PBOT Traffic Advisory: PBOT urges the traveling public to use extra caution as power outages may make West Hills roads dark this weekend, wind may fell trees citywide

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Portland Bureau of Transportation

News media contact:

Dylan Rivera

News Release:

PBOT urges the traveling public to use extra caution as power outages may make West Hills roads dark this weekend, wind may fell trees citywide

(Sept. 8, 2022) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) advises the traveling public to travel with extreme caution, as power outages in the West Hills may make roads darker than normal during overnight hours starting before dawn Friday morning through the day on Monday. Traffic signals and flashing beacons may also lose power.

Portland General Electric has advised the public and local agencies that it expects to implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff to reduce wildfire potential in an area roughly from the intersection of SW Skyline and U.S. 26, north to NW Skyline and Thompson. 

The power outage would shut off street lights, making road conditions darker at night on some busy corridors that people use to travel between Portland and Washington County, including SW and NW Skyline Boulevard, NW Cornell Road and West Burnside.

There are only four traffic signals in the affected area, and they are located generally on SW Skyline, between US 26 and Fire Station 21, 1711 SW Skyline. A stop sign beacon at Skyline and Cornell Road and a flashing beacon on Cornell Road at the Audubon Society pedestrian crossing may also be affected. 

PGE has provided this description of the area potentially included in the outage: The southern edge of this area is bordered by Sunset Highway 26. The east borders Macleay Park and the west border closely follows NW Miller Road from Highway 26 terminating south of Bonny Slope. This area includes Sylvan, Green Hills and part of West Slope.

Area of Portland expected to have a

Public Safety Power Shutoff

Map of area expected to have PGE power outages because of wildfire danger September 2022

Areas shaded in blue on this map show the approximate area where power may be shut off by Portland General Electric. Locations on the map are approximate. Green dots show street lights. Yellow and black boxes show flashing beacons. Map by PBOT with PGE data.

For more info:

 Check portlandgeneral.com/psps to confirm if power in your area may be impacted

See a signal without power? Treat it as an all-way stop. The driver who stopped first, goes first.

Expect darker than normal conditions, in wooded areas: With street lights off, drivers will need to rely on their headlights and the light from passing vehicles. Conditions will be darker than normal, especially in heavily forested areas. 

Power restoration could take time: PGE has advised that they will need staff to inspect equipment in person to restore power, which could mean outages extend into Monday. When some traffic signals regain power, they will flash red until a PBOT crew member switches it to normal. Others with more recent technology can transition themselves quickly from flashing red to normal operation.

See more travel tips: Learn how to travel safely and how you can prevent your vehicle from starting wildfires, with tips from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The disruption is weather dependent. Stay up to date on the latest information from Portland General Electric: portlandgeneral.com/psps

The weekend’s forecast weather could bring strong winds to the metro area

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Urban Forestry crews will continue to respond hazardous situations and emergency needs involving trees on public land citywide.

  • 503-823-TREE is the fastest way to report tree emergencies. If phone lines are busy, consider reporting online using the PDX Reporter website.
  • If a tree emergency situation involves downed wires please contact your utility provider first. PP&R Urban Forestry staff are unable to respond until electrical hazards have been addressed.
  • Please avoid calling for NON-emergency issues as crews are focused at this time on reopening major roads and thoroughfares in Portland.
  • For wood debris on sidewalk, it’s the responsibility of the adjacent property owners.
  • For large debris property owners should call a private tree care company to remove it as needed.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the city’s transportation system and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage, and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at portland.gov/transportation