PBOT News Blog: First annual Vision Zero report offers detailed look at street safety efforts

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Portland Bureau of Transportation

News media contact:
Dylan Rivera
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Cell: (503) 577-7534


News Blog:

First annual Vision Zero report offers detailed look at street safety efforts


Reports charts progress on 32 action items to make Portland streets safer

(Feb. 27, 2018) A new report describes how the Portland Bureau of Transportation and their partners are working to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries following Portland City Council's adoption of the Vision Zero Action Plan in December 2016.

The Vision Zero Annual Report notes that 2017 was both Portland’s most deadly year for traffic crashes since 2003 and a year of critically important legislative and funding gains in support of traffic safety.

“We knew achieving Vision Zero wasn’t going to be easy," says PBOT Director Leah Treat. "The steps we took in 2017 are setting us on a path for safe streets in Portland, and we remain committed to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025.”

Bandana Shrestha, Community Engagement Director of AARP and a Vision Zero Task Force member, says: “Portland’s streets remain challenging, especially for older adults, who are at a higher risk of dying in a crash. I’m encouraged by the work we’re doing and look forward to the day when our streets are safe for people of all ages, no matter how they choose to get around.”

Among the details in the 2017 Vision Zero Annual Report:

  • Funding: New funding sources, including the 2017 statewide transportation funding package as well as allocation of a portion of Portland’s voter-approved cannabis tax, will expand safety projects and programming on Portland streets
  • Street design: PBOT spent $15.4 million on safety projects on 21 High Crash Network streets and intersections in 2017
  • Distracted driving: House Bill 2597 closes loopholes in Oregon's distracted driving law and increases penalties
  • Speed enforcement: House Bill 2409 allows cities to issue speeding citations using properly equipped red light cameras
  • Speed limits: House Bill 2682 gives the City of Portland authority to reduce residential speed limits to 20 miles per hour
  • Impairment: Through a new Safe Ride Home program, PBOT and partners provided 3,389 coupons for discounts on safe travel options during high-DUII holidays or events in 2017

The Annual Report also summarizes the latest crash data and trends (see excerpts below). Data indicate a continued need to focus on street design, speed, impairment, and other dangerous behaviors such as distracted driving.

Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan includes 32 two- and five-year actions. Five actions are complete, 15 are on track to be completed by the end of 2018 and 12 require additional effort to launch.


Latest data at-a-glance

Both traffic deaths and serious injuries increased relative to prior year data. Data: Portland Police Bureau (deaths), Oregon Department of Transportation (serious injuries)

Portland traffic deaths by travel option, 2013-2017

More people died in traffic crashes in Portland than in any year since 2003. Data: Portland Police Bureau

Traffic deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S. and Portland, Oregon, 1990-2016

Traffic deaths have increased nationwide since 2010. Data: U.S. Census population estimates v2016, NHTSA FARS 2016

The City of Portland has joined cities around the country in embracing Vision Zero – the notion that the death of even one person on our roads is one too many. Vision Zero prevents traffic deaths through smart policy and system design. Learn more about Vision Zero and Speed Safety Cameras by visiting www.visionzeroportland.com.


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation.