se division

Blumenauer will host public forum on transportation in east Portland

by on July 27th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

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From safety upgrades on Division to funding for Powell Blvd, there’s a lot to talk about. (Pictured: Bike Loud PDX activist Jessica Engelman at a demonstration in December 2016.)
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A week from today three politicians will come together to learn more about transportation issues facing east Portland. And there’s a lot to talk about.

On August 3rd, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, State Representative Janelle Bynum and Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega-Pederson will be joined by staff from the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other organizations for a Public Forum on Transportation.

The event was spurred in part by a flurry of legislative and planning activity on two of east Portland’s most infamous and important arterials: Powell and Division. The passage of a new statewide transportation law earlier this month included $110 million in funding for outer SE Powell Boulevard and a mandate to transfer its management from the state to the city. Advocates with the East Portland Action Plan have already started organizing to make sure these funds are spent in accordance with the Outer Powell Conceptual Design Plan which calls for creation of an “urban main street” with separated bikeways throughout.
[Read more…]

City of Portland ratchets up their war on speeding

by on March 14th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Activists with BikeLoudPDX and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon rejoice at the sight of new — and lower — speed limit signs on SE Division.
(Photo: BikeLoudPDX)

The City of Portland has unleashed a barrage of attacks against a key rival in their fight against speeding.

With Vision Zero firmly planted as a top priority at the highest levels of city government, the Bureau of Transportation has turned their attention to two of our most dangerous streets: SE Division and SE 122nd.

Here are updates on several speed-related items we continue to track…
[Read more…]

City Council gives unanimous support to emergency speed limit decrease on Division Street

by on March 2nd, 2017 at 3:48 pm

This sign (and many others like it) will be removed tomorrow.
(Photo: PBOT)

Portland City Council just voted unanimously to enact an emergency state law to drop the speed limit on outer Division Street — a road recently referred to as a “death corridor” by City Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

As we reported earlier this month, the move comes as the Bureau of Transportation reacts to a spate of deaths and injuries on the street. The move also comes as the latest example of PBOT flexing its Vision Zero muscles.

Since this passed as an emergency, it can go into effect immediately. PBOT crews will be out on Division Street tomorrow taking down 35 mph signs and replacing them with 30 mph signs. Once the signs are up, the new speed limit will be in place for 120 days. If all goes according to PBOT’s plan, they’ll never have to remove the signs. Upcoming changes to the street intended to slow people down are likely to reduce average speeds to an amount compatible with what the Oregon Department of Transportation prefers to see before granting an official, permanent speed limit change.

Here’s more from PBOT as shared in a press statement following today’s Council vote:[Read more…]

After year of tragedies, City returns to outer Division with an apology and a plan

by on February 24th, 2017 at 12:06 pm

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PBOT’s yard signs were very popular last night.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman apologized to residents of the Jade District in person last night for a spate of fatal traffic crashes on outer Division Street.

Speaking as the new commissioner-in-charge of the transportation bureau, Saltzman stood in front of a mostly Chinese-speaking crowd and said, “We’re sorry and we’re bound and determined to do something about that.”

18 months ago in the exact same room as the meeting Saltzman attended last night — the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space on the corner of 82nd and Division — the City of Portland launched their Vision Zero effort. The Bureau of Transportation didn’t plan on coming back, but since that celebratory launch five people have died and three others have suffered life-altering injuries on outer Division. When two Chinese immigrants died trying to cross the street in separate collisions within just hours of each other back in December, PBOT swung into action and has been listening and formulating plans ever since.

Last night in a meeting hosted by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, PBOT kicked off a community process slated to end with a plan adopted by City Council this fall.
[Read more…]

PBOT will use little-known “emergency” law to rein in speeding drivers

by on February 16th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

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PBOT Director Leah Treat at a meeting of the Vision Zero Task Force in City Hall this morning.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When a city says traffic safety is their top priority, it should be willing to do whatever it takes to make people drive more slowly.

In Portland that means taking a very close look at the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat announced today that her bureau will seek permission to enact section nine of ORS 810.180 which gives the city the power to set an “emergency speed” without going through the often onerous process of asking for permission from the State of Oregon. (Note: Another section of this same law gives cities the power to reduce speeds on certain residential streets, thanks to a lobbying effort by PBOT in 2011.)

