. Elderly Portlanders and Portlanders with disabilities are particularly vulnerable during winter storms—please consider checking in with your neighbors and offering to clear sidewalks for those who need assistance.”

“When it comes to winter weather, PBOT’s mission is to help everyone get home safe,” said Chris Warner, Director of PBOT. “We have been getting Winter Ready. We also need the public to be winter ready. If there’s snow and ice the forecast, telecommute if you can. If you need to travel, use public transit as a first option. If you plan to drive, plan ahead. Match your driving conditions with the weather conditions. With caution and common sense, we really can all get home safe.”

“Whatever winter throws at us this year, we’ll be ready,” said Ted Miller, ODOT’s maintenance and operations manager for the Portland area. “Our tools include salt but like all of our tools, it’s not a perfect solution to all winter problems. And remember, we all play a part in making sure the roads operate smoothly in winter storms.”

“TriMet works with other transportation agencies to keep transit moving each day, but that partnership is never more urgent than during wintry weather,” said TriMet Chief Operating Officer Sam Desue, Jr. “We have stocked up on chains and readied our equipment, and we ask riders to prepare as well. Check out our winter riding tips at trimet.org, and when the snow or ice begins to fall, know that we at TriMet, as well as our partners, will do all we can to keep you moving safely.” 

“Our crews are ready for winter and work hard to keep roads clear, but as last winter showed, when severe weather comes through we all experience it which is why we need the public’s help,” said WSDOT Highway Maintenance Supervisor, Patricia Cummins. “For the safety of the traveling public, please be sure to clear snow off your car before you hit the road. It improves the drivers visibility and it reduces the chances of snow flying off and hitting other travelers. We also want to remind all users of the road if you must drive, drive for the conditions and to their comfort level. Most collisions are due to spin outs or because vehicles are traveling too fast on icy roads. Prepare early and stay informed about road conditions and restrictions. These small steps can make a big difference in helping to keep traffic moving during storms.”

“C-TRAN is prepared for whatever winter may bring this year," said Christine Selk, spokesperson for C-TRAN, the Clark County transit agency. "Our Operations, Maintenance and Communication teams are committed to keeping passengers safe and informed. To that end, we encourage riders to follow us at c-tran.com or on Twitter at @ctranvancouver for the latest weather updates.”

 Chris Warner with PBOT staff

Chris Warner, director of PBOT, with Tara Wasiak, Maintenance Operations Group Manager and Ted Harvey, a veteran snowplow operator for PBOT who was recently profiled in the Willamette Week newspaper. Snowplows from PBOT and Washington State Department of Transportation were on display at Albina Yard today. Photo by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Pictures from today's news conference on PBOT's Flickr account

Stay up to date with PBOT on winter weather:

  • WINTER WEATHER CENTER  Interactive map showing PBOT’s priority snow and ice routes, where we deploy salt, as well as real-time traffic, weather, road closure, and plow information.
  • PUBLIC ALERTS  Stay Informed. Sign up for emergency notifications via text, email, or phone from regional agencies including PBOT, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), TriMet, and Multnomah County.
  • GET HOME SAFE: Winter Travel Tips  How to plan ahead for winter weather, plus essential tips for taking transit, walking, biking, and driving in winter weather.
  • PBOT NOTIFICATIONS  Choose the PBOT notifications you want to receive via email or text including news releases, traffic advisories, and winter weather information.

 

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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