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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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How Sensor Data Can Support Traffic Safety - Vision Zero

Vision Zero logoThe Traffic Safety Sensor Project will help PBOT achieve Vision Zero, Portland’s goal to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025.

Achieving Vision Zero requires rapid, effective action, which is only possible with accurate data about how people are using our streets—especially people walking and biking, who are at highest risk of death or injury in crashes (see chart below).

PBOT has good data on where people drive but relatively little data on where people walk and bike. Today, PBOT relies on volunteers and a small number of staff to count people walking and biking at a limited number of locations.

As examples, here are two questions the safety sensor data may help answer:

  • Example 1: Where should PBOT install new crosswalks?
    PBOT often must decide where to spend limited funds on new crosswalks. Knowing where people are walking can help PBOT identify locations where a new crosswalk would most improve safety.

  • Example 2: How do design changes impact travel behavior?
    The safety sensor data can help PBOT evaluate the impact of street design tools—such as protected bike lanes, new crosswalks, and additional lighting—on the travel choices people make pre- and post-project. By 2035, the City of Portland has set a goal of having 7.5% and 25% of trips made by foot or bike, respectively.

VZ data

Safety sensors prioritize Portland’s High Crash Network

PBOT is installing sensors on SE Hawthorne, Division, and 122nd. These streets are part of Portland’s High Crash Network, which are streets where the most people die in crashes while walking, biking, or driving, and which PBOT prioritizes for safety fixes.

You can view an interactive online crash map at

HIGH CRASH NETWORK (orange lines)

VZ map

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