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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

metro area collisions
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…)

Watch the Portland Police Bureau’s new ‘Speed Kills’ video

by on November 6th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

The Portland Police Bureau has released a new video that aims to explain why they do speed enforcement. Put simply, the video’s narrator Officer Ron Hoesly says, it’s because “speed kills.” (more…)

Portland will require cab and Uber drivers to take Vision Zero safety training

by on November 5th, 2015 at 8:33 am

Riding Portland's urban highways-8
Eyes on the street?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

At their best, Lyft and Uber are better cab companies, one more piece of a system that enables low-car life.

At their worst, they’re a system for subsidizing an army of people driving around town with their eyes glued to GPS screens.

Portland’s new regulations of for-hire transportation companies, released last week, include an interesting change that’s supposed to target the problem: the city’s first mandatory safety training for drivers of taxis and “transportation network companies” like Uber or Lyft.

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Federal trial lined up for police who Tasered Hillsboro man after bike infraction

by on October 14th, 2015 at 10:39 am

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A Hillsboro police photo from the aftermath.

Two police officers and the City of Hillsboro are on course to defend themselves in a jury trial over their choice to Taser a man who they’d stopped for biking illegally beside Tualatin Valley Highway.

The man who was tackled and Tasered in the 2012 incident, Jermaine Robinson, had been riding after dark without a front light on his bike, and the officer who stopped him says Robinson had been crossing the Southeast 13th Avenue crosswalk against a “don’t walk” light.

After the officer, William Blood, pulled his car over to confront Robinson, Robinson refused to give his name and (according to Blood, but not Robinson) seemed to be preparing to pedal away. Blood’s colleague Brian Wilber then shot him with a Taser twice.

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PBOT adding full-time staffer to help implement Vision Zero projects

by on September 8th, 2015 at 1:13 pm

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(PBOT graphic)

The City of Portland is continuing on their march toward Vision Zero.

After City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the concept back in June and followed it up with a spirited kick-off event last month, they are now hiring a full-time staffer to help make it a reality.

The Transportation Safety Program Specialist position will pay between $59,000 and $79,000 per year depending on experience and qualifications.

Here’s the official job description from the City’s jobs page:
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Portland Police now making Vision Zero part of standard procedure

by on August 19th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

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Just two days after the Chief of the Police Bureau spoke at the kickoff of Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force, we just noticed one small — yet important — change in how they operate.

Early this morning there was a fatal traffic incident in northeast Portland. Someone driving a car crashed into a garbage truck at 49th and Prescott and did not survive the collision. As they always do following one of these tragic episodes, the Police Bureau’s public information officer broadcasted a press release with the details.

I always scan these releases whether they include a bicycle operator or not. This morning as I read I noticed something new at the end of the release: (more…)

Portland’s Vision Zero kickoff brings new faces to the table

by on August 18th, 2015 at 3:26 pm

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Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force and partners.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Usually when we talk about preventing road injuries and deaths we have the usual suspects around the table — biking and walking advocates and transportation agency staffers. The power of Vision Zero lies in its ability to broaden the circle of concern about traffic safety. (more…)