On Thursday the Portland Bureau of Transportation released a powerful new tool that will help the community track progress (or lack of) toward our goal of zero traffic deaths.
The Vision Zero Dashboard is an interactive mapping tool that tracks five key things: safety projects, speed limit changes, fixed speed cameras citations, education and outreach events, recent traffic crashes, and Fire & Rescue call-outs. The data is generally from 2019 through 2020 and PBOT says they’ll update it every quarter.
As we’ve reported here a few times, access to information is crucial in holding PBOT accountable. I’m really looking forward to having this information at our fingertips. As I looked through it for the first time, a few things caught my eyes:
You can use the map tools base a selection on a mileage radius (see graphic at right). Just hover over the right arrow icon on the toolbar in the upper left corner of the map and then choose the “Radial” selection option. Then click and drag on a location you’re curious about to see if PBOT has recently invested around it.
(Screen grabs of Fire & Rescue response calls (left) and speed limit reduction locations (right)).
Curious about PBOT’s war on speeding? The new map lists all the speed reductions for the 100 or so miles of streets that have had one since 2019. Hover over a line and see the new speed, old speed, and boundary of the change.
Our speed cameras are very busy and we need more of them. In 2020 Portland’s eight fixed speed radar cameras issued 79,163 citations. Nearly half of those — 36,209 — were from the SE Division and 122nd cameras alone. See the huge downward spike on some of the lines on the graph? Those are what happened when the cameras were down from maintenance. It’s unfortunate we have these installed at only five distinct locations citywide given how effective they are at regulating speeds and enforcing safe behaviors.
2020 was interesting year because of the pandemic’s impact on driving. This new dashboard gives us a great visual snapshot of how speeding went up once the lockdown began in earnest. Check the line graphs of the camera citations after March 2020. PBOT also shares the amount of Fire & Rescue responses in relation to different points in the pandemic timeline. There’s a huge drop when the first stay-at-home orders were issued. Then the crashes start piling up again until they spike up above the previous five-year average in August.
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