vision zero

ODOT staffer raises eyebrows with series of tweets – UPDATED

Avatar by on September 30th, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Tiana Tozer at a PBOT event last Thursday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Comments about transportation safety made on Twitter last week by Portlander Tiana Tozer have raised eyebrows. While her Twitter account is not an official ODOT communications channel (her profile says, “Opinions are my own”), Tozer is ODOT’s Region 1 transportation safety coordinator and she sits on the Portland Bureau of Transportation Vision Zero Task Force.

Here’s what happened:

Tiana Tozer attended a City of Portland event at Ventura Park Thursday morning. Later that day she replied to a tweet of a video we posted from the event. When someone questioned the effectiveness of holding signs and asking drivers to slow down, Tozer replied: “Ho hum another entitled American sitting back watching people die, but he himself has no solution. How easy it is to criticize. God forbid you should be part of the solution. Don’t strain yourself.” [Read more…]

“Slow down!” Neighbors fight back against speeders with signs and cheers

Avatar by on September 26th, 2019 at 4:27 pm

City staff, advocates and nearby residents made themselves seen and heard on SE Stark this morning.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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PBOT hopes ‘Thank You Crew’ cheerleaders will slow drivers down

Avatar by on September 24th, 2019 at 9:32 am

PBOT Thank You (for not speeding) Crew.
(Photo: PBOT)

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Willamette Week: Portland’s Vision Zero efforts “not working”

Avatar by on August 21st, 2019 at 1:25 pm

“Portland’s streets are killing fields.”

That’s the opening salvo in a Willamette Week cover story that tries to make the case that the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero efforts are failing.

Blindsided is a photo essay and reporting effort that will likely have a big impact on local transportation discussions for weeks and months to come. It uses personal stories from a range of Portlanders to illustrate the vast problem of unsafe roads and to poke holes in the City’s effort to fix them. The focus of the piece isn’t a surprise given that so far this year 35 people have been killed in traffic-related incidents. That’s one more than we recorded for all of 2018.
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Interview with Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty: Vision Zero, enforcement, distracted walkers, and more

Avatar by on July 11th, 2019 at 8:31 am

Commissioner Hardesty at city council yesterday.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty made headlines last month when she said distracted walkers are a “huge issue” and voted “no” on what was expected to be a non-controversial update to Portland’s Vision Zero program. Her vote and comments raised the ire of the commissioner in charge of that program, Chloe Eudaly.

Eudaly called Hardesty’s views, “Virtually unfounded” and said Hardesty must not have been briefed on the topic properly.

Nearly three weeks after that exchange, I spoke with Hardesty and asked about her views on Vision Zero, traffic enforcement, distracted walkers, and more.

Commissioner Hardesty wanted to set things straight from the outset. “I share the values of making our streets safe for everyone,” she said. “If I left you with the impression that that was not my goal I don’t want you to have that impression.”
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PBOT gets council support for Vision Zero, except from Commissioner Hardesty

Avatar by on June 21st, 2019 at 8:46 am

Cover of PBOT’s Vision Zero 2-Year Update.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is making steady progress on their march toward safer streets. They’ve queued up an impressive slate of capital projects, worked the legislature to gain authority for speed limits and enforcement cameras, and have passed important plans with the policy backbone that enables them to do things like remove auto parking from corners (a.k.a. “intersection daylighting”), install crossing treatments in more places, and so on.

Last week PBOT brought their annual Vision Zero 2-Year Update (PDF) to city council. They don’t have to get council’s official blessing for reports like this, but PBOT often takes this step to burnish council relationships, lay political groundwork for funding requests, and get explicit support for what might be controversial Vision Zero-related moves down the road.

Things like this usually get unanimous support because PBOT doesn’t bring half-baked ideas to council and they brief each commissioner beforehand to make sure they are up-to-speed with the issues and information. So it was a big surprise when Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no.[Read more…]

PBOT installing ‘left turn calming’ treatments at 29 intersections

Avatar by on June 20th, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Armed with data, plans, and support from city council, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is moving forward with a pilot program to install “left turn calming” at 29 intersections.

Using a mix of rubber speed bumps and centerline delineator wands, PBOT’s aim is to slow drivers down, prevent them from “cutting corners”, and make it easier for them to see people crossing the street.
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During Vision Zero presentation, Commissioner Hardesty says distracted walkers are ‘huge issue’

Avatar by on June 20th, 2019 at 12:02 pm

In the past five years, people walking have accounted for nearly 40% of Portland’s traffic fatalities.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty wants the transportation bureau to do more about distracted walking.
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City lowers speed limits in latest effort to control the insanity on Marine Drive

Avatar by on May 31st, 2019 at 10:43 am

PBOT crews installed the new signs this morning.
(Photo: City of Portland)

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.

In one week last month, two drivers failed to control their vehicles and ended up in the river. One of them didn’t make it out alive.

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).
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Injuries mount as Portland fails to fix dangerous potholes

Avatar by on May 22nd, 2019 at 10:59 am

I slid 145 feet. I was lucky to escape with just road rash.

(Written by Scott Kocher, a Portland-based pedestrian and bicycle lawyer at Forum Law Group LLC and safe streets advocate advocate. We recently highlighted his efforts to improve Highway 30. Note: Kocher’s law firm is also a financial contributor to BikePortland, but that had no influence on editorial decisions.)

I love to ride in the West Hills. From the central city, they’re the closest place to escape stop-and-go traffic. On weekends, people enjoying Northwest Skyline on bikes seem to outnumber people in cars. On weekdays, commuters zip between Portland and the west side. It feels like a world apart from Highway 26 gridlock.

Which brings me to March 16th. I was riding down NW Cornell from Skyline. There were bad potholes below the upper tunnel. Not just bumps, these were the kind that could easily cause a person on a bicycle to crash — which could be catastrophic at downhill speeds. Hoping to get them filled, I stopped and reported the potholes using the City of Portland’s PDX Reporter web app.

I noted in the report that the holes were a hazard for people on bikes. On March 28th, those potholes weren’t fixed, so I reported them again. On May 1st, I took a day off to go check on the route of a popular group bike ride that typically draws 100s of people. The potholes on Cornell were still there. I marked them with yellow paint, and reported them, for the third time.
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