Several pedestrian safety measures included in the St. Johns Truck Strategy – Phase II are not to be included when Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) begins improvements on St. Louis / Fessenden and N Lombard next spring. At the August General Meeting, SJNA invited both Rich Newlands, PBOT Project Manger, and Donna Cohen, St. Johns resident and citizen activist, to provide respective updates.
According to PBOT, due to federal funding constraints, they cannot include 3 flashing pedestrian crossing signs (starred below) when spring construction begins on the $3.3 million dollar project. The signs, planned for N Seneca, N Charleston, and N Midway would dramatically improve safety when crossing at the sharp bend on St. Louis / Fessenden, as well as at another very active intersection.
After continued pressure from community advocates, PBOT and Commission Dan Saltzman have renewed their commitment to find the funding for the rest of project. However, the measures would only be installed months following the completion of the remaining Phase II improvements.
“We’ve heard this all before,” cautions 2 community members who worked with PBOT to negotiate Phase II of the St. Johns Truck Plan back in 2011. “During the 17 months of negotiations with PBOT, they never mentioned any funding constraints or other foreseen problems. Now, this.”
Phase II was approved in its entirety by the City of Portland back in 2013. It includes 8 projects designed to reduce truck traffic and improve bike and pedestrian safety along the route:
- Reduced speed from 35 to 30, 25 if possible
- Instal median islands at 7 intersections
- Plant trees to promote designation as a neighborhood street
- Install 2 flashing speed reader signs at either end of the large curve
- Extend curbs to shorten pedestrian crossing distances
- Install 2 Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)*
- Erect 1 overhead ‘HAWK’ signal*
We hope to have PBOT’s presentation available soon.
View a 19-page PDF file of Donna Cohen’s presentation for the August SJNA General Meeting, and follow on Facebook to get every update and contribute to community efforts.