Over 80% of drivers speed near an elementary school, so PBOT will take away two lanes

Current and future conditions on NE 148th and Sacramento in front of Margaret Scott Elementary School (lower left).

Like the parents of a child unable to safely use a dangerous toy, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is taking away two of the four general purpose lanes on Northeast 148th Avenue from car drivers. It’s a move any parent can relate to: Behave badly, get privileges taken away.

The street redesign currently under construction will update the striping on a half-mile section of NE 148th — from NE 146th Dr to Halsey. Despite the presence of Margaret Scott Elementary School at the intersection of 148th and Sacramento, PBOT traffic data shows that 86-93% of all drivers are going above the posted 35 mph speed limit. That’s over 5,500 cars per day speeding in front of a neighborhood school.

To make matters worse, the nearest marked crosswalk is a 10-minute walk away from the school.

This lack of safe infrastructure for walking and biking, combined with the selfishness and wanton disregard for other peoples’ safety displayed by so many drivers, gives PBOT all the justification they need for re-allocating road space (without even getting into the fact that our city’s adopted plans call for prioritizing walkers and bikers above car users).

In addition to reducing the number of general purpose lanes from four to two, the project (with funds from the Fixing Our Streets local gas tax) will build a new sidewalk on school grounds, update the bike lanes, and add a striped, median-protected crosswalk.

Currently this stretch of 148th has standard-width (5-6 feet wide) buffered bike lanes. The new plans will create a much wider buffer zone. The bike lanes will remain paint-only, but the added separation and reduced driving space should lead to much less stressful conditions (and can be hardened in the future).

And because NE Sacramento (which is adjacent to the elementary school where the new sidewalk and crossing will be installed) is a future neighborhood greenway, PBOT will construct a two-way bike lane on the east side of 148th in order to facilitate crossing the off-set intersection. That short section of bike lane on 148th will include plastic curbs and flex-posts for separation.

PBOT says the decrease in driving space will also decrease speeding and the new lane configuration will match the existing, two-lane cross-section north of the project’s boundary on 148th.

On the project website, PBOT says a person walking in east Portland is 2.3 times more likely to be hit by a driver than a person walking in inner Portland. “East Portland’s wide streets have historically prioritized motor vehicle speed above everything else, including safety,” the site states.

This project is currently under construction. This week, PBOT crews had already begun striping the bike lane. Learn more at the project website.


Note: The original design would have created a median-protected crossing on the south side of the Sacramento intersection, which would have connected it directly to the new sidewalk and school. I asked PBOT to explain why they changed the crossing location to the north side of the intersection. Here’s the response from Public Information Office Dylan Rivera:

“At first, we did plan to build an improved crossing of 148th on the south side of Sacramento, where the school campus is located, which would have required installing a median island in the left turn lane on 148th at Sacramento.

This is a school served heavily by school buses for transportation. Reynolds School District Transportation and Margaret School Elementary School management strongly preferred maintaining the left turn lane at Sacramento to facilitate school bus time reliability. We evaluated other options, like re-routing the buses, but ultimately decided to put the crossing on the north side of the intersection. Due to funding limitations, this project is installing an enhanced crossing with islands, lighting, and ramps on one side of Sacramento, but not both sides.  The catchment boundary area of Margaret Scott Elementary school currently does not serve students from the east side of NE 148th.”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Watts
Watts
4 months ago

The headline presents this as a case of retaliation. I think that’s both inaccurate and unhelpful for building support for safety projects overall.

And it makes no sense to put a marked crosswalk at a location that has no sidewalks, while leaving the other side, which will get a new sidewalk, unmarked.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago

When I lived in East Portland, the Wilkes neighborhood that this is in was advocating for such a change. On the other side of the stroad is the Summerplace retirement community. Why would you have such a major 4-lane stroad between a public school and a retirement community? The explanation is pretty simple – 148th was to be a major interchange (along with 122nd & 162) for the I-80 Mt Hood Freeway. The county was planning ahead. But the freeway was never built, so the stroads are now these overwide neighborhood collector street, allowing pass-through traffic to go full throttle through 1970s-designed residential superblocks. Later, after the city annexed the area, the neighborhoods kept pushing the city to reduce the number of lanes on Glisan, Halsey, Division, Stark, Foster, Holgate, 122nd, 102nd, 148th, & 162nd. The city responded very very slowly, at a snails pace. Any street with 3 lanes each way was reduced to 2 (Division), but it took numerous pedestrian deaths on Glisan to finally get the lanes reduced from 2 to one each way. Still waiting on Stark and most other stroads.

