Apr 25, 2024 - News

Portland road fatalities hit record high

Annual traffic deaths in Portland
Data: PBOT; Note: Pedestrians include people walking, using mobility devices, scooters or skateboards; Chart: Axios Visuals The city saw a record high number of deaths on Portland roads last year, despite efforts to make them safer.

The city saw a record-high number of deaths on Portland roads last year, despite efforts to make them safer.

Why it matters: In 2015, Portland committed to eliminating traffic-related deaths within 10 years as part of its Vision Zero plan, but fatalities have increased since.

  • Last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation presented two reports on traffic safety to the Portland City Council and called for more collaboration to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries.

By the numbers: Of 69 people killed last year on city roads, 32 were in cars and 24 were pedestrians (including those on scooters). That's an increase from 2019 when 22 people in cars and 16 pedestrians died.

What they're saying: Vision Zero reduces fatal crashes where money has been invested in street improvements, a transportation spokesperson said.

  • In areas like parts of Beaverton Hillsdale Highway where speed cameras were installed in 2016, "we've seen a dramatic reduction in speeding on that corridor," Dylan Rivera told Axios.

How it works: The city is focusing on "high crash corridors" where 74% of traffic deaths occurred — lowering speed limits, installing cameras and adding crosswalks that make it easier to see pedestrians crossing.

What we're watching: The $55 million 82nd Avenue Critical Fixes project begins this summer, which aims to make one of the city's most dangerous streets safer with medians, trees, better lighting and more crossings.

  • Nineteen people died on 82nd Avenue from 2007 to 2022.
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