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City Council and PBOT will seek $300,000 for outer Division safety ’emergency’ – UPDATED

Posted by on December 16th, 2016 at 1:18 pm

SE Division Takeover-11.jpg

They heard you.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland is on the verge of releasing $300,000 from the city’s general fund for “emergency Vision Zero improvements” on outer Southeast Division Street.

The move comes after a spate of deaths and injuries on Division east of 82nd Avenue — including two fatal collisions within hours of each other nine days ago.

Division is home to seven of the city’s top 30 high crash intersections. This year alone five people have died and three people have sustained serious injuries while using the street. Seven of those collisions happened on outer Division between 124th and 156th.

Pressure has been building on PBOT for the past week to do something.

Last week nine bereaved family members (including two women who lost their sons at the same intersections on Division where people were killed on December 7th) signed a letter demanding immediate action.

And this past Saturday, dozens of volunteer activists used hay bales and their own bodies to slow down traffic on the notoriously dangerous thoroughfare. “PBOT won’t fix it, so we will,” proclaimed event organizers from Bike Loud PDX.

The $300,000 investment was confirmed today via a City Council agenda item that will be heard at their meeting on December 21st. We have also confirmed the action with a staffer in Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s office.

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The ordinance is being presented by Novick, Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish — which means it already has the three votes it needs to pass.

The money will come from contingency funding in the City’s general fund. These are funds held aside by the city in case projects cost more than expected. Specifically the agenda item calls for “emergency Vision Zero improvements and community engagement efforts on Outer Division.” We don’t have all the details about what the $300,000 will do, but we’ll update this post when we know more.

Asked about the ordinance today, Novick’s office said the idea for emergency funding came from PBOT Director Leah Treat and it was Mayor Hales’ idea to use contingency funding.

Interestingly this is a very similar approach to dealing with a traffic safety crisis that former Mayor Sam Adams took in October 2007. After two people died while biking in the central city less than two weeks apart, Adams called an emergency meeting and held a press conference at City Hall. At that meeting PBOT staff unveiled plans for installing the city’s first bike boxes at 14 high-risk locations. About five weeks later Adams got $200,000 in emergency funding (through the same contingency fund method being used by Hales and Novick).

In a story published yesterday in the Portland Mercury, PBOT dismissed the major lane reconfiguration (a.k.a. “road diet”) that Bike Loud PDX is calling for. Instead, PBOT called for much less controversial measures like medians, refuge islands and crosswalk beacons. (They were already planning to install speed radar cameras at 156th.)

There are a lot of things PBOT can do to tame outer Division. The question is, what measures will they take? And will it be enough to mitigate the clear and present danger posed by this deadly street?

The ordinance will be at City Council on Wednesday (12/21) at 10:15 am.

—-

UPDATE, 1:45pm: We’ve learned more context about next week’s ordinance. Commissioner Novick’s transportation policy advisor Timur Ender said it came about after a conference call convened by Mayor Hales on December 7th, the day after the two fatalities. Hales wanted to know what PBOT was doing and he wanted to move up the timeframe. “After looking at all of our efforts (engineering, enforcement, etc.),” Ender shared with us via email, “we realized we had room to improve our education and outreach efforts.”

Next week’s budget item, he added, is specifically related to funding for, “culturally-specific engagement and outreach about safety in the Jade District, and multi-language, multi-modal signs on Outer Division.” The money will also be used for traffic safety classes in languages spoken in the adjacent community.

At the council hearing next week PBOT will outline its future plans for outer Division which will include speeding up speed camera implementation and other safety-related projects. PBOT plans to dip into its General Transportation Revenue (gas tax) to supplement the emergency funding request.

More details coming next week.

UPDATE, 2:35 pm: We have learned more about the $300,000 educational effort. PBOT Traffic Safety and Active Transportation Division Manager Margi Bradway says the request (which includes more safety education, information, signs and more lighting) came specifically from APANO (the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon). Both of the people killed last week — 51-year-old Myit Oo and 65-year-old Rohgzhao Zhang — were elders in the community and their families have been in touch with APANO. We’ll share another update after speaking with APANO’s leader.

UPDATE, 3:30 pm: The full text of the ordinance (PDF) has been released:

… This stretch of street east of SE 82nd is also located near Portland’s Communities of Concern. In addition to Outer Division, Outer Halsey and Outer Glisan have very high rates of traffic crashes. The traffic deaths and injuries on these three corridors greatly impact the community in the Jade District and East Portland.

It is urgent that the City take steps now to respond to the community’s request for increased funding for education and outreach programs on Outer Division, and for two other high crash corridors, Outer Halsey and Outer Glisan. This community-based education will be complimented with traffic signs and traffic safety information in different languages. Although this budget request will focus primarily on education and signs, PBOT will use this money to leverage engineering improvements on Outer Division, Outer Halsey and Outer Glisan.