A better explanation is that 30 years after annexation, PBOT is finally realizing that these huge Mt. Hood Freeway stroads are not designed for pedestrians and do not reflect city transportation Vision-Zero values, and are finally responding to neighborhood requests to reduce the number of excess lanes, for pedestrian and car traffic safety reasons, aesthetics, and to reduce long-term city maintenance costs.

A more mundane explanation is that 148th has already been narrowed to one lane each way south of Glisan and north of Sacramento, and this is one of the last sections that needs lanes reduced before the project gets completed.

Michael
Michael
4 months ago

I certainly appreciate reframing things away from “accidents” and dangerous conditions just being the natural consequence of our “modern” world and transportation system, but I also find the antagonistic take between motorists and PBOT here a bit weird. It seems to me that PBOT planners and engineers are responding to a dangerous condition by remediating what’s making it dangerous with evidence-based street design features, which is just what engineering is. I don’t “punish” people by “taking away their toys” when an HVAC system is causing comfort issues; I work on finding a solution to the problem and implementing it in order to create a more comfortable and efficient building for all of its occupants.

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

I could live with the headline, but I think the opening paragraph (“Like the parents of a child unable to safely use a dangerous toy, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is taking away two of the four general purpose lanes on Northeast 148th Avenue from car drivers. It’s a move any parent can relate to: Behave badly, get privileges taken away.”) does not do any of us any good. It’s not a useful metaphor, inasmuch as drivers don’t want to feel infantilized, and the lesson here is as much for PBOT as for the drivers … stroads are dangerous, and especially so in a location like this.

Maybe that idea of lessons learned would have been a better opening hook, something like: “Elementary schools are all about education, but one of the most important lessons being learned at Margaret Scott Elementary is happening just beyond the school grounds. And it’s one that can be life-saving: better street design is key to curbing reckless driving and preserving kids’ safety. Recognizing the dangers of the current street design adjacent to the school, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is removing two of the four general purpose lanes on Northeast 148th Avenue, which are currently dominated by speeding vehicles.” Please feel free to use that, amended if you like, in a revised opening.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago

I thought Lois’ opening was excellent.

It’s not about being mean or offending; it’s about presenting PBOT as being oppositional to drivers. It’s simply inaccurate, and if that narrative spreads, it will make it harder for PBOT to do more good work because people will react more strongly to future PBOT safety projects. (“Hey! They’re collectively punishing us!” rather than “Safety project for the safety of schoolchildren”.)

Inaccuracy and complicating safety projects are the downsides of your framing; I’m not sure what you see as the upsides.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago

you don’t agree with

That’s fine but it’s not what I’m talking about. It’s not a question of “agreeing” — when I read a news headline, I’m not supposed to agree or disagree with it; I’m supposed to get a summary of what the article is about.

In this case (in both the headline and the first paragraph) you are inventing a conflict between PBOT and drivers that does not at all reflect how PBOT is approaching this project. PBOT is not collectively punishing drivers. They are not taking “privleges” away. They are implementing a rather mediocre and routine safety project.

Your take is not 100% accurate; it’s not accurate at all.

It’s a media headline, it’s not inaccurate or accurate, it’s just a headline and words.

Interesting remark coming from a journalist.

Daniel Reimer
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I think the headline summarizes the article perfectly

Over 80% of drivers speed near an elementary school, so PBOT will take away two lanes

Because so many people were speeding, PBOT will do a road diet, a proven way to make people drive slower. There is nothing inaccurate about that.

Opening paragraph is a little funky, but it sets the tone and makes a decent analogy.

And I disagree that there isn’t a conflict between PBOT and drivers. PBOT sets posted speed limit and drivers fail to obey it. That’s a conflict that exists that PBOT needs to take control of. In a lot of ways, it’s “like the parents of a child unable to safely use a dangerous toy” 🙂

Watts-off
Watts-off
4 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

Because so many people were speeding, PBOT will do a road diet, a proven way to make people drive slower. There is nothing inaccurate about that.

