TIGARD, Ore. — A big change has come for drivers in Tigard. The Oregon Department of Transportation reduced the speed limit along a two-mile stretch of Hall Boulevard on Monday morning. The area is where a woman was hit and killed last year while she crossed the street.
“Well, the speed limit is really one of a series of safety improvements that are coming to this section of Hall Boulevard,” said Don Hamilton, spokesperson for ODOT.
ODOT reduced the speed limit from 40 mph down to 30 mph on Hall between 92nd and Pfaffle after the City of Tigard requested the reduction.
It’s all part of a $4 million project to make Hall Boulevard safer for pedestrians, cyclists and those living on the stretch.
“This road is growing, there are more people around. We need to make sure that this section of road slows down and is safer," said Hamilton. "It’s going to be better for everybody.”
Hamilton said that ODOT looks at the roads and traffic crash data when making a speed reduction. But fatalities play a huge factor in making these safety changes, and that consideration is behind this one.
The speed reduction comes a year after a hit-and-run crash killed 57-year-old Karen Kain, seriously injuring her 86-year-old mother, off Lucille and Hall Boulevard where a memorial still stands.
Neighbors off Hall Boulevard tell KGW they’re happy to see some changes being made, even if it’s a small speed reduction.
“It’s a great neighborhood, so I’m glad they’re taking care of it,” said Trevor Woods, a neighbor off Hall Boulevard.
Woods likes to walk with his daughter Ava whenever he gets a chance, and their walk route includes crossing Hall Boulevard.
“I think people mind their manners for the most part,” said Woods. “So, 40 to 30 isn’t going to harm this place and will keep it a little safer for us walking and riding bikes and all that stuff.”
ODOT and the City of Tigard have a few other safety projects in the works, including adding rectangular rapid flashing beacons and curb ramps to up the safety along the stretch, in the next few years.
The city of Tigard has also been working to lower the speed limit for residential streets from 25 to 20 as part of its "Safe Streets Initiative."
The National Association of City Transportation Officials reports that speed is a central factor in traffic deaths. According to NACTO, “a vehicle speed at the time of impact is directly correlated to whether a person will live or die. A person hit by a car traveling at 35 miles per hour is five times more likely to die than a person hit by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour.”