Portland dissolves Vision Zero Task Force, introduces new outreach plans

Posted by on February 8th, 2021 at 3:51 pm

A Vision Zero Task Force meeting in Portland City Hall in February 2017.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The advisory group that helped implement Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan has been disbanded.

“As our work has evolved, so too must our Vision Zero engagement.”
— Chris Warner, PBOT Director

With just four years to reach the 2025 target of zero road deaths, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has officially dissolved the Vision Zero Task Force and plans to shift to a, “model of community accountability that engages an even broader set of stakeholders.”

This move was confirmed in a letter to Task Force members, but was not announced publicly until now. A Vision Zero newsletter emailed on February 4th made no mention of the change.

In a letter (PDF) dated January 22nd, PBOT Director Chris Warner offered gratitude to task force members. “Your leadership and commitment to safe streets have contributed to a strong foundation for PBOT’s Vision Zero work,” he wrote. “The Vision Zero Task Force has shaped Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan, embedded racial equity and elevated street design in our work, and overseen implementation of Vision Zero actions over the past four years.”

Portland adopted its Vision Zero resolution in June 2015 and passed an action plan six months later. The Task Force was charged with implementing that plan. They met 11 times between February 2017 and October 2019.

PBOT, Portland, and vision zero in general have gone through massive shifts in recents years. The agency has gone through political and staffing leadership changes, Portland has been at the center of a reckoning on racism and policing, and traffic safety advocacy has evolved to be more aware of how road projects and policy decisions impact all users.

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Page 1 of Vision Zero Engagement Plan Summary.

In his letter, Warner wrote that PBOT’s community engagement style will change to fit the times. The task force will be replaced by a new, four-step public engagement plan that will, “continue to support our work to build a culturally-responsive and community-driven Vision Zero education program.”

According to the Vision Zero Engagement Plan Summary (PDF), the four new focus areas will be: “BIPOC-centered education and outreach”, collaboration with Metro and Multnomah County, an outreach and marketing plan for automated enforcement, and a new informational dashboard to help inform the public on progress.

PBOT’s Vision Zero staff will create a cohort of Black, Indigenous, and people of color to be called the “Frontline Community Partner focus group” which will “provide base level information on community wishes around transportation safety education” and help develop marketing efforts. The group will also audit PBOT’s existing safety programs. A facilitator will be hired to create an outreach and education plan.

The City of Portland will also convene a regular meeting of partners from Metro and Multnomah County to “advance collaboration on street design and policy work.” They plan to focus on issues like speed limits, regional safety messaging and education, and legislation.

With PBOT currently working to expand automated enforcement, another focus will be to seek feedback and better educate the public about this important tool.

A new online dashboard will be updated quarterly, is expected to be live early this year, and is intended to, “provide clear, easy-to-access updates on street safety actions and programs.” It will include data on things like street lighting, crashes, project progress and evaluations, enforcement camera data, traffic citation data, and so on.

These changes come as Portland reels under the consequences and constant threat of increasingly violent streets. Far from seeing substantial progress for six years of Vision Zero efforts, PBOT is trying to right the ship. Time will tell if this new tack will result in smoother sailing.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Nadia Maxim
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Nadia Maxim

Sounds like a lot of planning and not much action. More secure jobs and money for the bureaucrats as they plan incessantly. They seem to excel at wasting the taxpayers hard earned money without having anything to show for it except more governmental reports. Time for a tax revolt! Only way to get them to listen is to cut their funding.

Vincent D.
Guest
Vincent D.

It also doesn’t help that vision zero was never a realistic goal for our little PBOT. Our streets have so many basic attributes that are missing (raised crosswalks, bollards, chicanes, etc) coupled with ridiculously oversized vehicles that force us to have an oversized road network, and yet we give ourselves these insane objectives and pretend we can reach them through education. It’s not education we need, it’s infrastructure and enforcement for the removal of dangerous vehicles and drivers from our roads. But it costs money we don’t have (at least not at the city level), so we like to pretend we can reach vision zero through powerpoint presentations and online dashboards. It’s just dishonest pandering. At least there now is some hope the federal government is going to start putting serious money on infrastructure development.

