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Portland Officials Expected to Adopt 10-Year Vision Zero Plan

Officials in Portland, Oregon, are expected to adopt a Vision Zero program, with the goal of preventing traffic deaths and serious injuries in the next 10 years.

Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland reports:

Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge. Photo: D Coetzee/Flickr
Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge. Photo: D Coetzee/Flickr
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On Wednesday Portland City Council is poised to take two steps on the road toward a full embrace of Vision Zero. They’ll formally adopt a goal that “no loss of life is acceptable on our city streets” then they’ll accept a $150,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to develop a plan to help them reach it.

This week’s Council action comes on the heels of yet another high-profile traffic collision that has spurred a protest and more calls for Mayor Charlie Hales and PBOT Commissioner Steve Novick to take concrete action that leads to safer roads.

The main goal of the effort is to produce an over-arching plan that will guide the city’s engineering, education, and enforcement efforts as well as a communications plan that will include a new website. Why is this plan needed? In the City’s own words, “While safety is a component of many Portland transportation projects, the City of Portland lacks a comprehensive plan and strategy to address traffic safety and move toward this aggressive target.”

Maus says the city last formally responded to traffic safety concerns in 2003, forming a committee that hasn’t accomplished much to make Portland safer for walking and biking. With an ambitious Vision Zero plan -- "to achieve zero fatalities or serious injuries on [Portland] roadways by 2025" -- there will be no time to waste.

Officials say it will take 12 months for Portland to develop its Vision Zero Action Plan, to be modeled on programs in New York City and San Francisco, according to Maus.

Elsewhere on the Network today: BikeWalkLee runs a local news column calling for engineering fixes to deadly Florida roads; and Better! Cities & Towns sees potential for a vibrant Ithaca waterfront.

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