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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: Speed

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 speed

These actions address the role speed plays in crash severity, particularly when a person driving a car crashes into a person walking, rolling, bicycling, or riding a motorcycle. The actions will be paired with outreach to remind people that getting somewhere a few minutes faster is not worth the risk of ending a life.

2-year actions: SPEED
S.1 Pilot speed safety cameras on four high crash corridors in the first two years; expand program to additional high crash corridors following the pilot PBOT, PPB Number of speeding-related citations issued near speed safety cameras compared to baseline

Percentage decrease of autos traveling 5+ mph over posted speed after speed safety cameras were installed
S.2 Gain local authority for speed reduction on City of Portland streets; prioritize setting safe speed limits in the High Crash Network City Government Relations, PBOT Obtainment of local authority for speed reduction

Number of street segments where posted speeds have been reduced
S.3 Improve street design to support safe speeds in conjunction with posted speed reduction on four to six streets (not including SD.1 improvements) annually in the High Crash Network, prioritizing improvements in and engaging with Communities of Concern PBOT Number of high crash corridors receiving speed improvements each year

Percentage decrease of autos traveling 5+ mph over posted speed after improvements

Education and Outreach Actions

Helping people understand the deadly consequences of speed is central to Vision Zero, as is creating a culture less tolerant of the risks that speeding creates. Specific educational efforts will accompany speed safety cameras, emphasizing the effectiveness of those cameras but also making sure people are aware of their existence and their intent—to reduce speeding, not a revenue collection mechanism.

Campaign elements:

  • High-visibility education and outreach paired with red-light and speed safety camera programs
  • Outreach to accompany infrastructure improvement projects and enforcement actions

Designing Streets for Safe Speeds

The City of Portland standard is to design streets and street retrofits to the posted speed limit to ensure that all design elements of the roadway convey to drivers the appropriate speed. This is different from a traditional approach of designing streets to actual auto speeds, regardless of the posted speed limit.

Street Design Actions to Lower Speeds

Changing the nature of a street can lower speeds. At the heart of Vision Zero is the recognition that better design changes behavior. Design elements that help reduce speeding can include adding visual cues that remind people that streets are for everyone. These include:

  • Narrower travel lanes for automobiles
  • On-street parking
  • More frequent crossings with signals or stop signs
  • Street trees, sidewalk landscaping
  • Wide sidewalk with active uses like café seating
  • Bicycle lanes with differentiated pavement color, treatments, or marking


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