Tag: BPS

BPS Completes NE Portland Public Trash Can Rollout

Last month, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) installed trash cans throughout NE Portland, including parts of Montavilla. This latest rollout is part of a multi-year expansion of the City-managed rubbish collection program that started in 2017 with the Jade District. In 2016, Portland City Council voted to expand the city’s public trash can program into underserved areas and increase the solid waste commercial tonnage fee by $1.30 to fund the program.

Because Montavilla spans Northeast and Southeast Portland, the phased rollout of public trash cans occurred in different years. The neighborhood first received new rubbish receptacles south of E Burnside Street in December 2021. A year later, BPS crews began delivering cans to locations in North Montavilla. BPS staff placed units in high-traffic corridors along NE 82nd Avenue and NE Glisan Street. The intersection of E Burnside Street and 82nd Avenue gained three new cans. That addition brings the total to four trash enclosures, including the existing TriMet-owned can on the southeast corner. NE Glisan Street and NE 82nd Avenue also received multiple units adjacent to the bus shelters. Crews installed the remaining Montavilla cans in places identified as problem areas during a 2022 community survey. With trash can expansion work now covering all areas East of the Willamette River, BPS will spend the next two years increasing unit count in Northwest, South, and Southwest Portland.

The density of public trash cans is still insufficient on many streets, and littering will continue. However, this expansion is a significant push forward by the City to provide basic infrastructure for Portland’s residents. Trash cans alone will not prevent street trash, but they will reduce the overall volume of improperly discarded items and make it easier for civic-minded people clean public spaces. Look for the new cans already on the street and report any overflowing cans or other problems online to 311, by phone (503-823-4000), or by email (311@portlandoregon.gov).

BPS created map of NE Portland cans cropped to highlight Montavilla

Correction (March 16th, 2023): The original version of this article indicated that BPS completed its trash can expansion. The city will continue adding new cans in other areas over the next two years.

Portland Expanding EV Charger Access

At the March 1st City Council session, members in attendance unanimously passed the second of two ordinances designed to expand Electric Vehicle (EV) charging. Portland’s leaders made these code updates to incentivize Level 2 charger installation by private companies in spaces accessible to people living in multifamily residences. These early steps seek to remove barriers blocking the widespread adoption of low-carbon-producing vehicles.

City Council passed the EV Ready Code Project on February 8, 2023. These zoning code updates require new multi-dwelling and mixed-use developments with five or more units to provide EV-ready charging infrastructure, as long as the property includes onsite parking. Starting on March 31, builders must provide conduit and electrical capacity to support the future installation of Level 2 EV chargers for 50% of the available onsite parking spaces with a minimum of six spots. Developments with six or fewer spaces would need to provide this infrastructure to all parking spaces.

Although the EV Ready Code Project does not require EV charger installation, it removes much of the costs associated with retrofitting that equipment into parking infrastructure. As tenant demand for charging access increases, that lower installation cost should also shorten the time building owners take before adding the environmentally friendly amenity.  

Pilot charger mounted on utility pole on SE Clinton St, image courtesy PBOT.

Charging infrastructure availability is a barrier to some residents looking to buy an electric vehicle, particularly those without onsite parking or living in existing multifamily residences. The second round of code amendments approved yesterday will address offsite parking electrification. EV chargers in the right of way would expand choices for many car buyers who must park on city streets. The recently passed ordinance directs the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to work with private charging companies and utility providers to establish curbside Level 2 EV charging. It updates the City code to allow the installation of this equipment and dedicates public parking space to EVs. The Charger equipment could mount to existing utility poles or freestanding pedestals in the furnishing zone. PBOT will limit the number and type of operators allowed to install charging equipment in the right-of-way. Individuals and businesses are not eligible to install personal charging equipment on public streets. These code amendments only apply to chosen companies with the ability to install and maintain EV charging equipment at a large scale.

