Not only is Memorial Day an important time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, but it is a day to spend quality time with family and friends as a kickoff to summer. The holiday weekend is usually filled with large gatherings, parades, picnics, or weekend trips.
As summer travel season starts full swing and as you make your plans, there are a few things to know before you hit the road. Make sure all of your travels will be safe and enjoyable this holiday weekend and beyond by knowing what the road ahead will bring.
In the Pacific Northwest, AAA predicts 8.4% more people will travel in 2023 compared to 2022
AAA predicts Memorial Day travel volume in 2023 will be the third busiest on record and that 578,000 Oregonians and 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over Memorial Day weekend. In Oregon, top destinations include the Oregon coast, Central Oregon and Crater Lake.
ODOT Travel Tips For Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekend — Expect heavier traffic over Memorial Day weekend. Consider other ways to reach your destination that mean you don’t have to sit behind the wheel in traffic. Public transportation, buses and trains are all great alternatives. Plan to stay local? Think about how to get around town without driving to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Planning ahead — Tripcheck.com has live cameras all over the state so you can see what the conditions look like along your route and at your destination. To check for construction delays, look for traffic cone icons on the map.
While a lot of our construction work will pause over Memorial Day weekend, some impacts and delays will remain. Here are some areas that could see extra congestion.
In Portland, work along the OR 217 for the auxiliary lane safety project could cause minor delays. Work will be scaled back through the holiday weekend.
In Bend, four new roundabouts are coming to U.S. 20 on the north end of Bend. Expect some delays traveling through this area.
On U.S. 26 between Mount Hood and Warm Springs, a 15-mile stretch of highway with poor pavement condition recently had a speed reduction to 45 mph.
If you plan to recreate or travel between Bend and Eugene, remember that McKenzie Pass, OR 242, is still closed. The earliest opening date for everyone is the third Monday in June. If you plan to take OR 58 over Willamette Pass, there are several work zones to keep an eye out for around Oakridge.
For more information on construction projects around the state check out our Project Tracker and see what we have planned.
Following Memorial Day weekend, summer travel and construction begins to ramp up. We want to ensure your entire season of travel is both safe and enjoyable. As you plan your adventures, make use of our summer travel tips and resources website. On this site, you’ll find valuable insights to navigate through Oregon’s construction and wildfire season, and safety and preparedness tips for all the ways you travel Oregon’s transportation system. Bookmark this resource to become a seasoned summer travel all-star!
The month of May highlights many national transportation safety messages. The big takeaway from all of the campaigns is to drive, bike, and ride thoughtfully. Watch out for fellow road users and for our maintenance and construction crews. Remember to slow down and move over to give our emergency responders space to safely do their jobs. Before you travel, check: ODOT TripCheck
Statewide seat belt safety campaign in full swing as regional agencies collaborate
This week law enforcement agencies across the state in an effort to help educate the public about safety belt use for all passengers.
The two-week campaign, called Click It or Ticket, is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s high-visibility enforcement effort which starts the week prior to the Memorial Day holiday.
Through focused enforcement, enforcement agencies will be helping to raise public awareness of the laws regarding some of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic collision injuries, such as the lack of seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving, and impaired drivers.
Although the Click It or Ticket campaign runs through June 4, all law enforcement agencies encourage drivers and passengers to make a conscious effort to use their seatbelts at all times when traveling in a vehicle, regardless of the distance traveled.
Parents and guardians who may need a little assistance with proper restraints for their child passenger can contact the Salem Police Traffic Team to make an appointment to have their child’s seat checked. Appointments can also be found in cities across Oregon through our non-profit, traffic safety partner, Oregon Impact.
Grants Pass Getting Ready for Boatnik!
Boatnik 2023 Grants Pass, ORDates: May 26th – 29th
In planning for the 2023 Memorial Day / Boatnik celebration, the Grants Pass Police Department and the Active Club would like to make our citizens aware of the following information:
BOATNIK PARADE ON SATURDAY, MAY 27th:• 6th Street will be closed to all vehicle traffic (except for parade entrants) from “A” Street to the River. The road closure will be from 8:00 am until after the parade, approximately 1:00 pm. During the parade, traffic will be diverted from 6th Street at “A” Street to Beacon, then onto the Grants Pass Parkway. Traffic can then divert to I-5 or onto the Parkway.
