Help Sam Spend Your Money

Commissioner Sam is going to ask his Portland City Council Colleagues to put some of Portland’s one-time surplus funds into the backlog of road paving and other transportation improvements (with a safety focus).

Sam is looking for suggestions on projects to include in the request. Sam’s missive is below. Head over to to add your suggestions for the request list.

Dear Fellow Safety-Concerned Portlander,

I’d like to thank you for being a participant in some combination of Portland’s 2005 Traffic Safety Summit, our Community and Schools Traffic Safety Partnership, or the Traffic Safety Coordination Council. I deeply appreciate your hard work to make Portland safer for everyone. My number one goal as transportation commissioner is to make Portland’s streets safer for every user.

The work you are doing in partnership with PDOT is making a big difference in helping us identify the most effective changes we can make to the existing transportation system. With our limited transportation budget, we must clearly prioritize our projects to ensure that we can get the most we can from your tax dollars.

We have been working not only to move the best ideas from the summit and our Traffic Safety Coordinating Council forward, but also to find the resources to actually implement them. The City Council of Portland will soon be considering a number of proposals to allocate General Fund dollars to one-time expenditures. I will be bringing forward a number of traffic safety initiatives, which I will briefly list for you here:

* Vehicle Safety Improvements at High Crash Intersections – PDOT will identify and implement the most cost effective actions for the locations that are most dangerous and have the highest rates of auto crashes

* Pedestrian Safety Improvements – this will provide focused improvements on corridors and intersections where we know pedestrian safety is a problem with cost effective solutions that have been identified through the CSTSP and in consultation with neighborhoods and Portland’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee

* Bicycle Safety Improvements – this will provide focused improvements on corridors and locations where we know bike safety is a problem, with cost effective solutions that have been identified through the CSTSP and in consultation with neighborhoods and Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee

* Safe Routes to Schools Improvements – this will fund the extension of SR2S services (engineering, education, and enforcement) to more schools, as well as address identified deficiencies in existing and needed school beacons

* New Red Light Cameras at Six High Crash Intersections -this will fund the installation of six new red light cameras at locations that have the highest frequency of red light running crashes.

* New Traffic Signal at SW 2nd & Clay – this will fund a new traffic signal at the intersection and complete the downtown grid improving safety and operations

* Crosswalks for six Main Street Corridors – this will implement proposed new standards of pedestrian safety facilities for districts with the highest amounts of both pedestrian and automobile traffic (includes NW 23rd, SE Belmont, etc.)

* Traffic Signal Upgrades and other SE 122nd Avenue Safety Improvements – SE 122nd is one of the most deadly/dangerous corridors in the city for pedestrians. This improvement would replace the signals at Stark and Division, reducing auto crashes and better protecting pedestrians by extending the “Flashing Don’t Walk” time for slower pedestrians.

I want to be clear, however, that while I am seeking so-called “one-time” money for these important transportation-public safety projects, it is not assured that I will succeed in getting funding for all of the requests.

PDOT staff have long worked with you, our partners in traffic safety improvements, to take advantage of opportunities to fund improvements, from ODOT grants to new federal dollars, as well as to make the best use of our local funds.

I am reaching out to you now to ask for both your feelings on this funding strategy, and for any suggestions on other projects that we may have left out and you feel are important. Please visit my blog and post your thoughts, suggestions, and any comments of support at:

I will be using comments you post on this site for two things. They will help me with additional fine-tuning of my proposals, and just as importantly, also let me share your sentiments with my fellow commissioners when these requests are considered by council in the near future. If you prefer, you can also email me any suggestions, comments, or statements of support you have at:

Thank you again for your invaluable help in keeping Portland’s streets safe for all its citizens. Community involvement like yours is an integral part in making sure government operates effectively and in the best interests of the public. I appreciate all you are doing for the city and look forward to working with you further in the future.



City Commissioner Sam Adams
City of Portland
1221 SW 4th Ave., Rm 220
Portland, OR 97204-1900
(503) 823-3008 phone
(503) 823-3017 fax