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Newswire: Mayor Adams: Portland is Committed to Pedestrian Safety

Posted by on November 10th, 2009 at 10:54 am

Below is a press release from the Office of Portland Mayor Sam Adams

November 9, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Roy Kaufmann
Office of Mayor Sam Adams
503-823-4799
roy.kaufmann@ci.portland.or.us

MAYOR ADAMS: PORTLAND IS COMMITTED TO PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

I was saddened to hear about the death of Lindsay Leonard and the critical injury of Jessica Finlay. My thoughts are with Lindsay’s family as they mourn a much-loved member of our community and Jessica’s family as they support her.

When I became the commissioner-in-charge of transportation in 2005, I set traffic safety as my top priority. The Portland Bureau of Transportation works with Portlanders to make all pedestrian crossings in the city as safe as possible through a resourceful and community-focused combination of engineering, enforcement and education. The crosswalk at SE Foster and 80th is no exception.

Transportation safety is very important to the Bureau of Transportation and to me. The following are just a few examples of positive steps we’ve taken:

  • Initiate an annual Traffic Safety Summit attended by over 300 Portlanders.
  • Lead City Council to spend $11.6 million of one-time funds for critical safety and maintenance projects.
  • Build partnerships through the Traffic Safety Coordination Council, which brought together neighborhoods, the Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau, five public school districts, the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, Multnomah County Courts and Sherriff’s office, emergency responders, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, and Elders in Action.
  • Construct more than 300 Green Streets, curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands, and speed bumps, including speed bump installation for SW Capitol Hill Road on Sept. 25, 2009.
  • Install 15 pedestrian islands on multi-lane streets near bus stops.
  • Implement comprehensive Safer Routes to Schools services at 70 schools.
  • Install 15 permanent speed reader boards and support of program of 4 additional speed reader boards.
  • Enhance PBOT’s partnership with Police, resulting in more than 100 crosswalk enforcement actions (including two at SE Foster and 80th), and five new red light cameras.
  • Initiate safety campaigns, including: I Share the Road, I Brake for People, and See and Be Seen.

Budget challenges threaten our abilities to continue key safety efforts related to traffic calming, Safer Routes to Schools, and enforcement programs. I have recommended that the City allocate $400,000 of new revenue from State of Oregon House Bill 2001 annually to improve pedestrian crossings such as the one at Foster and 80th. We will remain vigilant in our pursuit to make Portland the safest, most livable, and most sustainable city in the nation.

Although these efforts do not bring back Lindsay and the other members of the Portland community who have died in crashes, progress is being made and the data we are receiving is encouraging. Fatality trends are declining three times faster in Portland than the rest of the state and six times faster than the rest of the country. Transportation For America unveiled a report, “Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods)” that ranks Portland as the 9th safest city for pedestrians out of the 52 largest metro areas in the U.S.

Because this crash is still under investigation, I cannot comment beyond what has already been reported by media. I can, however, say that City staff and I are looking at the environment around the crosswalk for any possible improvements that would increase sightlines and overall visibility for both pedestrian and drivers. PBOT engineers will further investigate the location once they receive a report from Police, which is standard operating procedure following a transportation fatality. The City of Portland remains totally committed to the safety of all our road users.
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