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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Actions: Street Design

Vision Zero addresses the causes and contributors to vehicle crashes by improving dangerous streets and by reducing dangerous behaviors through policy change, education, community conversation, and enforcement. Education and outreach activities will accompany all areas of action.

Download the PDF version of "How to achieve Vision Zero"

Actions to address dangerous street design

Street characteristics influence behavior, and street design can exacerbate driver mistakes. Actions to address design focus on engineering solutions, but also include actions that establish policy and guidance for safe infrastructure.

These are intended to create a system that protects all users—people walking, rolling, and bicycling, and people riding in cars, trucks and buses—from deadly outcomes when mistakes and violations happen.

2-year actions: STREET DESIGN (SD)
SD.1 Build capital safety improvements on two segments and five intersections in the High Crash Network each year, prioritizing improvements in and engaging with Communities of Concern PBOT, ODOT Number of segments and intersections in the High Crash Network receiving capital safety improvements compared to prior years

Annual average number of deadly and serious crashes on improved segments, disaggregated by mode, age, and geography, compared to prior 5-year annual averages in the same segments
SD.2 Secure a stable state-level transportation funding source dedicated to safety PBOT, City Government Relations Creation of a stable, state-level funding source dedicated to safety
SD.3 Deploy a multi-agency fatal rapid response team to all fatal crash locations to evaluate the site for safety enhancements PBOT, PPB, TriMet, Multnomah County, PF&R, ODOT Percentage of fatal crash locations for which a fatal rapid response team evaluated the site
SD.4 Develop guidelines for installation criteria for marked pedestrian and bicycle crossings, including crossing enhancements, based on vehicle speeds and volumes, street characteristics, transit stops, and other factors PBOT Percentage of marked pedestrian and bicycle crossings that meet guidelines
SD.5 Develop guidelines for installation criteria for protected bike lanes based on vehicle speeds, volumes, and other factors PBOT Number of protected bike lane miles installed using the guidelines
5-year actions: STREET DESIGN (SD)
SD.6  Review and provide recommendations for existing marked pedestrian crossings on the High Crash Network, including lighting, crossing enhancements, and spacing frequency. Prioritize improvements and new marked crossings PBOT Number of existing marked pedestrian crossings improved annually in the High Crash Network

Number of new marked pedestrian crossings built annually in the High Crash Network

Percentage of the High Crash Network system that meets marked crossing frequency guideline
SD.7  Improve safe pedestrian and bicycle access to transit stops along key bus routes, prioritizing the High Crash Network in Communities of Concern, and where appropriate, in conjunction with increases in bus service frequency PBOT, TriMet, ODOT Number of improved transit stops along key bus routes
1) in the High Crash Network, and
2) within Communities of Concern annually
SD.8  Prioritize safety criteria in federal, state, regional, and local funding decision-making processes Metro, City Government Relations, PBOT, ODOT Number of places where new safety criteria are included

Education and Outreach Activities

These activities—and others like them—are designed to support the 2- and 5-year actions, and link them to the broader Vision Zero education campaign

Campaign elements:

  • Outreach to accompany infrastructure improvements on the High Crash Network
  • Integrate Vision Zero messaging with other City programs and projects
  • Collaborate with partner agency traffic safety campaigns

More on Action SD.1

Action SD.1 is an aggressive and significant commitment to infrastructure investment and street design by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). The intent of this action is to change existing street design to support Vision Zero objectives.

Vision Zero infrastructure projects will meet the following criteria:

  • Be constructed on Portland's High Crash Network, and
  • Allocate a majority of the project cost to safety countermeasures* that address a specific, documented safety risk

Infrastructure projects will be prioritized by:

  • Location in Communities of Concern, and/or
  • Safety improvements for vulnerable users including people walking and bicycling, older adults and youth

PBOT is developing a High Crash Network infrastructure safety plan that will include design concepts for segments of the High Crash Network, prioritizing those that overlap with Communities of Concern. The design concepts will be shared with surrounding communities for refinement and feedback during the project design phase.

* Examples include, but are not limited to, FHWA’s nine proven safety countermeasures: road diets, medians and pedestrian crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, roundabouts, access management, retroreflective backplates, safety edge, enhanced curve delineation, and rumble strips

Accommodating Vulnerable Users in Work Zones

Safe choices should also be convenient. When streets and paths are disrupted by detours due to work zones, walking, biking, and using a mobility device becomes challenging as people are forced to deviate from their path. The City of Portland, in partnership with community organizations, recently passed new work zone guidelines that prioritize direct routes for walking, biking, and mobility devices to ensure safe movement during construction. This may mean making temporary changes to the street, such as creating a pathway in place of on-street parking for the duration of the project.


Abbreviations key
DMV Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles
ODOT Oregon Department of Transportation
OHA Oregon Health Authority
PBOT Portland Bureau of Transportation
PF&R Portland Fire & Rescue
PPB Portland Police Bureau

View draft plan as an interactive storymap