And here’s the breakdown and timeline of the actions PBOT will take in partnership with APANO…

division-timeline

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Adam
Subscriber

$300K isn’t even remotely enough. PBOT will just add a few rapid-flash beacons and call it a day while people will continue to die.

Try harder.

Spiffy
Subscriber

they already did that at 156th and people are still dying there…

their plans amount to nothing…

Dan G
Guest
Dan G

300k isn’t enough for a permanent fix, but it could be enough for a temporary one if they’re creative enough.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Speed traps. Enforcement. Give the police a monetary goal specifically to cow drivers into driving at or below posted speed limits on Division. Make drivers fear the consequences. Yes, there are racist cops, yes people of color may be stopped disproportionally. Maybe this is a time NOT to care about that situation. Is it true that motorists are less likely to stop for black pedestrians to cross the road? In any case, pedestrians, cyclists and law abiding drivers of all skin colors are risking their lives until speeding is controlled. This is triage–stop the bleeding first. Stop. The. Bleeding. First.

Adam
Subscriber

Yes, there are racist cops, yes people of color may be stopped disproportionally. Maybe this is a time NOT to care about that situation.

We can’t just care about racial justice only when it is convenient to do so.

Dick Button
Guest
Dick Button

Saying someone doesn’t care about racial justice, because they are not troubled by the skin color of individuals being held accountable for their actions, if they have broken the law, isn’t very honest.

So we only target white rule breakers? That sounds like soft-bigotry springing out of low expectations.

Adam
Subscriber

OP literally said “this is a time NOT to care about [racist cops, people of color being stopped disproportionally]”. Saying that “everyone should be held accountable equally regardless of skin color” ignores the fact that this is simply NOT true and the reality is that people of color face bigger barriers that white people simply do not have to worry about. Top to bottom, from excessive use of force against POC’s, to bigger fines, longer jail time, institutionalized incarceration, etc. the system is simply stacked against minorities. We can’t just simply ignore this fact when it’s convenient for us.

Of course I want safer streets, but not at the expense of vulnerable communities. That’s not how a civilized society should behave.

pdxdave
Subscriber
pdxdave

Without enforcement people will continue to die on Portland roads due to negligent drivers.

Adam
Subscriber

There are plenty of safe streets in Portland that have the same lack of enforcement as the rest of the city. Road design plays a much bigger part in safety than police presence.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

You are engaged in what is known as “magical thinking”.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Safer streets PROTECT vulnerable populations.

Enforce traffic laws fairly, and do it vigorously.

Adam
Subscriber

Safer streets PROTECT vulnerable populations.

This is true. However, more police do not make a street safer. Safe design does.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

More enforcement DOES make streets safer; if you’ve ever driven through communities known to have strict enforcement, you’ll see people do drive more slowly.

That said, street design is a more permanent fix.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Portland is not a city particularly well-known for police enforcement of any kind, ever, anywhere, but especially of car drivers. There are apparently 948 officers in Portland, a city of 623,000 – a pretty low ratio compared to other similarly-sized cities.

Gwenevere
Guest
Gwenevere

Here’s what gets me about this: Yes, people drive slower in areas with strict enforcement, but that’s because they know that area is a trap. I have driven (or at least been in the vehicle) between Portland and Milwaukie (via MgLoughlin and Grand/MLK) since I was in the 6th grade, and if you don’t know, there is a major, and very well known, speed trap in Downtown Milwaukie. There are regularly motorcycle cops, regular patrols, and speed camera vans and they have had a presence for at least a decade. People that drive through this regularly know and do not speed. Through that area, that is. As soon as the 30mph zone is over and it goes up to 40mph (southbound… Goes to 45mph in northbound), everyone jumps up to 50-55mph+ and the civilness goes away.

Street design is not only a permanent fix, but it is actually a behavior changing fix. And it has the extra plus of providing benefits to ALL users. When done right, there are significant safety changes that can have extremely limited impacts on traffic.

X
Guest
X

Well it’s crazy that police should not routinely stop motorists who are observed driving unsafely. I know about driving while (other), it’s a real thing. Until we solve the training problem (how does a largely white suburban police force trained with military tactics confront a more diverse population with mutual issues of distrust?) we still need a way to enforce traffic laws for public safety.

I propose catch-and-release. When a driver is observed to commit a clear ORS violation (5 miles over speed limit, following too closely, failure to yield, etc) it should be the policy of the city to have an officer who is on a specific traffic enforcement mission pull the offender over and sweat them for 5 minutes by the clock while they run the plates and do other important cop stuff. If there are no outstanding warrants or other aggravating circumstances, lights out, you’re free to go. No face-to-face interaction, by policy.

This may seem like a crazy idea, but when I was driving a car for work one strong reason for me to avoid a traffic stop was I just didn’t have time for it. I had no prior tickets, and being generally law-abiding any ticket I got wasn’t going to break me, but the lost time would kill my schedule. Sitting by the road is kind of humiliating (instant punishment) and a significant deterrent to people whose ostensible reason for speeding or pushing other boundaries is they must arrive somewhere by a specific time. It means that officers spend less time in court, often on overtime, and probably would not result in fewer stops. Also: there is no better single point traffic control device than a stopped police car, lights on, like as not blocking a lane.