Agreed. It’s a safety project, not a punishment.

aquaticko
aquaticko
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts-off

Do you think there isn’t some maybe-small-but-vocal portion of drivers who wouldn’t perceive the lane reduction as a “punishment” insofar as it presents a possible inconvenience, anyway, regardless of what PBOT says? If Jonathan’s framing represents the polar opposite perspective, the point is that a disappointingly large contingent of people do exist on the other pole. Their position is driving is a right and that anything that impinges on it is unethical, even if it’s at the cost of public safety. Ours is that expending lives so that people can drive faster is unethical.

I do kind of hate to have to frame it this way, but: whose side are you on?

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

I do kind of hate to have to frame it this way, but: whose side are you on?

I’m not on a side because I don’t think there are “sides” here. Everyone wants safer streets. Everyone accepts many “impingements” on their driving (or biking or walking). Everyone is willing to accept some level of risk in exchange for a functional transportation system.

I don’t think it’s helpful to frame this as another “us” vs “them” issue.

aquaticko
aquaticko
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I’d agree with you, except that around the world, a car seems to transform a considerably-large contingent of people into sociopaths for whom the only value is the ability to drive wherever they want, as fast as they want to.

The only “us vs. them” is people who can be honest and rational about their transportation needs, critical about why those needs are what they are, and receptive of temporary inconveniences if it means better (cheaper, safer, greener) outcomes.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

I just don’t accept your premise that only the right-thinkers can be honest, rational, critical, and open to better outcomes. I’ll grant you that most people don’t spend their free time thinking about transportation issues, but that doesn’t mean they are sociopathic drones that don’t care about people dying on the streets.

I find this attitude (widely shared on this forum) smug and elitist. “We” are enlightened, “they” are sociopaths that need to be punished for their awful disgusting behavior.

bbcc
bbcc
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Every Watts comment reminds me of that onion article:

Area Man Accepts Burden Of Being Only Person On Earth Who Understands How World Actually Works

Watts-off
Watts-off
4 months ago
Reply to  bbcc

It’s heavy responsibility, but someone must correct the internet.

Aesir
Aesir
4 months ago

Jonathan, if I were to say that pedestrians don’t cross streets safely, or that bicyclists don’t appropriately share sidewalk space, if you do the right thing in each of these cases, the assertion shouldn’t offend you, right?

This is part of the backwards logic that I really struggle with in more progressive spaces. When the progressives generalize, surely “the good ones” can understand that they aren’t being attacked. When non-progressives generalize, they’re stupid for expanding an assertion onto every member of a population and not qualifying it.

I understand you are trying to see what language you like, but do please try to keep an awareness of some of the hypocrisy that can be perpetrated by your experimentation.

cc_rider
cc_rider
4 months ago

People respond to how roads are designed. Why did PBOT build a four lane highway next to a school in the first place?

PBOT seems to believe that they can design roads to encourage people to go 45-55mph and then sign them as 25-35mph roads and people actually go that speed.

Speed limits should be an after thought in road design. We know what makes people go 25mph and its not providing them wide-open roads.

clay
4 months ago

Maybe it’s the ghost of early aughts bicycle discourse haunting me, but it seems only appropriate that we refer to these negligent, irresponsible drivers as “scofflaws.”

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
4 months ago
Reply to  clay

This is not a fair comparison at all because bike scofflaws do not routinely threaten the safety of other human beings whereas the majority of drivers threaten human beings with grievous harm on a routine basis (phew, yikes, oopsie, my bad, my mistakes, just an accident).

— a proud bike scofflaw

Watts
Watts
4 months ago

My intent with this framing is to try and shift the blame away from road design and toward individual responsibility 

I’m with you on that. Road design is important, but individuals are ultimately responsible for their driving behavior.

cc_rider
cc_rider
4 months ago

What we’re doing now isn’t working. Many drivers need to hear the truth and look in the mirror and take some responsibility for their selfish, childish behavior.

That’s not going to work. Think how many motorists kill or injure themselves in cars. They don’t even care enough to keep themselves safe, much more other people.

Most people don’t care about the people around them. It’s just the plain truth. They don’t care about your truth because they don’t care how their actions effect you. Most motorists are more concerned with not getting a scratch on their car than they are killing someone with their car. The car is the crowning achievement in human selfishness and is popular because it allows us to be totally selfish.