Treat said they’ve decided to take this very rare step in order to keep people safer on outer Southeast Division Street. Back in December two people were killed while trying to walk crossing Division Street in two separate crashes just hours apart. The tragedies sparked outrage from local residents, activists and even top PBOT staff. One day after the deaths, PBOT Active Transportation Group Manager Margi Bradway called neighborhood leaders to talk about the city’s response. Those conversations led to the passage of $300,000 in emergency funding to do outreach and education in adjacent neighborhoods (which are populated by many people of Chinese and other descents who don’t read or speak English).

To continue their focus on taming Division Street, Treat said PBOT will bring an ordinance to Portland City Council on March 2nd asking them to support the move. The existing state law gives PBOT the ability to make this move, but we’ve never heard of it actually being done. [Read more…]

Portland steps up safety resolve following a deadly December on Division

by on January 4th, 2017 at 2:08 pm

PBOT shared this graphic of their current plan to tame traffic on outer SE Division Street.

At a city council meeting on December 21st PBOT shared their current plan to tame traffic on outer SE Division Street after a spate of fatalities.

Emotions around street safety issues ran high at the end of 2016. Not only did we have the most road fatalities (45) since 2003, but we lost six Portlanders to traffic violence in the final month alone.

When two of those six happened within just a few hours of each other and on the same, notoriously dangerous section of Southeast Division Street where three other people died last year, the pressure to do something intensified. (Now former) Mayor Charlie Hales and his four commissioners took steps to address the situation at a meeting on December 21st.
[Read more…]

City Council and PBOT will seek $300,000 for outer Division safety ’emergency’ – UPDATED

by on December 16th, 2016 at 1:18 pm

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They heard you.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland is on the verge of releasing $300,000 from the city’s general fund for “emergency Vision Zero improvements” on outer Southeast Division Street.

The move comes after a spate of deaths and injuries on Division east of 82nd Avenue — including two fatal collisions within hours of each other nine days ago.

Division is home to seven of the city’s top 30 high crash intersections. This year alone five people have died and three people have sustained serious injuries while using the street. Seven of those collisions happened on outer Division between 124th and 156th.

Pressure has been building on PBOT for the past week to do something.

Last week nine bereaved family members (including two women who lost their sons at the same intersections on Division where people were killed on December 7th) signed a letter demanding immediate action.
[Read more…]

Deadly Division Street temporarily tamed with hay bales and homemade signs

by on December 11th, 2016 at 11:07 am

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Portlanders frustrated with the City of Portland’s lack of action on a street that has claimed too many lives, risked their own in an effort to fix it themselves. And it turned out to work better than most people thought it would.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Division Street east of 82nd is one of the deadliest part of our entire transportation network. Designed exclusively around the use of private motorized vehicles, it’s a vast, nine-lane behemoth full of speeding, multi-ton vehicles driven by many people without regard to laws or the safety of others. It also happens to be directly adjacent to places where a growing number of Portlanders live, work and play.
[Read more…]

Nine bereaved family members pen open letter to City Council demanding action on Division Street

by on December 9th, 2016 at 1:43 pm

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After the two deaths on Southeast Division Street Tuesday night, family members who have lost loved ones due to traffic violence want Portland City Council to take action.

As we reported earlier this week, Kim Stone and Krisy Finney-Dunney — two of the founding members of the local chapter of Families for Safe Streets — are feeling Wednesday’s deaths with a particularly heavy heart. That’s because the two fatalities happened in the same intersections on Division that claimed the lives of their sons.

Led by Stone and Finney-Dunn, seven other women who have lost a family member have stepped forward with a demand that the City of Portland, “expedite major changes in order to slow speeds and increase safety for all on outer SE Division St.”

Here’s the full text of the letter (emphases theirs):
[Read more…]

Two more people were killed while walking across Southeast Division Street last night

by on December 8th, 2016 at 11:00 am

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(Note: This post is a mix of news and opinion.)

Two people were killed while walking on Division Street last night in separate collisions. The first one happened just before 7:00 pm at 156th Avenue. The second one happened around 9:00 pm near 87th. These are the 13th and 14th people to be killed while walking (about three over our average since 1996) and the 39th and 40th traffic fatalities so far this year. That’s the most fatalities we’ve had since 2003.

Division is already known as one of the most dangerous streets in Portland for vulnerable road users. This year alone five people have died in traffic crashes while using Division (four people walking and one person driving). In addition to those fatalities there have been at least three serious injury crashes on Division in 2016, including one with life-threatening injuries and another with traumatic injuries. Seven of these collisions happened on a two-mile stretch between 124th and 156th.
[Read more…]