(June 16, 2015) The City of Portland is poised to make major strides in implementing a Vision Zero transportation safety goal this week, including City Council policy actions, potential new speed control authority and a new driver safety pledge intended to help all Portlanders travel more safely.
Mayor Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick will announce on Wednesday that they have taken a Vision Zero pledge to support the global campaign to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries. They are calling on their Council colleagues to join them in adopting Vision Zero for the entire City government and in so doing are encouraging all City employees to sign on to contribute to a safer, healthier Portland.
“I am very pleased that the City Council will consider several important steps that will lead our actions on Vision Zero and reinforce recent investments that will make our multimodal transportation system safer for everyone,” Transportation Director Leah Treat said. “This will further enhance the safety work we have under way across the City, including the actions I laid out in Portland Progress, PBOT’s two-year action plan.”
The Portland City Council on Wednesday will consider a resolution endorsing Vision Zero as the City’s policy and direct PBOT to form a committee to advise on Vision Zero with diverse areas of expertise, including law enforcement, education, public health and emergency response.
City Council will also consider accepting a $150,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to develop the Vision Zero Transportation Safety Action Plan. The plan will undertake a one-year effort, informed by traffic crash data, to generate specific policy recommendations and actions to reach Vision Zero by 2025. Both items are scheduled for 10:45 a.m. at the Council meeting.
Recent and upcoming actions to improve transportation safety and implement Vision Zero include:
- In East Portland, PBOT plans to install 24 rapid flash beacons in 2015, more than double the 20 beacons operational there as of 2014.
- On Wednesday afternoon, PBOT officials will seek permission from the Oregon Speed Zone Board to expedite the process for setting speeds on city streets, taking into account how and when pedestrians and cyclists use the road. While that request is pending, the City recently successfully reduced speeds on SE Division and Burnside, which are both classified as High Crash Corridors.
- PBOT has been supporting House Bill 2621, which would allow Portland to install fixed photo radar safety cameras to reduce speeding on the City’s High Crash Corridors. The 10 designated High Crash Corridors make up just 3 percent of the City’s road network, but they account for more than 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities in Portland. The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Room H-174 of the State Capitol Building in Salem.
- The City Council recently approved the City’s biggest investment in the High Crash Corridor Program. The 2015-16 Budget approved on May 27 includes $8 million for maintenance and safety improvements on 122ndAvenue in East Portland and $2.8 million for safety improvements on East and West Burnside.
- The budget also includes $300,000 to begin to expand Portland’s Safe Routes to School programs to middle and high schools. Council adoption of the 2015-16 Budget is scheduled for Thursday.
- PBOT recently launched a new web site, VisionZeroPortland.com, which includes the Vision Zero Crash Map, an interactive map that displays 10 years of injury and fatality data for people walking, biking and driving. It also includes maps showing locations of existing and funded East Portland rapid flash beacons. On Wednesday, it will include the Vision Zero Pledge, so all Portlanders can sign on.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation