PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – It’s been the deadliest year on Portland roads in more than two decades, according to traffic officials.

Two people were killed in separate crashes Friday morning, bringing the number of traffic deaths in Portland up to 49, according to law enforcement. The number, up seven from last year, marks the most traffic deaths in the city since 1997.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation says it has invested millions to make roads safer, and although numbers are up, other factors are at play. The agency says some contributing factors have been difficult to curb, including incidents involving distracted or impaired drivers and an influx of people moving to the city.

Officials say this year’s numbers coincide with another record–the amount of money PBOT has spent to fix the problem. The city made a commitment several years ago to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries through an effort called Vision Zero. PBOT estimates it has invested about $60 million this year in high-crash infrastructure investments.

“Yes, where we have made those changes, we have seen a reduction in crashes,” Hannah Schafer, a PBOT spokeswoman, said.

The first crash in Portland Friday morning involved a pedestrian and occurred near Northeast 122nd Avenue and Northeast Halsey Street.

The second crash, a head-on collision, occurred in the 300 block of North Lombard Street.

Since 2008, five people have been killed within a block of the intersection at North Lombard and Interstate Avenue, and some 40 people have been injured, according to officials.

In the crash off North Lombard Street, police say the driver stayed on scene and cooperated with police. The name of the victims in both crashes have not been released.

The city says it's important to note that the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed in roads in major cities are up across the country.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Locations

Recommended for you

(3) comments

jooky

less lanes = more accidents

Merlin

Going to get worse now that bicyclists can ignore stop signs. Road pizza!

Patrick McGroin

The Spandex Mafia doesn't care about their own safety, they believe its up to everyone else. Lets throw more money at the problem so it can get worse. look at the money thrown at schools and we get less in return

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.