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Division High Crash Corridor Project Moves Forward

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Fifty people attended the third public meeting of the Division Street High Crash Corridor, focusing on SE Division Street between SE 60th and 80th Avenues, on Tuesday, April 23rd.  The meeting was co-hosted by the South Tabor Neighborhood Association, the Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association, Warner Pacific College and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Contingent on approval of its proposed FY 13-14 budget and coordination of transit stop enhancements with TriMet, PBOT is moving ahead with the Phase I improvements, which were supported by a large majority of those at Tuesday’s public meeting.

The Phase I project improvements between SE 60th – 80th Avenues include:

  • Removing paint and restriping the new three-lane configuration, including one travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, bike lanes east- and westbound, plus a bicycle lane on SE 60th Avenue northbound to connect to the SE Lincoln Neighborhood Greenway;
  • Installation of a marked crosswalk with a pedestrian island between SE 67th and SE 68th Avenues; and
  • Signal improvements at SE 60th, 71st, and 76th Avenues, including pedestrian push buttons and loop detectors at 71st and 76th Avenues.

 

PBOT focused on this stretch of Division due to its high concentration of crashes and the active engagement of the neighborhood associations. The project improvements are designed to increase safety for all road users.

Currently the traffic signals at SE 71st Ave and SE 76th Ave are timed: regardless of whether cars, bikes or pedestrians are waiting at the cross streets, the signals still stop traffic on Division to allow this potential cross traffic to enter.

By only stopping traffic when automobiles, pedestrians and/or bicyclists are actually present, the pedestrian push buttons and loop detectors are designed to keep traffic flowing on Division. Even with the removal of one travel lane, PBOT’s traffic model shows these signal improvements will provide a reduction of travel times for vehicles moving through the project area.

The South Tabor and Mt Tabor Neighborhood Associations also initiated an extensive community outreach process surrounding the project. Each group held and facilitated two meetings within their neighborhood about the process. “The active involvement of both South Tabor and Mt.Tabor Neighborhood Associations resulted in not only a robust public involvement process, but a better result,” said Clay Veka, PBOT’s High Crash Corridor Project Coordinator.

PBOT’s proposed budget includes $100,000 for Phase I to commence during the 2013 construction season. The proposed Phase II will include a new signal at 71st Ave, additional pedestrian crossing enhancements and curb ramps throughout. The Oregon Department of Transportation and TriMet have included the Phase II improvements as part of the 2015-18 Enhance application for Surface Transportation Improvement Funds. More information about proposed improvements along the entire corridor can be found here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/59284.

National studies of reorganizing four-lane roadways to three with a center turn lane – typically known as "road diets"— have resulted in reductions of crashes from 19% to 47%. That translates into 44 to 107 fewer crashes in the next 10 years on this twenty blocks of Division.

High Crash Corridors (HCCs) are roadways that have exceptional concentrations of crash activity. Identifying HCCs helps the City target limited resources for improved safety. Practices and approaches to improve safety in HCCs include traffic enforcement, engineering, and education programs. For more information, contact Clay Veka, (503) 823-4998.

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