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Mayor Hales will kick off ‘Vision Zero Safety Task Force’ today

Posted by on August 17th, 2015 at 11:32 am

Bike safety meeting and press conference-9.jpg

Mayor Hales at a bike safety press conference in June.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Today in East Portland we’ll get our first look at how serious Mayor Charlie Hales is about Vision Zero. He’s set to announce the Vision Zero Task Force as well as strategies and actions he and other leaders will work on to put weight on the bones of his promises to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

As we reported last month, Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan will be a city-wide approach to traffic safety that will go far and beyond work already being done by the Bureau of Transportation.

Today’s announcement will take place at the headquarters of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) at SE 82nd and Division. PBOT says the event will the, “Announcement of a major step forward in the community-wide effort to achieve Vision Zero.”

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Here’s the list of local leaders and electeds expected to be at today’s event:

  • Mayor Charlie Hales
  • Commissioner Steve Novick
  • Oregon State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer
  • Metro Councilor Bob Stacey
  • Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey
  • Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel
  • ODOT Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer
  • TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane
  • Portland Police Bureau Chief Larry O’Dea
  • Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat
  • Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) Executive Director Joseph Santos-Lyons

To clarify, there are two things going on here. PBOT is already moving forward with Vision Zero-related work as part of their internal action plan. This larger effort (slated to be completed by October of 2016) that includes a new Task Force aims to transcend PBOT and connect the Vision Zero work to other agencies and community groups.

Stay tuned for coverage from the announcement.

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41 Comments
  • ethan August 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

    bu·reauc·ra·cy

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    • Vinny August 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Exactly! We should just start spending money and building stuff today, without any regard for what works well. /s

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      • ethan August 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

        It shouldn’t take well over a year to make an “interjurisdictional task force.”

        And it’s not like there are thousands of examples of best practice from places all over the world that we could follow rather than making “mixing zones” and other bad infrastructure.

        We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I think having a meeting at a place near a dangerous intersection (with no plans to fix said intersection) is a slap in the face to people who live there.

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      • paikiala August 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

        Local Service street block grants!!!! /s

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    • Todd Hudson August 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Moving the needle to actually notice change is pretty hard in this city because Portland’s “commissioner” style of government makes meaningful change pretty difficult to do.

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      • J_R August 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        The commission form of government is a failure.

        The attitude of each commissioner is “leave my bureaus alone and I’ll not bother you about yours.” That’s how we get a Water Bureau headquarters building that cost 3x the original budget. Transportation repaves streets in Ladd’s Addition that didn’t need it. Parks tears up perfectly serviceable sidewalks and replaces with perfect ones while streets at the very same park have sections with no sidewalk.

        No one’s paying attention to the waste and mismanagement, much less setting policy direction.

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  • Tom Hardy August 17, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Sounds like the Mayor might be taking to heart what the Pope told him in reference to “Green”, Vision Zero and city planning. Now to see if it is really going to happen, or if it is just shuffling the BS from one pile to another.

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  • James August 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I’m placing my bets on “Ladd’s Circle Bicycle Stings”, “Reflective Clothing Victim Blaming”, and “Tepidly Worded Awareness Campaigns”

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  • 9watts August 17, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    “He’s set to announce the Vision Zero Task Force as well as strategies and actions he and other leaders will work on to put weight on the bones of his promises to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.”

    I don’t know. Perhaps this press conference will turn out to be momentous? We’ve been asking for STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS here for some time. Maybe the ones Charlie will announce will be BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL? One can dream.

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  • ethan August 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    “Hey, let’s get a bunch of rich, white people together with a token POC and sit around and talk about ideas to implement in 20 years”

    “Good idea, let’s have the meeting somewhere near a dangerous intersection so it shows we care”

    Meeting:

    “So, have we decided a color for the logo, yet? That is priority number 1”

    After several years of deciding colors and uniforms and fancy cupholders for their patrol vehicles, the task force eventually comes to the conclusion that they should make some of the roads safer. They’ll start by repaving roads that were repaved less than 3 years ago.

    They plan to fix the intersection of 82nd and Division somewhere around year 2035, well, if the funding appears by then. Otherwise they’ll keep resurfacing the same section of SE Morrison over and over and over again until funds run out.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Believe me, I totally get all the impatience… But just to clarify, a big part of what has to happen before things to start happening is for all the other bigwigs and related agencies to get educated about VZ and – more importantly – to buy into it with some level of urgency. I know PBOT’s Director Treat and others over there feel the urgency around this… But they can only do so much within their agency. Hales can be the bridge to a much broader coalition of support that will hopefully lead to the much larger, structural and systemic changes we need to see big results down the line.