Program architects designed EV charger equity into this initiative through targeted placement. Master Lease Agreements with EV charging companies and utility providers would require the distribution of chargers into neighborhoods currently underserved by existing EV infrastructure. EV chargers will be allowed on Local Service Traffic Streets around the corner from Main Streets. Program coordinators envision charger installations within larger districts like Gateway Regional Center, Hollywood, Lents, and St. Johns. Additionally, Neighborhood Centers like Roseway, Woodstock, and Montavilla are prime locations for charger expansion. PBOT staff must report to City Council by June 30, 2024, on the policy’s progress and could request further changes to City Code to advance the program.

According to the ODOT TEINA Report, conservative estimates say that Portland needs to add 9,500 public charging ports by 2035. City leaders and staff feel these two new programs are the best approach to meeting that goal while creating affordable and convenient access to EV Charging in Portland. PBOT says installations of curbside EV chargers could begin later this year, but there will be a public notification process before any work begins. If these programs are successful, thousands of shared EV chargers could become available to Portlanders over the next decade. 

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Public Trash Cans Coming to NE Portland

The next wave of public trash cans will hit Portland’s streets early in 2023 as new receptacles arrive from the manufacturer. A year ago, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) installed trash cans throughout SE Portland, including parts of Montavilla. Now city staff are preparing for the NE expansion and need the public’s help in determining the placement of those rubbish containers. People can take the online survey now but must submit their entries by Monday, December 19th.

In 2016, the Portland City Council authorized an expansion of the public trash program through a tax on the solid waste commercial tonnage fee. By June 2017, Portland’s Jade District received new waste receptacles as part of a pilot program. In 2020, East Portland neighborhoods began receiving new trash cans. By 2023, the BPS will have added 150 new City-provided and serviced trash cans to NE Portland, bringing the total available receptacles in the quadrant to 215.

Trash can delivery, image courtesy BPS

Each 65-gallon trash can stands 4.5 feet tall and has a three-by-three-foot footprint. On narrow sidewalks, BPS will deploy a smaller 35-gallon can. Many units have a side attachment for beverage bottles, making them accessible to community members looking to collect the deposit. The City intends to contract with a woman or minority-owned trash hauler to empty the containers twice a week.

When suggesting locations for the new cans, BPS staff remind participants that trash cans must reside on public sidewalks and cannot be placed in parking lots or other private property. They also want to prioritize natural gathering spaces near businesses, schools, and intersections.

BPS map showing potential trash can placement

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The Neighborhood Dumpster Day Returns

After a two-year hiatus, Montavilla’s Dumpster Day returns as part of a new Portland program. Area residents are invited to drop off bulky household items on Saturday, September 24th, at the Montavilla Church parking lot on the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and SE Hawthorne Boulevard. This free program allows residents to dispose of many large items not collected in regular curbside bins and prevents trash from ending up on the streets.

Two years ago, Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life (Civic Life) discontinued a similar program once offered through neighborhood associations. Those programs provided an annual opportunity for residents to dispose of mattresses, broken furniture, and other trash that did not fit into regular collection containers. The events also served as a primary fundraiser for the nonprofit neighborhood organizations. Trash haulers will collect bulky items left on the curb during weekly pickup days if residents notify them ahead of time and pay a fee. However, some people do not have the means to arrange for those collections and instead leave items on the corner with “Free” signs attached. Those items can contribute to the City’s trash problem and congest public spaces.

The absence of a free dumpster program in Portland left a noticeable mark on the City’s trash collection system, prompting officials to create a new program. This weekend’s Montavilla Dumpster Day is the first in a series of events organized by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), with funding through the City’s Public Environment Management Office. For this event, the City will pay members of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) and the Jade District to support the Dumpster Day operations. In the future, BPS will hire contractors to run events held in other neighborhoods.