BB
Guest
BB

But we do have to address issues with responses proportionate to the effects of those problems – People being killed and the social tolerance of people being killed is worse than people being discriminated against or arrested, and as such should be given the most immediate attention.

pdxdave
Subscriber
pdxdave

So are you saying that as a society we should not enforce any laws due to possible police discrimination?

Adam
Subscriber

No, I am saying we need to enforce in a way that does not discriminate while simultaneously working to fix our broken policing and justice system. Though, based on our incoming administration, the latter is going to get far worse before it gets better. So yeah, maybe a little less police presence would be a good thing. Fix the road design and add cameras instead. Cameras are still not a perfect solution, as they would still involve the justice system, but they at least take one problem (the officer) out of the equation.

Random
Guest
Random

“Speed traps. Enforcement. Give the police a monetary goal specifically to cow drivers into driving at or below posted speed limits on Division.”

Sorry. As the Executive Director of Oregon Walks explained on these very pages, Vision Zero in Portland does not include increased traffic enforcement because police profile, harass minorities, and are generally icky.

She’s right, too – if you step up traffic enforcement in low-income, minority communities, guess who is going to be getting most of the traffic tickets.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Heaven forbid we actually ticket someone breaking the law.

peejay
Guest
peejay

We have to forget we ever learned about the “Three E’s”. If a street is broken, it’s broken. No amount of outreach, ticket blitzes, PR campaigns will fix a broken street. It must be completely rethought, WITHOUT the normal first assumption that we have to preserve the same throughput we have now.

Division St is deadly, and an education-based solution is only appropriate for educating our city leaders that we need more than education-based solutions.

BB
Guest
BB

Exactly. IMO in a situation such as this the street should be closed to motor vehicle traffic and any future studies should consider whether there should be motor vehicle traffic there again, and if so how it can be incorporated in such a way that doesn’t create a similar situation to this in the future.

X
Guest
X

If there was still irony, it would be ironic that we can’t decide what to do about a street where we’ve just decided not to have a fully realized bus rapid transit line because a radical step like that would make it harder to drive at the speed we are accustomed and get past the people who insist on living and dying there.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

All roads are deadly to one extent or another. Only a fool or a liar promotes something like vision zero with a straight face.

emerson
Subscriber

Your comment is a little too narrow and way too black and white. Everything in life carries risk, true, and it’s the risk response that dictates the residual. In other words, it’s priorities. Vision Zero is a laudable objective, but it doesn’t sound like one your support.

J_R
Guest
J_R

The Portland version of Zero Vision consists of a task force, a logo, and an opportunity for people to get together to wring their hands and claim they are doing something about it. That will be followed by an annual report.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

What I don’t support is establishing a goal that cannot be reached. Dishonest would be the kindest word I might use to describe it.

No, I’m not opposed to efforts to reduce traffic deaths. I can, however, offer no support nor excuse for a government that requires two years to write an action plan.

emerson
Subscriber

Is it that the goal cannot be reached, or that you see insufficient political will to achieve the objective?

The two are not the same.

soren
Guest
soren

vision zero denial.

The number of cars on the road and the distance driven have doubled since the 70s, yet just 264 people died in road crashes in Sweden last year, a record low. That represents just three deaths per 100,000 people, and compares to 5.5 in the European Union and 11.4 in the US.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/02/economist-explains-16

Random
Guest
Random

And Sweden, a county of ten million people, pulls over 2.5 million drivers a year and checks them for DUI. Being seriously drunk in Sweden carries a multi-year prison term.

Are you willing to support that level of intrusive law enforcement here? It is a key part of Vision Zero in Sweden. It’s not just traffic engineering.

soren
Guest
soren

i note that you provide no citation or source. i also note that you fail to address what your comment has to do with unambiguously effective vision zero reforms.

Random
Guest
Random

“I note that you provide no citation or source”

Because using Google yourself is too hard, apparently.

I think that wikipedia had the 2.5 million/drivers year checked number, but the NHTSA seems to be more definite.

“Sweden

RBT used frequently

Any police officer can stop any driver at any time and any place and request a screening breath sample. A positive sample = suspicion which leads to evidentiary testing which can be either blood or breath.

Enforcement has high priority. About 1.2 million random breath tests per year in a population of approximately 4.5 million drivers.”

So your chances of being checked in Sweden as a driver for DUI is better than 1 in 4 per year. (The equivalent in Portland would be more than 100,000 DUI checks a year, assuming that 3/4 of the population of Portland drives.)

But yeah, enforcement plays no part in Sweden’s Vision Zero program.

