Marine Drive has been a problem child for the Portland Bureau of Transportation for years and the city hopes recent disciplinary actions help set it straight.
The road’s design encourages dangerous driving and the city has tried all types of tricks to slow people down and prevent them from running into each other, or from running off the road and into the Columbia River — something that happens more often than you think.
The latest move is a speed limit reduction from 45 to 40 mph on an 8.5 mile segment between NE 33rd and 185th (Portland city limits). Last year PBOT lowered the speed limit west of this segment (from 40 to 35) and installed speed cameras at two locations (33rd and 138th).
A man was arrested yesterday morning for recklessly driving his car into a person who was trying to cross the street in southeast Portland.
40-year-old Clifford Eugene Perry Jr. faces charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) and Reckless Driving. Perry will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court today.
On Sunday evening Perry was driving westbound on Division near 124th (map) “at a high rate of speed” (according to Portland Police investigators) prior to coming into contact with 61-year-old Damon Patrick Burton. Perry, who the police suspect was drunk, then continued driving on Division until crashing into a gas station at 122nd. Burton lived in the neighborhood and was trying to cross Division from south to north prior to being hit.
Livable Streets Action.
A new group called Livable Streets Action is taking the tactics that have won a string of victories for local biking this spring and summer and applying them to other modes, too.
Organizer Dan Kaufman, a videographer and longtime local social justice advocate who has helped organize demonstrations for transportation activism group BikeLoudPDX and the bike-based but non-transportation-focused group Bike Swarm, referred to Livable Streets Action as a “subgroup” of those other groups.
Livable Streets Action’s first event is tomorrow, a Friday afternoon commemoration for Marlene Popps, a woman who was hit by a car and left for dead on the evening of July 4 at the corner of SE 60th and Holgate. She died of her injuries July 21.
It’s looking likelier that Oregon’s legislature will give Portland the right to gradually install 20 well-marked but unmanned anti-speeding cameras on its 10 deadliest streets.
House Bill 2621 was approved by the Joint Ways and Means committee in a nearly party-line vote Monday afternoon, sending the bill to the House and Senate floors.
Fourteen Democrats plus Salem Republican Jackie Winters voted for the bill to move ahead with a “do pass” recommendation. Nine Republicans voted against it.
Portland leaders including Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick have urged traffic safety activists to help them push for the bill. At the recent BikeLoudPDX safe streets rally, Hales told the crowd to “Put pressure on the legislature” to pass HB 2621, and said it would, “Let us use technology to make our streets safer.”
(Image: City of Portland)
As Portlanders continue to look for ways to change the culture of speed-oriented streets like Powell Boulevard, state legislators are nearing a vote on a bill designed to do exactly that.
One of Southwest Portland’s most passionate advocates for a safer Barbur Boulevard said Tuesday that he was nearly killed while biking on the street.
“FYI since you’re waiting for someone to die before safe Barbur bike access: it was almost me today,” wrote Damian Miller, an assistant director of research and assessment at Lewis and Clark College’s graduate school, in the first of a trio of open Twitter messages to the Oregon Department of Transportation and its new regional manager. “Speeding delivery truck came up behind honked, veered wildly, almost hit me & left lane car.”
Though the route’s design evokes a freeway, it’s the only flat and direct street between most of Southwest Portland and the rest of the city. During the summer, about 300 to 500 people bike it each day.
(Image: City of Portland)
Portland’s 10 high-crash corridors would be dotted with radar cameras that automatically detect excessive speeding, under a proposed law due for its first public hearing on Monday.
House Bill 2621 would apply only to the City of Portland, and only on streets with crash rates more than 25 percent higher than other streets with the same speed limit.
Saying that any removal of on-street parking during a redesign of East Burnside Street would have required more time and money than the city could afford, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is boosting on-street parking instead.
The East Burnside Transportation Safety Project between 14th and 32nd Avenues, part of the city’s high-crash corridor program, has converted one westbound lane west of 32nd into a center turn lane and converted the rush-hour-only lanes east of 32nd into permanent parking lanes.
For people who ride bicycles west on Burnside, one result is that space that often functioned as a de-facto bike lane — the curbside auto lane — has been eliminated.
by a PBOT contractor to warn people about
the dangerous and incorrectly installed
rumble strips on Marine Drive.
PBOT’s effort to implement safety upgrades on Marine Drive as part of their High Crash Corridor program took a bit of a detour last week when one of their contractors incorrectly installed rumble strips in the bike lane near NE 122nd Ave. The grooves in the pavement have created dangerous bicycling conditions and have sparked major concerns from road users.
Because the of the incorrect installation and location of the grooves, the usable biking space has been cut in half (creating a space so narrow that it falls below even FHWA standards). And when you are forced to roll over them, the impact is so jarring it could lead to crashes, swerving, equipment failure, and so on.
Thankfully, PBOT admitted the error and they’re working to make things right.
(Photos © M.Andersen/BikePortland)
As inner Southeast Division Street grows up — literally, thanks to its new hedge of multi-story apartment buildings — Portland’s transportation bureau decided in April to redesign a section of the thoroughfare a bit further out to feel more like the city street it now is: with better walking and biking plus a regular flow of slower-moving traffic.
Instead of four narrow travel lanes, Division between 60th and 82nd now have one bike lane and one auto lane in each direction, plus a shared center turn lane.
We wanted to know what local folks thought about the restriped street. So I pedaled down during the Monday evening rush hour, stashed my bike around a corner, and walked around introducing myself as “a reporter” and asking what people thought.
I learned two things: That everyone I met more or less likes it, and that low-car life is now very common in mid-Southeast Portland.