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Annual Vision Zero Action Plan Progress Report

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Two elementary school aged girls walk across a crosswalk with a woman and a black dog on a sunny day.
Portland Bureau of Transportation updates the public on our Vision Zero work annually—what work we’ve done and what areas need more attention—through the Annual Vision Zero Action Plan Progress Report.
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This progress report updates the public on Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) work to advance Vision Zero, the goal to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Portland streets, in the Vision Zero Action Plan Update 2023-25

Safe speeds

Updating speed limit signs on a Portland street.

Set safe speed limits

ActionsProgress
1. Update speed limits to reflect new state guidelines.In 2023, PBOT lowered speed limits on 8 miles of streets. In 2024, PBOT will identify speed limit reduction opportunities based on the state's updated speed limit setting guidelines.

2. Make school zones safer.

Evaluate all school zones and flashing warning lights, update our guidelines, install new school zones, and lower speed limits around them.

In 2023, PBOT summarized state and local school zone and school beacon policies and identified technical challenges with our mapping inventory. In 2024, PBOT will align the school zone and beacon policies with the goal to improve posted school zone consistency and improve school zone tracking.

Redesign dangerous streets to encourage safe speeds

ActionsProgress

3. Develop a strategy around street design and speed.

Build a toolbox for street design that considers how to slow people driving on busy streets and residential streets.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

4. Change signal timing. 

Where feasible, retime signals on the High Crash Network to slow vehicles down.

In 2023, PBOT advanced plans for new and retrofitted signals on 82nd Avenue to have the technology for slowing speeds through signal timing. In 2024, PBOT will continue to advance the 82nd Avenue signal timing work and identify other candidate corridors.

5. Install more cameras for automatic speed enforcement in crash hotspots. 

Overcome challenges in procuring and installing cameras.

In 2023, PBOT and the Portland Police Bureau installed three new intersection safety cameras at NE Grand Avenue and Couch Street, SE Woodstock Boulevard and 82nd Avenue, and NE Halsey Street and 122nd Avenue; and six new speed safety cameras at NE Columbia Boulevard near 33rd Avenue, Columbia Boulevard near 28th Avenue, Sandy Boulevard near 75th Avenue, Sandy Boulevard near 78th Avenue, MLK Jr. Boulevard near Holman Street, and MLK Jr. Boulevard near Ashley Street. Additional cameras will be installed in 2024, bringing the total to 20 intersection safety cameras and 20 speed safety cameras in Portland. 

6. Analyze speeding citations. 

Better understand how speeding affects different ZIP codes.

In 2023, PBOT analyzed the zip codes of recipients of automated speed camera citations to understand residential distribution. We found that between January 2019 and December 2022, nearly half of speeding violations were issued to owners of vehicles living outside of the Portland metropolitan area—46% were issued to people living outside of the metro area, 23% were issued to people living in the metro area excluding Multnomah County, and 31% were issued to people living in Multnomah County. 

Safe streets

A ground view rendering of SW Capitol Highway improvements showing the new sidewalk, bike lane, multiuse path, and crosswalks.

Improve street lighting on wide streets in high-equity areas

ActionsProgress

7. Design and install new street lighting on streets in the High Crash Network

Address the backlog by prioritizing areas that score higher on PBOT’s Equity Matrix.

Since 2020, PBOT has secured more than $16.5 million for street lighting on wide streets in the High Crash Network. The following lighting has been added or will be added in the next few years. 

This includes $4.5 million from the voter-approved, 10-cent gas tax known as Fixing Our Streets:

  • SE 122nd Avenue (San Rafael Street to Foster Road) (including some funding from other sources)
  • SW Capitol Highway (at Barbur Boulevard) to 49th Avenue (at Stephenson Street) 
  • NE Glisan Street (82nd to 162nd avenues) 
  • NE Killingsworth Street (42nd Avenue to Lombard Street) 
  • SE Stark Street (122nd to 162nd avenues)  

It also includes $12 million of money saved from PBOT converting all streetlights in the city from high-pressure sodium bulbs to more energy-efficient LED bulbs: 

  • 82nd Avenue (NE Lombard to SE Clatsop streets) 
  • Columbia Boulevard (N Burgard Road to NE 89th Avenue) 
  • E Burnside Street (Willamette River to SE 32nd Avenue)
  • NE 102nd Avenue (Sandy Boulevard to E Burnside Street) 
  • NE Halsey Street (114th to 162nd avenues)

Maximize signal operations for safety

ActionsProgress

8.Launch “no turn on red” pilot. 