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/pub/DWIothercountries/dwiothercountries.html

soren
Guest
soren

*sigh*

once again, you fail to address what your comment has to do with vision zero reforms and are, also, arguing against your own position:

the more severe drunk driving policy dates to 1994 and did not have an obvious effect on road deaths (see below).

http://www.dss3a.com/btg/pdf/Parallels/Fri_aft/ake_lindgren_fri_aft_strand2_drinking_and_driving.pdf
comment image

vision zero reforms were first proposed in 1997 and began to have a very significant effect on serious injury collisions ins subsequent years.

soren
Guest
soren

another graph that shows fatalities during this period even more clearly:

http://www.salimandsalimah.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/solutions2.jpg

1994: Penalties and enforcement of drunk driving was increased but fatalities increased slightly.

1997: Vision zero was passed, engineering/infrastructure programs were funded, and in a few years fatalities began to plummet.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Speed cameras and traffic circles at all major intersections.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

This is what so-called equity staff gets you Portland.

$300k down the drain.
——

People are dying because they cannot read the street signs? What a load. Presumably, all the motorists passed a driving test, so they can read the signs. So, not only is it fake equity, it’s racial pandering, AND it’s victim-blaming because they appear poised to teach pedestrians not to jump out in front of cars, in multiple languages.

Adam
Subscriber

PBOT going to walk into minority communities and telling them they’re walking wrong. Racial pandering is spot on.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Wait, is it racial pandering if the request came directly from the community? Am I missing something? It sounds like this request came from APANO, so ostensibly they think the lack of training and signs in multiple languages is a danger to their community.

Adam
Subscriber

That comment was posted before Jonathan’s update that the request came from APANO. If that’s what they are asking for, then that’s fine. I still disagree with the effectiveness of education campaigns, but who am I to tell this community what’s good for them? But PBOT shouldn’t either. Facilitate but don’t dictate. It’s the difference between saying “this is what you need” vs “how can I help you achieve what you want?”.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

How dare PBOT say some people in our community might have immigrated from places with different traffic customs, and might not be familiar with how things work here. How dare they?!?

J_R
Guest
J_R

Education and Outreach are absolutely wasteful and unnecessary. Do we really need to spend money to put ads on TV or put up billboards that say “thirty mph means 30 mph?” Maybe a bit of remedial character recognition so people see “30” on the Speed sign and match it with “30” on the speedometer in their cars?

E N F O R C E M E N T.

We’ve tried the other stuff that can be implemented in less than a few years and, guess what, it doesn’t work.

E N F O R C E M E N T.

pdxdave
Subscriber
pdxdave

Without ENFORCEMENT lives will continue to be taken by negligent drivers on Portland roads. Roadway redesign and education will only go so far to reduce the deadly consequences of unsafe driving. The idea that enforcement should not be at the top of the list of tools used to change driver behavior due to possible police discrimination is shortsighted. I would go as for to say this is an example of liberalism going off the rails. If Portland Police run enforcement operations that target drivers who drive 10 or more miles an hour over the speed limit how can this be called discriminatory policing?

soren
Guest
soren

enforcement has been a pillar of largely ineffectual north american transportation safety planning while successful vision zero reforms de-emphasize enforcement and emphasize redesign.

enforcement is a red herring.

BB
Guest
BB

No it’s not, we need both.

peejay
Guest
peejay

If you want to convince me of that, back it up with proof.

BB
Guest
BB

If you really need “proof” that getting people in trouble for breaking the rules deters other people from breaking the rules, no amount of “proof” from me is going to convince you of anything. Please.

soren
Guest
soren

the opinion of an anonymous online persona versus many years of empirical evidence in sweden.

gee…which do i trust more?

J_R
Guest
J_R

That’s because we’ve never actually tried enforcement – at least in Portland.

According to PPB’s annual report the Traffic Division had about 40 officers and had about 50,000 citizen contacts for the year. That’s 3 contacts per day per officer. And not all of the interactions resulted in a citation.

Meanwhile, there are about 15 million miles driven in Portland every day. That means there is less than one citation written for every 50,000 miles of driving. There is essentially NO chance of getting citation in Portland.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

…and Portland drivers are very aware of that. It’s crazy here as a result–more and more dangerous and stressful every day. The threat of a hefty fine goes a long way toward deterring bad behavior and curbing that all-pervasive sense of entitlement and impunity.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Where oh where have you seen actual traffic law enforcement in N. America? As someone who has actually lived in one an American city that actually did do zero-tolerance traffic law enforcement, I can tell you that it flat out works.

Davis became the bike capital of the world with bike modal share at levels not yet recreated elsewhere almost solely on the shoulders of that zero-tolerance traffic law enforcement it conducted in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Not coincidentally after adding scores of miles of bike paths, buffered bike lanes and all sorts of segregation creations in the late 1990’s and 2000’s but removing the traffic law enforcement, bike use plummeted.

