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Leaders consider driver re-licensing tests after Vision Zero ‘listening session’

by on May 10th, 2016 at 11:56 am

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Ginger Edwards of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association told the story of a young father who was paralyzed last month by a man who ran a red light on Rosa Parks Way.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

An impressive array of local officials heard from grieving relatives and others Monday in a “listening session” about the costs of traffic violence.

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Comment of the Week: Raise the gas tax one penny per fatality

by on March 25th, 2016 at 4:17 pm

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How to get people’s attention?
(Photo: Blink Ofanaye)

Want to end traffic deaths? Try hitting people in the wallet.

That was the crazy-like-a-fox idea Pat Franz shared in a comment on Wednesday’s post about the known dangerous crossing of Cully Boulevard at Mason, where Patrick Curry died Saturday night as he tried to walk across the street.

Here’s Franz’s modest proposal:

How about we increase the gas tax by $0.01 for every vulnerable road user death? I know it sounds crass, a penny per life, but it would point out the incredible crassness of how we don’t pay for things, even when there is a clear need. The tax might eventually get so high that there could be effective social scorn for the killers, who knows?

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City now issues anti-dooring window decals to taxi, Uber, and Lyft operators

by on March 17th, 2016 at 3:51 pm

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(Photo: PBOT)

The latest front in the City of Portland’s ongoing war against traffic injuries and deaths is the windshields of taxis and other for-hire vehicles.

The Bureau of Transportation just unveiled a new window decal they’ve begun to issue through their Private For-Hire Program. That program regulates all permitted taxi and other transportation network company (TNC) operators like Uber and Lyft.
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Active Transportation Summit dispatch: Vision Zero and the myth of freight

by on March 14th, 2016 at 1:12 pm

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Lynn Peterson, former Director of Transportation
for the State of Washington, spoke at this
morning’s opening plenary.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The “shared vision” of transportation reform advocates was literally on display at the kickoff of the Oregon Active Transportation Summit this morning. The event, organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, is being held at the Sentinel hotel in downtown Portland today and tomorrow.

I’m covering the action for the first part of the day, then our News Editor Michael Anderson will take over in the afternoon.

The summit started with an opening speech by Lynn Peterson, the former transportation policy advisor to former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber who was recently forced out of her position as director of Washington’s Department of Transportation.
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No more road deaths by 2025? Here’s the latest on Portland’s Vision Zero progress

by on March 10th, 2016 at 12:39 pm

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PBOT Director Leah Treat, Asst. Director Maurice Henderson,
and project consultants Catherine Ciarlo and Joy Davis
with CH2MHill at the Vision Zero Task Force
meeting on February 25th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Right now in New York City the Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation Leah Treat, three of her staff (including head Traffic Engineer Steve Townsen), and a Portland Police Bureau sergeant are at the Vision Zero Cities Conference.

The summit features the major leaders in the growing traffic reform movement that is changing how America approaches street culture.

Portland officially adopted Vision Zero as a policy goal last summer; but for Treat it’s more than just another policy. It’s the one issue she’s put more personal and professional capital into than any other since taking over at PBOT nearly three years ago.
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Five ways Vision Zero should address race and income injustice

by on February 25th, 2016 at 11:29 am

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Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel
Mickelberry.
(Photo courtesy Oregon Walks)

This is a guest post by Noel Mickelberry, executive director of Oregon Walks and a member of the City of Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force.

Transportation advocacy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Our city’s new goal to eliminate traffic fatalities doesn’t, either.

It’s something that shouldn’t need saying, but I feel it needs constant reiteration. It is entirely too easy, and too common, for us to look at our streets as a series of connections, people divided by mode, unattached to the other issues surrounding us or how our lives are inherently impacted by transportation decisions on a daily basis. The ease by which many of us working in transportation advocacy are able to view our streets — of course a bike lane should go here, of course a crosswalk is the answer there — is in itself a privilege.

As we develop Portland’s Vision Zero policies, I’m asking us to go further. And I’ve got five specific suggestions for how to do so.

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National org chooses Portland as one of ten “Vision Zero Focus Cities”

by on January 26th, 2016 at 2:39 pm

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PBOT’s Vision Zero Technical Advisory Committee
in a meeting earlier this month.
(Photo: PBOT)

The Vision Zero Network, a national non-profit on a campaign to help communities eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries, has just launched their “Focus Cities” program and Portland has been chosen as one of the ten cities to take part. The other cities are Austin, Boston, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C..

Vision Zero Network Director Leah Shahum said in a statement that, “These cities are the pioneers who will save lives by modernizing our approach to traffic safety.” “For too long, communities have accepted traffic fatalities and injuries as normal. The Vision Zero Focus Cities are standing up to challenge ‘business as usual’ and to show cities around the world that these tragedies are unacceptable and preventable.”

Shahum said the ten cities were selected based on their commitment to Vision Zero. Portland has indeed taken the ambitious concept seriously by unanimously adopting it at City Council and launching a task force to tackle the long-range and multi-jurisdictional effort it will take to achieve it.
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Police write 35 tickets on Clinton Street during 7.5-hour traffic enforcement

by on December 16th, 2015 at 2:36 pm

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Coexistence on Clinton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A one-day enforcement of traffic laws on Clinton Street Tuesday handed out 35 citations and 25 warnings to people driving and biking on the major neighborhood greenway.

It’s the first time the Portland Police Bureau has engaged in an action described as being related to Vision Zero, the city’s policy that the public bears partial responsibility for every traffic death or serious injury.

Here’s the tally of offenses recorded by police during the two shifts, one in the morning (from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) and one in the afternoon and evening (from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

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Three secrets hidden in Metro’s great new map of every local traffic collision

by on December 9th, 2015 at 1:18 pm

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Every reported traffic collision in the Metro area, 2007-2013.
(Source: Metro Crash Map)

Last spring, the City of Portland created a fantastic new map of every fatality and major injury on its records for a decade. Now, regional government Metro has followed suit with a similar map that includes many other cities and unincorporated areas, too.

It’s not just an essential tool for understanding the context of future traffic collisions. (Should we be arguing about the specific circumstances of collision X, or does something seem to be inherently wrong with the street it happened on?) It’s also a source of some useful insights about road safety in Portland.

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135 ghostly memorials of traffic victims now haunt our region’s streets

by on November 16th, 2015 at 4:37 pm

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(Photos: Oregon Walks)

Yesterday local advocates for safer streets joined with family members of traffic victims for a somber ceremony: they placed white silhouettes of their loved ones on our area’s most dangerous roadways. (more…)