• The 6th Street (Caveman) Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic during the parade. The closure will be on Saturday, May 276h from approximately 8:00 am until 1:00 pm. Those persons wishing to travel south of the Rogue River need to leave earlier or plan to use the Grants Pass Parkway Bridge.
ACCESS ACROSS THE RIVER WILL ONLY BE ON THE PARKWAY BRIDGE OR THE 7TH STREET BRIDGE (northbound only).
• No parking will be allowed at the following locations from Friday, May 26th at midnight until after the Boatnik parade on Saturday, May 276h:-6th Street from just north of “A” Street to the Caveman Bridge-Voorhies between 6th and 7th Streets• Dogs are discouraged along the parade route.
• Parade Attendees must stand/sit no closer to the parade than immediately adjacent to the curb within the parking stalls on 6th Street. This will ensure the safety of the attendees, keep pedestrians out of the roadway and allow everyone to see the parade from a good vantage point.
TRAFFIC AROUND THE PARK AND THE BRIDGES:
• East Park Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6:00 am Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 29th at 9:00 pm. Vehicles with a Boatnik parking permit or Handicap parking permit will be allowed to enter East Park Street via the Parkway entrance only.
• Baker Park will be closed to vehicle traffic and boat launching from Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 28th.
There are many other local and regional events in Oregon including:
Rose Festival City Fair opens: This year’s Rose Festival officially kicks off with live entertainment, food, rides and more at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Enjoy carnival rides, fair foods, interactive exhibits, and family entertainment including a ukulele jam and sing-along, clowns, and costumed characters. Opening night features a fireworks show at about 9:45 p.m. Friday over the Willamette River.
Opening weekend hours: 5-10 p.m. Friday, May 26, noon-9 p.m. Saturday-Monday, May 27-29, Waterfront Park; admission $12; rosefestival.org/events/waterfront
Multnomah County Fair: Multnomah may be Oregon’s most populated county, but its annual fair has more of a small-town vibe. The 117th fair takes place Memorial Day weekend and offers stage entertainment, barn animals, vendors, creative arts and a low-rider car show. One for the bigger draws is the annual wiener dog races. Sunday offers a full day of Hispanic dance, music and singing.
Noon-7 p.m. Saturday-Monday, May 27-29,Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way; free admission, parking $5; Multcofair.com
Oregon VA To Host May 29th Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony In Person And Livestream
The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will host Oregon’s annual Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony in person at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 29, at the Oregon World War II Memorial located on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
The event will honor the nation’s fallen service members and include remarks from ODVA Deputy Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels, veteran leaders and state dignitaries, along with a color guard ceremony, performance of the national anthem, and the laying of a wreath followed by the playing of “Taps.”
“On Memorial Day, we remember and honor the service members of all branches and eras of service who paid the ultimate price to preserve and defend the freedoms of this nation,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “This year’s event will also include guest speakers who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom in remembrance of 111 fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, airwomen, and marines who did not return home to Oregon, as this year observes the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.”
The statewide event will be emceed by ODVA LGBTQ+ Veterans Coordinator and Iraq War Marine veteran Ian Michael. Director Kelly Fitzpatrick will honor fallen service members at Memorial Day events in Brookings and Gold Beach in southern Oregon.
The Oregon WWII Memorial is located on the corner of Church and Court Street Northeast. Limited seating will be available. Attendees are welcome to bring their own seating for the park setting and are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. For those unable to attend in-person, the event will also be livestreamed beginning at 11 a.m. on ODVA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/odvavet.
— National cemeteries will be open for gravesite memorials, and placing of flags or flowers by individuals or groups. Many will have a ceremony to mark the day. To find a more comprehensive list of events near you, visit memorialdayoregon.com
Stay Safe and Healthy During the Holiday Weekend
10 ways to prevent injury and illness during the holiday weekend
As the holiday weekend approaches, public health officials are reminding Oregonians about a few simple steps they can take to stay safe and healthy.