ChadwickF
Guest
ChadwickF

Right? At this point, it seems like only things from a federal level will move us on any transportation action in this town.
So my question would be, what was the funding like at the city level, say, 15-20-30 years ago, when it felt like Portland was making in-roads to safer infrastructure?
Or was this just a perception of progress, and we never actually had it?

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Vincent, I see your point. Massive budgetary changes would indeed help make finalized designs (eg concrete protected intersections) a reality, but I strongly disagree that PBoT and the city council couldn’t have taken an enormous chunk out of deaths/injuries. I think you’re giving the council and PBoT too much credit.

With bollards, planters and paint Portland could have had a network of functional PBLs in the inner neighborhoods within a few years (still can). It’s important to remember that PBoT could easily have concentrated their efforts on removing parking, narrowing lanes, and with planters and bollards made almost all E Portland boulevards relatively safe with cheap fixes. The Halsey/Weidler couplet, one of the best designs PBoT has made, cost 5.5 million. Imagine spreading that money out to make the entire length of Halsey safe. It’s NOT simply a budget problem. It’s a leadership problem.

Roberta
Guest
Roberta

Let’s aim our arrows of disappointment at Kate Brown and her gaslighting disappointment Director Strickland. They own the money, the roads and the laws. They have a straight line to Salem legislative changes. They are all paid lobbyist (ODOT staffers) spending all their time on the rural legislature. Passing out sidewalks like they are Jesus. There should be a “wall” around these staffers and how they engage with elected officials. Shameful

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

How is an ODOT staffer also a paid lobbyist? It has been my understanding that lobbyists are not public employees.

J_R
Guest
J_R

There is so much unbelievable wording in this article. It’s so pathetic it has me laughing.

What we need is motorist accountability, not community accountability that engages a broader set of stakeholders.

We don’t need any more education. What we’ve supposedly tried has not produced any positive outcomes.

Now, we’re going to have more frontline focus groups and partner meetings. Wow! New names for the same ineffective entities.

Better make sure staff and selected invitees get trips to far away places to see what works. And, don’t forget the plans and reports. We need lots more of those.

For goodness sake, don’t try anything like E N F O R C E M E N T. That might have negative consequences.

Alex
Guest
Alex

TBF, it’s hard to push enforcement when you have a police force like this: https://www.opb.org/article/2021/02/07/portland-has-5th-worst-arrest-disparities-in-the-nation-according-to-data/

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Cameras are thankfully color blind when it comes to snapping a picture.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Absolutely. 100% for that.

Nadia Maxim
Guest
Nadia Maxim

If you want any enforcement better vote PBOT leader Hardesty out of office at the next election. She is even opposed to traffic cameras.

FROM BIKE PORTLAND 6/21/19 “….Earlier in the meeting there was a discussion about speed reader boards (signs that show speed limit compared to actual driving speed) and automated enforcement cameras. Hardesty expressed discomfort with cameras due to privacy and racial concerns. Despite stats presented by PBOT that show a clear reduction in speeding in locations where cameras have been installed, Hardesty seems to prefer reader boards which don’t have a built-in enforcement and citation mechanism (“90% of people look down and check their speeds when they pass those reader boards,” she said). ”

https://bikeportland.org/2019/06/21/pbot-gets-council-support-for-vision-zero-except-from-commissioner-hardesty-301539

Alex
Guest
Alex

Nope. I like her overall. I would rather fire all the cops, get rid of the union and then rehire them without the union support and hold them accountable. I don’t think she is the one making the cops racist.

Edit: profiling and privacy are legitimate concerns. I would prefer the cops don’t control traffic. Can we take it out of ppbs hands and just hire a traffic enforcement agency outside of the toxic ppb that are held accountable and can actually be fired?

