Winter Weather Travel Advisory: Snow to impact Wednesday night travel, Thursday morning commute

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For the first time, PBOT hires private contractors to help plow routes Don't pass plows: Private vehicles causing road hazards
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(6 p.m. Feb. 21, 2018) The National Weather Service has issued a forecast for snow in the Portland area after 10 p.m. tonight, Wednesday Feb 21, and continuing until 3 a.m. or later on Thursday morning. Between 1 inch and 2 inches of snow is expected in low lying areas of Portland, with up to 4 inches in areas above 500 feet above sea level.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) advises the public to avoid travel, if possible, or to take public transit. The traveling public should exercise caution on Portland roadways. Overnight freezing temperatures and additional snowfall overnight will also impact the Wednesday morning commute. PBOT crews are in 24-hour emergency operations and patrolling Portland streets to monitor conditions and treat roads as needed.

  • Do Not Pass Snowplows: On Tuesday and Wednesday, snowplow operators reported multiple near-misses. Private vehicles passed snowplows on the left, nearly causing crashes with oncoming traffic, or passing on the right, driving into airborne snow and other debris displaced by the plow.
  • Private Sector Help: For the first time, PBOT hired private contractors to help clear snow. Titan Utilities and Moore Excavation used front-end loaders on Wednesday morning to plow school bus routes at 13 schools in the Portland Public and David Douglas School districts. PBOT is hiring them again to plow before dawn Thursday morning, along with a third contractor, Westech Construction, which should cover a total of about 20 schools among the three firms. PBOT crews also plowed some residential streets on school bus routes. The goal is to provide passable streets on school bus routes, which include some streets that are too narrow for city trucks to access.
  • Road Salt Use: PBOT has used about 90 tons of road salt on 12 designated salt routes, over the weekend through Wednesday. The Bureau has more than 700 tons available in storage.
  • Do Not Abandon Your Vehicle: On Tuesday night and Wednesday, PBOT Parking Enforcement called for eight vehicles to be towed. Seven were blocking travel lanes and one was blocking an intersection. Citations cost $85, plus towing charges of $201 plus $27 a day for storage.
  • Make Your Sidewalk Safe: The City does not remove snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to private property. By City Code, property owners are responsible for their sidewalks and driveways, including the removal of snow, ice, slippery leaves, and other debris.

The public is advised to monitor the weather at their homes and at their travel destinations as road conditions could vary throughout the city.

The City of Portland’s Snow and Ice Plan discourages private vehicle use and encourages public transit use instead. Plan ahead for your public transit commute by calling 503-238-RIDE (7433), visiting for bus and MAX light rail schedules and alerts or for streetcar schedules and alerts. In snow and ice, plan for bus delays of 20 to 30 minutes. Know where your transit stops are before venturing out. PBOT provides tips for winter travel for people walking, biking or driving. Learn more at:

Check for breaking news and information on major service disruptions. Visit to learn more about how PBOT responds to snow and ice events in Portland.