“If you’re going to the beach or spending time at a river or lake, the water’s often still pretty cold this time of year and can cause problems for even the strongest swimmer. If you go in the water, stay where it’s shallow, wear a life jacket when boating, and keep a close eye on kids when they’re around the water.”
Food safety is another thing to keep in mind. Warmer weather makes it easier for food to spoil. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne diseases. Cooking meats to a proper internal temperature and keeping cold foods cool helps reduce foodborne bacteria from growing.
Here are 10 ways to prevent injury and illness this holiday weekend:
- Avoid alcohol when swimming or boating.
- Always wear life jackets for swimming and boating.
- Don’t swim alone or in bad weather and stay where it’s shallow.
- Supervise children at all times in and near the water.
- Prevent sunburns, use plenty of sunscreen.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use.
- Don’t leave food out for more than two to three hours.
- To prevent foodborne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.
- Cook meats to minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria; 160°F for ground beef, pork and lamb; 165°F for poultry.
Oregon offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Whether it’s swimming, surfing, fishing, or some other outdoor play, stay aware of any current health alerts and advisories.
For more information on water recreation, please visit http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/Pages/index.aspx
For more information on food safety, visit http://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/CommunicableDisease/Pages/index.aspx
Boating on Oregon’s Waterways – Pay Attention, Be Prepared
There’s something magical about being on the water and Oregon offers incredible boating opportunities. Regardless of what’s calling you to the water and the type of boat you’re in, be aware of your surroundings, be prepared, and make good decisions.
“Inexperience and solo operation continue to be a growing trend of boating fatalities in Oregon. Planning ahead, boating with others, always keeping a sharp lookout, and wearing a properly fitted life jacket for your boating activity should be at the top of all boaters’ focus,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “The Marine Board has many resources to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable experience on all of Oregon’s waterways,” adds Paulsen.
The Oregon State Marine Board advises boaters to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map. The map displays public boat ramps and local rules for boat operations. Also, check the weather forecast, water levels, and tides. See if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for your boating activity. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size and type of boat.
The Marine Board would like to remind boaters:
- Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Boating demands sharp situational awareness.
- All children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket when underway on all boats (motorized and nonmotorized). All boaters on Class III whitewater rivers are required to wear a life jacket.
- Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area regardless of your boat type. This makes launching faster and everyone around you happier.
- In Oregon, all boaters must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower. Paddlers of non-motorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity.
For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.
Troopers of the Oregon State Police (OSP), Washington State Patrol (WSP), and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be especially watchful for traffic violations that often lead to tragedy on our highways. Speed & distracted driving top the list, along with driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and failing to use safety belts and child safety seats.
“Speeding continues to be one of the highest contributing factors to serious injury crashes and fatalities,” stated OSP Superintendent Terri Davie. “Speeding tickets are easily the most common ticket issued; however, it isn’t the goal of law enforcement. The goal of speed enforcement is to potentially save your life and the lives of others.”
“Driving responsibly and at a reasonable speed is the best way to help ensure you and your passengers will arrive at your destination safely,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “We know people are eager to get out and travel, but reckless driving will not get you there sooner – it will just create dangerous conditions for you and everyone else on the road.”
“Summer holidays should be a time of fun and family, not sorrow and tragedy,” Chief John R. Batiste of the WSP said. “We ask everyone driving the I-5 corridor to slow down, pay attention, drive sober, and buckle up. When it comes to safe highways, we are truly all in this together.”
Five simple strategies for drivers to help make I-5 safer for everyone:
• Slow down
• Drive sober
• Be patient
• Put your phone down
• Buckle up
Each state agency will use its best strategies to provide additional enforcement presence during this busy Memorial Day weekend, including the use of existing grant funding and shifting resources already on the road over to the I-5 corridor.
The Oregon State Police wants all drivers to get to their final destination safely. We think that working together, we can. Oregon State Police
We Hope You Will Drive Safe and Have A Safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
We’ll be enjoying the long holiday weekend too and will be back in the office on Tuesday 5/30