Portland, Ore. – You better slow down and watch out for people trying to cross the street this afternoon in Southeast Portland. Police are conducting a crosswalk safety sting today on some busy streets including SE Stark. The goal is to make our community safer for everyone who uses the roads. Remember, police are still searching for a hit and run driver who struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday night at Northeast 45th and Lombard. The Clark County sheriff’s office is also searching for a hit and run driver who struck an elderly woman Monday Morning on Northwest Lakeshore Avenue in the Filida Neighborhood.
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PBOT is planning to make improvements along the 3-mile section of SE Stark Street between SE 108th Avenue and 162nd Avenue. This corridor has been identified as a High Crash Corridor for every mode of travel – for people driving, people biking, and for pedestrians. The project, Safer Outer Stark, is intended to reduce deadly and serious crashes, slow excess motor vehicle speeds, improve lighting conditions, provide safer crossings, and support future enhanced transit. The project is currently in the planning phase, with construction estimated to begin in 2021. For more information visit the project website.
A solar speed reader board was installed last summer just west of SE 157th Avenue; and construction is underway for rapid flashing beacons, pedestrian refuge islands, signage, and striping at SE Stark Street and SE 155th Avenue.
There were 63 crashes on SE Stark Street during the ten-year period, 2008 – 2017, the most recent data available, resulting in eight fatalities and 59 people suffering serious injuries, 15 of which were people walking or biking. More than two-thirds of the serious injuries and 7 of the 8 fatalities occurred along Outer Stark (east of 82nd). Families continued to suffer the loss of loved ones in 2018, with three more fatal crashes along SE Stark, two of which involved people walking.
Most crashes resulting in death or injury to pedestrians happen when the person is walking legally and struck by a person driving who fails to stop. People driving can do their part by having more patience, driving at or below the posted speed, continuously scanning the environment looking for people walking and bicycling and being ready to stop as needed.
PBOT reminds Portlanders to watch for people walking at all hours of the day or night, and that it is illegal to drive in the center turn lane. With school back in session, expect children walking to and from school or other activity every day – not just during the upcoming International Walk + Roll to School Day. The driving public is reminded to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians who are carrying a white cane or accompanied by a dog guide every day – not just on the upcoming National White Cane Safety Day. These brochures in English and Español help explain more about rights and responsibilities for crossing streets in Oregon
Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk while police monitor whether people driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation. A PBOT staff member will serve as the designated pedestrian crossing the street during Wednesday’s action.
Crosswalk education and enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate traffic laws to people driving and walking. The transportation and police bureaus do education and enforcement actions in response to requests by community members, city traffic safety engineers, and Portland Police to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings.
Portland is committed to ending traffic violence in our communities. Through the Vision Zero program, the City of Portland and our partners are working to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our streets. Education and enforcement actions such as the September 18 event are a key part of the City of Portland’s citywide effort to achieve Vision Zero.
To request a Vision Zero community briefing, enforcement action in your area, or any non-urgent traffic safety concerns, call the 823-SAFE Traffic Safety Hot Line at (503) 823-7233, or submit a non-urgent Traffic Safety Hot Line request at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/79389