Reduce the risk of turning crashes that are particularly dangerous for pedestrians and people bicycling.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

9. Launch “rest in red” pilot.

At night, at some intersections with a history of speed-related crashes, display red lights in all directions to require drivers to slow down as they approach the intersection. Technology at the intersection will detect the vehicle and give a green light.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

10. Adopt a policy to ensure we make intersections safer whenever signals are rebuilt on the High Crash Network.

Determine where and when we are rebuilding signals or adding rapid-flashing beacons to crosswalks. Develop standard operating procedures on where and when to install roundabouts. Write policy that considers and prioritizes all manner of intersection safety measures when we rebuild signals: roundabouts, shortening pedestrian crossings, reducing conflicts from turning, and/or slowing drivers down.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

Transform wide, fast streets

ActionsProgress
11. Break ground on multiple major projects along the High Crash Network each year. 

In 2023, PBOT broke ground on 82nd Avenue (NE Lombard Street and SE Foster Road), E Burnside Street (NE MLK Jr. Boulevard to 12th Avenue), and NE Halsey Street (71st to 80th avenues). In 2023, PBOT advanced the following projects:  

  • 82nd Avenue (NE Lombard Street and SE Foster Road) - Began construction 
  • E Burnside Street (NE MLK Jr. Boulevard to 12th Avenue) - Completed construction
  • NE Halsey Street (71st to 80th avenues) as part of the 70s Neighborhood Greenway project - Construction did not begin in 2023 due to issues with striping equipment and weather 
  • SW Capitol Highway - Multnomah Village to West Portland Project - Completed construction (construction started in 2021)

12. Engage community members on key safety projects. 

Projects will be on streets in the High Crash Network and in areas that score higher on PBOT’s Equity Matrix.

SE Division Street Safety Project: PBOT staff conducted in-person surveys of about 200 community members to understand their experience on SE Division Street following the safety project completed in 2022. About three-quarters of participants feel somewhat safer or much safer traveling on outer SE Division Street. A summary of the survey findings will be available in 2024. Also in 2024, PBOT staff will restart community engagement for projects on 122nd Avenue and SE Stark Street.

13. Analyze deficiencies in the High Crash Network using a Safe System approach.

Use analysis to prioritize corridor planning, project development, and funding.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

14. Partner with PBOT’s pedestrian program to advance pedestrian safety projects identified in PedPDX.

Priority projects are on streets in the High Crash Network, in areas that score higher on PBOT’s Equity Matrix, in pedestrian districts, and near schools.

In 2023, PBOT built 26 PedPDX priority pedestrian crossings on the High Crash Network. PBOT continues to advance engineering designs for PedPDX and Safe Routes to School priority projects on the High Crash Network.  
15. Upgrade temporary materials (such as rubber curbs and flexible posts) to permanent materials (such as concrete) at priority safety project locations.No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

16. Integrate the Safe System approach into PBOT’s internal decisions and processes.

Use the High Crash Network as one input to prioritize projects, maintenance, and paving. Integrate safe speeds and protection for pedestrians and people bicycling into project work and the Complete Streets checklist.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

Respond quickly to critical safety needs

ActionsProgress

17. Install low-cost treatments along street segments with a high concentration of crashes.

Build recommendations from PBOT’s 2023 High Crash Network priority segment analysis.

In 2023, PBOT completed a High Crash Network priority segment analysis that identified low-cost, quick-build improvements for segments with high numbers of crashes and high scores on PBOT’s Equity Matrix. Some improvements have been integrated into safety grant applications and select capital projects. In 2024, PBOT will continue to deliver the identified improvements.  

18. Evaluate spots where fatal crashes occur, identify safety improvements, and install improvements where we can.

Multidisciplinary team meets monthly to evaluate locations.

