Portland Explains Slow Streets Safe Streets Program

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has started a new initiative called Slow Streets | Safe Streets to respond to the Covid-19 public health crisis.

PBOT released the following details:

Our Neighborhood Greenway network of low-traffic streets gives Portlanders many ways to improve their mental and physical health during this public health crisis. However, please understand it takes all of our cooperation to make this program successful. Let’s work together to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

Before you head out, please:

• Stay home if you’re sick.

• Stay local and close to home.

• Only visit Neighborhood Greenways on your own or with members of your household, no gathering with others.

• Bring all supplies—food, water, hand cleanser, face coverings—needed for a short trip.

• Plan for where you will use the restroom if you need it. Public restroom access is limited across the city.

• If a Neighborhood Greenway appears crowded, leave and come back another time.

If there’s space on the Neighborhood Greenway, please:

• Remember that these are shared streets and sidewalks. Take it slow and be respectful of others.

• Wear a face covering even if others aren’t. Homemade is fine.

• Stay at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t from your household. Further apart is better.

• Cover your cough with a tissue (then throw it away), or the inside of your elbow.

• Stick to low-risk activities. Don't put additional stress on our emergency responders and health care systems.

• Announce your presence to others if you are passing them and move aside, when needed, to let others pass.

• Follow CDC guidelines and wash your hands before and after you visit a Neighborhood Greenway, or any other public space.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are streets being closed?

No. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is converting 100 miles of already low-traffic streets into “local access only” to restrict cut-through traffic. Here is a map of all 105 locations where we will be putting up signage.

Can I still drive to my house or business? Can I still get deliveries and visitors? What about emergency vehicles?

Absolutely! These are not hard closures. Anyone needing to drive in or out of your street, including emergency vehicles, will still be able to do so. “Local access only” just means we are limiting these streets to people with an intended destination there.

Will PBOT consider converting more streets into "local access only"?

As part of the Slow Streets | Safe Streets initiative, PBOT is evaluating other streets in order to see what changes could help Portland travel safely during the pandemic. Please call 503-823-7233 (SAFE) or email safe@portlandoregon.gov if you have a street you’d like to suggest.

What will these signs and changes look like?

Depending on how wide the street is, PBOT will place things like barrels or other traffic control devices in the road. All of these will have clear signs to alert people driving of the current restrictions. See the plans on Commissioner Eudaly’s website.

Can I help or volunteer?

Yes. Our partner Axiom Event Productions, who helps run Portland Sunday Parkways, is developing a program so the community can be a part of these changes. Contact them directly to let them know you’re interested.

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