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Ted Wheeler

Mayor, City of Portland

main phone: 503-823-4120

Opinion line: 503-823-4127

1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

What’s the deal with salt on Portland roads - A FAQ

 

Do we salt our roads in Portland? After my road is cleared, is it considered drivable? With our first winter weather event expected in early December, Portlanders will soon be asking these questions, and we want to make sure everyone is prepared for winter weather this season.

Do we salt Portland Roads? If so which ones?

  • Yes. The city coordinates with TriMet a priority list of roads to clear and salt, starting with the roads most prone to closure. Even though PBOT has recently added more drivings and equipment to our fleet, we still don’t have the capacity to salt and clear all roads, so we advise Portlanders to avoid driving whenever possible during severe weather.

Are there any environmental concerns with salting the roads?

  • The Bureau of Environmental Services has reviewed the roads we plan to salt and, since we rarely experience severe winter weather in Portland, the quantity of salt used on the roads is not expected to have any impact on local ecology in the near or long term.  The Bureau of Environment Services will monitor and evaluate any potential for salt to be detected in nearby streams, and we will consult with them should we add any more roads to our salting plan.  

Am I “good to go” if my road is cleared & salted?

  • Even if your road looks clear and is salted, we still strongly recommend you avoid driving as much as possible. Use public transport as it is available. If you have critical situation where you or a friend is required to drive make sure the car has 4WD and studded tires or chains as winter weather alerts advise.

Can I just leave my car parked downtown?

  • In the event of a weather emergency, leave your legally parked car where it is. PBOT will allow drivers parked downtown to stay in their space for free. Stay tuned to the news and city alerts for the specific timing on when this parking amnesty starts and ends to best avoid being ticketed.

What if I still need help to get around during severe weather?

  • Dial 211 or visit 211info.org

Where can I find out more?

Have more questions?  Email mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.com with the subject “Winter Preparedness” and we’ll add your questions to this post as well.