PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is requesting approval of $3.35 million to make 82nd Avenue safer for pedestrians, the agency announced Friday.
The money would be part of a $10 million plan for "urgently needed" pedestrian safety improvements statewide," ODOT said in a news release.
ODOT will ask the Oregon Transportation Commission to approve the funds on May 13. If approved, ODOT says it would quickly launch a series of projects that would be finished by fall 2021.
“The need for these additional pedestrian improvements is clear,” said Rian Windsheimer, Portland area regional manager for ODOT. “This immediate infusion of funds allows us to move quickly to make important pedestrian safety fixes quickly in areas that need the greatest attention.”
Earlier this week, a pedestrian safety advocacy group called Oregon Walks call on ODOT to place an emergency speed reduction on 82nd Avenue after two pedestrians were hit and killed on the street within a two-week period last month.
Part of ODOT's $3.35 million plan for 82nd includes reducing the speed limit from 35 to 30 miles per hour between Northeast Killingsworth and Clatstop streets. The Portland Police Bureau would enforce the new speed limit as soon as the signs are installed.
ODOT says other safety improvements planned for 82nd include:
• Installation of new rectangular rapid flashing beacons – pedestrian activated signals – at Northeast Pacific Street and Southeast Mitchell Street this summer.
• Adding digital speed feedback signs that increase driver awareness at 10 strategic locations through the corridor.
• Improving three pedestrian crossings without signals by adding enhanced lighting, new signs and additional striping. These are planned for Northeast Wygant Street and Southeast Cooper and Hawthorne streets.
• Installing new enhanced pedestrian crossings at Northeast Webster and Alberta streets and Southeast Mitchell Street. These new crossings will include new lighting, signs and striping.
$26 million has already been committed to improving 82nd Avenue over the next five years, not including the 3.35 million for urgently needed work, ODOT said.
The agency is working with TriMet to improve access to transit stops throughout the corridor and adjustment bus stop locations to better align stops with the new pedestrian crossings.
It's also discussing transferring jurisdiction of 82nd Avenue from ODOT to the city of Portland, but no schedule has been set for determining the steps needed for the transfer.