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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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Dylan Rivera

Public Information Officer

503-823-3723

For breaking news from Portland Bureau of Transportation see our Twitter feed: @PBOTinfo

For breaking news on overall service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, go to @publicalerts or see www.publicalerts.org 


Heads Up – PBOT to Hold Crosswalk Enforcement Action

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Slow down and look both ways at NE Sandy and 85th

Car stopped by officer The Portland Police Bureau and PBOT are partnering on a crosswalk enforcement action at the marked crossing on NE Sandy Blvd at NE 85th Ave on Wednesday, January 23, from 12:30-2:00pm. This crosswalk has ladder bar style pavement markings and signage. Nearby TriMet bus stops and The Heights at Columbia Knoll retirement facility generate a lot of pedestrian traffic.

A crosswalk enforcement action includes one or more pedestrian decoys strategically positioned at locations that have marked or unmarked crosswalks and a fair amount of pedestrian activity. Drivers that fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk can be issued a warning or given an approximately $260 citation. Pedestrians that jaywalk can also receive a warning or citation. Crosswalk enforcements are typically conducted monthly.

The Oregon Crosswalk Law (ORS 811/028) states that "Motorists are required to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian is in the motorist’s lane or the adjacent lane." Drivers must stop and remain stopped until pedestrians crossing the street clear the driver’s lane plus the lane before and the lane after the driver’s lane. When making a turn at a traffic controlled intersection, motorists are required to stop while the pedestrian is in the driver's lane plus 6 feet. In addition, motorists are required to stop curb to curb for a blind person with a seeing eye dog or white cane.

Making Our Most Crash-Prone Streets Safer

PBOT’s High Crash Corridor Program

Nobody benefits from crashes.  Crashes cost Portland over $100 million per year in health care and lost productivity. Forty percent of all traffic congestion in Portland is primarily caused by crashes.  And crashes claim the lives of those we love.

Portland has 1,300 miles of arterials– high volume, high speed, multi-lane roadways. Yet historical crash data tell us that a very small percentage of these arterials account for a majority of all road crashes.  Portland’s arterial network also accounts for 66% of Portland’s pedestrian fatalities and 52% of bike crashes. PBOT refers to these arterials with exceptional concentration of crash activity as High Crash Corridors (HCC).

PBOT’s High Crash Corridor Program uses this crash data to maximize safety improvements with limited resources. The HCC program uses a combination of enforcement, engineering and education.  The red on the map below illustrates crash locations based on Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles data.

Portland has identified ten high crash corridors, and focuses on three corridors each year:


• 2011: NE/SE 82nd Ave, NE/SE 122nd Ave, SW Barbur Blvd, SE Foster Rd
• 2012: SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, SE Division St, N/NE Marine Dr
• 2013: W/E Burnside St, SE Powell Blvd, NE Sandy Blvd


 

The ten high crash corridors are all arterial roadways which have the highest serious crash rate per road mile and per vehicle mile traveled in the Portland Metro region.  Many of Portland’s busiest bus lines operate on these corridors, which exposes transit riders to risk while walking along and crossing the roadways to access transit.

The High Crash Corridor program aims to reduce severe crash rates 50% by educating drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, enforcing traffic laws, and implementing safety improvements on the roadways. 

For more information on program, contact Clay Veka, (503) 823-4998

Building curb ramps, ensuring access

Taming the half-foot hurdle, 700 corners a year

Before After

Regardless of how you travel, you’re a pedestrian at some point for nearly every trip you take. In Portland we have 2,504 miles of sidewalks and 37,782 corners.

For Portlanders with a physical disability, streets without a curb ramp present significant barriers to travel and make it challenging simply to cross the street. Curb ramps make it easier for others using the sidewalk, such as seniors, children, parents with strollers and people with shopping carts or rolling suitcases. Curb ramps add to a more pleasant pedestrian environment.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is committed to removing barriers to people with disabilities and making it easier for others to walk and roll along Portland’s sidewalks and street crossings. Rebuilding corners to provide curb ramps is one significant way the City provides access for people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Crew building sidewalk with curb rampOn an annual basis, the Portland Bureau of Transportation targets constructing and fixing between 700 – 1000 corners to provide curb ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are three ways that PBOT selects intersections for curb ramp construction:

  • locations citywide based on prioritizing criteria. Learn more below.
  • at specific locations based on citizen request for accommodation by people with disabilities.
  • as a part of Capital Improvement Projects, such as sidewalk infill projects.

 As of 2012, 42% of Portland’s corners have one or more curb ramp.

PBOT’s Active Transportation Group prioritizes the curb ramps to be built citywide annually based on criteria developed by staff and stakeholders; and the PBOT Maintenance Operations Group builds the ramps.  Locations are prioritized based on:

  • requests from people who use mobility devices;
  • broken or hazardous existing curb ramps;
  • incidences of pedestrian crashes;
  • high level of pedestrian use;
  • concentrations of people with disabilities;
  • missing links to key destinations or within the Neighborhood Greenway network, including:
    • local and state government offices and facilities
    • places of public accommodation
    • places of worship
    • neighborhood greenways with pedestrian traffic
    • senior centers
    • business/commercial centers

Street corner with completed curb rampsThe list is also analyzed and adjusted to ensure that curb ramp construction occurs in areas with higher concentrations of people of color and other historically underserved populations. Finally, PBOT evaluates the list to see that curb ramps are built throughout the city. This list is presented for review by the Portland Commission on Disabilities, Accessibility in the Built Environment Sub-Committee.