Build all the segregated facilities you can afford, you’ll still have people being killed in horrid numbers at intersections and still won’t have a substantial bike modal share without the cultural infrastructure that comes with enforcement.

soren
Guest
soren

the idea that enforcement contributed to davis’ bike boom is absurd.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Says someone who wasn’t there. Enforcement was not just a contributor. Outside of the other cultural fact of Davis having been a highly educated city in which the community was actively looking for the right response to the oil embargo it was the most important thing that caused the boom.

Sure, Chancellor Mrak played a large role by actively encouraging a culture of bike use by the campus employees, himself included, during the ’60s and this had a large impact on the city at large. However, I can tell you as someone who was there that what got people on their bikes and kept them on their bikes was the extremely active zero tolerance traffic law enforcement that took place from the mid-1970’s to just about the mid-1980’s. No motorists dared to go even 2 mph over the speed limit and stop limit lines were strictly obeyed, among other niceties.

Not surprisingly, when that enforcement ended, so did the boom. It got so bad in the ’90s that my family got to be known as the “bike family” because we were among the few still riding. (This nickname doubtlessly arose due to the fact that my sister-in-law looks like my spouse and also rode with her kids and that there was a dopelganger for myself out there riding with his kids as well.)

Of course those traffic law cops gave cyclists citations too. We would all laugh at the streams of cyclists dutifully stopping at stop signs if we could see them today. In fact, it took me over a decade of living in Oregon to kick the habit of stopping at stop signs.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Soren,
Enforcement is regularly used in European Vision Zero efforts.

soren
Guest
soren

targeted enforcement, such as, speed cameras but the kind of expensive heavy-handed enforcement people are calling for here is explicitly de-emphasized in swedish policy.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

J_R December 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm

That’s because we’ve never actually tried enforcement – at least in Portland.
pdxdave

Without ENFORCEMENT lives will continue to be taken by negligent drivers on Portland roads. Roadway redesign and education will …

With PPB, Enforcement will in all likelyhood be bands of police cars ticketing pedestrians on Division for crossing the street.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Another way of looking at this $300,000 allocation is that PBOT is essentially trying to force the community to have a conversation about enforcement – via the city budget. PBOT cannot enforce driver behavior, but the Police can. However, given limited personnel, the Police budget is primarily allocated towards solving violent and property crimes, and not so much traffic enforcement. PBOT cannot afford to do traffic enforcement itself, let alone build the infrastructure necessary for Vision Zero, so it must try to influence budget decisions for other bureaus. Council tends to be very conservative on budgets and what each bureau does or doesn’t do. By starting a $300,000 conversation now, PBOT can influence the budget process when it goes public in April at the various public hearings. If that is PBOT’s strategy, I think it’s pretty clever.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

I remember last year when they threatened to cut the Traffic Division entirely. That was fun.

Kristi Finney
Subscriber
Kristi Finney

So they are limiting their actions to education and outreach?! Even though it was stressed during the Vision Zero Task Force meetings that street design had to be at the top of the list of the four focuses? They’re not even considering the “much less controversial measures like medians, refuge islands and crosswalk beacons”? I cannot express how much more than disappointed I am (even though I want education and outreach, this is not the kind I had in mind).

Adam
Subscriber

Yep. The Vision Zero plan was passed not even a month ago and the city is already ignoring it.

soren
Guest
soren

the unambiguously successful original vision zero plan has only one major focus – designing a safe road system. moreover, the focus on individual responsibility in portland’s plan (enforcement and education/outreach) is explicitly contrary to these original vision zero reforms.

Vision Zero alters the view on responsibility. Those who design the road transport system bear the ultimate responsibility for safety…

THE SYSTEM DESIGNERS HAVE THE MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY

https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/sites/roadsafety/files/pdf/20151210_1_sweden.pdf

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Soren.
What new rights are you willing to grant the designer? You cannot expect responsibility for your safety to be transferred to another individual, or the state, without also giving them new authority to control your behavior.
You continue to compare the US to socialist societies, but I don’t see any great push to change the current US political system.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

It’s just this $300k that is going to education and outreach. There is Fixing Our Streets money for enhancing bike lanes on Division and it sounds like there will be extra gas tax allocated to more roadway redesign. Hopefully all this together will make a real difference.

peejay
Guest
peejay

That is $300,000 wasted. Frankly, City Council should be ashamed of themselves. That is the opposite of Vision Zero.

Bart
Guest
Bart

What I see missing from this commentary is the necessity to engage the community east of East Portland.

Coming from inner Portland, East Portland is a bridge community where the speed limits often increase, the small blocks of the inner grid disappear, and the raceway begins. Approached from the other side via Fairview/Wood Village/Troutdale/Gresham, it is merely a destination or a passing point on that same raceway heading westbound.

To fully address this problem we need to engage the mindset of not only east Portland proper, but “East County” itself, the one that transcends Portland’s lines. These streets are a problem that all of the people in the region are a part of and as such, could really benefit from some inter-city cooperation.

fourknees
Guest
fourknees

You could buy a lot of hay bales and cones for $300k and see temporary safety improvements and traffic calming it would accomplish.

