vision zero

PBOT: 18 ‘High Crash’ streets will get updates next year

Avatar by on October 26th, 2018 at 11:25 am

Use data and equity filters to identify the roads, find funding to do strategic upgrades… then build them!

The City of Portland is on a steady march toward safer streets through their Vision Zero program. Yesterday the Bureau of Transportation announced details of 18 “High Crash Network” streets that will get a range of safety updates in 2019.

It’s all in service to our adopted goal of ending traffic violence in the next six years.

The list includes four larger, multi-block projects (marked with asterisk below) and 14 “targeted” fixes on 14 other streets (click street name for project page):

*102nd: a pilot project will evaluate the safety impact of additional crossings, bike lanes, and safer speeds between Weidler and Sandy.
*Capitol Hwy: extensive updates are planned between Garden Home and Taylors Ferry, while more modest (but important!) safety fixes are planned from Huber to Kerr Parkway.
*Marine Dr: safety fixes from 33rd to 185th include new bike lanes, rumble strips, rapid flashing beacons, and a traffic signal at 122nd.
*Powell Blvd: new crosswalks, rapid flashing beacons, sidewalks, protected bike lanes, center turn lanes, lighting, and drainage are planned from 122nd to 136th.
92nd: upgrade signal hardware at Holgate
122nd: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (Airport Way-Burnside), bike lane extensions and conflict markings at 11 intersections (Halsey-Holgate), crossing enhancement at I-84 underpass
Barbur: sidewalk infill, enhanced crossings, rebuilt bike/ped connection (Lane, 53rd)
Broadway: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (Larrabee-Chávez), bike lane extensions and conflict markings (Irving-Oak)
Burnside, East: crossing enhancements at 16th, 129th
Burnside, West: crossing enhancements at 20th Place

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Columbia: new bridge for walking & biking (Chimney Park), crossing improvements at Midway, intersection safety fixes at Cully/Alderwood
Division: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (21st-162nd), lighting (122nd-129th), crossing enhancements (64th, 77th, 78th), enhanced bike lanes, more lighting, and improved crossings (82nd-city limit)
Glisan: crossing enhancements at 108th, 128th, and 155th
Halsey: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (84th), two-way bike lanes on I-205 overpass, more lighting, enhanced crossings, protected bike lanes, and speed limit reduction (103rd-116th), sidewalk infill (114th162nd), enhanced crossings (119th, 128th, 143rd, 155th)
Holgate: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (17th-92nd), crossing enhancements (67th, 78th, 79th, 112th, 128th), sidewalk infill (102nd-122nd)
Killingsworth: sidewalk infill from 42nd to Cully
Martin Luther King Jr.: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (Dekum-Lloyd)
Sandy: larger signal heads & reflective backboards (28th-47th), median islands and rapid flashing beacons (85th, 91st)
Stark: crossing enhancements (16th, 130th, 146th, 155th, 160th)

As you view this list, keep in mind that these projects don’t just happen. They are the culmination of years of groundwork laid by PBOT leadership, staff, and volunteer advocates who help push it all through. From the City’s Office of Government Relations that lobbies the legislature for more humane speed limit laws, to the PBOT Director (Leah Treat) who made Vision Zero a top priority at the bureau, to the family members of traffic crash victims who volunteer on the Vision Zero Task Force, and the advocates (like many of you!) who help create urgency and political will — it takes an entire community ecosystem to reform our streets.

And while I don’t think we’re doing nearly enough, fast enough — and my friends at PBOT know I will continue to be impatient and frustrated at the pace of change — I also know steady progress is something worth applause and appreciation.

For more on what PBOT is doing to make our roads safer, check their latest Vision Zero program updates here.

And don’t forget that there’s an important open house for the 122nd Avenue Plan taking place November 7th at the Midland Library.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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We can’t fix what we don’t know: Why access to information is key to Vision Zero

Avatar by on October 11th, 2018 at 3:47 pm

*Watch how many people drive in front of this man while he waits for a chance to cross.

This post was written by our Adventures in Activism column co-editor Catie Gould.

On the evening of April 7th, Alex Hubert was crossing to the MAX platform to catch a northbound Yellow Line train back home when he was struck by a car. There was no police alert on Twitter. There were no news reports. But I was there.

This post is about my attempt to learn more about the safety issues at the intersection and find out why they haven’t been fixed.[Read more…]

Despite need for “safe systems” approach, crash reports still put responsibility on victims

Avatar by on May 2nd, 2018 at 2:22 pm

(Photo: Jonathan Maus).

This story is by Greg Spencer, a writer and editor and proud dad of two bike-commuting kids. He’s also a volunteer with the local chapter of Families for Safe Streets.

In Metro’s draft 2018 State of Safety Report, previewed last month on BikePortland, the latest regional road crash data is analyzed, and it’s done for the first time from the perspective of Vision Zero, a policy framework that aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries.

