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Safer Outer Stark

Engineering And Design
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is actively working to improve safety for all modes along SE Stark Street between SE 108th Avenue and SE 162nd Avenue.
A person on a bike is wearing a helmet as they try to cross SE Stark St. on a busy, cloudy day.

One of Portland's most serious High Crash Corridors is SE Stark between SE 108th and the Gresham border. PBOT began constructing safety improvements on SE Stark following an 18-month public engagement and planning phase conducted by PBOT in 2019-20. While talking to community groups about how to improve outer SE Stark Street, PBOT was able to identify a number of project goals and community priorities:

  • Reduce deadly and serious crashes for all people using all modes of transportation
  • Reduce excess motor vehicle speeds
  • Provide safer access and crossings for people walking, rolling, and accessing transit
  • Support future development of enhanced transit along the corridor
  • Improve street condition
  • Improve comfort and visibility for all users, especially pedestrians and people biking

Following the planning phase, PBOT developed a multi-phase investment strategy to help address the serious safety issues along the corridor. The total estimated budget across all phases is approximately $23 million. Funding includes $11 million in Build Portland (City General Fund), $6 million from Oregon House Bill 2017, $2 million in Transportation System Development Charges, $1 million in Fixing Our Streets funds, $500,000 in Cannabis Tax funds and $1.5 million in federal funds.

The phases and current status are as follows:

Phase I: Street lighting infill between 108th and 162nd on existing power poles (completed 2020)

Phase II: New traffic signal and pedestrian crossing improvements at SE 146th and Stark (completed 2023)

Phase III: Maintenance paving on SE Stark between SE 108th and 122nd Avenues. This paving will consist of a curb-to-curb grind and pave by PBOT Maintenace Operations. This paving effort will also add protected bike lanes and upgrade ADA corner ramps while keeping the same number of driving lanes. (ADA ramps completed in 2023, paving and protected bike lane striping to be completed by fall 2024)

Phase IV: Pedestrian crossing improvements at six intersections with higher crash history (SE 111th, 119th, 128th, 137th, 141st, 151st). (Design 2024; Construction 2025). 

Phase V: Additional paving and safety improvements as part of the Safer Outer Stark Project (Design 2024-2025; Construction begins 2026)

PBOT is currently working on the design of the larger Safer Outer Stark Project. Construction is estimated for to begin early 2026. Scope elements include:

  • Second phase of street lighting infill on new poles (108th-162nd) 
  • Signalized pedestrian crossing improvements at 135th and 160th
  • Signal rebuild at 117th 
  • Protected bike lanes between 122nd-162nd (108th-122nd installed under Phase III)
  • Protected intersections at 122nd and 148th (high-crash intersections)
  • Repaving SE Stark between 122nd and 162nd
  • ADA corner curb ramp upgrades, where needed, between 122nd-162nd (ramps between 108th-122nd upgraded under Phase III)

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Why making Outer Stark safer is so important

The Safer Outer Stark Project will make improvements along one of Portland's most dangerous streets. Stark Street is one of the city's High Crash corridors, these streets make up just eight percent of Portland's streets but account for more than half of traffic deaths. The YouTube video linked below summarizes the planning process and how the Safer Outer Stark project will make improvements along this High Crash corridor. 

Video documenting the Safer Outer Stark plan process

 Public involvement

PBOT staff and member of the public discuss Safer Outer Stark project at Floyd Light Middle School
PBOT conducted extensive public engagement in spring 2019 to help shape and inform the plan to make Stark Street safer.

Community input about issues and priorities is reflected in the Safer Outer Stark project. During the spring of 2019, the project team conducted an online survey and met with community members in person to gather information about traffic safety needs. Street lighting emerged as the top concern for community members. Street lighting infill will be constructed as part of the project along the north side of Stark Street.  

The project team developed design options based on community input from spring 2019 and information gathered about crashes and current conditions along the corridor. In the fall and winter of 2019-2020, the project team shared the possible design concepts with the public to gather feedback and help prioritize crossing needs and other improvements. 

To learn more about community priorities and concerns, read through the public involvement summaries below:

Crash Analysis of Outer Stark

As a Vision Zero city, Portland has committed to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. SE Stark Street has been identified as a High Crash Corridor for all modes – people in motor vehicles, people walking, and people bicycling. 

Vision Zero logo

Of all Portland streets, SE Stark Street has the sixth highest number of deadly and serious injury crashes for people in cars, the sixth highest number of deadly and injury crashes for people walking, and the ninth highest number of deadly and injury crashes for people bicycling. There are currently no bicycle facilities, sidewalks are narrow and in poor condition, and there is inadequate lighting. The corridor does not meet the City's new guidelines for how often a crosswalk is placed throughout the corridor. The road in this section includes five lanes and on-street parking. This corridor is one of the 30 most dangerous streets in Portland.

A comprehensive crash analysis was conducted to better understand the issues along the corridor contributing to the high number of serious and fatal injury crashes. Both a summary and a full report are available.