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With passage of action plan, Portland now has roadmap to zero traffic deaths

by on December 2nd, 2016 at 11:31 am

PBOT Director Leah Treat presenting the action plan at City Council yesterday.

PBOT Director Leah Treat presenting the action plan at City Council yesterday.

21 of the 32 actions outlined in the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero Action Plan should be completed within two years and all of them should be done by 2021.

Those are the marching orders given to PBOT from City Council after four commissioners (Mayor Charlie Hales was in Mexico at a climate change conference) voted unanimously yesterday to pass the plan (PDF), a 35-page document developed over six months of task force meetings, data-crunching, and public outreach.

The vote comes six months after City Council passed the Vision Zero resolution that says, “No loss of life is acceptable on our city streets.”

The plan of actions to reach a goal of zero fatalities by 2025 (just nine years from now) are broken down into five categories: street design, impairment, speed, dangerous behaviors, and engagement and accountability. They include things like: breaking ground on new capital projects on high crash corridors, increasing police training, gaining local authority to set speed limits, expanding the red light safety camera program, and more. (more…)

Oregon just adopted a new transportation safety plan: Here’s what’s in it

by on October 26th, 2016 at 5:03 pm

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About 400 people have died every year on Oregon roads for each of the past 20 years. Now a new plan adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission on October 15th says the state has 20 years to bring that number down to zero.

Facing a second consecutive year of a double-digit increase in road fatalities, the the 177-page Transportation Safety Action Plan lays out a path to tackle the problem.

It’s the fourth Transportation Safety Action Plan adopted by Oregon since 1995. The previous plan was adopted in 2011. Beyond a useful roadmap to safer streets for policymakers and citizens, the plan also fulfills a requirement of the Federal Highway Administration. If Oregon wants to tap into federal safety funds, they must have a plan like this on file.

But it’d be a shame if the plan got stuffed into a file to just gather dust because the data and directives in the plan are essential knowledge.

For instance, the more than 230,000 traffic crashes that happened in Oregon between 2009 and 2013 had a total societal cost of $15.6 billion — about $785 per year for every Oregon resident. In that same time period 1,675 people were killed and over 7,000 people were seriously injured using our roads. (more…)

City Council votes to fund Better Naito and Halsey safety upgrades

by on October 26th, 2016 at 11:40 am

Hales at council this morning.

Hales at council this morning.

What started as a vision of a few tactical urbanists is now officially ensconced in City of Portland policy.

A few minutes ago Portland City Council unanimously agreed to to pass the fall supplemental budget package that included $350,000 for a seasonal version of the Better Naito project. The budget also includes $1 million for upgrades to outer Northeast Halsey Street — funding that will trigger a $1 million match in funds from the Bureau of Transportation to complete the project.

As we reported earlier this week, these two projects emerged from a list of six requests made by the Bureau of Transportation in an attempt to get a piece of a $4 million piece of the General Fund that was up for grabs.
(more…)

Sheriff’s office blames deceased victim in early morning collision near Stayton

by on October 13th, 2016 at 10:15 am

The scene on Shaff Road SE near Stayton this morning.(Photo: Marion County Sheriff's Office)

The scene on Shaff Road SE near Stayton this morning.
(Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

A person was killed this morning while bicycling on a rural road just east of Stayton, a small town about sixty miles south of Portland.

We don’t always cover fatal bicycle collisions so far away from the Portland metro area; but the statement about this one just released by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office deserves a closer look. The language used in the statement shows how far Oregon law enforcement agencies have to go to create a culture around traffic deaths that is in line with Vision Zero principles.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s office, the collision occurred when someone driving a motor vehicle hit a bicycle rider from behind. Read their official statement (released just two and-a-half hours after the collision) and think about how the language paints the relative culpability of each party:
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Portland’s new chamber of commerce wants more business support for Vision Zero

by on September 27th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

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The Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce (PICOC) has turned their influential attention to an issue near and dear to our hearts: the struggle for safer streets.

Launched early this year by a relatively young cadre of tech industry leaders as an antidote to the Portland Business Alliance, PICOC wants more Portland businesses to step up and support “the Vision Zero movement.”

Their latest campaign hit inboxes and social media feeds today. It’s timed to influence City Council’s upcoming vote on the Vision Zero Action Plan released by the Portland Bureau of Transportation earlier this month. Council is slated to formally adopt the plan on October 12th. (more…)

Seattle just passed a citywide 20 mph speed limit, and Portland could be next

by on September 27th, 2016 at 10:50 am

Seattle-area activists were key in pushing for this change.(Photo: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

Seattle-area activists were key in pushing for this change.
(Photo: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

Seattle transportation reform advocates are celebrating a major milestone this morning: last night Seattle City Council unanimously approved a measure that sets a default speed limit on some central city arterials of 25 miles per hour (instead of 30) and 20 miles per hour on all residential streets (instead of 25).

This is a big deal. Joshua Cohen reports on Next City that the new policy will effect a whopping 2,400 miles of neighborhood streets.
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City releases draft of Vision Zero Action Plan

by on September 14th, 2016 at 10:36 pm

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Redesigning big streets is a major thrust of the plan.

Over one year after Portland City Council unanimously supported a commitment to Vision Zero, the task force assembled to help lead us there has released its action plan.
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City’s Vision Zero survey says distracted driving, speeding are top concerns

by on August 19th, 2016 at 9:13 am

Results from a street safety survey conducted by PBOT show extent of traffic crash epidemic.

Results from a street safety survey conducted by PBOT show extent of traffic crash epidemic.

We hear a lot of debates about our roads: Who pays for them, who’s at fault when vehicles and people collide, and so on. But there one thing that’s relatively clear. The reason people fear traffic is because too many of us drive distracted, drive too fast, and simply don’t follow the rules.
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Transportation bureau asking Cully neighborhood what safe streets look like

by on June 3rd, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Scene of Ryan Egge collision-13
Is this section of NE Cully Blvd what a safe street
looks like? You won’t know unless you ask.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a lot of talk about equity in the transportation planning world these days.

Here’s an example of how the City of Portland is handling geographic equity in the roll-out of a major initiative:

Vision Zero is one of the largest efforts the Portland Bureau of Transportation is currently involved in. In fact, along with bike share, Vision Zero is probably the highest priority project for PBOT Director Leah Treat. She is throwing a lot (relatively) of her agency’s capacity and resources toward the planning and policies it will take to make Vision Zero a real thing and not just another buzzword.

Will the Vision Zero campaign be successful in Portland? Will we really eliminate serious injuries and deaths by 2025? That remains to be seen. There’s a long way to go. But so far PBOT is at least talking to the right people. And by that I mean people who don’t have easy access to the central city or City Hall itself. And people who bear an undue amount of those injuries and deaths.

On Monday the city is bringing Vision Zero to the Cully neighborhood in outer northeast Portland. They’re hosting a Safe Streets Fair at the Living Cully Plaza on the corner of NE Killingsworth and Cully. The event welcomes everyone in the community with free food, a Spanish interpreter (and other languages if needed), childcare and prizes.
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Leaders consider driver re-licensing tests after Vision Zero ‘listening session’

Michael Andersen (Contributor) 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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