We know what works. Build roads that don’t allow people to go fast. Punish people that still break law extremely hard. That’s it, that’s the whole thing. Anything else is a waste of time and money.

Kyle Banerjee
4 months ago

I think a bit of antagonism is needed. What we’re doing now isn’t working. Many drivers need to hear the truth and look in the mirror and take some responsibility for their selfish, childish behavior.

The part that’s not working is the antagonism. An approach based on hostility to the exact people who need to see things differently is a path to nowhere. Blanket language that demonizes senior citizens going to medical appointments, people going to work or the grocery store so they can put food on the table for themselves and those that depend on them, or a variety of tasks necessary to live is unproductive.

As a group, people who cycle have significantly less far to travel, are physically more capable, and are generally more privileged than most — there’s a reason cycling is associated with gentrification

What I see people complain about in this blog is simply epic. Anyone who thinks the areas that get loads of airplay in this blog such as Broadway, Naito, or any of the other areas is completely out of touch with the actual conditions most people need to contend with in terms of distance, terrain, traffic, or just about anything about the cycling experience — and is not in a position to make broad statements about the validity of their choices.

All the antagonism succeeds in doing is antagonizing people — hardly an ace strategy for winning converts.

Kyle Banerjee
4 months ago

And I’m not here to be nice in hopes of “winning converts.” 

Then what’s the point?

This is basically barking at dogs. It’s fun, but it only riles them up — and trains them to be crazier for future encounters. This will only traumatize newer riders.

Every place I’ve lived except Portland, I’ve been successful getting people not predisposed to ride on bikes (e.g. the big trucks and guns guys) — but my track record here is pathetic and is really only advice for people who would have ridden anyway. Portland is the only place I’ve lived where people close to me openly express hostility to cyclists.

Things get better only when the roads and cycling belongs to us all and affects people all sectors of society and not just a self othering fringe group dismissed outright when not treated with hostility. We don’t need the performative spectacles to succeed — but we need to dispense with the cycling answer to MAGA and ride.

Cycling is dying. As someone who rides actual roads, I’m sure you’re well aware it’s dominated by the 50+ crew. Cycling won’t be normalized until more “normal” people do it.


Maple Leaf Rider
Maple Leaf Rider
4 months ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Comment of the week! Thank you Kyle for speaking up for the vulnerable and underprivileged members of our society!

Serenity
Serenity
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Really… What do you think would be helpful?

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  Serenity

What do you think would be helpful?

I think it would be far more helpful to build on the idea that reducing risk is a collective societal goal rather than something PBOT does to punish naughty drivers.

Serenity
Serenity
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

We’ve tried that.

Damien
Damien
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I think it would be far more helpful to build on the idea that reducing risk is a collective societal goal rather than something PBOT does to punish naughty drivers.

Unfortunately, “collective societal goals” are an inherently anti-American sentiment. cc_rider was spot on above:

Most people don’t care about the people around them. It’s just the plain truth. They don’t care about your truth because they don’t care how their actions effect you. Most motorists are more concerned with not getting a scratch on their car than they are killing someone with their car. The car is the crowning achievement in human selfishness and is popular because it allows us to be totally selfish.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  Damien

Most people don’t care about the people around them. It’s just the plain truth.

This is such a cynical take. It’s hard for me to imagine, but I seem to be more optimistic and have more confidence in my fellow Americans (and humans in general) than almost anyone else here.

The collective societal goals of liberalism, rule of law, and democracy are as American as you get. Our country could not exist without them.

Damien
Damien
4 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Cynical, but also the logical conclusion of where the core American founding principle of “rugged individualism”/later transcribed as neoliberalism leads. Liberalism, to enable the powerful. Rule of law to protect the powerful. “Democracy” to mollify the not powerful.

Mine isn’t a critique on individuals American or otherwise so much as pointing out that systems produce what they’re incentivized to, and ours is fully geared toward selfishness.

Clear Eyed Optimist
Clear Eyed Optimist
4 months ago
Reply to  Damien

“Rugged individualism” was first uttered by Herbert Hoover, so not exactly a founding principle.

