The move comes as Portland grapples with its deadliest year for people walking and biking in over two decades and the highest overall death toll since 2003. That grave reality is reflected in the ordinance language that will go before Council this morning: “An emergency exists because people are dying in traffic crashes; therefore, this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.” [Read more…]
Some of the upgrades PBOT is in the process of making throughout the city.
As many advocates and insiders reading this already know, before a project can get funded it must be on a list. The more powerful the list, the more important it is that your project gets on it. These lists are were the money goes first and inclusion of a project on them is often the only justification needed to get it built.
Tomorrow at City Council the Portland Bureau of Transportation will ask Mayor Ted Wheeler and the four other commissioners to approve a list of 105 “Vision Zero projects” PBOT says are critical to, “systematically address the safety needs” on our most dangerous streets (see the full ordinance and list here). The total estimated cost of all the projects could be close to $750 million. About one-quarter of the projects on the list are already funded. PBOT has also requested that 17 of the 105 projects (estimated to cost upwards of $74 million) get added to Portland’s Transportation System Plan — which would give them the highest priority possible.
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…]
With plan in hand, the Vision Zero Task Force is getting down to the business of implementation. And they’re not messing around. This photo is from their meeting in City Hall earlier this month. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Just three short years ago Portland’s commissioner-in-charge of transportation hadn’t even heard of Vision Zero. Now the traffic safety concept is the target of more attention from the Bureau of Transportation than any other issue. More than paving streets, more than responding to historic snowstorms, and more than patching potholes. [Read more…]
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 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…]
Expect to hear a lot more about Vision Zero in 2017. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland and the State of Oregon are both coming off a terrible year when it comes to traffic safety.
492 people died while using Oregon roads in 2016. That’s a 10 percent increase over the 2015 total and a whopping 57 percent jump from 2013 (when we lost 313 people to traffic crashes). In Portland 45 people died, marking just the second time since 1998 that we’ve had over 40 deaths in one year.
The combination of those grim statistics and the maturity of Vision Zero as a rallying cry and policy concept could make 2017 a watershed year for traffic safety. Or, it could just be more of the same: a bunch of plans, proclamations, protests and meetings. It’s up to all of us to make sure we move the needle.
This week there are four events that show how activists, a nonprofit organization, the State of Oregon, and lawmakers are responding to this urgent issue.
The Oregon Transporation Safety Committee is a governor-appointed tasked with advising the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Transportation Commission on all matters regarding traffic safety. They meet monthly in Salem. This month’s agenda includes reports from various ODOT liaisons, a discussion about a new speed program, an update from the head of ODOT’s Traffic Division Division, and the drafting of a proclamation to declare May “Transportation Safety Month”. Take a look at the agenda here (PDF). [Read more…]
PBOT Director Leah Treat presenting the action plan at City Council yesterday.
21 of the 32 actions outlined in the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero Action Plan should be completed within two years and all of them should be done by 2021.
Those are the marching orders given to PBOT from City Council after four commissioners (Mayor Charlie Hales was in Mexico at a climate change conference) voted unanimously yesterday to pass the plan (PDF), a 35-page document developed over six months of task force meetings, data-crunching, and public outreach.
The plan of actions to reach a goal of zero fatalities by 2025 (just nine years from now) are broken down into five categories: street design, impairment, speed, dangerous behaviors, and engagement and accountability. They include things like: breaking ground on new capital projects on high crash corridors, increasing police training, gaining local authority to set speed limits, expanding the red light safety camera program, and more. [Read more…]
This version of inner southeast Hawthorne is still just a dream. For now.
The City Budget Office (CBO) just threw a bunch of cold water on some hot active transportation projects.
Last month we were happy to share that the transportation bureau had requested city funding for five projects that would upgrade our streets and make them safer for everyone to use. The request was made as part of the fall budget monitoring process or “BUMP”. This is where the city takes the growth in tax revenue that went beyond projections and re-invests it back into worthy projects. Competition for the funds are fierce and all city bureaus compete for a limited pot of money (estimated to be about $8 million total this go-round2).
The Bureau of Transportation trotted out five projects that were especially exciting for transportation reform advocates: a seasonal reconfiguration of Naito Parkway (aka “Better Naito”); the Outer Halsey Streetscape Safety project and a Vision Zero educational effort; a new path connection for the Springwater, and a major redesign of inner Hawthorne Boulevard.
Unfortunately the CBO isn’t recommending funding for any of them. [Read more…]
The Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce (PICOC) has turned their influential attention to an issue near and dear to our hearts: the struggle for safer streets.
Launched early this year by a relatively young cadre of tech industry leaders as an antidote to the Portland Business Alliance, PICOC wants more Portland businesses to step up and support “the Vision Zero movement.”
NOTE: Meeting held virtually until further notice. The twenty-member volunteer Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meets monthly to review projects and discuss bike issues. The committee advises City Council and bureaus Read More »
Full agenda here ODOT's bosses will hear them ask for $10 million in pedestrian safety projects statewide, including $3.4 million on 82nd Avenue. The agency announced this tranche of investment Read More »
According to Beaverton Code 2.03.560 (Powers and Duties), the purpose of the committee is: To focus on the promotion, education and safety of bicycling and related modes of active transportation Read More »
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