Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 8th, 2018 at 12:03 pm
The Portland Bureau of Transportation released a major update to their Outer Souther Division Multimodal Safety Project today. And as we hinted at back in November, the latest plans (now at 60 percent design) have added more auto parking and have loosened turning restrictions for drivers.
PBOT has also shared new before/after visuals to give us a better sense of what’s in store for this project.
In what has become a standard tool for PBOT’s communications team, the slick new “story map” lays out the reasons for the project. Top among them is safety:
“If you lined up all the cars that have been crashed on outer Division in the past five years,” the website reads, “they’d stretch from Portland City Hall to downtown Gresham. Division is one of the most dangerous corridors in the city for all modes, ranking #1 for total motor vehicle crashes, #2 for total bicycle crashes, and #1 for pedestrian serious injuries and deaths… On Division between SE 80th and SE 174th, nearly 1,000 people are involved in crashes every year (driving, walking, and/or biking). That’s almost three people every day whose lives are changed as a result of this dangerous street.”
To help cure this sick street, PBOT will add: 4.7 miles of bike lanes separated from other road users via a combination of plastic delineator wands and paint-only buffer strips; 13 new signalized crossings; 57 new street lights, 1.15 miles of concrete median islands, and add three miles of sidewalks. Those changes will complement two measures they’ve already completed: a lower speed limit (from 35 to 30 mph) and the presence of six speed reader boards and two speed cameras.
In the year or so since they first presented their plans to people who live, work and use Division Street, PBOT has been hearing feedback about how best to balance the need to protect human lives with the need for people to be able to conveniently use cars. Today PBOT has confirmed the following modifications to the design:
● The preliminary plans showed no on-street parking throughout the project area. The final plans bring back pockets of on-street parking where the design allows (space is created on one side of the street where U-turns occur).
● Working directly with businesses on Division [through the Division Midway Alliance], we have incorporated a few places where the medians will allow left turns in from Division while still restricting left turns out. In these special cases, business operations were determined to be severely impacted by the medians because the size of vehicles would not have been able to make use of the provided U-turn areas.
● Based on community feedback and further site analysis, traffic engineers determined that a full traffic signal at 125th would be warranted to facilitate safe turns and crossings.
Construction of this project is expected to start in early next year and be completed by the end of 2019. Learn more on the project website.
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