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Open house tonight for ‘Outer Powell Safety Project’ (3/9)

Posted by on March 9th, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Detail from ODOT infographic. Download original PDF here.

If you live, work or ride on SE Powell Blvd from 99th to the Portland city limits, an open house tonight is a great chance to help make it better. The Oregon Department of Transportation is hosting the event, which will give attendees a closer look at the Outer Powell Safety Project

Here’s more about the event from ODOT:

The open house will give the public an opportunity to learn and comment about plans to improve safety on four miles of Southeast Powell Boulevard from 99th Avenue east to the Portland city limits.

Improvements being studied include sidewalks, bike lanes, center turn lanes, medians, pedestrian crossings, access management, storm water treatment and bus stops. Large maps showing the project alignment will be available for discussion at the open house. The public in invited to attend and provide feedback.

To underscore just how badly safety improvements are needed on outer Powell, according to ODOT statistics, in 2012 the intersection of SE 122nd and Powell had the highest number and severity of crashes on any highway in the entire state.

ODOT says this current planning process will wrap up next year.

Tonight’s open house is from 5:30 to 7:30 at Ron Russell Middle School gym (3955 SE 112th Ave). You can also leave comments online at OuterPowellSafety.org.

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26 Comments
  • hat March 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    One obvious fix: decrease the speed limit from 35 to 30, particularly from the freeway to 122nd.

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    • hat March 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      As well as pedestrian signals and islands at 120th and 124th.

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  • CaptainKarma March 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Start writing tickets for bike lane incisions by motor vehicle operators. It is the de facto mode, happens all day long. Problem is, the bike lane is also the only civilized way for moms, kids, babies, geriatrics, disabled, etc to get to the dagnab bus stop on foot. So many vulnerable user at risk of death by distracted drivers in a hurry to get around the car in front. It’s not like they are actually going to get anywhere fast on Powell….

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    • CaptainKarma March 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      …Incursions, but it’s more or less the same thing…

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      • invisiblebikes March 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm

        Wouldn’t it be “encroachment” or is that just a California law?

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  • paikiala March 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    This is ODOT we’re talking about. Unless people show up in droves to demand change favorable to non-auto and non-truck traffic, expect to see the same old minimalist bike infrastructure.

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    • davemess March 10, 2015 at 8:23 am

      So I’m guessing you’ve given up on changing the culture from the inside-out?

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      • paikiala March 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

        I’m not ODOT.

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        • davemess March 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm

          sorry, I forgot.

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  • suicida dida March 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Who rides this stretch anyhow? suicide.
    Cant even cross with bike with airhorns as pedestrian. Even at crosswalks.
    This road should not be used by bikes. If you want to live.
    30 mph limit should slow them to 45 for now

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    • rick March 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      People ride that stretch.

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      • suicida dida March 10, 2015 at 4:38 am

        Powell is too dangerous to ride at this time. My point. Use division. Until this is fixed. My bike can do 45mph. And still they tailgate and speed, and pass cutting off. Etc.

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    • davemess March 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

      People who live and work off of Powell?
      The pedestrian lights have certainly helped, but there still is a lot of work to do.

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    • matt picio March 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Which stretch? This is a pretty long corridor. 162nd eastward isn’t too bad on a bike, but the area around 122nd is a nightmare.

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  • q`Tzal March 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Funny that someone thinks “tailgating” isn’t a “speeding” issue.
    “Too fast for conditions” as a citation doesn’t just refer to weather, time of day and surface conditions; it also refers to the conditions of the traffic within which a driver is driving.

    In other words: if you are “following too closely” you had to have been traveling “too fast for conditions” to get there. If you were honestly not trying to speed and intimidate the road user in front of you you would have slowed down and followed at a safe distance.

    It is almost as if separating tailgating from speeding is a way to “it’s not your fault, that other car must have come out of nowhere”.
    Why does this sound familiar…..

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    • oliver March 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

      This is OT as far as the outer east side is concerned but the more I think about it the more angry I become so here goes.

      10:30 am Sat. morning I was driving on Willamette; runners, dog walkers, cyclists everywhere. I was doing 35 (the posted speed) and someone in a Black Mercedes SUV is riding my bumper. As we pass N. Woolsey, she pulls out, passes me across a double yellow line and continues up Willamette doing what must have been 50 miles per hour.

      I was so shocked and outraged that I didn’t even think to get her license plate number. It was absolutely unacceptable.

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      • Chris I March 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

        Next time, call 911 and report a suspected drunk driver.

