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News Blog: PBOT installs reflective markings on SE Foster Road to improve safety, reduce risk of lane departure crashes   

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As Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, Nov. 6, PBOT reminds drivers to slow down, use caution while traveling at night.
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A close-up image of a reflective pavement marking, which is a small, raised marker on the edge of the road, can help people driving at night better see the edge of the lane.
PBOT installed reflective pavement markings along a 3.2-mile stretch of SE Foster Road. Reflective pavement markings, which are small markers that help people driving see painted lines on the roadway, have been shown to reduce nighttime crashes by 15 percent. Photo by PBOT.

(Nov. 3, 2022) Using a data-driven approach to reduce traffic crashes, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed reflective pavement markings along select stretches of roads to improve nighttime visibility and improve street safety.  

This fall, PBOT Maintenance Operations crews installed reflective pavement markings along an approximately 3.2-mile stretch of SE Foster Road from SE 102nd Avenue to SE Jenne Road. Data from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) shows reflective markings reduce nighttime crashes by about 15 percent. The small, raised markers help people driving better see painted lines along the roadway, particularly in dark and wet conditions.  

Reflective pavement markings can be effective along stretches of road that feature long blocks, low-density land use, and curvy road segments. Crash data from 2016-2020 shows there were 31 lane departure crashes in low-light or wet conditions along this section of SE Foster Road. In those crashes, three people died and five people were seriously injured. Reflective pavement markings are a low-cost option to improve street safety. PBOT’s Vision Zero team is blending crash data and an assessment of road conditions to determine the locations where future reflective pavement markings will be most effective in reducing car crashes.  

An image of two slightly blurry cars with their headlights on moving past each other as they pass by a reflective pavement marking during twilight.
Reflective pavement markings can help drivers better see the edge of roadways, particularly in dark and wet conditions. The reflective pavement markings have been installed on SE Foster Road from SE 102th Avenue to SE Jenne Road. Photo by PBOT.

These reflective pavement markings are particularly valuable during the winter months when days are shorter and nights are longer. On Sunday, Nov. 6, Daylight Saving Time will end as the clocks fall back. People traveling on Monday should benefit from an extra hour of sleep over the weekend, but the time change also means that from now until mid-March, Portlanders will be heading home after sunset during the evening commute. With darker conditions during evening travel times, it is important drivers slow down, use caution, and look out for people walking and biking. 

People traveling on Portland streets can reduce the risk of getting hurt or hurting others by: 

  • Traveling at or below the speed limit
  • Always turning on headlights, 
  • Keeping windshields clean, 
  • Avoiding distractions, and 
  • Doing your best to be visible when traveling outside of a motor vehicle. 

People over age 60 may have a hard time driving safely at night, and may want to consider limiting themselves to daytime driving, if possible. 

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 portland.gov/transportation