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      • ethan August 17, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        There is no urgency. Weren’t most of the “bigwigs” just on vacation? I know I hit a lot of out of office replies when I tried to get in contact with many of them about vision 0.

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      • ethan August 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm

        “big results down the line”

        I have no faith at all that we will have any “big results” within the next 10 years.

        If there is a single commercial corridor that is closed to cars, I will become far less negative about it. Until then, they can talk all they want, but they won’t have accomplished anything.

        (ftr, the commercial corridor being closed to cars is just a measuring stick. If they do something of equally awesomeness, they may just receive some support from me, but I doubt that they will).

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        • Andrew August 17, 2015 at 7:09 pm

          There’s a few commercial corridors that would be ripe for this sort of change. But. If the stated goal is to improve citywide safety, the scope would be much longer than a few token blocks. The transit mall downtown would be an excellent candidate for the elimination of car traffic, as would yamhill and morrison. Citywide traffic enforcement, while not an infrastructure change, would go a very long way to at least helping things. Just the other day, I stopped at a marked, mid block crosswalk for a pedestrian, a cop coming the other way didn’t stop. I shrugged and the pedestrian just shook his head.

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      • J_R August 17, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        We don’t need people who “feel the urgency,” we need people who will IMPLEMENT with urgency.

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      • soren August 18, 2015 at 10:42 am

        I think the idea of building a larger coalition makes sense but I would like to learn more about how “PBOT is already moving forward with Vision Zero-related work as part of their internal action plan.”

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  • Adam H. August 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Hoping something good comes out of this press conference. Ideally, this would be a city-wide plan for widening sidewalks, creating protected bike lanes, and reducing car lanes and car parking. If a street needs a bunch of rapid-flash beacons to be safe, then the street needs a complete redesign to prioritize people.

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  • peejay August 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    My big concern is that ODOT poisons the well in this task force. ODOT should not be allowed to Have any input; they should attend only so they be told how much they caused the problems Vision Zero sets to solve, and then to hand over the keys to all state “highways” in Portland city limits, and then go F off back to the ancient times they came from.

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    • nuovorecord August 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      ODOT would be THRILLED to hand over those highways…in their current unimproved state. The City will not accept such a deal…therein lies the problem.

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      • AndyC of Linnton August 17, 2015 at 5:54 pm

        Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to repair the city streets so they can be purchased from ODOT?
        Yeah…probably just as likely to work as ODOT becoming a humane & considerate transit agency. Dangit.

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  • peejay August 17, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Not that I trust many of the other actors much better, but ODOT is now Enemy Number One to traffic safety.

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  • Lester Burnham August 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Good for a photo-op and headline…nothing more. I’ll keep riding in my east PDX warzone.

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  • TJ August 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Enforcement is the most readily accessible tool we have for changing driving culture.

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    • ethan August 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Concrete barriers also help 😉

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    • Spiffy August 17, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      we don’t have the resources to write everybody a ticket every day…

      redesign the streets so that it’s more difficult to break the law…

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      • dan August 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm

        I feel like redesigning all the streets will also take a lot of resources and time, so while that effort is underway, let’s also write everybody a ticket every day.

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      • J_R August 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm

        According to the PBB’s annual report the Traffic Division has 50,000 citizen interactions per year. (Not always a citation.) That works out to 140 per day. The PBB has 42 sworn personnel. After subtracting out the leadership, it still works out to fewer than 4 interactions per day per officer.

        Meanwhile, motorists drive about 10,000,000 miles per day on Portland roads. Do the division, and that works out to about one citation for every 70,000 miles of driving. There is virtually NO ENFORCEMENT.

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        • wsbob August 18, 2015 at 9:28 am

          “According to the PBB’s annual report the Traffic Division has 50,000 citizen interactions per year. (Not always a citation.) That works out to 140 per day. The PBB has 42 sworn personnel. After subtracting out the leadership, it still works out to fewer than 4 interactions per day per officer. …” J_R

          It sounds as though you favor more interactions with traffic regulation violators, and citations issued, from personnel with the traffic division. Why not consider seeing if the division would allow you to accompany one of their personnel on their rounds for a day or two. That could possibly help give you some realistic ideas about how the divisions’ interactions per day per officer might be increased.

