Saturday, January 30, 2010

Introducing the Bureau of Transportation's New Signals and Street Lighting Manager

Posted on the Mayor's Blog, but reposted for fun...

Greetings Portland,

My name is Peter Koonce and I am the new manager of the Signals and Street Lighting Division of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It is my job to keep the traffic signals going green, yellow, red (in that order) and the street lights brightening your commute. As a native of Portland and graduate of Benson Tech, I am excited about contributing to our community by serving the City of Portland in this new role. I am fortunate to find myself with the opportunity to help transform the transportation system into a smarter, more efficient system that reflects the needs of the most sustainable city in the country. Our emphasis will be on building a 21st century transportation system that recognizes the need to move people and goods safely and efficiently.

I joined PBOT after serving the City and other public agencies across the country in private practice with Kittelson & Associates, Inc. My experiences have made me appreciate the uniqueness of our community and the leadership Portland provides for the country. I am especially interested in responding to the challenge of prioritizing our investments and implementing strategies consistent with local policies that address the issues of effective mobility, community development, climate change and expansion of our transportation choices. As a regular bike commuter and long-time bus rider, I am committed to improving transportation for these important customers as well.

During my first month at the bureau, I have experienced small successes I look forward to building on in the coming years. By working closely with our regional partners and advocacy groups – such as TriMet, Metro, Portland State University, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition – to improve our community, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and I will work diligently to make Portland a model city for livability.


Peter Koonce

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogs on Transportation

There are some great blogs that I peruse from time to time that I thought I would put a note about. is my favorite and I do like Portland Transport. BikePortland is a great source of information, but the past couple of days I have been enjoying GreaterGreaterWashington which is very pleasing visually and has good information as well.

Sunday Parkways - Baltimore Style

I knew about this, but hadn't seen an article about what the outcome was.

Portland is going to put on 5 such events, larger in scale and if they were anything last year, they'll be great!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

TRB Bike Tour... DC facilities in winter

I attended the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting and was fortunate enough to take a technical tour put on by the DC Department of Transportation. I went on it two years ago and met Jeff Mapes and enjoyed a windy, super cold day in January on a bike, so why not do it again? This year, I went with Anthony Butzek of Metro. Wednesday afternoon wasn't the best time because there was still a lot of activity at TRB and several of the folks that I told about the tour. Going on the tour made me appreciate how good we have it in Portland as normally when you develop a bike tour, you take folks through the best facilities that you have developed over the past few years.
Granted, DC had been hit by 2 feet of snow the previous week and the winters make it hard to keep up on maintenance... the status of the bike lanes was pretty horrendous. This series of photos shows the range of problems, including an ice bunker, trucks involved in construction, jersey barriers associated with construction in the North of Massachusettes (NoMA) neighborhood, and heavy trucks parked in the lane.
Jim Sebastien from DDOT gave us a really nice overview of how far they have come in the past several years, showing us their Bikestation, which was a $4M facility. 1,700 square feet for $4M to provide 300 bike parking spaces. I guess that makes sense considering that parking garages for cars cost approximately $20,000 per stall in some cases, which would translate into a $6M facility.... yet the revenue for this facility is a little different ($100 per year as opposed to $200 per month for a car parking space).
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