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  • 9watts March 9, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Good to hear a spade called a spade.

    …waiting for wsbob to tell us that pedestrians and people riding bikes need to take more responsibility.

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    • davemess March 10, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Unnecessary.

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  • 9watts March 10, 2015 at 8:08 am

    ODOT 3/15: “the intersection of SE 122nd and Powell had the highest number and severity of crashes on any highway in the entire state.”

    ODOT 11/13: According to Hamilton, ODOT feels the responsibility for safety on Barbur is ultimately up to the user. “You can make smart choices about driving on that road… We have signs that help advise you about what’s safe in an area.”
    http://bikeportland.org/2013/11/27/after-another-fatality-on-barbur-blvd-odot-tweet-hits-a-nerve-97815

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    • paikiala March 10, 2015 at 9:54 am

      You’ll need to say what you mean, because those two quotes are not incongruous. having the highest number of crashes, without information about the number of users, doesn’t say much. It could mean it’s less safe than other locations, or it could mean it’s that much busier than other locations.
      All road users need to take responsibility for their actions. This is part of the Safe Systems/Vision Zero world. Also included in that world is road designers designing responsibly, officers enforcing fairly, judges putting the safety of all above the hardships of a few, and electeds with courage to choose what’s best for all, not just their re-election.
      Weak links are where a chain breaks.

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      • 9watts March 10, 2015 at 10:07 am

        “You’ll need to say what you mean”

        I meant to imply two things. (1) That ODOT has a record of *not* recognizing the degree to which design matters when it comes to crash rates at particular locations, and (2) that it will be interesting to see whether in this case they can (or have any desire to) live down their legacy.

        “because those two quotes are not incongruous”

        I think they are, because ODOT’s oft-heard view that it is drivers who are screwing up cannot be brought into alignment with a statistic like the one they trotted out for 122nd & Powell.

        “It could mean it’s less safe than other locations, or it could mean it’s that much busier than other locations.”

        You are suggesting or at least implying there is some ‘natural’ relationship between traffic volume and safety. To the extent such a relationship is observed I would say that this itself is evidence of a design flaw. I’d instead compare 122nd and Powell to another intersection with the same traffic volume that has a dramatically lower crash rate and ask what is different about the two locations.

        “All road users need to take responsibility for their actions. This is part of the Safe Systems/Vision Zero world.”

        We have somewhat different interpretations of what Vision Zero means, how it is understood. My take is that responsibility in the context of Vision Zero is focused on the menace: automobiles, and all that have some say-so about how dangerously these are allowed to be operated: drivers, highway engineers, those who set the speed limits and design the guard rails, etc. This everyone is responsible thinking doesn’t, in my understanding, apply in any simple way to people walking and cycling. At least I’ve not seen their responsibilities specifically enumerated in any Vision Zero publications—and certainly not itemized as things they need to do above and beyond what we already expect of them today.

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  • SW March 10, 2015 at 9:57 am

    there is NO safe crossing between 122nd & 136th … idiotic
    and then there IS one at 141st ..never seen it used.

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    • matt picio March 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      This one? http://tinyurl.com/powellcrossing141

      Not sure I would call that “safe”, and I can see why it isn’t used – no sidewalk on either side, and no way to get to/from it which doesn’t involve walking on the shoulder of Powell for a bit.

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  • SW March 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    suicida dida
    Powell is too dangerous to ride at this time. My point. Use division. Until this is fixed. My bike can do 45mph. And still they tailgate and speed, and pass cutting off. Etc.
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    not to me & I ride the areas a lot.
    Division is a dangerous mess from 82 to Gresham.

    I JUST rode Powell from 122 to 182. New bike lanes. Sensors to trigger just before lights. Felt safe the whole time.

    Have you ridden that stretch lately ?

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  • SW March 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    matt picio
    This one? http://tinyurl.com/powellcrossing141
    Not sure I would call that “safe”, and I can see why it isn’t used – no sidewalk on either side, and no way to get to/from it which doesn’t involve walking on the shoulder of Powell for a bit.
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    You are exactly right.

    And I rode from 122 to 182 today and there are still people darting across traffic from 124 to 130 with NO relief, calming, lights or assists.

    Disgraceful.

    Do they do studies or just throw spit-wads at maps to see where the next crossing will be placed ?

    It took about 2 minutes standing with bike at the side of Powell before there was enough break for me to walk it across. (125th)

    That 122 to 136th is a time bomb, someone WILL be injured/killed there.

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