Cynicism drains the psyche. Optimism is a much more enriching and empowering outlook.

By the way, our system may be based on selfishness (a human constant) but attempts to harness it for the greater good. And, I believe, it is largely successful.

X
X
4 months ago

The posted speed limit on a street adjacent to an elementary school was 35 mph, before adding on the usual 11 mph?
Presumably a large percentage of the students at Schott Elementary live on the other side of the street. This is mind boggling.

Mick
4 months ago
Reply to  X

After raising two children that went to Margaret Scott, I can tell there are few children that cross 148th. The traffic is way too fast and children either board buses or get picked up by parents.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago
Reply to  Mick

On the west side of 148th is the Parkrose Public School District; on the east side of 148th is the Reynolds Public School District. (Along with these two districts, 3 others serve parts of East Portland – David Douglas PSD, Centennial PSD, and Portland PSD. None of these are entirely within the City of Portland nor are any associated with the city government.)

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago

About the intersection design: Is the city going to add sidewalks to the north side of Sacramento and the west side of 148th? Why the crosswalks to street sections without existing sidewalks? Why nor just go straight across 148th?

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

When I tell my students the whole class will be punished for the misbehavior of the few, I get a lot of pushback. Maybe it’s time to ticket the guilty and leave the rest of us alone. We don’t need more traffic jams in front of schools.

Daniel Reimer
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

PBOT traffic data shows that 86-93% of all drivers are going above the posted 35 mph speed limit

That is a little more than a “few”

John V
John V
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

There is no need to have a road that makes it easy to have two lanes of fast moving traffic. It isn’t even “punishing” anyone. It’s just making a narrower road.

Even if you ticketed everyone and people chose to drive the speed limit across the board, why would you have this four lane monstrosity (with a 35mph speed limit!) next to a school? It’s just built wrong.

I don’t know what I think about the framing, I like it in some ways, but the drivers aren’t actually being “punished” so there is no need for the pearl clutching.

Matt
Matt
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

But what if the misbehavior is by 86-93% of the class?

I think we can all agree that more and enhanced sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes in the direct vicinity of a school is a lauded infrastructure project if the only concession is that this section of 148th is simply designed to match the already-implemented 1-lane each way configuration of 148th either side of this school’s area.

Besides, 4-lanes are hardly the answer to traffic jams in front of schools, as McDaniel High School and 82nd can attest.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

the whole class will be punished for the misbehavior of the few

That’s called “collective punishment”, and it’s morally abhorrent.

It’s also not what’s happening here, despite the baiting headline.

Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

How many people die every year due to your students misbehaving in class? Speeding cars near bikes and pedestrians are extremely dangerous, hence the need for a more serious solution to the problem.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

hence the need for a more serious solution to the problem.

Is PBOT addressing a safety problem here, or punishing drivers? Those are very different things that seem to have gotten mixed up in this article. Even your comment pivots from “punishing” to “solving”, illustrating the kind of muddle that’s been created here.

socially engineered
socially engineered
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I guess 90% of drivers just give the rest a bad name lol

Jimmie Green
Jimmie Green
4 months ago

LOL. Now people will just speed in one lane instead of 2. Actions like this MUST be combined with traffic enforcement if we want them to have any chance of success. PBOT needs to drop the anti-enforcement dogma they seem so attached to. Infrastructure change (while helpful) alone will not reduce our record setting traffic violence in the new Portland.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago

PBOT is very pro enforcement

Have they restarted their crosswalk enforcement efforts?

SeaTacgoride
SeaTacgoride
4 months ago

Jonathan, But traffIc cameras aren’t the simple answer many far left progressives like yourself claim (see article below). And you can’t cut police traffic response and enforcement UNTIL non police alternatives are up and running. Portland has seen first hand the negative consequences of such a misguided approach with record setting traffic deaths exceeding those of peer cites.

https://www.propublica.org/article/chicago-speed-cameras-safety-racial-disparities

qqq
qqq
4 months ago
Reply to  SeaTacgoride

But traffIc cameras aren’t the simple answer many far left progressives like yourself claim

That’s a bizarre response to someone who just said we should use a whole slew of tools to improve traffic safety–in other words, someone who just showed clearly that he didn’t believe traffic cameras were “the simple answer”.

