Pictured here is one of the traffic calming demonstrations on Brighton Ave. Bright blue painted curb extensions and reflective bollards help slow car traffic.

This summer, Portland Trails is leading street demonstrations to slow car traffic on two of Portland's streets.

These demonstrations focus on two Brighton Ave. crosswalks (at the intersections with Whitney Ave. and Bolton St.) and two on Danforth St. (at the intersections with May St. and Emery St.). These locations were identified as dangerous by neighborhood organizations, whose members are partnering on the projects. Neighbors observed high speeds and poor yield rates at the crosswalks.

 

What are the goals?

These are temporary installations that are designed to slow traffic and draw drivers' attention to the crosswalks. Each intersection now features painted curb extensions and vertical bollards. These give the impression of a narrower lane – without actually changing the width at all – which naturally slows drivers down. When drivers are going more slowly, they are more likely to see and stop for pedestrians waiting to cross.

In one of our studies of these intersections, we found that one pedestrian at a Brighton Ave. crosswalk waited for 24 cars to pass before one stopped!

 

How does it work?

We know that drivers are responding to their environment. We also know that speed limit signs are not enough to change behavior. When we improve the road design, we're sending subliminal signals to drivers to reduce their speed. That increases the safety of our streets for all users.

 

What happens next?

Speed and yield studies will be collected throughout the duration of these demonstrations. Once they are complete later this fall, all data will be shared with the City of Portland, who will manage any permanent design changes to these intersections.

 

Tell us what you think!

We want to hear your thoughts. What's working well? Are there challenges? What would you suggest for the future? Share your feedback with us in the form below.

    Thank you to our partners!