Nadia Maxim
Guest
Nadia Maxim

You’re 100% behind traffic cameras.
Hardesty is against them.
You don’t address that.
Instead you go to name calling…saying the police are racist. I imagine Chief Lovell is racist too?

Alex
Guest
Alex

Honestly, sort of mixed feelings about them. Perhaps I stated my certainty too much originally. I don’t have to agree 100% with politicians I elect and support.

I imagine Chief Lovell is racist, too. If you know anything about how racism functions in society, then you might tend to agree. Are you aware of some of the reasoning and evidence cited behind Brown v. Board decision?

I don’t think Lovell wants reform. If he does, I sure haven’t heard him say anything pushing in that direction. Do I think Lovell actively makes a choice to be racist? No, I don’t. But I also think that is a very naive idea of what racism is and how it lives in our society. I also don’t think Lovell, or cops in general, makes a conscious decision to go against people with mental illness, that doesn’t mean the cops don’t discriminate against them unconsciously. They also tend to support systems that have feedback loops that support racism, discrimination against mental illness, etc. They benefit from it; it’s literally how they make their living and they don’t see what they do as wrong. I know if I saw what I did as wrong for a job, I would have a real hard time justifying doing it every day. Again, systems and feedback loops.

It also isn’t just me “name calling”. I literally linked an article showing statistics how the Portland Police are basically the 5th most racist police bureau in the top ~40 metro areas in the country. That’s name calling? Ok. I am fine with calling them racist if the numbers back me up. If they don’t want to be called racist, then they shouldn’t do racist things.

Edit: Clarity

Nadia Maxim
Guest
Nadia Maxim

The link you provided makes no mention of Portland police being racist. It talks of racial disparities in arrests. That is your bias that you have added. If you really want reform the community is going to need to work collaboratively with our law enforcement leadership and officers to achieve that goal. Check out this new Portland non profit which is striving to do just that, Link below.

Additionally, although the data in your linked article may be correct, it is provided by a single individual who states he is a “data scientist” but does not appear to have any higher education in the field. It is easy to collate data and present statistics in such a way to support one’s agenda. Reducing bias in policing is a good agenda of course but the source of this data makes me a little suspect in this case. We shouldn’t believe everything we read without examination.

Anyway, check this out
https://www.facetofacepdx.org/

Alex
Guest
Alex

You think disparities in arrests based on skin color isn’t a clear show of systemic racism? If that isn’t racism, please tell me what you think racism is, because I think our definition of that word does not align. You not calling that racist is your bias. How do you feel about Kruger still being at the PPB? Here is an article that talks about Portland’s racist policing from the same source: https://www.opb.org/article/2021/01/04/truth-and-reconciliation-portland-police/. But please tell me how Portland’s policing isn’t racist, because it’s certainly something you have failed to do so far.

The next thing you moved into is an attack to undermine the data based on credentials of the person reporting it? A logical falsehood? Super cool story. You seem like you are really working from a base of wanting to “collaborate” from a really honest place. If you have problems with the data, please bring them up and present your own data or other data that contradicts it.

Where there has been reform, there hasn’t always been a strong collaboration to fix it. Camden, for example. Or the country of Georgia. They literally fired the whole force in both instances because the cops were too toxic to deal with. When Portland keeps people like Krueger on, or doesn’t have any accountability by not wearing traceable badge numbers when policing protests, or when they have to have federal oversight due to how poorly they handle mental health cases, or when they incompetently deal with traffic like they have, or the ppb’s lawsuit to overturn the oversight vote, or the police ignoring 911 calls after their budget cuts on retribution, perhaps collaboration doesn’t seem possible.

Tell me, what notable positive things are the police doing?

Yes, I am aware of that organization.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

“You think disparities in arrests based on skin color isn’t a clear show of systemic racism.”

Should all outcomes be equal? Variation is the norm in behavioral statistics.