And I can’t recall anyone–“far left progressive” or not–ever commenting here that traffic cameras were “the simple answer” to traffic safety.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  qqq

And I can’t recall anyone–“far left progressive” or not–ever commenting here that traffic cameras were “the simple answer” to traffic safety.

Really? Just last week or so, someone was claiming that speed cameras would even prevent drunk driving.

eawriste
eawriste
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmie Green

Jimmie, the redesign on SE Foster may be a good analog to show how a 4 to 2 (or 5 to 3) conversion works. Those road designs tend to be the most dangerous. Foster had almost no median island crosswalks. It also had an extremely dangerous level of driving (e.g. speeding, passing on the right) as with 148th. Once the road diet went in, capacity filled up and the 25 mph speed limit began to enforce itself.

Now Foster has had a huge business resurgence in the last few years. If it had separated bike lanes, we might see more cyclists. People who want to go fast can take Powell. People who want to travel locally, can choose Foster. The design may not have been perfect, but it has been a huge benefit to the people living in the neighborhood as well as the businesses along Foster.

Liz
Liz
4 months ago

Why is PBOT still building buffered bike lanes, especially in front of an elementary school? “we can harden them later” = we don’t care if you die now. I don’t live in this neighborhood so it doesn’t affect me personally, but I am so tired of the same old status quo bike lane installation. Has PBOT learned nothing from all the deaths in the last year? Or do they just not care?

qqq
qqq
4 months ago

“99% of all Lawyers Give the Rest a Bad Name” – Steven Wright

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
4 months ago

Why isn’t this area a School Zone with 20mph limits when school is in session? Add a photo radar to the mix and get real speeds down into the mid 20’s.

It’s a school for crying out loud. If we can’t be bothered to slow down when kids are present, if it’s just too much hassle, then the human race isn’t worth much.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

Photo radar should be mandatory in every school zone, and they should start issuing tickets well before drivers reach 31 MPH.

Maple Leaf Rider
Maple Leaf Rider
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Don’t forget police traffic enforcement. Unfortunately camera ain’t gonna work if people don’t have plates displayed.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
4 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

In my neighborhood I find that the parents/guardians who are dropping off or picking up the kids at the nearby elementary school are the ones that speed the worst because of course they are late or something.
So it’s parents speeding by schools for crying out loud . . . .

idlebytes
idlebytes
4 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

It’s on Sacramento. Which makes me think it’s some kind of engineering standard that school zones can only be created on the main entrance side of the school. That’s how it is at the closest elementary and middle school to me. Even David Douglas is like this with a school zone only on the east side entrance despite it having two other entrances with parking lots on the west side.

Scott Kocher
4 months ago

I would frame it as PBOT taking responsibility for its choices—the width and number of lanes, length of straightaways, signal timing, and all the other ways PBOT has set up its street—that determine how fast drivers go and whether people will have safety or not.

Chris I
Chris I
4 months ago

Excellent. This is my regular connection between San Rafael and the I-84 path, and this stretch always felt absurdly overbuilt and dangerous. 4 lanes was always overkill because it narrows to 2 just north of here anyway. It’s too bad they couldn’t extend the bi-directional bikeway all the way down to Halsey, but even a small extension will improve this dangerous crossing.

Vans
Vans
4 months ago

I’ve ridden this stretch of road much of my life.

Back in HS, we rode this and later drove it a lot, had friends that live right on 148th a little closer to Halsey, their Dad still does.

It was the wild west as was Halsey, drag central, still is. I ride it regularly now and high alert is SOP.

Many drivers accelerate heavily from any point of it when they are already well over the speed limit with minimal regard for the bike lane, regularly encroaching, drifting 1-2 feet at speed.

Its always a race from under I84 it goes from one lane to two after being held back with only one lane from Sandy.

The race is also always on from the other direction as everyone is trying to get to the one lane pinch going down to Sandy from Halsey.

Like I said, drag central, for decades.

This change is long overdue.

rick
rick
4 months ago

Why will any place on NE 148th Ave have four or five car lanes? Beaverton just finished a road diet on most of SW Western Avenue which has over 8,000 cars per day and a rush hour TriMet bus 53 and an active railroad crossing. They also installed mid block crossings which is the opposite of what ODOT and WashCo has been doing in recent years.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago
Reply to  rick

NE 148th between Halsey & Glisan will still have 4 lanes, at least for now. There has long been a push to have sidewalks on the west side of 148th, along Metro-owned Glenoveer Park, but there are significant slope issues that make ADA compatible walkways very difficult – removing a couple lanes was one option that has been considered, to allow long angled sidewalk ramps for the steeper slopes.

