The concept entails 3 things making it a quick, easy, and inexpensive upgrade in walkability. The first is signage: a sign announcing that you are entering a Walking District. The second is a street decal (think of the bicycle decal you see on roadways but change it to a pedestrian). The third is a speed limit reduction to 20mph.
Hillsboro-West End seeks pilot pedestrian safety program
A study shows that 1 in 3 pedestrians are distracted by their cell phones when crossing a busy street.
The Hillsboro-West End neighborhood is proposing a pilot strategy to keep its high number of walkers, runners and cyclists safe as area traffic increases.
"We have very narrow roads and residential streets with lots of pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and 30 (mph) is just too fast," said Martha Stinson, president of the area's neighborhood association.
Neighbors wish to designate the area as a Walking District, lowering the speed limit and adding signage to warn drivers of the high numbers of pedestrians and cyclists, along the major corridors and residential streets.
The strategy is based on Sweden's Vision Zero, which has been implemented in Austin, Portland, Seattle, and other cities in the U.S. to ultimately have zero traffic-related fatalities or serious injuries.
Stinson said neighbors often see speeding along residential roads, and have had more "near-misses" as the area has grown.
"As that corridor redevelops, we can foresee a huge increase in cut-through traffic, speeding, reckless (driving), etc.," Stinson said.
The association is working with Metro Councilwoman Burkley Allen to gather more information and present it to Public Works and other Metro departments.
"It’s always striking a balance between moving traffic efficiently and making our neighborhoods walkable," Allen said.
Earlier this year, Allen was also instrumental in tightening restrictions to allow safer bike and pedestrian paths near construction sites.
"Clearly the whole city is working on creating more options for people not to be in their cars," Allen said. "The more we do that, the more that creates the opportunity for walking to be a more pleasant experience."
The neighborhood is expecting several new additions, including Bongo Java's new dining concept at the former Hot & Cold site, mixed-use project Village 21 at the corner of 21st Avenue South and Wedgewood Avenue, and another apartment complex at 1710 Belcourt Ave.
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