PBOT: 18 ‘High Crash’ streets will get updates next year

Use data and equity filters to identify the roads, find funding to do strategic upgrades… then build them!

The City of Portland is on a steady march toward safer streets through their Vision Zero program. Yesterday the Bureau of Transportation announced details of 18 “High Crash Network” streets that will get a range of safety updates in 2019.

It’s all in service to our adopted goal of ending traffic violence in the next six years.

The list includes four larger, multi-block projects (marked with asterisk below) and 14 “targeted” fixes on 14 other streets (click street name for project page):

*102nd: a pilot project will evaluate the safety impact of additional crossings, bike lanes, and safer speeds between Weidler and Sandy.
*Capitol Hwy: extensive updates are planned between Garden Home and Taylors Ferry, while more modest (but important!) safety fixes are planned from Huber to Kerr Parkway.
*Marine Dr: safety fixes from 33rd to 185th include new bike lanes, rumble strips, rapid flashing beacons, and a traffic signal at 122nd.
*Powell Blvd: new crosswalks, rapid flashing beacons, sidewalks, protected bike lanes, center turn lanes, lighting, and drainage are planned from 122nd to 136th.
92nd: upgrade signal hardware at Holgate
122nd: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (Airport Way-Burnside), bike lane extensions and conflict markings at 11 intersections (Halsey-Holgate), crossing enhancement at I-84 underpass
Barbur: sidewalk infill, enhanced crossings, rebuilt bike/ped connection (Lane, 53rd)
Broadway: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (Larrabee-Chávez), bike lane extensions and conflict markings (Irving-Oak)
Burnside, East: crossing enhancements at 16th, 129th
Burnside, West: crossing enhancements at 20th Place


Columbia: new bridge for walking & biking (Chimney Park), crossing improvements at Midway, intersection safety fixes at Cully/Alderwood
Division: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (21st-162nd), lighting (122nd-129th), crossing enhancements (64th, 77th, 78th), enhanced bike lanes, more lighting, and improved crossings (82nd-city limit)
Glisan: crossing enhancements at 108th, 128th, and 155th
Halsey: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (84th), two-way bike lanes on I-205 overpass, more lighting, enhanced crossings, protected bike lanes, and speed limit reduction (103rd-116th), sidewalk infill (114th162nd), enhanced crossings (119th, 128th, 143rd, 155th)
Holgate: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (17th-92nd), crossing enhancements (67th, 78th, 79th, 112th, 128th), sidewalk infill (102nd-122nd)
Killingsworth: sidewalk infill from 42nd to Cully
Martin Luther King Jr.: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (Dekum-Lloyd)
Sandy: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (28th-47th), median islands and rapid flashing beacons (85th, 91st)
Stark: crossing enhancements (16th, 130th, 146th, 155th, 160th)

As you view this list, keep in mind that these projects don’t just happen. They are the culmination of years of groundwork laid by PBOT leadership, staff, and volunteer advocates who help push it all through. From the City’s Office of Government Relations that lobbies the legislature for more humane speed limit laws, to the PBOT Director (Leah Treat) who made Vision Zero a top priority at the bureau, to the family members of traffic crash victims who volunteer on the Vision Zero Task Force, and the advocates (like many of you!) who help create urgency and political will — it takes an entire community ecosystem to reform our streets.

And while I don’t think we’re doing nearly enough, fast enough — and my friends at PBOT know I will continue to be impatient and frustrated at the pace of change — I also know steady progress is something worth applause and appreciation.

For more on what PBOT is doing to make our roads safer, check their latest Vision Zero program updates here.

And don’t forget that there’s an important open house for the 122nd Avenue Plan taking place November 7th at the Midland Library.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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