“Portland’s streets are killing fields.”
That’s the opening salvo in a Willamette Week cover story that tries to make the case that the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero efforts are failing.
Blindsided is a photo essay and reporting effort that will likely have a big impact on local transportation discussions for weeks and months to come. It uses personal stories from a range of Portlanders to illustrate the vast problem of unsafe roads and to poke holes in the City’s effort to fix them. The focus of the piece isn’t a surprise given that so far this year 35 people have been killed in traffic-related incidents. That’s one more than we recorded for all of 2018.
City staffers, including PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, provide comments in the piece. “It’s deeply troubling,” Eudaly says, “‘What are we doing wrong, and what can we do faster?'” The commissioner added that it will take more than physical infrastructure to make progress.
Among the powerful personal stories highlighted in the piece include southeast Portland resident Anjeanette Brown. She says the lack of streetlights and generally dangerous conditions are an illustration that PBOT isn’t doing enough to protect people in outer southeast neighborhoods.
The shortage of enforcement from the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division is another big takeaway from the piece. The story features an officer who’s been hit twice by drunk drivers and who says the lack of officers dedicated to catching them is a major safety risk. The reporter points out how PBOT’s Vision Zero Task Force chose to not prioritize enforcement due to concerns over racial profiling.
Read the full story here.
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