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Portland plans to close 100 miles of streets to through traffic to encourage safe distancing

Commissioner Eudaly, in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, made the announcement Tuesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The City of Portland will close 100 sections of streets to through car traffic in an effort to create more space for people to walk, bike or run during the coronavirus pandemic while maintaining proper social distancing.

This first portion of the Portland Bureau of Transportation's Safe Streets Initiative will restrict access to 100 of the city's greenways starting May 7.

According to a release from PBOT, these greenway sections were selected because they intersect with busy streets and have historic high traffic volumes.

The streets will remain open to local traffic. 

See a map of greenways being treated

PBOT will install temporary barricades and signage to alert drivers of the closures.

The plan also includes expanding space for pedestrians along streets that are "narrow or missing sidewalks," and provide more room with pop-up walking and biking lanes.

In business districts, PBOT said they'll establish space so customers can line up with enough physical distance, and create dedicated loading zones for pickup and delivery.

The city of Portland has seen a dramatic spike in speeding since the pandemic began and a major decrease in traffic congestion. 

Further details about the plan can be found online. If you have suggestions for street improvements, call PBOT at 503-823-SAFE or email: active.transportation@portlandoregon.gov. 

"When we reach the point that we can re-open, we want to make sure our transportation system is ready," PBOT Director Chris Warner said in a news release. "Portlanders have made great use of their neighborhood streets to walk, bike, and roll during the pandemic. We’ve designed the Slow Streets|Safe Streets initiative to make sure they can continue to do this safely as we get back closer to normal."

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