Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Bureau of Transportation

We keep Portland moving

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Peninsula Elementary School

School Safety Project
Final Evaluation
 
Introduction
 
The Traffic Calming Program (TCP) initiated a traffic calming project in the Spring of 1996 to address traffic problems identified around Peninsula Elementary.

Area Map
 
 
Peninsula Elementary is surrounded by single family homes. The streets next to the school, Halleck to the north and Emerald to the east, are both Local Service streets. Marked school crossings exist on Emerald at Halleck and on Halleck at Wabash. School crossings are also in place on Willis and Peninsular Boulevards, both Neighborhood Collector streets. All of the streets have sidewalks and curb. Each street has posted 20 mph school zones.

Project Goals
 
The traffic committee's goals were as follows:
I. Reduce vehicle speed in the school zones.
II. Improve the safety of school crossings at Willis and Peninsular.
Proposed Solution
 
Staff recommended options for addressing the traffic committees concerns. The committee supported the use of 14-ft speed bumps on Emerald. Staff explained that near the crosswalks on Willis and Peninsular curb extensions were one option; pedestrian refuges were another option. The committee agreed that a pedestrian refuge would be more appropriate on Willis, and curb extensions would be appropriate for Peninsular. Staff also explained that, though 22-ft speed bumps were originally proposed on either side of the cross walks on Willis and Peninsular, the Fire Bureau expressed concerns that speed bumps at these locations would increase emergency response time.

Residents around Peninsula Elementary, and specifically residents on streets for which devices were proposed, were invited to an open house to review and comment on the proposed plan. Two residents attended the open house. Those who came seemed to support the plan, and understood the Fire Bureau's position against the speed bumps on Willis and Peninsular. No petition or ballot is required for School Safety Projects.

After the open house, the traffic committee met again to review and finalize the proposed plan. The Fire Bureau agreed to speed bumps on Peninsular if speed bumps were not constructed on Willis.

The final plan consisted of the following:

1. Five 14-foot speed bumps on N Emerald between Willis and Lombard.
2. Two 14-foot speed bumps on N Halleck around the cross walk at Wabash.
3. A Pedestrian Refuge around the school crossing on N Willis.
4. A curb extension at the SE corner of Halleck and Peninsular with 22-foot speed bumps on either side of the school cross walk.

Construction

N Emerald - Willis to Lombard
 
Five 14-foot speed bumps, at 340 to 570 foot spacing, were constructed along the 0.42 mile stretch of N Emerald on August 10, 1996 by the Bureau of Maintenance.
 
 
Vehicle Speeds
As the graph shows, vehicle speeds, previously concentrated between 23 and 28 mph, have been shifted into the range of 20 to 25 mph. The 85th percentile vehicle speed before the project was 30 mph. After bump construction the average 85th percentile speed measured was 24.7 mph. The 85th percentile speed ranged between a low of 16 mph (near the bumps) to a high of 26 mph between the bumps. Before installation of the speed bumps 46% of drivers exceeded the posted speed limit of 25 mph and 3.8% exceeded the limit by 10 mph or more. Since bump construction, 10.7% of drivers exceed the posted speed limit and 0.2% exceed the limit by 10 mph or more.

Traffic Volume
Traffic volume measured on Emerald before bump construction averaged 700 vehicles per day (vpd). After bump construction volumes measured between 590 and 900 vpd, with and continued to average 700 vpd.

N Halleck - School Crossing at Wabash
 
Two 14-foot speed bumps, 208 feet apart, were constructed on either side of the marked cross walk on Halleck at Wabash. One bump was constructed approximately 110 feet east of the cross walk. The other bump was constructed approximately 100 feet west of the cross walk. Both bumps were constructed on August 10, 1996 by the Bureau of Maintenance. 

 
 
Vehicle Speeds
As the graph below shows, vehicle speeds, previously peaked between 23 and 25 mph, now peak between 20 to 25 mph. The average 85th percentile vehicle speed before the project was 27.6 mph. Since bump construction the average 85th percentile speed is 26.8 mph and ranges from a low of 26 mph (near the bumps) to a high of 28 mph. Before installation of the speed bumps 31% of drivers exceeded the posted speed limit of 25 mph and 1.5% exceeded the limit by 10 mph or more. Since bump construction 21% of drivers exceed the posted speed limit and 0.8% exceed the limit by 10 mph or more.

Traffic Volume
Traffic volumes measured before bump construction averaged 544 vehicles per day (vpd). After bump construction volumes averaged 441 vpd.