If you can indicate how much of the disparity is due solely to racism, then we’d be on to something interesting.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Funny you should say that – the article I linked has this quote in it: “The hit rate on actually finding contraband is much lower for Black people than whites, so these policies end up just over-policing and under-protecting communities of color.”

Should all outcomes be equal? Probably not, but what we have seen over and over is that often the rate crime is the same across race, but the rate of prosecution, jail sentencing and enforcement is disproportionate across race.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

[The] rate [of] crime is the same across race[s].

Citation needed. Everything I’ve ever read on the issue contradicts this statement.

Alex
Guest
Alex
Alex
Guest
Alex

Correction: the article I linked does mention the police being racist.

“Even if Portland were to come back into compliance with the settlement agreement – which focuses on how police treat people with mental health needs – there are other troubling data points that highlight racist patterns of policing in the city.” -> links to this article: https://www.opb.org/article/2020/11/27/portland-police-bureau-black-drivers-report/

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

You sound like someone who crunches numbers or has a background as a policy analyst. I appreciate your objectivity.

Nadia Maxim
Guest
Nadia Maxim

“I would rather fire all the cops…..”
Sounds like a Trumpian move. “Drain the swamp” and create chaos.
That didn’t work so well.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

And since we can all agree that the education system is inherently racist, all of the teachers should be fired and rehired…and the Union disbanded.

Alex
Guest
Alex

This is a pretty good piece on that topic: https://tcf.org/content/commentary/double-standard-public-sector-unions/

One point I would make, the FBI hasn’t come out with a report about how white nationalists have infiltrated our schools, but they have certainly said that about the police. The police unions have eroded the trust of the public to a much greater extent than teacher unions.

You honestly don’t seem too “middle of the road”, you seem more right-wing.

edit: typo

Alex
Guest
Alex

Funny you say that, in Camden it was across political parties and Chris Christy was involved. What it should sound like is that when something keeps failing, we can identify and change.

***portion of comment deleted***

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Sounds like a solid plan for all Public Employee Unions.

Matt P
Guest
Matt P

Not according to Hardesty…

Alex
Subscriber
Alex

I think it has more to do with placement than it has to do with the camera’s being “blind”. Camera placement can definitely be discriminatory. How do you guarantee equity in that? I do think there should be a systems of checks and balances around tools like such as this.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

What does equity mean – Equal outcomes?

Do we need to ensure that males between the age of 18-25 are ticketed on par with drivers over 40 years old?

Alex
Guest
Alex

This is a ridic argument. It means that camera placement, for example, isn’t skewed towards prosecuting a specific group – whether consciously or unconsciously.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Given that Portland is vastly white, most cameras will invariably be placed in white majority neighborhoods. Is the speed camera on Sandy by the Trader Joe’s racist?

Alex
Guest
Alex

You keep incorrectly and disingenously calling a camera racist. It’s not the camera, it’s the system of humans that surround and use that camera.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

This is Portland. I absolutely guarantee that some group will think the cameras themselves are racist.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Well, I already did 🙂

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

And you haven’t shown us the degree to which “racism” would impact that process – you just say that it will.

Can you admit that since Portland is mostly white, racism in camera placement likely will not be a big concern?

If one or two people are in charge of reviewing tickets, seems to me you have a gate in the process that is easily fixed (train those folks for recognizing bias).

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

We can’t guarantee equity, nor should we. Cameras should be placed based on data: speeding, injuries, and death. Race is not a factor here. Any resulting charges of inequity should be ignored. If we focus on inequity instead of road safety, more people will die.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Exactly. The focus is on the wrong outcome.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

How do you guarantee equity in that?

You want to place the cameras to help ensure that the most dangerous streets become safer for everyone. If those streets are in a minority neighborhood, and are dangerous because many minority drivers are speeding, and the victims of crashes are predominantly minority, then the system could be equitable even if it mostly tickets minority drivers.