X
Guest
X

It’s my understanding the city already has a supply of cones and straw bales 😉

SD
Guest
SD

UPDATE, 3:31 pm: I see dead people.

rick
Guest
rick

Another person was killed today on outer SE Division?

SE
Guest
SE

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Next week’s budget item, he added, is specifically related to funding for, “culturally-specific engagement and outreach about safety in the Jade District, and multi-language, multi-modal signs on Outer Division.” The money will also be used for traffic safety classes in languages spoken in the adjacent community. 1

I’ve been back to SE Asia 4x in the last 12 years. Traffic there is a much different situation.

1. cities are so congested that traffic rarely gets above 20 mph
2. very FEW stop lights , lots of “traffic circles”
3. most traffic is motorcycles
4. peds do NOT wait for a break in traffic , they look straight ahead and step out into it. Drivers know this and dodge around them. usually.
5. TPHCMC has 16 (sixteen) ped fatalities PER DAY. (and YES, it has 9 million pop)

I am NOT blaming the Division victims. They may have been born here, I don’t know. I do know that the above 5 points are fairly standard in 3rd world countries.

Also I drive Division, Stark & 122nd often. Am astounded at the number of peds that will dart across traffic when they are within 50 feet of a signalized crosswalk. It’s like the signals aren’t even there. And it’s ALL races/nationalities that do it. The thing that bugs me too is the squandering of resources .

Just south of Holgate on 122nd there are two signal crosswalks within 60 yards of each other and have NEVER seen either of them used.

Do they do studies or just plop those signal crosswalks where they feel like it ??? There is another at 141st on Powell that I’ve NEVER seen used, but yet that long stretch from 122nd to 136th has nothing ???

WAKE UP PBOT !!!

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I agree with you about the ped signals in East Portland. Great as they are, and useful too, I have also seen many potential users not use them, but instead cross about 50 feet away from them, often with children in hand. No idea why.

PBOT does do studies about where to put them and uses those studies, but the studies assume that humans are rational and predictable. Most pedestrians and most drivers are safe and predictable. And some are not.

Powell is an ODOT facility – PBOT has very little power over it. Part of the reason that ODOT hasn’t yet put crossings between 122nd & 136th is that they actually have at least $22 million to rebuild it, plus some Portland SDC funds too. PBOT and ODOT are currently wrangling over what type of bike facility to build. PBOT wants a protected facility, ODOT wants buffered bike lanes. The arguments are pretty nasty and BP has already covered it in previous posts.

pdxhobbitmom
Subscriber
pdxhobbitmom

I think meeting with and listening to the residents of the neighborhood is important. So the first two steps of that timeline ($20,000) are great. But then they’ve already decided what they’re going to spend the money on after those meetings. Apparently we know already that the community residents want hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on useless propaganda. What’s the point of the neighborhood meetings then? This is so depressing.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Put Jersey barriers on those blocks separating the bike lane. Only break them at signalized crossings. Peds will unlikely climb over a barrier if there is a signaled crossing nearby.

Peds and bikes win!

Plan a program:

Full Signal – $200 to 300K (includes soft costs)
Half Signal/Ped Hybrid Beacon – $150 to $250K
Rapid Flash Beacons – $40 to $100K

http://www.psrc.org/assets/9421/2_Pedestrian_Treatments.pdf

With half signals you can control the speed.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Jersey barriers are about $250 for a 10 foot barrier through commercial suppliers. Since we are talking 4.5 miles from 82nd to 175th (the Portland Gresham line), this works out to ((4.5 x 5280 feet x 2 sides) / 10 feet) * $250 = $1,188,000. With new signals every 200-400 feet, we are looking at a multi-million dollar project just on Division. Then there are the other super-wide high-death expressways of Foster, Halsey, Glisan, Stark, and 122nd.

emerson
Subscriber

Maybe pick them up at Costco for a bulk discount?

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Actually I was thinking at the Lents Walmart, on the same aisle as you find marbles, in a variety of colors, made cheaply in China by panda prison slave labor. Of course, you might find a somewhat more expensive organic Jersey barrier at Nature’s, made with recycled concrete reinforced with fair-trade steel from Indonesia, but with fewer choices of colors.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

I would rather see Jersey barriers or preferably a planted median in the center of the roadway. That would help slow down traffic, plus traffic would slow down because the lanes would end up weaving whenever turn pockets or pedestrian refuge islands are added. A lot of people seem to complain about NE MLK, which is like that, but the median treatment has definitely reduced the severity of crashes.

rick
Guest
rick

Will an 30 mph speed limit be installed by next Monday?

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

Nice to see the city is still engaged in this magical thinking you can stop dangerous driving without enforcement.

Oh wait, it’s not nice to see, because then dangerous driving won’t stop.

rick
Guest
rick

Often see it on SW Canyon Road. Not much enforcement.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

#FIXTHEDAMNEDROAD!!!

