August 30, 2010
Playing Down the Need for Speed
The critical path to safety has to include slowing cars down, particularly on neighborhood streets.
EnzymePDX looks at Sweden's effort to eliminate road deaths, and compares it to Mayor Adam's effort to get City control over local speed limits.
Simultaneously, StreetFilms looks at the "20's Plenty" campaign in the UK.
August 30, 2010 9:53 PM
johanna Cummings Says:
Slowing them down in neighborhoods, yes, but also timing lights downtown and on major thoroughfares to encourage traffic to proceed at a reasonable rate. AND adding crosswalks at bus stops along such streets as Naito, Barbur, Powell and SE 12th so that pedestrians/transit riders don't have to walk blocks out of their way or take their lives in their hands crossing busy streets. These, too, are critical paths to safety.
August 30, 2010 10:04 PM
Chris F Says:
I'm all for toning down neighborhood speeds, but other thoroughfares need to be built up to accommodate express traffic. That's what Powell Blvd was intended for, as well as 99E through east Portland...
If drivers don't have reliable ways to get across town in their automobile (a 10 mph streetcar that goes putt putt with stops every other block doesn't count), then drivers will be more frustrated and unsafe when speeds are lowered.
August 31, 2010 6:21 AM
Are there any studies comparing automobile death reduction from reduced vehicle speeds and other safety measures (that might have less negative tradeoffs)?
September 1, 2010 3:52 PM
Steve S. Says:
Our freeways are the safest roads we have.
When freeways and secondary thoroughfares are clogged people drivers into neighborhood streets causing all sorts of problems.
In the Portland region we have an agenda that instead of recognizing the need to move traffic
deliberately cloggs it.
The outcomes are not surprising.
September 4, 2010 8:03 PM
Dave H Says:
I don't like the idea of giving control over speed limits to locals. This leads to dangerous revenue creation based speed traps way too often in states that allow it.
September 5, 2010 10:30 AM
I would assume that the sort of control given to locals would be limited to local streets--state highway speed limits would continue to be set by the state.
For a "speed trap" (here meaning law enforcement practices designed to maximize citations and raise revenue, rather than to encourage safe driving) to occur, you need two things: a) an inappropriate low speed limit, and b) a high volume of traffic (preferably of out-of-town motorists who are unlikely to contest the ticket, and unable to object politically). Option b) implies a state highway or similar, and and you leave control of those to the state, then that limits option a. Speed traps can still exist (i.e. the City of Coburg's infamous operation on I-5 that was recently shut down by the Legistlature), but such traps wouldn't be affected by the proposal in question--permitting local jurisdictions to adjust limits on local streets.
September 5, 2010 11:29 AM
when streets are required to have wide lanes it shouldnt be any surprise that people speed. you have to reduce this BS requirement that lanes be 12+ feet wide.
ODOT has too much say in streets that arent even their own.
and can someone explain to me the difference between a painted crosswalk and an unpainted crosswalk? why is there hesitation to add painted crosswalks when apparently an unpainted crosswalk is the same thing?
September 5, 2010 12:20 PM
Jason McHuff Says:
City of Coburg's infamous operation on I-5 that was recently shut down
Is that true? I heard they annexed the section so it was in their jurisdiction, but I'm not exactly sure what's happened since then.
a painted crosswalk and an unpainted crosswalk
I think it was said here that painting gives pedestrians a false since of safety and that it gets motorists to only expect pedestrians where there's paint. In addition, there's also the cost of the painting.
September 5, 2010 8:53 PM
al m Says:
Car Crash Stats: There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes.
Can anybody explain to me how there can be any argument at all that driving an automobile is safe?
The automobile is a scourge upon mankind, not just for the holocaust which occurs every year around the world causing over 1,000,000 deaths but for the economic/environmental toll which is just becoming apparent.
I will celebrate if I am alive to watch gas go up to $10/gal and stop this madness.
Any effort to get people to slow down should be encouraged.
September 6, 2010 8:14 PM
al m: The stats are missing the number of cars though. I would like to see the numbers for an individual, where if you were to drive some reasonable amount of miles every day, how long on average it would take to die. If the number was something like a few hundred years or more, I probably wouldn't worry about driving, especially as little as I do it. (No, I don't know what the numbers are.)