(Feb. 1, 2023) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) was awarded a $20 million grant by the US Department of Transportation for a critical 5.5-mile stretch of 122nd Avenue from SE Foster Road to NE Sandy Boulevard. The busy, five-lane arterial street is one of the most dangerous in the city and serves some of Portland’s most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. PBOT will provide $5 million in matching funds to support the project, leveraging funds already allocated from Fixing Our Streets for paving SE 122nd Avenue between SE Foster Road and SE Holgate Boulevard.
East Portland has approximately 25% of Portland’s population but a disproportionate number of traffic deaths. Five crashes occur on 122nd Avenue in a typical week and three of every 100 crashes result in a death or serious injury. Historical crash data since 2001 indicates that safety continues to worsen along the corridor. Between 2016 and 2020, nine people were killed on 122nd Avenue and 44 were seriously injured. A “serious injury” is defined by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) as “a non-fatal injury that prevents the injured person from walking, driving, or normally continuing the activities the person was capable of performing before the injury occurred.”
The Safe Streets and Roads for All grant will fund many of the major safety improvements identified in PBOT’s 122nd Avenue Plan, which engaged community members and stakeholders from 2017 through 2021 to understand how Portlander’s use the road today and their priorities for the future.
Using a combination of community feedback and traffic crash data analysis, PBOT planners and engineers have identified numerous improvements along the 122nd Avenue corridor. Those improvements include filling gaps in street lighting, adding protected bike lanes, new and improved pedestrian crossings, adding median refuge islands and street trees, reducing vehicle lanes south of Powell, adding bus stop curb extensions, and adding speed reader boards. Targeted intersection interventions include raised bike lanes, signal separation and timers for people walking and biking, and signal timing optimization for safe speeds and traffic flow.
“Thank you to President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg for prioritizing zero traffic deaths on streets across the country. This generous grant will impact the lives of thousands of Portlanders as PBOT continues the vital work of making our streets safe,” said Transportation Commissioner Mingus Mapps. “Thanks also to our congressional delegation, including Congressman Earl Blumenauer who has long championed safety investments in East Portland and across our city.”
The $20 million grant is funded by the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program’s goal is to support USDOT’s goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our nation’s roadways. The grant to PBOT is part of the first round of funding for the $5 billon discretionary program. The SS4A program funds regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries.
In addition to the work funded by Safe Streets and Roads for All, NE 122nd Avenue has also received a $6.4 million grant from Metro through the Regional Flexible Funding Allocation program for the NE 122nd Avenue Multimodal Safety and Access Improvement Project. The project will add four new enhanced crossings on the corridor at NE Beech Street, NE Sacramento and Brazee streets, NE Broadway and Hancock streets, and NE Wasco and Multnomah streets. Each crossing will include high visibility crosswalks, street lighting, and upgraded ADA curb ramps. Additionally, each crossing will be signalized with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) and medians, Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, or half signals. Construction on the enhanced crossings is anticipated to begin in 2025.
An additional project, 122nd Avenue Crossings, will construct signalized crossings near NE Davis Street and SE Clinton Street. The $3.3 million project is funded by Fixing Our Streets and is anticipated to begin construction later this year.
Sign up for updates about 122nd Avenue at www.portland.gov/transportation/planning/122nd-plan/resources/sign-122nd-avenue-plan-updates.