PBOT preparing for major upgrades along 82nd Avenue
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Last year, Portland saw 67 traffic-related deaths, the same as the year before. Heading into 2023, the city has already seen five.
All over the city, there are areas labeled high crash corridors. A street obtains that label when there are a high number of accidents involving cars, pedestrians, or bikes.
When it comes to NE 82nd Avenue near McDaniel High School, all three of those types of accidents are frequent.
PBOT started the year by making some much-needed changes to the road, something Jennifer Morrissey is in favor of.
“I’m pro benefits to runners or pedestrians,” said Morrissey, who was on her evening run. “Especially given all of the traffic fatalities and injuries recently.”
About a half year ago, ODOT had control of 82nd Avenue. After what PBOT described as years of community outreach and hearing people’s complaints, the road is now under local control.
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ODOT will be investing in the safety-enhancing changes PBOT intends to make to the strip of road.
PBOT said new crosswalks will soon be installed, and already traffic signals that haven’t been updated since the ‘90s have started to see some much-needed upgrades.
“This intersection in particular is always super busy,” Morrissey said standing at NE 82nd Avenue and Siskiyou Street, “and I’m always super careful when I cross it.”
New technology is being installed up and down NE 82nd Avenue that gives pedestrian’s the crosswalk signal a few seconds prior to the light turning green for thru traffic. PBOT described it as a “head start.”
Updated technology is expected to be installed at 18 intersections over the course of the week, which is aimed at helping the stoplights communicate with one another and deter speeding. Speeding has been proven to go hand in hand with accidents.
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Meanwhile, running five or six times a week, Morrissey says pedestrians should do everything they can to be seen on the streets.
“Really, it’s probably all of the other people I see at night who don’t have reflective gear,” she explained. “It’s nerve-wracking if you’re a driver and you see those folks. I don’t want to be one of those folks. I want people to see me when I’m out at night!”
PBOT said the construction footprint is negligible, so drivers won’t see many changes to traffic patterns.
The timeline of all the changes could take several years.
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