The Traffic Calming Program (TCP) undertook a project in the fall of 1994 to address pedestrian safety concerns on N Denver Avenue at the intersections of Kilpatrick and McClellan Streets.
The goal of the project was to increase the safety of pedestrians visiting the businesses near these two intersections. Enhanced safety for pedestrians is one of TCP's core objectives, as is encouraging alternative transportation options to the automobile. Improved pedestrian safety promotes pedestrian and public transportation modes of travel.
North Denver Avenue, McClellan to Kilpatrick, serves a neighborhood commercial center, the Kenton Business District, in North Portland and is classified as a Local Service street in Portland's Transportation Element. The street has curb and side walks on both sides and is designated as a Primary Fire Response and Transit Route as well as part of the Kenton Pedestrian District. North Denver carries approximately 7500 vehicles per day due to its situation between higher classification streets and an unusual 60-foot street width. Both intersections, McClellan and Kilpatrick, are four-way stops.
The devices selected to improve pedestrian safety at these two intersections were curb extensions. Curb extensions extend the sidewalk at a corner into the area next to the curb that a car might park in, except for the location being at a corner. Curb extensions enhance pedestrian safety by decreasing the width of the street the pedestrian must cross, which increases crossing opportunities, and reduces exposure time auto traffic. Additionally, pedestrians are brought out from behind parked cars making them more visible to automobile drivers. This is especially important in areas, like Kenton, where on-street parking is most always fully utilized.
An open house, to discuss the project, was held February 9, 1995 at the old Kenton Fire Station. Thirteen people signed the attendance sheet. Merchants, owners, or representatives of owners for five of the eight adjacent properties attended the open house. No one disputed the value of adding curb extensions on Denver at Kilpatrick and McClellan, but most who attended the open house expressed concern about losing curbside parking spaces in exchange for the extensions. As a result of the comments at the open house the curb extensions were shortened in length and some parking restrictions were modified.
Project construction was completed in August 1996.