In 2023, PBOT continued with emergency engineering evaluations of deadly crash sites to determine if there are quick, low-cost infrastructure changes we could implement to address safety concerns. These interventions provide a quick and inexpensive response in locations where people have been killed. They do not provide a comprehensive safety solution at the location or for the city as a whole. The engineering evaluations are conducted at deadly traffic crash sites that are not on the interstate system.

19. Add low-cost safety elements to existing projects on the High Crash Network. 

Leverage existing project development process to achieve added safety gains.

In 2023, PBOT staff initiated project check-ins with the goal of identifying opportunities to integrate low-cost safety elements into existing projects. To date, no locations have built improvements, however staff have been coordinating with project managers and have identified some safety elements to advance in project design.

Measure street design performance.

ActionsProgress
20. Develop project evaluation guide to support consistent PBOT safety evaluations of corridor projects on streets in the High Crash Network.In 2023, PBOT staff developed a draft project evaluation guide. In 2024, the guide will be finalized and used to conduct safety evaluations of corridor projects on the High Crash Network.

21. Evaluate all significant corridor projects on streets in the High Crash Network.

Define roles and responsibilities for project development and delivery.

In 2023, PBOT released the SE Hawthorne Boulevard Evaluation Report (2023). It also released final evaluations of the following projects: East Burnside Lane Reconfiguration Project Report (2017, updated 2023), Division Street Lane Reconfiguration Project Report (2014, updated 2023), and Glisan Street Lane Reconfiguration Project Report (2014, updated 2023). About 50% of High Crash Network safety projects constructed in the last ten years have completed evaluations. Additional evaluations are underway and will be completed in 2024. 

Safe people

Parkrose High School's Elevate Oregon students practice their bike safety skills on a group ride on BIKETOWN bikes.

Advance safety and sense of belonging for culturally specific communities

ActionsProgress

22. Develop a personal safety resource for use by both PBOT and community members. 

The resource will identify ways to integrate personal safety into capital projects and public space programming.

In 2022, PBOT secured a competitive National Safety Council Road to Zero Coalition grant to collaborate with community members to build a Beyond Traffic Safety Toolbox that would include strategies for improving safety for those who are most impacted by bias and hate while traveling in Portland. In 2023, PBOT partnered with the Division Midway Alliance and the Coalition of Communities of Color to engage with community members and create the toolbox. In 2024, the toolbox will be published online.

23. Collaborate with culturally specific groups. 

Share safety resources, and provide ongoing education and engagement.

In 2023, PBOT staff attended 34 events and conducted five trainings or workshops focused on traffic safety. Vision Zero reached out to a total of 18 groups, community-based organizations, and collaborating programs, and had in-depth collaborations with the following partners: Division Midway Alliance, Guerreras Latinas, Play Grow Learn, Slavic Community Center of NW, Inc., and Multnomah County’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program. In addition to fairs and tabling events, Vision Zero safety messaging was present in the following yearly community events: Portland Sunday Parkways, Multicultural Kids Festival, Festival of Nations, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, Welcoming Week, Reclaiming Black Joy, Jade Night Market, SEI Homecoming, and other events.

24. Engage with groups who are over-represented as victims of traffic violence.

Share safety resources, and provide ongoing education and engagement.

Data shows that Black and Indigenous Portlanders, as well as people experiencing houselessness, are disproportionately impacted by traffic violence. In 2023, PBOT staff shared traffic safety resources at 16 events supporting these specific communities. These events are a subset of the total events identified in action #23 above. 

We engaged with the African American, Black, and African communities through collaboration with Multnomah County’s REACH program. This collaboration included attending community events, sharing pedestrian safety tips, and distributing safety lights and reflectors.

Vision Zero staff provided support for the unhoused population by providing 100 reflective winter hats to Portland Street Response ambassadors. 

Despite early conversations, Vision Zero staff were unable to connect with community leaders to coordinate conversations and actions with Urban Indigenous community members. Staff will continue work to build these relationships in 2024.