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

Why not install traffic lights instead of flashing beacons? The pedestrian hits a button and the light at the intersection goes red. Or why not install crossing arms that lower and block the road like a railroad crossing so pedestrians can cross safely.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

The Division BRT project is looking at putting in Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (aka HAWKs) at the transit stops. Those work like signals, stopping traffic completely. They’re a lot more expensive than rapid flashing beacons, which is why they aren’t used as often.

rick
Guest
rick

Why expect change when people often vote for the same kind of city council?

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Now that I think about it… $300,000 could go a long way in education. Use it to pay some of PSU’s traffic engineering student’s tuition, then hire them to FIXTHEDAMNEDROAD!!!

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

JM should run against Saltzman in 2018.

I Chloe can beat Novick, JM could beat Saltzman

Forum Law Group LLC - Bicycle Law
Guest

The Jade District has been asking for safe streets for years. How is going with “outreach” and classes on how to cross the street not an insult?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Why don’t you let them decide if they have been insulted or not.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

I still think “The what?” every time I hear “Jade District”…

X
Guest
X

Gwenevere said there’s a

“. . . speed trap in Downtown Milwaukie. . . As soon as the 30mph zone is over and it goes up to 40mph (southbound… Goes to 45mph in northbound), everyone jumps up to 50-55mph+ and the civilness goes away.”

Yep, the effective speed control in Milwaukee is actually kind of an argument _for_ traffic law enforcement. And yes people do speed up further south on 99E / McLoughlin but let’s be fair: Clackamas County deputies are not idle on that stretch. You can definitely get a ticket out there. The apparent free-range road design and the longer stretches between lights seems to lead to more rampant behavior on the part of some. It kind of seems that the light timing rewards a lead foot.

I think that’s an important piece of the puzzle–how fast do the lights roll through? What’s the light timing on Division, does anybody drive out there enough to know?

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

In general, you can’t really make coordinated light timing (to allow progression at a particular speed) work on two-way streets. You can have shorter or longer cycle times, but that doesn’t really impact progression speed.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“In general, you can’t really make coordinated light timing (to allow progression at a particular speed) work on two-way streets. You can have shorter or longer cycle times, but that doesn’t really impact progression speed.” glowboy

Why don’t you think so?

Beaverton actually has coordinated signal light timing on both of the main east-west highway-thoroughfares running through town. Together with the often heavy volume of traffic on those roads, the signal lighting does a fairly good job of regulating the speed of traffic to within the posted speed limit, which I believe is 35mph.

The terrain is flat, allowing a view ahead to perhaps 750′ or more, which allows people driving with a green light immediately before them, to see the point in the distance where the lights are turning yellow and red. The effect seems to work as an incentive to most people driving, to regulate their vehicle’s speed to one which will allow them to reach the signals in the yellow and red light cycle, at the approximate time they change to green, so as to avoid having to completely stop their vehicle.

The posted speed limit at 35mph, is too high I think: too much noise. Creates a hostile environment for walking and biking, though I don’t think there are a lot of injuries and deaths to people walking and biking, because of this. The roads are county or state jurisdiction, so the city couldn’t adjust to a lower posted speed even if it wanted to.

People run stop lights. Less so than in past, due to help from red light cameras.

X
Guest
X

Maybe it’s just the long blocks on McLoughlin that get people excited then. They see a green light out in the distance and accelerate. If there was a way to have the main commute direction traffic lights progress at 25 mph that would be great. Of course some folks would still go for 4th gear in between.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Maybe it’s just the long blocks on McLoughlin that get people excited then. …” x

McLoughlin does have some very long blocks. As I recall, that road is kind of extraordinary with parts of it being located on the bluff close to the river, and further south, running past the big Moreland parks. More closely spaced intersections with coordinated signal light timing, that people driving could see the progression of some distance down the road, could work to have people moderate their speed of travel.

I don’t know how it compares to outer Division, but to me, McLoughlin seems more like an expressway than it does a thoroughfare. Some of Portland’s other thoroughfares than outer Division…like Sandy Blvd, Burnside, or Foster, may be better examples of where coordinated signal light timing could work to help moderate vehicle speed.

When people driving on a green, see down the road two or three intersections away, a signal, and those after it going from green to yellow…to keep moving rather than having to stop and get started again, there’s some incentive given by those changing signals, to slow down, proceeding through the intersections at a pace that will bring the vehicle to the intersections as the signals again change to green.