N Peninsular - School Crossing at Halleck
 
Two 22-foot speed bumps, at 253 foot spacing, were constructed on either side of the marked cross walk at Halleck on April 26, 1997 by the Bureau of Maintenance. The curb extension on Peninsular at the southeast corner was completed September 9, 1997.

Vehicle Speeds
As the graph below shows, vehicle speeds, previously concentrated between 26 and 34 mph, have been shifted into the range of 20 to 25 mph. The average 85th percentile vehicle speed before the project was 34.2 mph. Since bump construction the average 85th percentile speed is 26.2 mph and ranges from a low of 24 mph (near the bumps) to a high of 27 mph. Before installation of the speed bumps, 38% of drivers exceeded the posted speed limit of 30 mph. Since bump construction 3.3% of drivers exceed the posted speed limit.
 
 
Traffic Volume
Traffic volumes measured before bump construction averaged 5000 vehicles per day (vpd). After bump construction volumes averaged 4900 vpd and varied from 4200 to 5200 vpd. The reduction in volume is likely due to seasonal fluctuations related to school activity.
 
N Willis - School Crossing at Emerald
 
Before permanent construction, a temporary pedestrian refuge was constructed around the cross walk on N Willis at Emerald. The temporary device used concrete wheel stops and temporary signing to mimic the final device at the centerline of N Willis. Temporary construction was completed October 15, 1996. Permanent construction was completed September 3, 1997.

Vehicle Speeds
As the next graph shows, vehicle speeds on N Willis before the temporary device was installed concentrated between 29 and 37 mph. After the temporary device was installed, the vehicle speeds shifted into the range of 26 to 34 mph. The average 85th percentile vehicle speed before the project was 38.5 mph. Since construction the average 85th percentile speed is 34.6 mph. Before construction, 84.8% of drivers exceeded the posted speed limit of 25 mph and 34.9% exceeded the limit by 10 mph or more. Since construction 80.7% of drivers exceed the posted speed limit and 17% exceed the limit by 10 mph or more. Pedestrian refuges are not intended to reduce the speed of vehicles, only to provide a safe haven in case of judgement errors by pedestrians. The small reduction in measured vehicle speed correlates to expected results.
 

Traffic Volume
Traffic volumes measured before construction averaged 5100 vehicles per day (vpd). After construction, volumes averaged 4400 vpd. The reduction in volume is likely due to seasonal fluctuations related to school activity.

Neighborhood

Traffic Volume
Traffic volumes measured on side streets adjacent to the project streets showed no significant increases from volumes measured before construction.
 
Table 1. Average Neighborhood Volume Changes
 
West of Peninsular
Street Before After Change % Change
Arlington 275 215 -60 -22%
Halleck 615 517 -98 -16%
Kilpatrick 161 179 18 11%
Watts 238 237 -1 -0.6%
Winchell 174 206 32 18%
Terry 332 383 51 15%
Farragut 487 496 9 2%
Totals 2282 2233 -49 -2%

Summary

The Peninsula Elementary School Safety Project has succeeded in meeting its primary goals as follows:
 
Goal 1: Reduce vehicle speed in the school zones.
Where speed bumps have been constructed, average vehicle speeds have dropped 1 to 8 miles per hour. Drivers exceeding the speed limit at these locations has reduced 4 to 35 percent. The speeds only slightly reduced on N Willis since no speed bumps were placed there.

Goal 2: Improve the safety of school crossings at Willis and Peninsular.

School Comments
 
When contacted by staff, school administrators stated that the devices were a great asset for the school.

Conclusions

With a reduction in speed of vehicles, the severity, and probability of a vehicle-pedestrian collision are reduced. Drivers traveling at a slower speed not only can observe greater detail on the street, but also do not require as great a distance to slow or stop. Reduction of the crossing distances at Peninsular and at Willis improve pedestrian safety by reducing the length of time pedestrians are exposed to vehicles.

Traffic Calming for Peninsula Elementary has enhanced the safety of the pedestrian environment and neighborhood livability.
 

Heartbleed Security Notice

A serious security vulnerability known as "Heartbleed" was recently discovered in OpenSSL, a popular software library commonly used by many websites on the internet to encrypt communication between a user's computer and a web server.

PortlandOregon.gov is NOT affected by this vulnerability as it does not use the OpenSSL software library. Please rest assured we are dedicated to protecting your security on this website.