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It's time for PBOT to include pedestrian routes in the green streets program and explore new traffic calming measures

A recent study of London England's equivalent of Portland Green Streets showed traffic injuries were reduced by 50% when compared with non-green streets. What was surprising was the reduction in injuries and deaths was more than twice the reduction achieve by reducing the London speed limit to 20 mph.

One other surprise was the fact that pedestrians benefited more than bicyclists from the green streets treatments of installing diverters and other treatments.

Our citizen initiated 46 miles of southwest urban trails were designed to help our Southwest residents find marked routes that avoid busy streets where ever possible. About 10 years after we got our trails network approved, Portland Bureau of Transportation introduced the green streets program which does a similar thing for bicycles. SWTrails has asked numerous time to have our urban trail network included in the green streets category to no avail.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Signs installed at intersections are intended to let drivers know 100 miles of neighborhood greenways are only open for local access.The city of Portland has not used green streets as a pedestrian safety strategy. PBOT has focused green streets on bicycle safety and neglected to consider it for pedestrian safety. We have very few green streets in Southwest Portland.

With over 75% of our streets lacking sidewalks, why would southwest green streets for pedestrians not be a logical move?

Until very recently, PBOT has had little interest in any traffic calming efforts that do not involve speed bumps. I have yet to see speed bumps that reduce vehicle speeds below 25mph.

It is time for PBOT to include pedestrian routes in the green streets program and explore alternative traffic calming treatments to reduce speeds on our residential streets. SWTrails volunteers stand ready to help design a Southwest green street network for pedestrians. Some of us would gladly volunteer to install trial traffic calming elements to keep the costs down.


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