1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204
Public Information Officer
(December 26, 2014) - Travelers along North Williams Avenue will now notice the new traffic signal at N.E. Cook Street and N Williams Avenue - which marks one of the last major pieces of the N Williams Traffic Safety Project. The installation also signals the end of a three-year journey to redesign this major street that serves a growing neighborhood, is the city's busiest bicycle commute corridor and serves transit and drivers.
The $1.5 million project, funded through grants, has transformed N Williams Avenue to be a safer place for all travelers by addressing the many issues that neighbors, community and business representatives and PBOT staff identified through a 16-month public involvement process in 2011 and 2012.
The new street design, installed on time and on budget, uses an innovative approach to traffic calming which reallocates the roadway space to better balance N Williams as a neighborhood-oriented street that puts pedestrian safety first.
The main safety benefit is achieved by reducing the speed of the street. Given how many people walk along N Williams in a given day, PBOT also boosted pedestrian safety by streamlining the number of travel lanes that pedestrians need to cross –from two to one. Curb extensions constructed at five different locations further improve crossing safety.
The street width has been reallocated to where it was most needed – the bike lane. Bicycle use has increased dramatically over the past decade and had exceeded the capacity provided by the old configuration. The overall impact to auto traffic capacity is minimal because the travel lanes can continue to accommodate current and projected number of vehicles. In addition, the point where the most congestion is generated – the signalized intersections – remains unchanged.
The new design’s other major safety improvement was achieved by shifting the bike lane to the left side of the street, which eliminated the conflict that occurred when heavy bus traffic moved across the right-side bike lane to get to and from transit stops.
The new traffic signal at Cook Street also helps address a long-standing safety problem with freeway traffic feeding onto N. Williams Avenue
Minor construction activity will continue for the next several weeks to finish the project, largely related to signage and striping work.
This winter, PBOT will conduct a full operations assessment to identify and address any additional modifications to improve operations.
Beginning in the new year, PBOT will finalize public involvement for design recommendations for the adjacent Rodney Neighborhood Greenway Project, which complements the improvements to N. Williams and is funded through the same state grant. Construction is expected to begin later next summer.
In January construction of a new traffic signal at N Vancouver and Cook Street will begin. Funded by a separate Local Improvement District, in which private property owners pool their resources to fund the project, this signal will complement the new one at Williams and Cook by improving safe access to the freeway.
Work also continues on the Honoring History element of the project. North Williams was the historic center of African-American life in Portland. A subcommittee made up of original Stakeholder Advisory Committee members is working with the Regional Arts & Culture Council to develop an art project that provides education about the historical change in the surrounding area. That project is expected to be installed by summer 2015.
To view the history of this project, schematics, public outreach materials and additional information, please visit northwilliamssafety.org
View more "before and after" pictures here:
Have fun on the 31st and leave the driving to a professional
(December 18, 2014) One of Portland’s continuing New Year’s Eve traditions is TriMet’s extended service and free rides after 8:00 p.m. That’s right, after 8:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, all trips on TriMet buses and MAX lines, and Portland Streetcar, are free of charge.
If you’re looking to stay out extra late while ringing in the New Year, here are MAX’s last trips for the wee hours of 2014/15:
Last MAX Trips on New Year’s Eve:
Buses and Portland Streetcar will run on weekday schedules on New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1st, 2015 buses and MAX trains will run on Sunday schedules. Portland Streetcar will run on Saturday schedules on New Year’s Day.
In an active city like Portland, drivers should expect to see pedestrians and cyclists out at all times.
(December 15, 2014) The Portland Police Bureau and PBOT have scheduled a crosswalk enforcement action during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, December 16 at East Burnside Street and 24th Avenue. The crosswalk enforcement action will take place from 6:00-7:30pm. Crosswalk enforcement actions are intended to highlight the need for drivers to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in the crossing at all times and to be extra alert during the low light conditions of late fall and winter.
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crossing while police monitor how well people who are driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. The Oregon Crosswalk Law (ORS 811.028) requires motorists 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.” Vehicle operators who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation.
These enforcement actions remind vehicle operators to share the road and be ready to stop or yield the right-of-way as needed, so we can all arrive at our destinations safely. The City urges all travelers to be alert and look out for each other, especially during the darker and shorter days of winter. Drivers can do their part by driving at or below the posted speed and by continuously scanning the environment for people walking and bicycling (and other non-auto road users) and to be ready to stop when needed.
(Update, December 17, 2014) During the crosswalk enforcement the Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division witnessed 42 violations and issued two warnings. Of the 42 violations, 22 were for failure to stop and remain stopped at a crosswalk, 2 were for passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, along with 18 other violations. All crosswalk enforcement actions are advertised in advance, and signs are posted ahead of the intersection to alert road users that an enforcement activity is taking place.
(December 12, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws.
The City police and transportation bureaus are holding this month’s crosswalk enforcement action during the evening rush hour at East Burnside Street and 24th Avenue to reinforce the need for drivers to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in the crossing at all times, and to be extra alert during the low light conditions of late fall and winter.
Burnside Street as a whole is designated by the transportation bureau as one of the city’s ten High Crash Corridors, streets with high crash rates that the bureau is targeting for improvements as well as educational efforts. This stretch of Burnside Street was recently redesigned to improve safety as part of the East Burnside Traffic Safety Project.
This location has a marked crosswalk on one leg, a median island, and signage to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians in the crossing. This spring, the crossing is slated for further safety improvements, which will add an island and marked crossing on the west leg.
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how people who are driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws.
The City is urging all travelers to be visible and look out for each other, especially during low light conditions of late fall and winter.
Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation.
Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions about once each month in response to requests by community members, city traffic safety engineers, and Portland Police to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings.
Learn more about pedestrian visibility at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/512391, the Transportation Bureau’s safety work at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390 and pedestrian rights and responsibilities at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879.