With funding-related legislation a non-starter in Salem this coming session, the City of Porltand Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) instead sees an opportunity to work toward major, statewide policy changes that would support its transportation goals.
High atop their list of priorities for the 2011 legislative agenda is a much-anticipated strategy to wrest authority of setting speed limits away from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and give it to local jurisdictions. Currently, ODOT sets speed limits, even on streets owned and managed by cities and/or counties. (more…)
Last updated in 2004, that safety plan is an important part of the Oregon Transportation Plan and it guides ODOT’s safety budget. Anyone with ideas and feedback about how ODOT can improve their safety programs is encouraged to attend. The City of Portland’s top traffic safety staffer, Mark Lear says these meetings are the best place to tell ODOT what you feel is important. Lear adds that PBOT “wants a strategy based on improving safety for all modes” and that he’s most concerned about speed and alcohol related crashes. (more…)
Excessive speed. It’s a killer and it’s on the loose on streets throughout Portland.
It’s a problem and there are many ways to combat it. One of those is to reduce speed limits. But, as you’ll find out below, that’s far easier said than done.
Currently the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) holds the power to set speed limits in our state. Even on local roads, where they don’t have jurisdiction in terms of maintenance or engineering, all speed change requests must go through ODOT. This process is a thorn in the side of our local Bureau of Transportation. (more…)
In America, there are many unseen barriers to creating a more human-friendly transportation system. Many of them reside in national engineering manuals that were created — and continue to be “updated” — by auto-centric engineers. Other barriers are entrenched in policies and processes at those familiar bastions of the status quo; state-level Departments of Transportation.
Among the many powerful transportation planning tools that the Oregon DOT holds jurisdiction over is setting speed limits on city streets. It should go without saying how vital speed limits are in creating a bike and pedestrian-friendly city. High-speed, arterial streets — especially through residential areas, where even a 35 mph speed limit feels unsafe — are often the location of very serious collisions. (more…)
Students at Buckman Elementary School in Southeast Portland have taken traffic safety into their own hands.
Carrying signs that read “Students are Crossing”, the third and fourth-graders have held several awareness actions to draw attention to the unmarked intersection of East Burnside and 16th Avenue; a high-speed intersection that is just four blocks from their school. (more…)
Before a bill becomes law, it must first pass through both House and Senate committees. If a bill doesn’t move out of committee (and onto a floor vote) it is dead.
Today was the final day for bills to pass out of committee so I figured it’d be a good time to look at where things stand. I’ve separated them into three categories: Passed, Still have a chance, and Officially dead.
Speed Limit on Residential Streets (H.B. 2297)(more…)
I hate to be so blunt, but ever since I attended one of those Bike Safety Workshops, I can’t stop thinking about two things.
The difference of a mere 10mph in a car (which is barely perceptible), can mean a vast difference in the fatality rate if that car strikes a biker or walker.
Cops seem to “allow” at least a 10 mph cushion on the posted speed limit before giving a ticket.
There was something upsetting to me about those two thoughts hitting my head at the same time.
To illustrate how important it is to drive slowly (especially on neighborhood streets), I’ve posted a slide from the City of Portland’s traffic division. It lists the effects of speed on stopping distance shows fatality and injury rate for each speed. How can the police can justify allowing motorists to go 10-15 miles over the posted speed limit when the numbers in the chart below make it painfully obvious that people die as a result? (more…)
Cool volunteer opp with Oregon Parks & Rec: OPRD is organizing cyclist user counts along the Tualatin and Willamette Valley Bikeways and we need volunteers to help with the counts. User count data will be collected on August 16 and 17. We are looking for volunteers to sign up for two hour slots to count Read More »
We realize this is last minute but it’s the first we heard about it and figured it’s worth getting the word out as far and wide as possible. This could be a great way for east Portland to learn about bicycling and have some good interactions with the Portland Police Bureau. Details and flyer below.. Read More »
Interesting event happening next week down near Oakridge, Oregon. Our friends from the Central Oregon Trail Alliance are teaming with Sierra Club on trail access issues around Waldo Lake. This is notable because Sierra Club and mountain bike advocates have been on opposite sides of trail issues in the past. Also, I’ve got a reporting Read More »