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    • Buzz August 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Not when the all cops doing the enforcement continue to self-identify as motorists.

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  • mran1984 August 17, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    A task force? Another all talk and even more waste approach. “We” might have singletrack in Portland before the “zero” has been acheived. Currently there is ZERO enforcement of speeding and cell phone addiction while operating a motor vehicle. Another big load of nothing.

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  • tom August 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Too bad they give us such short notice – I know a lot of people who would like to attend, even if it just means standing outside holding signs and talking to the media.

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  • Buzz August 17, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Vinny
    Exactly! We should just start spending money and building stuff today, without any regard for what works well. /sRecommended 2

    That seems to have been the bike infrastructure plan for at least the last 20 years, why change now?

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  • Eric Leifsdad August 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I’m looking for the smartphone app which makes it easy to report speeding and other violations by police, trimet, city and state vehicles and a policy to hold repeat on-the-job offenders accountable.

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  • Joe Rowe August 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Bike Loud volunteers hosted over 100 people at a city hall rally, and we delivered almost 1,000 postcards to the mayor. Those cards had a plan that needs no task force, and no money

    1) divert cars off greenways, parkways everyday!
    2) fund safety, don’t focus funds on travel times.
    3) get repeat offenders out of cars
    4) fully investigate every injury to a cyclists or ped ( no soda excuses )
    5) enforce the existing laws in the danger spots: speeding, cell usage, unsafe passing, etc

    The mayor responded to our rally by passing the buck back to cyclists saying a) call Salem for more money b) call 823-safe to report unsafe streets c) saying speed is not a factor in Portland, only outside of Portland

    This task force is a joke, a passing of the buck. A black hole to redirect the blame the mayor will earn in the future.

    Call the mayor’s office and novick’s and demand action.
    please call
    (503) 823-4120 Mayor Hales
    (503) 823- 4682 Commissioner Novick

    Please call. Demand they respond to these 5 demands at no cost.

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  • Dead Salmon August 17, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Let the overtime, budget busting, and bureaucratic bungling begin in 3, 2, 1……..

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    • Lester Burnham August 18, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Is Hales the most ineffective mayor ever? I think yes!

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  • wsbob August 18, 2015 at 10:04 am

    It’s a great idea for individuals, communities and cities to do what they can to have use of the street be safer. Referring to those efforts as ‘Vision Zero’, doesn’t seem like a great idea. There’s something about the phrase, ‘Vision Zero’, that seems inherently negative. Maybe it’s the ‘zero’ part of it.

    Doesn’t seem like there’s a great chance that politicians and advocates going around repeating the words ‘Vision Zero’, will do much to have streets become safer to use. Neither does waiting around, hoping for a big ‘Vision Zero’ specific, infrastructure improvement budgetary increase by way of council vote or city wide election to accomplish safer street use.

    It’s possible, that if it becomes rather commonly understood, that the phrase is intended to mean that safer streets are the objective, individual people might take this as a cue to exercise their own initiative to be more safe in their use of the street, walking, biking, and driving.

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  • MaxD August 18, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I get the bridge-building aspect of this, but it still strikes me as re-inventing the wheel. My recommendation: Use this task force to spend one month in bi-weekly meeting to revise and adopt a Vision Zero Plan from another City. Have quarterly meetings to review implementation for 1 year. At the end of the year, spend another month in bi-weekly meetings revising and adding to the plan to correct short-comings and further tailor to Portland’s needs. Short burst of hard, fast work, a trial period to observe and learn, and a final period of short, hard work.

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  • Dave August 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

    If the city is not willing to restrict and reduce the privilege of the spoiled f-ing rotten motoring public, it cannot be taken at all seriously. Charlie, do you mean it? Then, piss off a whole lot of drivers, own it, and be proud as hell of it!

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  • rachel b August 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    We’ll see if this goes much beyond “Message: we care.” I hope it does.

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  • Paul Atkinson August 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” ― Joe Biden

    I’m not all that interested in what they say. I’m absolutely enthralled to hear how much of the budget is tied to Vision Zero. I want it to be 100%. I expect…little, and likely nothing revealed on this occasion. I want to be wrong.

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