City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly announced today that Chris Warner has accepted her offer to be the new Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Warner had served as the agency’s interim director since July 2018 after previous director Leah Treat left for a job in the private sector.
“Director Warner brings over twenty years of public sector management and transportation policy expertise to his position,” Eudaly said in a statement. “As a policy and technical expert, he has worked at the local, state, and federal levels for Governor Ted Kulongoski, Senator Ron Wyden, Representative Peter DeFazio and City Commissioner Steve Novick.”
Commissioner Eudaly said she chose Warner after a national search (in part) because, “He understands how difficult it will be to reorient our transportation system to meet the challenges of the future… he knows PBOT, and he has the skills and experience necessary to turn ideas into actions.”
Jillian Detweiler is the executive director of The Street Trust.
“The successful candidate should value all modes of transportation.”
So reads the disappointing job description for the next leader of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
The Street Trust hoped the recruitment would elevate the exciting and pressing challenge that awaits the new PBOT Director: leading and accelerating significant improvements in alternatives to driving alone. That certainly was the consensus of transportation activists invited to meet with a City Human Resources representative who gathered stakeholder input prior to producing the job description.[Read more…]
Projects completed by Portland’s transportation bureau are making streets safer, but the agency should do more to assess how surrounding neighborhoods are impacted by changes to traffic patterns.
That’s the key takeaway from a report released today by the Portland City Auditor.
The audit looked at 14 recently completed Portland Bureau of Transportation projects and selected two for closer analysis. They looked at safety projects on East Burnside (SE 15th to Laurelhurst Place) and on SE Division (from 60th to 80th). In both projects PBOT applied standard safety upgrades like lane reconfigurations, improved crossings and lower speed limits.
In both projects the City Auditor found that PBOT met their stated goals of safety and maintaining access to businesses.
However, the report says PBOT needs to take a closer look at what happens to adjacent streets and business patterns after projects are completed.
For the first time in decades, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has money to spend. Real money.
I’m sure your inbox and timelines are full of well-meaning organizations urging you to “be safe and be seen” this time of year.
These are important messages, but it’s annoying how they usually focus on vulnerable road users. It makes sense intuitively, but that paternalistic approach fails to address the elephant in the room — or should I say the huge, powerful steel vehicles in our streets.
“Dress up like a traffic cone if you want to survive winter!” these campaigns too often say.
That’s why I was very pleased to see the latest statement from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “‘Be Seen. Be Safe.’ Traffic safety during the darker days of the year,” the headline reads.
The full text is below. Notice how the focus — first and foremost — is on people who drive cars and trucks (after a solid first sentence that’s generalized to all road users):
If you want to make biking better in Portland, there’s a great opportunity to put your passion into action: The city’s official Bicycle Advisory Committee (a.k.a. “the BAC”) is currently recruiting new members.
The BAC is a citizen-led body that advises all city bureaus, council members, and the Mayor on matters relating to bicycling. When a construction project will impact a major bike route, the BAC is there to sort out the detour and make sure the work-zone is bike-friendly. When a big planning document is about to be updated, the BAC is there to tweak the language and add key provisions. Long before a big project breaks ground, the BAC is there to sweat the details before the design is finalized.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County Library (with an assist from Metro) have teamed up on a novel way to promote National Bike Month: They’re hosting an art contest with a grand prize of having the winners’ design installed as a bike lane character.
Ever notice how some of the bike lane symbols around town have extra special flair? Some are subtle little twists and others are nothing short than a work of art. It’s a tradition that the Portland Bureau of Transportation started back in 1999. And now four lucky young Portlanders will get a chance to have their vision turned into a piece of infrastructure.
The “Bike to Books” program kicked off this morning at the Hillsdale Library. With the library’s book bike (more on that later) parked in the entrance, over a dozen pre-schoolers were treated to a special, bike-themed storytime. Youth Librarian Barbara Head kept the kids entertained (no easy task at that age) with bike books and bike-themed songs. It’s all part of an effort to get people of all ages to bike to the library during the month of May.
Any Multnomah County resident in kindergarten to 12th grade can grab a coloring contest flyer from a library or online and give it your best shot. The contest is open all month long and entrants must return the finished art to a library branch. Four grand prize winners (one for each age category) will get their bike lane art installed. The second place prize is four passes to The Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park and third place gets a Nutcase helmet.
Not everybody loved the local gas tax that Portland voters approved in May. But most Portlanders can probably agree that now that it exists, it ought to be spent as promised.
There’s a strong possibility that the tax might bring in more or less money than expected, or that the city might eventually consider changing the project list in ways that violate the implicit promise to voters that it made when it created the list.
If either of those things were to happen, the main watchdog institution will be a volunteer oversight committee that’s currently recruiting members.