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OR 99W Barbur Safety Audit
 

Barbur Boulevard Safety Audit 

Updated:  April 2017

The Oregon Department of Transportation conducted a Road Safety Audit (RSA) from July 20-24, 2015 on Southwest Barbur Boulevard to consider additional short-term and long-term transportation safety improvements for all users and to evaluate the effectiveness of nearly $8 million of recent safety projects on Barbur Boulevard.

ODOT has analyzed the results of the audit and developed recommendations for implementation.  Most of the safety issues identified are in the southern portion of the corridor—SW 30th to Capitol Highway.  The list of needed improvements is attached, including projects for near-term implementation and other projects that require further analysis.

Of the 134 suggested improvements, ODOT will be implementing 84% of the near-term meaning they will start within one-year; and 74% of all near- and intermediate-term improvements.
The RSA team of regional and national safety experts came to consensus on nearly every finding and suggestion.  The exception was for a solution to improve Barbur over the Newbury and Vermont Bridges by providing defined bicycle facilities.  You will find in this response a list of the two feasible options out of seven suggested for further consideration by the team for the treatment of the Newbury and Vermont Bridges (the wooded section of Barbur) to enhance rider safety and comfort.  Both options would need to be removed and reconstructed or replaced should the SW Corridor High-Capacity Transit Project proceed.  The near-term improvements being implemented include several within the wooded section.

In the past three years, ODOT has spent $8 million to improve safety on Barbur Boulevard. These include installing rapid flash beacons in several locations to alert motorists when pedestrians are crossing. In addition, sidewalk improvements have been made, pedestrian islands added, flashing bicycle beacons installed on the Newbury and Vermont Bridges and speed feedback signs for drivers.
ODOT will continue to implement safety improvements along Barbur as funding becomes available.

March 2016 Documents

The Road Safety Audit Response and Implmentation Plan and Supporting Documents

October 2015 Documents 

The Full Road Safety Audit report is now available (as of 10/19/2015)

 

For more information

Road Safety Audit Took Kit Brochure
 
Project Information

 

 

A Road Safety Audit identifies opportunities to improve safety for all users. It is a formal performance examination of all transportation modes by an independent, multi-disciplined audit team. Their review and recommendations will be taken into account when ODOT and others look at potential future projects when funding becomes available.

The team members spent 3-4 days in the field throughout the project area to view how the corridor is used by motorists, freight, cyclists, transit users, and pedestrians. They observed, walked, biked and drove the corridor and all intersections at all hours, including a nighttime assessment. They viewed the transportation safety issues of all modes.

A Road Safety Audit will identify constraints and opportunities specific to the Barbur corridor. Rather than analyze just one proposed solution, the Audit Team will review the safety improvements ODOT has made and propose a range of short-, mid-, and long-term safety solutions for all modes throughout the corridor. They will help prioritize where to spend ODOT’s limited funds.

The RSA will examine Barbur Boulevard from SW Naito Parkway on the north end to SW Capitol Highway on the south end (click here for map).

Why Barbur Boulevard? 

Barbur Boulevard (OR Highway 99W) is a state-owned vital north-south corridor connecting Downtown Portland to Downtown Sherwood and cities and neighborhoods in between. It is a road that has been identified by the City of Portland as a Major Emergency Response and Major Truck Route. It is a Seismic Lifeline Route that takes on double the amount of normal traffic when a crash closes lanes on I-5. The City has designated it as a Bikeway and Walkway.

The City of Portland and people who bike along the corridor have voiced concerns about the safety of cyclists across the Newberry and Vermont structures on Barbur Boulevard. To the south, Legislators and advocates from the local neighborhood associations asked ODOT to consider safety improvements at the intersection of Barbur and Capitol. The Road Safety Audit provides a mechanism to address both areas of concern while assessing the effectiveness of recently installed safety improvements along the corridor and any safety issues that could arise from roadway changes.

What will come of it?

The Road Safety Audit will document problems and opportunities (findings) and provide recommendations. The recommendations will be taken into account when ODOT and others look at the potential for future projects and funding becomes available. Safety issues cannot be completely addressed through engineering alone. The other “E’s” include education, enforcement and emergency medical service (EMS). The RSA team will encourage and suggest measures that consider all “4E’s” to address specific safety issues. After the Road Safety Audit, the findings and recommendations will be posted on this website in October 2015.

Who is involved?

Road Safety Audits typically convene traffic safety experts from multiple agencies with a wide variety of experience. These experts provide a fresh and unbiased look at the road which adds value. The Barbur Safety Audit will include input from law enforcement, fire and rescue, neighborhood representatives, transit providers, bicyclists, pedestrians, local jurisdictions and ODOT which owns and maintains the road.

Recent Safety improvements

In the past three years, ODOT has spent $8 million to improve safety for all travelers on Barbur Boulevard. These include installing Rapid Flash Beacons in several locations to alert motorists when pedestrians are crossing. In addition, sidewalk improvements have been made, pedestrian islands added, flashing bicycle beacons installed on the Vermont and Newbury Bridges, and speed feedback signs for drivers. Here is a list of the recently installed safety improvements.

Contact 

Susan Hanson, ODOT Community Affairs, 503-731-3490

Susan.C.Hanson@odot.state.or.us