PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As the City of Portland works to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2025, a new report shows a majority of fatal crashes happen on one side of town.
In the report, which outlines the city’s 2-year strategy for its Vision Zero Action Plan, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said 2019 is already shaping up to be a “particularly tragic year for traffic safety in Portland.”
People walking in East Portland die at twice the rate of people walking anywhere else in the city — according to the report — and nearly half of all traffic deaths in 2017 and 2018 were pedestrians.
“The leading cause of pedestrian fatalities in Portland is a motorist failing to stop for a pedestrian who is crossing legally,” said PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation will present new plans on how to achieve that goal at a city council meeting Thursday.
PBOT officials will seek final approval for additional preventive measures like street lights, speed bumps and traffic signals that will give pedestrians a head start to cross before drivers get green lights.
But all of these improvements will take years to complete.
“Today, we can all look out for one another, be safer at intersections, follow the speed limit, stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk,” Rivera said.
Crashes took the lives of 34 people in Portland in 2018 — marking the lowest fatality count in 4 years.
Twenty-three of those deadly crashes happened east of 82nd Avenue.
“We have to risk coming out here and sometimes be really worried about what’s going on out here on the road,” Southeast Powell Boulevard jogger Jerome Rillera told KOIN 6 News earlier this year.
In an effort to make the area safer, the city reduced speed limits, redesigned streets and added speed cameras.