Placing a camera on a safer street where there are fewer minorities “for equity” is a waste of resources and makes no sense at all.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

It should be noted that it is primarily Progressives telling us what is good for minority communities. Personally, I would trust members from the community more – it may very well be that people living in those areas want those cameras because of the dangers.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

You must not realize that human beings review those pictures. Think they don’t have biases?

Alex
Subscriber
Alex

Yea, not to mention, if the tickets are contested in courts, the courts tend to favor white.

That being said, do you throw away all the benefits of reducing traffic violence because justice can’t be delivered in a 100% fair way in broken system? That’s a tough call.

nic.cota
Subscriber

Alex, I agree to your point.

It seems like not using speeding cameras which objectively give citations is throwing the baby out with the bathwater…It’s the most equalizing solution to traffic enforcement we can achieve fairly without moving to saying we need to dismantle the whole judicial system.

Take it with a grain of salt I guess, I (like too many on here) am a white educated male who hasn’t dealt the repercussions of said system…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That being said, do you throw away all the benefits of reducing traffic violence because justice can’t be delivered in a 100% fair way in broken system? That’s a tough call.

That should not in any way be a tough call.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Yeah, you might be correct. If a cop who is a POC is reviewing the photos, they might end up ticketing the white drivers more.

But we won’t know until we try, right? Perhaps a citizen oversight companion can review the tickets with the cop to ensure bias doesn’t occur?

My personal opinion on why Progressives seem Hell-bent against automated enforcement is that they know deep down they are not going to like the results.

Alex
Guest
Alex

As if it hasn’t been tried and we can’t see the results. You should do some searching and reading before all this conjecture.

Edit: Link – https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/ct-red-light-cameras-race-turner-20151103-column.html

Money quote – “What the team found was that race had nothing to do with who was more or less likely to run a red light. That sounds radical, right?

What mattered more than race was whether the driver lived near an intersection with a red light camera; the size of the driver’s household; how many children were in the home; how many vehicles the driver had; and whether the family lived in poverty.”

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Maybe in Chicago, but traffic injury and death rates in Portland suggest that certain groups are significantly more likely to crash than others, and it seems quite likely that reflects underlying driving behavior.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Oh, I made sure to before I brought the topic up.

Basically, very localized cameras in specific areas will show disparities based upon the demographics of that area, but when looked at regionally those disparities average out. I think we are in agreement that speed cameras all over the metro area would be beneficial. Some of those might happen to be in low income neighborhoods and result in more low income people getting ticketed in that particular area. That seems perfectly normal to me. I would assume higher income folks would get ticketed in higher income neighborhoods.

https://trid.trb.org/view/802128
“Using the red light camera violation information and census data, this study finds no evidence of differential behavior in red-light running based on race and evidence of a decrease in red-light running behavior for low-income groups.”

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/racial-profiling-red-light-cameras/
“When the researchers used U.S. Census data – including income, vehicles per household and education levels — to analyze information about residents as “block groups,” a different picture emerged. The analysis suggests that the racial composition of the block group does not significantly affect the number of violations found within the block group. Two other factors appeared to play larger roles with respect to violations within the block group: The number of vehicles per household and the distance the driver lived from the location of the violation.”

soren
Guest
soren

First of all, automated speed cameras are still illegal. The handful of speed cameras installed in Portland were allowed as a one-time trial by the legislature.

Secondly, racist and classist Portland police staff still decide who should be fined based on their “perception” of footage. (I don’t trust them, do you?)

Thirdly, placement of automated speed cameras disproportionately targets lower-income and marginalized communities.

It’s conceivable that, in a thoroughly racist and classist city like Portland, automated speed camera ticketing could end up being even more biased than current roadway enforcement (which disproportionately targets black people).

