Customer success story: Portland Bureau of Transportation

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the agency tasked with maintaining the transportation infrastructure throughout the city of Portland, Oregon.

PBOT plans, builds, manages and maintains the city’s transportation system with the goal of providing people and businesses access and mobility. The Bureau currently manages more than $8.4 billion in public assets, including streets, structures, traffic signals and street lights.

‘The software is excellent. It is easy to use and zero training was required.’

John Wilson, Traffic Engineer at PBOT

Since 2015, a growing number of divisions within the Portland Bureau of Transportation have been using RapidPlan for a variety of traffic control planning requirements.

Chon Wong, the Bureau’s Permit Construction Manager, explained that his division is ‘responsible for ensuring the safe use of the public right of way for construction or other activities that closes a portion of street or sidewalk.’

Working in the same department, Alex Furnish, a Senior Engineering Associate, has been using RapidPlan for three years. ‘Prior to using RapidPlan, I used AdobePro exclusively. This was a clunky and time-consuming way to create and edit traffic control plans. For example, if I wanted to add cones to a plan, I needed to place each cone individually on the plan with a stamp.’

Chon described that before his team began using RapidPlan, some members ‘were manually developing our drawings’. According to Alex, the team’s needs were also beginning to change. ‘The volume of requested temporary street use permits was increasing and we needed to use our time more efficiently.’ She continued, ‘we needed a solution that was efficient, user friendly, and that created professional looking traffic control plans’.

Benefits they experienced from using RapidPlan:

  • Saved time in plan preparation
  • Increased plan output and productivity
  • Sped up the review and revision process
  • Improved the quality and professionalism of plans
  • Limited training required

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is responsible for:

  • 4,842 lane miles of streets
  • 2,520 miles of sidewalks
  • 922 signalized traffic intersections
  • 55,477 street lights
  • 157 bridges
  • 26 miles of roadside barriers
  • 1753 parking meters
  • Six parking garages
  • 331 miles of bike lanes

In a separate division, John Wilson, a Traffic Engineer working in the Bureau’s Temporary Traffic Control Unit, described that their process for designing and reviewing traffic control plans had been ‘slow and inefficient’.

This prompted his team to search for ’a solution specifically for traffic control plans, with built in signs and devices.’

According to Alex, the path that led them to RapidPlan was a direct one. ‘We asked a number of traffic control companies in the region what their methods were for creating professional looking traffic control plans and how they liked the programs that they were using. She added, ‘we chose RapidPlan because it was the most user-friendly solution that also produced great looking plans. We were impressed with the customer service as well.’

Alex explained her experience with using RapidPlan. ‘I love how easy it is to make a clean plan with just a few clicks. It is very easy to figure out how to use the program without too much help.’

John, a RapidPlan user since 2016, added, ‘The software is excellent. It is easy to use and zero training was required.’ He continued, ‘I can create a traffic control plan in record time. They are clearer and more professional. The sign manifest helps to make sure all proper signs are delivered to the site. I even use it for creating work orders and schematics.’

For Alex, the major benefits of the software have been ‘the ability to produce more plans in a day and not spend so much time on revisions. It has also resulted in professional looking drawings in the PBOT Temporary Traffic Control Manual. Further, a number of the Contractors we work with also have the program, which has helped speed up the review and revision of their plans.’ John added that since implementing RapidPlan, the results have been in time saving, ‘it has enhanced our traffic control plan design process and saves us time.’

In 2017, PBOT used RapidPlan to create the plans and drawings featured in their inaugural Temporary Traffic Control Plan Manual.

Click here to view their manual.