People are encouraged to bring mattresses, furniture, and certain small appliances like a toaster, vacuum, or microwave. Some treated lumber and wood stumps are accepted but need to come from households, not businesses. Tires, large appliances, electronics, and hazardous materials can’t go into the dumpsters. However, Oregon Metro staff at the drop-off site will assist people in finding the proper disposal agency for items not taken at Saturday’s event. A complete list of allowed and forbidden items is available on the BPS website.

Although a Montavilla-based event, organizers secured ample dumpsters to accept items from local residents and neighboring areas. However, space is limited, and the event staff recommends people come early. The entrance opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. or when the dumpsters are full.

Disclosure: The author of this article will work at this event and may receive payment for his participation.

First in Wave of Public Trash Cans

Late last week, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) installed the first in a wave of many new public trash cans coming to Montavilla. Crews will place cans on public sidewalks near businesses, schools, and intersections. Contracted trash collectors, paid by the City, will empty the new waste receptacles twice a week.

In 2016, the Portland City Council authorized an expansion of the public trash program through a tax on the solid waste commercial tonnage fee. By June 2017, Portland’s Jade District received new waste receptacles as part of a pilot program. In 2020, East Portland neighborhoods began receiving new trash cans. By 2023 the City will have added over 700 new public trash cans throughout Portland.

Located on the southeast corner of SE 80th Avenue and Stark Street, this newest colorful trash can features a bottle and can sidecar. People are encouraged to place recyclable items in the side compartment instead of the trash ports, making it accessible for deposit collectors to recover the discarded drink containers. Waste can placement was partially determined by a survey conducted by BPS in April. In total, the City will add 182 new public trash cans throughout Southeast Portland. Next year, the same process will repeat for Northeast Portland. BPS is currently running a Public Trash Can placement survey for the next round of clan placement. Public comment will remain open through January 2022, with trash can deployment in Spring.

Map courtesy of BPS

Public trash cans will not solve all the City’s litter problems. However, a substantial portion of trash collects near bus stops and other gathering places that may soon have a trash receptacle to discard those items. This rollout is an encouraging move forward in Portland’s effort to provide sanitation services to its residents. Look for more trash cans coming to local streets over the next few months and help shape future placement by participating in the NE Portland Survey.

The Heat is Coming

As Portland braces for the expected heatwave, groups adjust their schedule to keep people out of the sun during the hottest hours. Starting this Saturday, forecasters predict several consecutive days of above 100-degree heat. Consequently, people should make a plan to avoid heat-related disruptions.

To protect the health and safety of waste collection drivers, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) announced a schedule shift for trash collection. Sanitation crews will begin routes at 5 AM on Friday, June 25, and Monday, June 28. This adjustment allows drivers to start during cooler morning hours, reducing exposure to extreme temperatures and potential health risks. Residential customers should move their garbage, recycling, and compost bins to the curb the night before their collection day. Early pickup may continue if extreme temperatures persist. Check the BPS website for updated information.

SOLVE Oregon’s Pick It Up, Portland! event is adjusting the start time for some cleanups to make sure participants complete work by noon. In some cases, organizers canceled afternoon events altogether. Volunteers should check the SOLVE website for any changes to their event and come prepared for high heat while cleaning. Event organizers will have shaded areas and access to water for attendees.

Some businesses without air-conditioning are electing to stay closed during the heatwave, particularly food cart vendors that have difficulty staying cool during typical summer weather. Other locations are taking advantage of indoor seating and AC to draw in customers that have, until recently, been unable to eat indoors. When planning to eat out, make sure the location is open, and that shaded seating is available.

Much like snow, Portland can grind to a halt in extreme heat. People will need extra patience and understanding as businesses make adjustments to schedules to keep everyone safe. Make a cooling plan for yourself and look out for others who may not have the ability to stay cool on their own.

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Public Trash Cans Coming to SE

This fall, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is installing 182 new public trash cans throughout Southeast Portland. The cans are emptied twice a week, paid for by the City. From now until August 1st, city staff requests that residents and people working in the area complete a can placement survey.