And finally, a focus on “enforcement” is not an evidence-based approach for reducing traffic violence (enforcement is de-emphasized in Sweden, the UK, or the Netherlands as a traffic safety tool). IMO, “enforcement” band-aids will do little to stem the shedding of blood in a violent and narcissistic traffic system and culture.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Hey Soren, I see where you’re going I think, but I hope you’ll recognize how effective and ultimately preventative traffic cameras can be as evidenced by their success in NYC (and in countries such as the Netherlands of course). 1) A legislative decision to allow traffic cameras on all roads would be an incredible boon to safe street design. 2) Decisions on traffic camera output could potentially be biased. But it would be a stark difference compared with the current system, akin to tweaking decision making as opposed to retraining and monitoring an entire traffic division 3) Placement could be ubiquitous, but primarily along high crash corridors in ALL neighborhoods, therefore eliminating placement bias. 4) You are somewhat correct that prevention by design is favored in most countries rather than punitive measures. We should focus on research-based street design rather than prioritizing car capacity. But as the NYC data shows, once cameras are established, they become quite preventative.

soren
Guest
soren

“could potentially be biased”

I think it’s important to stop dancing around the fact Portland’s high crash corridors tend to be adjacent to communities that have higher levels of lower income, black, brown, and immigrant residents. While it is true that speed cameras could be implemented in less biased manner, this would require 1) the state legislature to make them legal (unlikely), and 2) large budgetary outlays (also unlikely). I’m also skeptical because it is my impression that equity has not been a focus of most of those calling for speed cameras. I hope this changes because I would like to support speed cameras.

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

“equity has not been a focus of most of those calling for speed cameras.”

Really? I work in transportation planning, and one of the biggest reason these cameras are popular among trasnportation planners is that they avoid relying on police for enforcement, which increases equity considerably.

soren
Guest
soren

my comments above focused on the placement of these cameras in communities. my apologies for not making that more clear.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Given the current system and culture we have, not enforcing doesn’t work either.

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

The risk of dying in traffic is higher in lower-income and margialized communities. That is why they are “targeted”. Isn’t that also an equity consideration?

rick
Guest
rick

I’d love more enforcement and cameras.

squareman
Subscriber

Vision Zero Task Force is dissolved. And like a tree falling over, impotent and alone in the forest, nobody will even notice that it happened. 🙁

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Good lord, we know what works. Fix the damn roads.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If I had an unlimited budget, that would be one of the first 10 things I did.

Eric H
Guest
Eric H

So is this what happened to the Off-road Cycling Master Plan process as well? Just dissolved it without actually telling anyone?

Alex
Guest
Alex

No – they told us that it passed, had no funding and basically no chance of happening because of not having budget. This was during an “economic boom time”.

Pretty sure it’s time to just start cutting some new trail in FP, since that seems like the only feasible means of getting any during our life time.

Eric H
Guest
Eric H

It passed?! When did that happen? Current status on the website (https://www.portland.gov/bps/off-road-cycling) is ongoing and the last document is a discussion draft from October 2017(!). Platinum, baby!

Alex
Guest
Alex

Oops, maybe it just got out of the committee alive, my mistake. Either way, nothing is going to happen, start digging.

Free Forest Park.

dan
Guest
dan

After doing nothing for several years, we’ve accomplished nothing. Now we’re going to make room for a new totally ineffective process. Tax dollars well spent, as always.

