(October 29, 2013) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m., to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic laws.
City Commissioner Steve Novick will serve as a pedestrian decoy during the action, planned to take place at the marked crossing of SE Division Street at 156th Avenue. Novick oversees the transportation bureau.
“Safety is the top priority for our transportation system, and there’s a lot the public can do to help prevent crashes,” Novick said. “As fall approaches, it will get darker earlier in the evening, so it’s more important than ever for drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrians.”
He added, “When walking and biking, please be mindful that vehicles require a good amount of distance to stop, which is why it is imperative to carefully and correctly cross lanes of traffic.”
Novick thanked the Portland Police Bureau for its participation and cooperation in organizing the event with the Transportation Bureau. Capt. Kelli Sheffer of the Traffic Division said it’s important for everyone to exercise caution in dark conditions.
“We hear all the time from drivers that they didn’t see the pedestrian,” Sheffer said. “As a pedestrian, making yourself more visible, ensuring drivers see you and have stopped for you before crossing each lane of traffic would aid in your safety.”
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a pedestrian decoy positioned at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor how motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
The Nov. 4 action is intended to raise awareness of several timely issues for people who walk, bike or drive, across the city or in East Portland:
- Five-lane streets such as SE Division pose a “double threat” that drivers and pedestrians need to understand. When a driver stops a vehicle to allow a pedestrian to cross one lane of traffic, drivers in the adjacent lane are required by law to also stop for the pedestrian. Pedestrians need to make sure that cars stop in each lane of traffic before they enter the lane.
- The end of Daylight Savings Time on Nov. 3 means the days will become shorter in the coming months, so there will be less light during morning and evening commutes. The City and TriMet are encouraging people to Be Seen, Be Safe during the week of Nov. 4. For more information, see www.trimet.org/beseen
- At an open house on Tuesday Nov. 5, the public can provide input on sidewalks and crossings that are scheduled for construction in East Portland, including at the Division and 156th Ave. intersection. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ron Russell Middle School Commons Area, 3955 SE 112th Ave. For more information, see www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/sidewalkprojects
The intersection of SE Division Street and 156th Avenue has a marked crosswalk and pedestrian median island where people can safely wait for traffic to stop. It is the location of two fatal crashes in the last two years.
The event at SE Division Street and 156th Ave. is the ninth in a series of Crosswalk Enforcement Actions the City of Portland plans to conduct this year.
Learn more about pedestrian rights and responsibilities at: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879