PBOT builds most of these curb ramps during the fair weather months (May – October). Curb ramp projects for the 2013 paving season include:

  • East Portland Sidewalk Infill Projects
  • NE Going St/Alberta Court Neighborhood Greenway from N Vancouver to NE 47th Avenue;
  • SE 122nd Avenue from Powell to Marine Dr. (High Crash Corridor)
  • SE Clinton between SE 25th – 51st Avenues
  • SW Chestnut from Bertha – Vermont and vicinity
  • SW Columbia and SW Jefferson from SW 1st – 17th Avenues
  • W Burnside approximately from 1st – 23rd Avenues
  • University District (SW Broadway & Harrison, SW Broadway & Jackson and SW Park & Market)

Take Part in the High Crash Corridor Safety Program

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Help reduce crashes (and you might even earn school credit)

Crosswalk of a busy streetWe all want to make our communities safer, but what can we do? If you live within ten blocks of one of Portland’s ten High Crash Corridors you could participate in the High Crash Corridor Safety Program and help bring some needed resources to your community.

If you participate, you’ll work with a Portland Bureau of Transportation safety specialist to develop a program that best serves your needs.  There are several project options to choose from, including:

  1. Bring transportation safety trainings to interested adults in your neighborhood.
  2. Host a transportation safety fair.  
  3. Identify potential leaders in your community interested in learning to be a Transportation Safety Trainer, and PBOT will Train-the-Trainers.
  4. Identify and engage teenagers (ages 13-19) to learn about transportation safety and then develop a single- or multi-media presentation on transportation safety in Portland.
  5. Work with PBOT staff to engage older adults to participate in a Senior Walking Challenge and/or Ped Pals program to encourage walking as a healthy and active mode of transportation.
  6. Help PBOT staff develop a survey, and then survey your community members about what transportation safety training and programs they would most like to see implemented in their community and then create a customized program to best serve their needs.

 

To learn more about this safety program, including how students may be able to earn educational credit for their projects, contact Sharon White at Sharon.white@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7100.

Safe Routes to School Annual Evaluation Report

Latest data shows more than 42% of trips to partner schools are made on foot or by bike.

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School advocates for and implements programs that make walking and biking around Portland neighborhoods and schools fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and families. The majority of the program’s funding comes from traffic-fine revenue, supplemented by state and federal grants.

Twice a year, Safe Routes to School surveys thousands of parents and guardians to learn how their children get to and from school.  These surveys are required for the program’s federal grant funding and help staff gauge progress in making Portland a safer place for students to get around by foot or bike.   

After mailing over 17,000 surveys this past fall covering 50 schools, Safe Routes to School has just released its annual school and program reports. The report displays how students get to and from school and includes comparisons to other schools.

  chart comparing Portland to National travel averages

Portland’s walk and bike to school rates are significantly higher than the national average.  For the Safe Routes to School program over 32% of trips to school were on foot, compared to 11% nationally. Trips to school by bicycle were 10 times higher for the Portland Safe Routes to School program than the national average (10.3% compared to 1%).  Additionally, the Safe Routes to School program has seen a steady increase in the number of students walking and bicycling to school, as the chart below shows.

chart of how Portland student get to school

Safe Routes to School currently works directly in 80 Portland schools.  The work can include encouragement programs such as organizing a walking school bus, that brings different families together to walk to school safely, and engineering reports which help schools plan for better infrastructure like crosswalks and safer bicycling facilities.

Maplewood Elementary in Southwest Portland now has five different walking school buses meeting at various locations in the neighborhood.  Safe Routes to School staff worked with Maplewood parents and administrators to help organize the walking school buses. Maplewood’s most recent survey showed 22% of students getting to school by walking, up from 15% when Safe Routes to School started its work there in 2009. 

With help from Safe Routes to School staff, Beach Elementary in North Portlandhas developed a highly successful bike train, bringing families together to bike to school.  Beach has also been one of the program’s most active schools, taking part in International Walk + Bike to School Day and Walk + Bike Challenge Month and including all 2nd and 5th graders in the Safe Routes to School comprehensive pedestrian and bicycling education curriculum.  Our latest surveys show that walking and bicycling to school has grown from 40% of trips in 2009 to almost 60% in 2012.

Lewis Elementary in Southeast Portland includes many families that regularly walk and bicycle to school.  In 2012, over 56% of parents that took the survey reported bicycling or walking as their family’s primary mode for accessing school.  Last year, Safe Routes to School helped start a Stop + Walk program in partnership with the local Key Bank branch and built a covered bicycle parking shelter for students riding to school.

These are just a few examples of the work Safe Routes to School is doing in Portland schools and the dividends it’s paying for our students, neighborhoods, and communities.  To learn more and get involved, visit the Safe Routes to School website.