X
Guest
X

I know, by direct observation, that some of the major two-way streets in Portland roll green in the principal commute direction, and switch sometime mid-day. North of Sacramento, MLK flows S. in the morning. You can watch people hustling and making lane changes to catch lights because they know it too. I’d like to know what the programmed speed of that succession is. It may aid traffic flow, but it also creates an expectation of catching all the lights and leads to a certain amount of aggressive driving.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Yes ok, you can choose to have progression in one direction, though as you said, long distances between lights pretty much wipe out the benefit. If people are jockeying around to make the light timing, the usual solution is to reduce the progression speed. Even 20mph would amount to faster progression than random, unsynchronized light timing and people going 40mph between the lights.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Division should have a road diet with protected bike lanes. Period.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

1367 Adopt the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project and Conditions for Approval
CBO Analysis: In order to qualify for the FTA’s Small Starts program and an FTA grant of up to $100 million, the overall project cost must be less than $175 million. TriMet is preparing formal cost estimates based on a refined design and preliminary engineering. Currently, the project is in the development phase, which is estimated to cost $7.15 million, funded by the City with $2.0 million of Transportation System Development Charges (TSDCs) in FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17, with the rest funded by the City’s partners, including Metro and TriMet. Up to $8.4 million of the City’s TSDC funds are available for the project, with $2.0 million of that dedicated to the development phase, and are included in PBOT’s 5-year CIP. The TSDC funds require a 25% match over the life of the project. Additional funds from the City are anticipated in order to meet the project’s local match, and the Resolution directs PBOT to work with the other partners to develop a finance plan and a financial strategy for the City’s contribution. Metro and TriMet may each have up to $25 million for their share of the total project costs.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala
Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I want to know more about this $15k listening session. Is that 100 listeners at $50/hr, or one really amazing $5k/hr listener? Will this include 3hrs of attentive nodding?

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Of course this budget includes the 1.5hrs staff will sit in traffic to get to and from the 5:30pm listening session in city SOVs.

Evan
Guest
Evan

If the outreach and engagement is honest, humble, and productive, and followed up by real action that makes a difference, then I’m very excited to see this happening. But if there’s victim-blaming, I hope we can call that out.

SE
Guest
SE

The postcard came yesterday from PBOT:

Safety Cameras on High Crash corridors
coming soon on SE Division and SE 122nd.

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/70763

SE Division Street (between 148th and 162nd) Coming spring 2017
SE 122nd Avenue (between Foster and Holgate) Coming spring 2017

Adam
Subscriber

After watching today’s City Council meeting, I withdraw my initial skepticism. While I still don’t believe education nor enforcement to be an effective fix, it appears that the city has dedicated real funds to be allocated for a lane reallocation. PBOT specifically mentioned removing parking to install protected bike lanes (!), and nearly everyone from the local community that testified – including a rep from APANO – mentioned slowing down the cars on Division and reworking the street to be safer – i.e. infrastructure. I think the multi-language signs are only a good idea if coupled with infrastructure changes, and it sounds like that is the overall plan. Fritz even said something I agreed with! That Portland streets are too dark and we need better street lighting city-wide.

The city can still back down on things discussed today, and AFAICT there was no mention of removing two of the travel lanes, so we need to keep up the pressure to ensure that the city adheres to its goals.

rick
Guest
rick

The car parking needs to be removed. ODOT has pledged this for Barbur Blvd.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…lane reallocation. PBOT specifically mentioned removing parking to install protected bike lanes (!), and nearly everyone from the local community that testified – including a rep from APANO – mentioned slowing down the cars on Division and reworking the street to be safer – i.e. infrastructure. …” adam h

‘lane reallocation’…is an interesting phrase. For a street like this section of Division, removing parking to create bike lanes sounds like a good idea. If the city were to decide to reduce two main lanes in each direction to just one, a la ‘road diet’, as the means by which to bring speeds of motor vehicles down, I’d be surprised…but if the city specifically set itself to reduce the posted speed limit, and create more effective means of reducing excessive speeds…that would be a great.

It looks like the city is going to install both speed reader boards and speed radar cameras. Those devices likely will help some to manage excessive speeds. If after that infrastructure is given a chance to work on this street, and it happens to turn out the result aren’t encouraging…then consider some stronger method of reducing excessive speed.

Pete
Guest
Pete
Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

I have driven in dark and stormy weather in Portland. Drizzle is also troublesome. I have literally passed a cyclist in a bike lane inches off my fender and had no idea they were there until
…They were there.

Speed and lack of visibility will routinely kill innocents. The solution is to slow the street and light it up like a runway. That costs more than a cool 300k.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Or you could follow Oregon’s basic speed law.

soren
Guest
soren

the holgate re-striping road diet was remarkably effective and quite cheap:

http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/holgatecrashes1.jpg

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“I have driven in dark and stormy weather in Portland. Drizzle is also troublesome. I have literally passed a cyclist in a bike lane inches off my fender and had no idea they were there until
…They were there. …” mark smith

Offer additional thoughts if you will, about why it was in the circumstances you described, that you weren’t aware of the person riding a bike in the bike lane until they were very near your vehicle’s fender. Extra bright street lighting as a means to counter poor visibility of the street and everyone using it, is something that simply is not likely to happen on a wide basis, because of the expense and complexity involved. Many streets will continue to remain dark, and people need to learn to safely compensate for this road use condition through better road use techniques, whatever their mode of travel may be.