Last year, Montavilla News and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association conducted a similar survey. The results from that initiative are already submitted to BPS and do not require resubmittal. Data collected now will include areas beyond the neighborhood boundaries to encompass E Burnside Street to SE Clatsop Street and the Willamette River to I205.

Area receiving trash cans this fall

Within the brief survey, participants can drop multiple pins where they think BPS should place new cans. There is also an opportunity to ask for specific areas to be exempt from trash can placement and provide additional comments. When completing the survey, participants can choose to subscribe to a project-updates email list.

With a limited number of trash receptacles available for the Southeast, it’s essential to use local knowledge to place cans where they will receive the most use. Northeast Portland is slated as the next trash can expansion area, rolling out just a few months after Southeast. Look for a similar survey for that area later this summer.

Montavilla Neighborhood Association’s submitted can placement map

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the MNA Board

Rejuvenation of 82nd Ave

As a neighborhood whose boundary is set by two freeways and is crisscrossed by major streets, Montavilla is defined by roads. 82nd Avenue has acted as an important bisecting line of the neighborhood for over 100 years. In 2019, 82nd Ave was the focus for both the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). The city sees it as an emerging Civic Corridor, and has adopted two plans to address deficiencies in the roadway.

Unlike all our other streets in Montavilla, 82nd Avenue is not currently maintained by the City of Portland. The heavily used roadway is instead an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) highway and is under that department’s ownership. Many of the changes we will be seeing on 82nd Ave will be in support of an effort underway to transfer ownership of 82nd Ave (OR 213) from ODOT to the City of Portland.

Passed in May 2019, the 82nd Avenue Plan has enhanced pedestrian and bicycle crossings, increased lighting, and traffic signal changes. In addition, enhanced transit priority and bus stop improvements are recommended along 82nd Ave. These changes have the goal to improve the reliability, speed, and capacity of TriMet bus line 72.

In the 82nd Avenue Study, completed last year, the BPS identified infrastructure barriers to development. In addition to some zoning and social barriers, the lack of safe crossing and walkable sidewalks is a major issue along 82nd Avenue. The 82nd Avenue Plan seeks to address this by increasing the public right-of-way from each side of the center line of NE and SE 82nd Ave. New construction would need to provide a setback of 45 feet from the center of 82nd Avenue, or a minimum of 12 feet behind the existing curb line, whichever is greater. This would create 12 foot sidewalk corridors with a 6 feet maintained clear for pedestrians.

Beyond the new increased right-of-way along 82nd Avenue, special Pedestrian Districts will be created to support greater walkability in certain areas. The Montavilla Pedestrian District is centered around Stark street.

Montavilla Pedestrian District

Pedestrian District minimums are increased to provide 15 foot wide sidewalk, with 8 feet reserved for pedestrian access. The Remming 7 feet are used for tree buffer and utility equipment along the street edge and a shop frontage buffer.

This interactive map shows where sidewalks will be widened and the property setback required now. Marty Stockton, with the Transportation Planning Coordination / Comprehensive and Strategic Planning for BPS, outlined the two scenarios that will trigger building of these new sidewalks. Speaking via email, Stockton said capital improvements projects by either the City or ODOT would rebuild sidwalkes to these news standards. Secondly, redevelopment that is significant enough to trigger dedication and improvements would also require rebuilding sidewalks to these new standards. Stockton clarified, “it’s highly possible that a property could build an addition or tenant improvement permit that wouldn’t trigger the right-of-way dedication and related improvements.”

In most instances, residents or Montavilla will not see our sidwals transform overnight. These changes will be seen block by block and sporadically over many years. The work is dependent on roadwork projects and private investment in our neighborhood. However, it is through these changes that Portland can incentivise pedestrian friendly development in our area. It demonstrates a collective faith that 82nd Avenue will grow into a Civic Corridor, warranting investment and development.