This is a post-meeting summary with useful links, materials, and information shared at the neighborhood traffic meeting MTNA hosted on Monday, February 29, 2016.
Purpose of the meeting (and this post)
MTNA volunteers hosted this traffic meeting, and are now passing along materials to those that could not make the meeting, in an effort to help you organize with each other to successfully advocate for traffic improvements in our area.
Now it is time to reach out to each other -- there are many in this neighborhood that agree something needs to be done about traffic in and through this area of the city. Read through the information below, reach out to each other via facebook or other community organizing tools, and begin to divide out the advocacy work. Remember, change can and has come to our neighborhood’s traffic woes when neighbors have given their time, pooled their efforts, and divided out the tasks. I know none of this is the life-affirming volunteer work you hope to find someday, but it is work that needs doing, work that will be appreciated by many, and really, it is only a few months commitment on any issue you adopt. So don’t be afraid to jump in!
Information shared by MTNA at the meeting
In December of 2015, I launched a simple online poll asking you about your traffic complaints. That poll garnered 104 responses, which had buried in them about 135 different issues. When I studied your responses, I saw local traffic issues clustering around several hotspots. For instance, I saw 42 of the issues as being a result of the failing intersection at SE 50th and SE Division. Because this intersection does not drain cars appropriately, we see cut-through speeders on Lincoln and Hawthorne as well as 51st – 58th, pedestrian safety issues around Atkinson Elementary and backups that block other intersections like 50th/Lincoln, 52nd/Division, etc.
I found that the majority of the issues reported fell into one of eight clusters, and a few hotspots became very obvious. You can see the clusters I identified on this handout: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwjTV06zgxKYckVicUR1MTQyNHM I recommend you organize your advocacy around these problem locations, as the effort you put into any one of these locations will knock out multiple traffic problems.
We offered a handout with basic tips for successful advocacy: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/526979
You can also view the “Effective Advocacy 101” powerpoint from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwjTV06zgxKYY1UtMExZVklGMm8/view?usp=sharing
In short, you can scream or you can be polite, but you will more easily navigate the bureaucracy downtown if you have help along the way, and if they duck when they see you coming your work might take longer. It is best to start polite (but be persistent) and escalate towards screaming only if reason fails.
Information shared by PBOT
Two representatives from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) attended our meeting. Here are some resources they shared with us.
Report and track a traffic issue online!
You can report any PBOT-related issue with this online tool here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/69703. A reminder, there is currently a 16-week delay in investigations.
Unsure of where to take your issue? If there is an item or issue you would like to report or discuss, please feel free to email: Cevero.Gonzalez@portlandoregon.gov or call 503.823.5080. He may not be the point of contact but can refer you accordingly.
Other useful links from PBOT
Please take a moment to review the PBOT webpage, which provides information relating to all manner of transportation-related topics; paving projects, bike projects, budget issues. Please go to: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation.
Other reporting tools
Residents can report a number of livability concerns to PBOT, including Safe Routes issues, traffic calming, pothole repair, PBOT budget questions, and parking issues. Please consider the following:
- For background information regarding what types of requests PBOT will consider: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/299189
- Parking enforcement information can be found here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/369564. This includes all phone numbers and fax information.
- Unimproved street improvement information: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/146099. This includes alternatives to full street repaving.
- For pothole repair, which can also be submitted via the online form, please call: 503.823.1700.
- The Active Transportation webpage offers many links to bike and pedestrian information. Please go to: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/59969 and check out the “I want to…” section.
Requesting a Public Record
Folks often want to receive files, data or documents from PBOT. In response, the City of Portland created a formal online process to help the public request and receive this information. To begin the public records request process, please go to www.portlandoregon.gov/prr. You will be required to create a login and then be allowed to submit your request.
Contacting the Folks in Charge (for your advocacy efforts)
Commissioner Steve Novick oversees PBOT. To reach his office via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leah Treat is the Director of PBOT: To reach her office via email: Director.Treat@portlandoregon.gov.