But some of the presented data do not reflect the Vision Zero ethos, which says that road safety is a shared community burden, not one that’s primarily on the backs of crash victims.
[Read more…]

Someone defaced dozens of “20 is Plenty” signs in north Portland

Avatar by on April 16th, 2018 at 1:41 pm

(Photo via Nextdoor)

Simmering tensions about dangerous drivers who cut-through north Portland’s Arbor Lodge neighborhood have reached a new level.

According to a post and photo on Nextdoor, someone defaced around 40 of those orange, “20 is Plenty – Vision Zero Portland” signs on Saturday night.

Here’s the original post:[Read more…]

City Council hears Yoana Molina’s powerful testimony for a safer SE Stark

Avatar by on April 11th, 2018 at 1:27 pm

She told them exactly what they needed to hear.

An emergency speed limit reduction for outer Southeast Stark Street was unanimously approved by Portland City Council this morning (see the ordinance here).

The move comes as no surprise, given the priority for traffic safety shown by our current Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners and the commitment to Vision Zero by our Bureau of Transportation. As we reported last week, this action on Stark comes after a spate of deadly collisions and its continued ranking atop PBOT’s “high crash corridor” charts for biking, walking and driving. In addition to lowering the speed limit, PBOT has set aside $10 million for infrastructure upgrades.

During this morning’s hearing, two staff members of the nonprofit community development organization, The Rosewood Initiative, were invited to testify. One of them was Yoana Molina. Molina is the director of operations for the group and has been an active volunteer in the neighoborhood for over 15 years. During her testimony she spoke without notes and her words came straight from the heart.[Read more…]

Portland debuts new ‘Struck’ road safety PSA campaign

Avatar by on April 2nd, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Screen grab from the video.

In what they referred to as their “first big push” on the education side of their Vision Zero work, the Portland Bureau of Transportation launched a road safety media campaign today.
[Read more…]

Putting the Vision Zero focus on how we drive

Avatar by on March 28th, 2018 at 10:42 am

Mi Ae Lipe is changing the way we think about driving.
(Photo: Courtesy Mi Ae Lipe)

Mi Ae Lipe is a safe driving advocate who speaks important truths to a crucial audience.

One of the many things I do that annoys my two (teen and pre-teen) daughters is that I drive exceedingly slowly and cautiously. I have this thing where I tell them — not to be braggadocious, but to make a point — that, “Just imagine: If everyone drove like I did, there would be no crashes and no one would ever get hurt or killed on the road.” They of course roll their eyes and say, “Oh boy, here goes dad again.”

But it’s true: If every person behind the wheel was as scared-straight as I’ve become after being a daily bike rider for 30 years and having a job for 13 of them where I consume a daily stream of information about horrific crashes and have met hundreds of people directly impacted by them — our streets would be pretty chill.

In our push for safer streets, we usually talk about infrastructure, enforcement, and educating people about drunk driving, rules of the road, and so on. What gets left out is a more holistic look at how we drive.

That’s why I was so happy to come across the work of Mi Ae Lipe, an advocate who lives near Seattle. Mi Ae is a driving expert who writes a column for a BMW owner’s club magazine and consults with agencies and nonprofits about safety. In 2017 she was a co-recipient of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Award for Public Service. Mi Ae wants to re-educate American drivers. [Read more…]

Racial bias concerns and staffing shortage present enforcement challenges for Portland Police

Avatar by on March 7th, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Vision Zero Task Force member Karis Stoudamire-Phillips speaks at a meeting in City Hall yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We hear from many of you that it feels like streets in Portland are getting more lawless by the day. One reason is a severe lack of police presence due to a staffing shortage that’s been years in the making. The flip side of that is a concern among traffic safety advocates and the Police Bureau that too much presence in certain parts of the city might lead to unfair or over-policing.
[Read more…]

Amid spike in deaths City touts “foundation building” in first annual Vision Zero progress report

Avatar by on February 28th, 2018 at 3:15 pm

(All graphics from PBOT’s 2017 Vision Zero Annual Report.)

We haven’t turned back the rising tide of deaths and injuries on our streets; but we’re getting better at analyzing it and we’ve laid the groundwork for future progress.

That’s the vibe from the Portland Bureau of Transportation as noted in their first annual Vision Zero Progress Report published yesterday. Stating that 2017 was, “A year of tragedy and foundation building,” the agency detailed their policy and project efforts and offered a sad recap of all the traffic deaths last year.

Here are our takeaways…[Read more…]

PBOT has 17 ‘High Crash Network’ projects queued up for construction this year

Avatar by on January 30th, 2018 at 11:22 am

PBOT will be busy in 2018.

With money in their coffers for the first time in several decades (thanks in large part to the local gas tax and revenue from the state transportation package passed last year), the Portland Bureau of Transportation will be busy in 2018. They recently released a list of 17 projects they plan to construct this year. Nine of them are east of 82nd.
[Read more…]