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News Release: PBOT installs safety improvements on North Commercial Avenue at Jefferson High School

Press Release
Newly installed reflective posts on N Commercial Avenue adjacent to Jefferson High School. Photo by PBOT.
The project, a partnership between the City of Portland's Bureau of Transportation and Community Safety Division, is intended to help prevent opportunities for future drive-by shootings.
Published

(Jan. 6, 2023) Responding to recent gun violence near Jefferson High School, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has teamed up with the city’s Community Safety Division to install reflective delineator posts at several points along N Commercial Avenue to help prevent opportunities for future drive-by shootings. The new design, which was initiated at the request of Portland Public Schools, between Killingsworth and Alberta streets uses strategically placed posts to narrow the road and create choke points that force cars to slow down.

A map that shows the locations of the newly installed reflective posts on North Commercial Avenue, adjacent to Jefferson High School, between North Killingsworth and Alberta streets.
A map that shows the locations of the newly installed reflective posts on North Commercial Avenue, adjacent to Jefferson High School, between North Killingsworth and Alberta streets.

People driving will still be able to access N Commercial Avenue from both Killingsworth and Alberta streets. Along the street, the newly installed posts form a 14-foot-wide gap or “choke” point at select points, making it so that only one car can pass at a time, slowing traffic. People driving can take turns passing through the posts. The installations are temporary. The city will study them over time and remove them if no longer needed.

“The safety of Portland youth, whether from traffic violence or gun violence, is paramount,” said Transportation Director Chris Warner. “PBOT was happy to lend our support to create a safer street adjacent to Jefferson High School.”

As part of the project, PBOT staff also assessed the street lighting and found they met current city standards.

"These street improvements are a step towards centering the safety of Jefferson students and community," said Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. "I'm grateful that the Portland Bureau of Transportation listened to our students and worked with us to develop a solution that helps address a community need."

Learn more about Portland’s Division of Community Safety at www.portland.gov/community-safety.