Support BikePortland

May offers two chances to see progress of Vision Zero efforts

Posted by on April 28th, 2016 at 1:18 pm

VISIONZEROSOCIALMEDIA_640X295Next month will be a good time to re-assess where Portland is in its quest toward Vision Zero. Two events on the calendar will bring experts and electeds to the table to share ideas and hear what you think about the current state of traffic safety.

On May 9th, the City of Portland will open up their Vision Zero Executive Committee to the public for a special listening session. This 13-member committee includes Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea, Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, PBOT Director Leah Treat, Oregon Department of Transportation Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer, TriMet Director Neil McFarlane, two Multnomah County Commissioners, the head of Portland Fire and Rescue, a Metro councilor, and three members of the Oregon State Legislature.

They’ll provide an update on their work and then they’ll spend 45 minutes listening to the public. Anyone can show up and speak for up to two minutes. If you’d like to share your thoughts with this committee, sign up in advance by emailing or call (503) 823-9415. Others will be allowed to speak only if there’s enough time. Comment cards will be provided to people who don’t get a chance.


We’re just about to hit the one year anniversary of Portland’s focused Vision Zero effort. So far, a diverse task force led by PBOT has analyzed data about where and how crashes happen. Now they’re moving onto policies and actions. Earlier this month PBOT released a list of 36 specific actions for consideration by their Technical Advisory Committee. The potential actions include: a “comprehensive speed zone adjustment” through the high crash network, installation of fixed speed cameras, saturation patrols for DUII enforcement, collection of distracted driving data at all serious and fatal crashes, and so on.


Then on May 10th from Noon to 1:00 pm, Metro and Oregon Oregon Walks will co-host a panel discussion that will feature 12 lessons learned by local experts who attended the inaugural Vision Zero Cities Conference that was held in New York City in March. The panelists are: Clay Veka, PBOT Vision Zero program manager; Kristi Finney-Dunn, Founder of Oregon & SW Washington Families for Safe Streets; Sgt. Bret Barnum of the PPB Traffic Division; and Noel Mickelberry, the executive director of Oregon Walks. The panel will be moderated by Joe Marek, transportation safety manager for Clackamas County.

The timing of this panel is fortuitous because Metro plans to kick off an update of the Regional Transportation Safety Plan the following week. That plan was last updated in 2012.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • J_R April 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Forty-five minutes? What a joke! Comment cards as an alternative. Wow!

    Consider me suitably impressed at the priority this effort has.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Spiffy April 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Q: What direct actions have been taken in response to each individual instance of a fatality to ensure it doesn’t recur?

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Tom Hardy April 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm


      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • paikiala April 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      A: Nothing. Since, you know, once someone’s died their death cannot happen again, so PBOT will not spend tax dollars on preventing something that cannot recur.
      Since you clearly can’t have meant what you wrote, want to clarify?

      Perhaps you meant: Is PBOT analyzing crash types to see what kinds of systemic changes will prevent future similar crashes, even where they have not occurred?

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Franklin Tennessee April 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      You can only be killed once. Recurrence is unlikely.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Bjorn April 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Is the city trying to actually figure out which of the 36 actions gives the most bang for the buck? Obviously drunk driving is a factor in a lot of fatal crashes, but I am not convinced that the occasional saturation patrol has any impact on the actual amount of drunk driving that happens on any given night in our city. Seems like that is a place where we could spend a lot of money on police overtime without much in the way of results… I mean the guy who killed someone on Cully had a prior DUI arrest and it didn’t seem to change his behavior at all. Hopefully they pick things that are effective, and not things that just look good in a report.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Kristi Finney Dunn April 28, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I hope more people show up than what I typically see. If attendance is as usual, 45 minutes will be more than plenty. Hopefully I am way wrong!

    Recommended Thumb up 3