maxD
Guest
maxD

This is disappointing, but possibly for the best. It is disappointing because I think it possible to change a paradigm within a bureaucracy by adopting something easy to understand with a clear, visionary goal like Vision Zero. Its probably for the best because Portland never really adopted it. It was a task force, and a trail and whatnot. Instead of saying PBOT has adopted a goal to reach zero traffic deaths by 2030, and all new projects will consider changes to help meet that goal, PBOT made a task force, and they met a few times, and they identified projects. meanwhile, projects like Greeley crop up with a bunch of really unsafe aspects to it. I direct some question to the project engineer who literally asks “what is Vision Zero?” She looks into it and explains that Greeley is projected funded by Freight money, it is not a Vision Zero project, so concerns about wide lanes, high traffic speeds, no safe space for pedestrians, etc do not apply. I think that half-assed, siloed approach to Vision Zero could possibly so ineffective that it could be worse than not having any commitment to Vision Zero. I guess we will find out.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Great example maxD. That a project is not included on the high-crash network and as such should be exempt from safe design is truly ludicrous. I know your concerns on Greeley, and having gone through that intersection and found the signal timing much too brief, I concur on some counts. The elephant in the room is this: street design is a pretty solid science. There’s a lot of research out there. But a Vision Zero plan cannot exist without a singular political decision, ie to ignore traffic counts and prioritize safe design. The traditional view is count traffic, and if safe design does not affect parking or capacity, then we can change a street. That is Portland’s ultimate failure. Any plan that avoids this difficult political decision will fail.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Zero enforcement, zero expectations and if they are merely going to load up speed cameras in low income neighborhoods then shame on them. Side note, Chloe can say all that she would like but the deaths under her watch mostly went up. All talk and nothing but science to let us know that is all that she was.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

That’s weird. Usually good intentions are enough to implement near-impossible policies.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

“Far from seeing substantial progress for six years of Vision Zero efforts, PBOT is trying to right the ship. Time will tell if this new tack will result in smoother sailing.”

It sounds as if the ship of state, the only ship that leaks from the top, is drifting rudderless towards a lee shore, the crew all ahoo with too many leaders and the sails all blown out, about to wreck on the rocks.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Anyone who cycles in Portland knows what it will take to make the roads safer: We need enforcement of existing traffic laws. Every Portland cyclist also knows that enforcement is nonexistent right now – and has been for years. The fact that many drivers still obey the law is the only thing standing between the current barely tenable situation and total chaos. A large minority have figured out there is no enforcement and drive accordingly.

Vision Zero is still the right idea but enforcement is Step One.

Mike Quigley
Guest
Mike Quigley

It’s hard to figure why there’s so little enforcement when it’s so easy to do and could be so lucrative. Years go, the tiny town of Jordan Valley had only one cop whose speed trap through town paid his salary plus plenty left over for other city services.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Mike I look at it from a popular opinion, non-science based POV of a driver, and hence most politicians: “accidents” are unfortunate but necessary, true enforcement via traffic cameras are both an infringement on individual rights and just another way to tax citizens. I think this idea runs counter to research, but it’s what most people believe.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Hey Fred I see your point, and I have been frustrated by apparent impunity in some drivers. Certainly enforcement via traffic cameras is key, but the reason vision zero exists-and why it is so fantastically failing-is to prevent dangerous driving via design. With paint and bollards all of the Stark/Washington couplet, for instance, could be redesigned to dramatically reduce the chance of injury/death. The reason why we have not done this is not a lack of knowledge, but a prioritization of car capacity and parking. That is a mayoral and city council failure. Enforcing poor driver behavior with current street design is akin to herding cats, no amount of it can fix the problem.

ConcernedCitizen
Guest
ConcernedCitizen

I think a bunch of mobile speed cameras would go a long way to producing actual results. Wouldn’t need to be that many, simply move them around at random. 5 mph and over and you’ve got a ticket. Start the fee low at $20. Each additional fee doubles. Don’t pay and your car is repo’d, auctioned off, and the driver gets the proceeds in gift certificates to trimet and/or local bike shops. None of this would require PPB action.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I agree with you except for one point: If a limit is actually a limit, then you need to be ticketed if you’re 1 mph over the limit.

Doug Klotz
Subscriber

The impetus for that 10 mph variance was an assumption that car speedometers can be off 10 mph one way or the other.. Although, I read up a little, and generally with modern cars they’re not off by more than 5 mph, and generally read high rather than low. So it would be reasonable to lower that leeway to + – 5 mph. Of course if you have other than stock wheels and tires, all bets are off.

Chopwatch
Guest
Chopwatch

Bureaucratic bureaucrats doing bureaucratic things.