speed limits

PBOT lowers speed limit on outer Halsey, will break ground on safety updates this month

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 13th, 2021 at 12:52 pm

NE Halsey looking east toward 122nd.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Portland should lower more speed limits, legal expert says

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent) by on December 10th, 2020 at 2:50 pm

A recently lowered speed limit sign on North Fessenden in the St. Johns neighborhood.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Report: City’s new 20 mph signs have reduced top-end speeds

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 1st, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Did anyone even notice?
(Photo: Scott Kocher)

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Southwest Portland needs more 20 mph streets

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent) by on November 19th, 2020 at 9:49 am

Kids walking in the bike lane on SW Vista Avenue, a residential collector street with a 25 mph speed limit.
(Photo: Ryan Fedie)

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The outdated and dangerous 85th percentile rule is dead in Oregon

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 15th, 2020 at 2:29 pm

On May 1st, traffic engineers in the state of Oregon will no longer rely on an outdated and dangerous method for setting speed limits. Thanks to new rules adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission last month, the process for for designating speeds has changed dramatically and now goes way beyond the traditional 85 percentile method.

The 85th percentile rule has dominated U.S. traffic engineering since it was championed in the 1960s. It says limits should set at the speed which 85% of drivers are currently driving at or under. What could possibly go wrong? Since it’s a universal phenomenon that people drive faster than what’s safe, this methodology is very biased toward higher speeds and it’s a big factor in America’s rising traffic death toll. [Read more…]

Oregon lawmakers vote to give cities authority to set speed limits

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 14th, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Rep. Rob Nosse speaking at a Joint Transportation Committee hearing on February 4th.

A key part of the City of Portland’s 2020 legislative agenda and traffic safety efforts got a boost in Salem yesterday when the Joint Committee on Transportation voted 10-2 in favor of House Bill 4103 which authorizes the Oregon Department of Transportation to delegate authority to set speed limits to cities and counties.

HB 4103 is a continuation of work that began last session by House Representative Rob Nosse, a Democrat who represents southeast Portland. Urged by the Portland Bureau of Transportation in their ongoing quest to lower speed limits and make roads safer, Nosse proposed a bill last year (HB 2702) that would have given Portland the ability to set speeds on certain streets in its jurisdiction. That bill didn’t make it out of committee, so Nosse continued discussions with ODOT and lawmakers and brought back a revised version this session.
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Let’s be like Leslie Carlson and make driving the speed limit a hot new trend

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 21st, 2020 at 2:17 pm

“What started as an exercise in modifying my own behavior has become an interesting social experiment in watching other drivers react.”
— Leslie Carlson

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NW Portland is now a Slow Zone. Here’s how your neighborhood can be one too

Avatar by on January 6th, 2020 at 7:54 am

This new sign on NW Glisan helps complete the NW Slow Zone.
(Photo: Scott Kocher)

By Portland resident Scott Kocher, a lawyer and safety advocate who has worked tirelessly to encourage the City of Portland to lower speeds in many Northwest neighborhoods.

Have you noticed new 20 mph signs in northwest Portland?[Read more…]

A lower speed limit on St. Johns Bridge? Maybe

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 18th, 2019 at 4:37 pm

A very sad sharrow in a stressful riding environment. The least ODOT can do is lower the speed limit. (And just FYI, that sidewalk is very narrow and is not technically wide enough for bicycle users and walkers to share.)

I have good news to share regarding a little advocacy effort in St. Johns.

Remember how the Oregon Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit on the St. Johns Bridge to 25 mph during a recent construction project? They told me the rationale was to protect vulnerable work crews who were walking on the bridge sidewalk.

It struck me that everyone who uses the St. Johns Bridge outside of a car is just as vulnerable as a construction worker, so why not keep make that speed limit reduction permanent?

As I shared in October, I made a request to ODOT through their public input portal to do just that. ODOT told me the request would have to come from the City of Portland. So I made a similar request to the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) via the 823-SAFE hotline.

Guess what? [Read more…]

Proposed rule changes would let ODOT set safer speeds

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 13th, 2019 at 3:07 pm

(Slides from an ODOT presentation explain proposed changes.)[Read more…]