December 20, 2016 (updated 3/24/2017 with Safety Action Plan that includes street design details)
On December 7th, two people were killed within hours of each other while walking on outer Division at SE 156th Avenue and SE 87th Avenue. These were Portland’s 39th and 40th traffic deaths this year - the most deaths since 2003. In 2016 alone, five people have died in traffic crashes on SE Division – four people walking and one person driving – and three people have sustained life altering injuries. Seven of the collisions have occurred on a two-mile stretch between 124th and 156th.
City Council has declared an emergency ordinance on outer SE Division, requesting immediate collaboration with the community and implementation of actions to make SE Division safer. Community partners have requested a multi-pronged approach to improving safety on outer SE Division, including identified education and outreach, automated enforcement, and expedited infrastructure safety projects.
The five steps below are multi-pronged and multi-cultural, and can be implemented in the near-term. Each step implements an action identified in Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan while also upholding PBOT and the City of Portland’s commitment to racial equity.
As PBOT learned during the Vision Zero process, safety improvements work best as a package that includes engineering, equity, education, and enforcement. Engineering safety projects, detailed in the map below, are being fast-tracked in response to the recent deaths on outer SE Division.
Increase Traffic Safety Education
Step 1: Increasing multilingual and multi-cultural traffic safety education
VZ Action EA1. Conduct multi-component education campaigns to build public awareness and leverage Vision Zero actions.
- Install multilingual, multi-modal signs to communicate safety messages and wayfinding as identified by the community.
- Hold a multi-agency listening session – Police, Fire and Transportation – to hear community concerns about traffic safety on or near Outer Division.
VZ Action EA2. Form agency-led "street teams" that engage people driving, walking, biking and taking transit to raise awareness of Vision Zero and moving safely through Portland.
- Partner with Community Based Organizations, such as APANO and the Division Midway Alliance, on education and outreach such as hosting culturally-relevant and multilingual classes and trainings about rules of the road in different languages for community members.
- Develop and distribute traffic safety messages along SE Division, such as banners, flyers, posters and other information about safety and rules of the road.
Reduce Speed on Outer Division
Step 2: Decreasing Speed through Automated Enforcement
VZ Action S.1. Pilot speed safety cameras on four high crash corridors in the first two years; expand program to additional high crash corridors following the pilot.
- Accelerate the installation and operation of Fixed Speed Cameras on outer SE Division. Portland had planned to install cameras on outer SE Division and 156th in July of 2017. The City will aim to install the cameras in January, and start issuing warnings in February.
- Conduct door-to-door outreach and mailings to businesses and residences about the fixed speed cameras on outer SE Division, begin as early as December.
Step 3: Decreasing Speed through Speed Reader Boards
- Install speed reader boards at four locations along SE Division St from SE 82nd to the city limits in order to educate drivers and reduce speeding by spring 2017.
Step 4: Decreasing Speed through Lowering Posted Speed
VZ Action S.2. Gain local authority for speed reduction on City of Portland streets; prioritize setting safe speeds on the High Crash Network.
- Installation of Speed safety cameras and speed reader boards are expected to achieve significant reduction in top end speeding on outer SE Division St.
- After the speed safety cameras are installed, Portland will collect updated vehicular speed data.
- Based on the results of the speed data, PBOT intends to request that ODOT lower the posted speed on outer SE Division.
Step 5: Decreasing Speed through Street Design
VZ Action S3: Improve street design to support safe speeds in conjunction with posted speed reduction on 4-6 streets annually in the High Crash Network, prioritizing improvements in and engaging with Communities of Concern.
- Accelerate the timelines for federally-funded safety projects on outer SE Division, including the East Portland Active Transportation (EPAT) and Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) projects, for construction in 2017. The projects include pedestrian crossings with median islands and Rapid Flashing Beacons or Pedestrian Hybrid Signals to complement sidewalk infill.
- Expand the East Portland In Motion (EPIM) buffered bike lane project on outer SE Division St to a multi-modal safety project, with focus in the Jade District and Division Midway Alliance district, that includes additional street lighting, enhanced crossing treatments, and vehicle access management.
The City of Portland is making safety improvements and conducting outreach on outer SE Division Street starting in 2017 and continuing into 2021. PBOT will continue talking with community members through 2017 to finalize design details for the safety projects.
See the illustration, map, and table for details, or download a printable document about the work.
|Improvements on SE Division Street, 82nd to city limit
(see map above for locations)
|Safety projects (view map of locations)||2017 completion||2018||2019-21||(Learn more)|
|Speed safety cameras||✓|
|Speed reader boards||✓|
|Speed limit reduction (35 to 30 mph)||✓|
|Safer signal timing||✓|
|Additional lighting, particularly at crosswalks||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|More rapid flashing beacons with medians and signage||✓||✓|
|Pedestrian hybrid beacons with medians and signage||✓||✓||✓|
|Protected bike lanes (temporary, with flexible posts)||✓|
|Protected bike lanes (permanent, with hardscaping)||✓|
|Safety education and outreach||✓|
|Floating pedestrian islands (between bike and auto lanes)||✓|
|Enhanced bus shelters and station areas
(accessible ramps, sidewalks, safer pedestrian crossings)
|Transit signal priority for buses||✓|
|Bigger buses with multiple-door boarding||✓|
PBOT thanks the community for their leadership in identifying needed safety changes on outer Division Street. Special thanks to the Jade District, the Division Midway Alliance, the East Portland Land Use and Transportation Committee, and others who contributed to the East Portland Action Plan and East Portland In Motion, planning efforts that began in 2009.