May offers two chances to see progress of Vision Zero efforts

May offers two chances to see progress of Vision Zero efforts

VISIONZEROSOCIALMEDIA_640X295Next month will be a good time to re-assess where Portland is in its quest toward Vision Zero. Two events on the calendar will bring experts and electeds to the table to share ideas and hear what you think about the current state of traffic safety.

On May 9th, the City of Portland will open up their Vision Zero Executive Committee to the public for a special listening session. This 13-member committee includes Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea, Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, PBOT Director Leah Treat, Oregon Department of Transportation Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer, TriMet Director Neil McFarlane, two Multnomah County Commissioners, the head of Portland Fire and Rescue, a Metro councilor, and three members of the Oregon State Legislature.

They’ll provide an update on their work and then they’ll spend 45 minutes listening to the public. Anyone can show up and speak for up to two minutes. If you’d like to share your thoughts with this committee, sign up in advance by emailing or call (503) 823-9415. Others will be allowed to speak only if there’s enough time. Comment cards will be provided to people who don’t get a chance.

We’re just about to hit the one year anniversary of Portland’s focused Vision Zero effort. So far, a diverse task force led by PBOT has analyzed data about where and how crashes happen. Now they’re moving onto policies and actions. Earlier this month PBOT released a list of 36 specific actions for consideration by their Technical Advisory Committee. The potential actions include: a “comprehensive speed zone adjustment” through the high crash network, installation of fixed speed cameras, saturation patrols for DUII enforcement, collection of distracted driving data at all serious and fatal crashes, and so on.


Then on May 10th from Noon to 1:00 pm, Metro and Oregon Oregon Walks will co-host a panel discussion that will feature 12 lessons learned by local experts who attended the inaugural Vision Zero Cities Conference that was held in New York City in March. The panelists are: Clay Veka, PBOT Vision Zero program manager; Kristi Finney-Dunn, Founder of Oregon & SW Washington Families for Safe Streets; Sgt. Bret Barnum of the PPB Traffic Division; and Noel Mickelberry, the executive director of Oregon Walks. The panel will be moderated by Joe Marek, transportation safety manager for Clackamas County.

The timing of this panel is fortuitous because Metro plans to kick off an update of the Regional Transportation Safety Plan the following week. That plan was last updated in 2012.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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