G. Ellsworth Thomas
G. Ellsworth Thomas
4 months ago

This should be the new policy for all roadways where complete disregard of law occurs.

Matt P
Matt P
4 months ago

How misguided can people be? Taking a lane away wont reduce speeding. And if anything it will create even more hostile and aggressive driving with people trying to pass where they shouldn’t. Like many of the “road diets” in east PDX, it really does just feel like a punitive measure against anyone who drives.

aquaticko
aquaticko
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt P

Thank you for proving Watts’ point wrong.

Driving is a privilege; if 86-93% of people driving through this street feel they can abuse that privilege by speeding, then they deserve to have the right to freely exercise that privilege revoked.

What people should be complaining much more loudly about is that to access most of the region, you really need a car, because it’s too sprawling and transit/cycling/pedestrian infrastructure is underbuilt. You are essentially coerced into spending huge portions of your income on transportation when there’s no inherent need to.

Matt P
Matt P
4 months ago
Reply to  aquaticko

Maybe they need cars because the city does nothing to curb crime and more and more stores and services are leaving the area.

Matt P
Matt P
4 months ago

As usual you act as if you know more than people who actually live out here.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago

JM, there’s a bit of a myth here you seem to be perpetuating. There really aren’t any kids crossing this street, at least not to get to school. 148th is the dividing line between two school districts – there’s no reason for any kids to cross the street to attend classes, though they might visit friends, use a playground, etc, but then so might adults too.

qqq
qqq
4 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Not according to this boundary may. It shows the opposite–that the large majority of the school attendance zone is across 148th (orange road on map) from the school: https://www.zipdatamaps.com/school-profile/oregon/reynolds-school-district-7/margaret-scott-elementary-school

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago
Reply to  qqq

You are correct and I am wrong. I was getting Margarete Scott mixed up with the former Sacramento Elementary which is just a few blocks to the west, once part of the Parkrose PSD but now called Wheatley School and run by Multnomah County. What a strange location for an elementary school.

qqq
qqq
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt P

Taking a lane away definitely can reduce speeding. You can’t drive faster than the slowest person in front of you. If you’re not a speeder, it doesn’t change your driving experience much at all, so it’s not “punitive against anyone who drives”.

I agree some drivers get hostile and aggressive when they can’t pass, but where I really see that behavior is on streets with two lanes each way, where people aggressively weave from lane to lane passing people.

I was involved in a very similar road change in Seattle a few years ago. The results–fewer crashes, no congestion, etc.–were all strongly positive based on before-and-after data.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt P

How misguided can people be? Taking a lane away wont reduce speeding. 

I’m not sure about speeding, but I am certain that removing a lane will make the street much safer to cross. Given that the location is in front of an elementary school, I think that benefit alone would justify this project.

Fed Up
Fed Up
4 months ago

I like how there’s no mention in the story of how the community on the east side of 148th is a retirement community of people age 55+. They won’t be walking their kids to school, but by all means, let’s screw up yet another Portland street so that nobody can use the new “walkable” infrastructure. What a waste of taxpayer money.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago
Reply to  Fed Up

Or that there are completely separate school districts on each side of the street, so no kids will ever cross the street to attend classes.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
4 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I take back what I wrote. Kids will be crossing 148th to get to school.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
4 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

It’s disturbing and darkly comical that some bougie transplant who goes by the handle “SeaTac…goride” is telling someone who helped put together the EPAP transportation plan that they don’t have a voice when it comes to East Portland transportation.

Francisco
Francisco
4 months ago

PBOT should take this approach on Halsey between NE 122nd and NE 162nd. That stretch has had a few more fatalities than 148th. After reading this story, I was traveling east on Halsey and noticed a car wrapped around a light Post Sunday morning at 148th.

Rita Johnson
Rita Johnson
3 months ago

Have they considered photo radar;
sounds like revenue from tickets could help and consequences Will definitely lower drivers speed