Educate Portlanders about making safe travel choices

ActionsProgress

25. Host events and raise awareness on traffic safety. 

Conduct proactive outreach on the Safe System approach. Prioritize events around the High Crash Network and in places that score higher on PBOT’s Equity Matrix.

In 2023, we partnered with three organizations to provide in-depth safety education using two different approaches: train-the-trainer and workshops. Partnering with Slavic Community Center of NW, Inc., PBOT staff provided resources and training for their staff to deliver transportation safety classes to immigrants and refugees. In collaboration with Division Midway Alliance and Guerreras Latinas, PBOT staff provided Vision Zero workshops that included Safe System approach information, safety tips, and reporting resources. 

In 2023, we integrated components of the Safe System approach to traffic safety into the engagements listed in action #23 above. In 2024, Vision Zero staff will develop Safe System activities for community outreach, and work with the New Portlander Commission to refine the activities.

26. Place a variable message sign at the site of deadly crashes. 

Raise awareness and encourage safe driving behavior where traffic violence occurs.

In 2023, variable message signs were placed at the locations of 91% of eligible sites. At the remaining 9%, there were not viable locations to place the boards. In 2024, PBOT will pivot to a distribution process that supports the city’s 2025 transition to a new form of government and reflects our commitment to fiscal responsibility.
27. Integrate Safe System approach into traffic safety education materials for elementary-, middle-, and high-schoolers.PBOT's high school Transportation Academy includes content on safe driving behaviors, how vehicle size impacts stopping distance and crash risk, and how infrastructure affects safety such as types of bike lanes, relative crash risk at various crossing and intersection types, and why risk levels change.

Focus enforcement on safety and education outcomes

ActionsProgress

28. Partner with the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division on focused enforcement. 

Ensure that enforcement focuses on the High Crash Network and the behaviors that contribute to deadly and serious injury crashes. This also means deemphasis of non-moving and minor infractions.

In June to December 2023, the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division issued, on average, 379 speeding citations per month, which was the most commonly cited offense each month and accounted for 30% of all citations issued. In addition, the Traffic Division arrested an average of 45 impaired drivers per month.

29. Partner with the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division on training.

Ensure training for new police recruits includes data about traffic safety, how to process DUII offenses, and city and state protocol and laws around making traffic stops. These training elements should focus on advancing safety and equity outcomes.

In 2023, Portland Police Bureau reinstated the pre-pandemic practice of having all new officers train for four weeks with the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division. Training includes, among other topics, DUII investigation, blood draw warrant writing, standardized field sobriety test administration, crash investigation, and traffic enforcement. Additionally, Portland Police Bureau offers monthly field sobriety test training and Drug Recognition Expert refresher courses to officers who are interested in either of these DUII skills.

Curb impaired driving

ActionsProgress
30. Support legislation to lower Oregon’s legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from 0.08% to 0.05%.PBOT is poised to support a 0.05 BAC bill when one is reintroduced at the Oregon legislature.

Safe vehicles

cars in downtown portland
ActionsProgress

31. Advocate for stronger national regulations. 

Write and lobby in support of requiring vehicle manufacturers to add safety features that address safety overall, and pedestrian and bike safety in particular.

In 2023, PBOT responded to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's request for comments regarding pedestrian safety in the New Car Assessment Program [Docket No. NHTSA- 2023-0020].

32. Partner with City Fleet team on ways to increase traffic safety. 

Explore emerging technology and demonstrate effectiveness.

No progress in 2023; scheduled to begin in 2024.

Accountability

Map of Portland noting where 2023 fatal crashes occurred and the first names of victims, where available.
ActionsProgress
33. Redesign and update Vision Zero online reporting.In 2023, PBOT staff completed the redesign and update of the Vision Zero online reporting. The Vision Zero website and reporting dashboard have been updated with more extensive information. 
34. Produce annual summary of PBOT’s Vision Zero work.In 2023, PBOT staff refreshed and updated the Vision Zero dashboard, which reports on recent actions and outcomes. In addition, in 2024 PBOT is releasing this Annual Vision Zero Action Plan Progress Report.
35. Produce annual report on deadly crashes.Each year, PBOT produces an annual deadly traffic crash report.