Raising awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws
(July 29, 2019) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Portland Police Bureau (PPB) will conduct a crosswalk safety education and enforcement action on Wednesday, July 31, at the marked crossing on East Burnside Street at 16th Avenue, from noon to 1:30 p.m. to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws.
Under Oregon law, EVERY intersection is a legal crosswalk, whether it is marked or unmarked. People driving must stop and stay stopped for people walking when the pedestrian is in the travel lane or the adjacent lane.
The crossing on East Burnside Street at 16th Avenue has a marked crosswalk, median island and signage. In addition, “stop here” signage and stop lines indicate where drivers stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, making all travelers more visible. Southeast 16th Avenue is a designated neighborhood greenway one block south, starting at SE Ankeny Street. The surrounding area includes businesses, residences and schools, with elementary, middle and high schools within a half mile. Buses for TriMet lines 12, 19, and 20 travel through this intersection and serve the surrounding community.
Changes are coming next year to the crossing at 16th Avenue. Improvements include rapid flashing beacons funded by the Fixing Our Streets (FOS) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. Design is underway and scheduled for Fall 2020 completion. Other safety improvements along W/E Burnside can be found at PBOT’s Vision Zero webpage.
East Burnside, a Vision Zero designated high crash network street, had a total of 543 crashes, including two fatalities and 745 injuries from 2013 to 2017, the most recent five-year period for which data are available for the area from the Burnside Bridge to the city limits.
The most common cause of crashes resulting in death or serious injury to people walking is when they are walking legally and struck by a person driving who fails to stop. People driving can do their part by having more patience, driving at or below the posted speed, continuously scanning the environment looking for people walking and bicycling, and being ready to stop as needed. PBOT reminds Portlanders to watch for people walking at all hours of the day or night, and that it is illegal to drive in the center turn lane.
East Burnside Street at 16th Avenue (looking east). Image by Google.com
Education and enforcement actions such as the July 31 event are a key part of the City of Portland’s citywide effort to achieve Vision Zero, the goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor whether people driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. 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. A PBOT staff member will serve as the designated pedestrian crossing the street during Wednesday’s action.
Crosswalk education and enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate traffic laws to people driving and walking. The transportation and police bureaus do education and enforcement actions 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.
Portland is committed to ending traffic violence in our communities. Through the Vision Zero program, the City of Portland and our partners are working to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our streets.
To request a Vision Zero community briefing, enforcement action in your area, or any non-urgent traffic safety concerns, call the 823-SAFE Traffic Safety Hot Line at (503) 823-7233, or submit a non-urgent Traffic Safety Hot Line request at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/79389
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation