Changes at the Port of Portland leads to spike in big rigs on ci - KPTV - FOX 12

Changes at the Port of Portland leads to spike in big rigs on city streets

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According to estimates, the closure of two shipping operations at the Port of Portland have led to 2,000 more trucks every day on local highways and city streets. (KPTV) According to estimates, the closure of two shipping operations at the Port of Portland have led to 2,000 more trucks every day on local highways and city streets. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A significant increase in truck traffic through Portland is clogging up highways and city streets.

The Port of Portland predicted there would be roughly 2,000 more trucks moving through the city per day after Hanjin Shipping and Hapag-Lloyd pulled out of the port last year.

Now Portland residents, like Carol Pavlakovich who lives on Southeast 26th Avenue near Holgate, are feeling the impact, both on local highways and city streets.

"It's just constant," she said. "I've been breathing it in for many, many years. I haven't died yet, but it's not very pleasant.”

Although Southeast 26th is a residential street, it has been a city-sanctioned truck route for years.

"Unfortunately, it's definitely an area of conflict," Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesperson Dylan Rivera said. “We've looked at the traffic pattern there with the neighborhood for many years. There's really no easy alternative to 26th Avenue.”

Over the past year, neighbors said truck traffic through the area has picked up to the point that there's barely a break between big rigs.

"We just have a lot more freight movement through our region," Mary Peveto said. “They tend to be a lot dirtier. They tend to be the end of the life of the truck, and conversely they tend to be owner-operator trucks that when they replace that engine, they're probably going to replace it with another old truck.

Peveto founded Neighbors for Clean Air and said the increase in truck traffic comes with an increased exposure to diesel fumes in a state not known for its strict diesel regulations.

"We have kind of an ‘F’ rating compared to our neighbors. We really need to do some catch-up," she added. “What we need the city to do is lead by example. We need them to demonstrate that clean diesel is a high priority and that they're willing to invest in that.”

As for the traffic on Southeast 26th, PBOT said there is currently no available alternative route to the Brooklyn Rail Yard, which has also seen an uptick in traffic due to the Hanjin pull-out.

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