PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland City Council on Thursday approved an emergency ordinance that will lower the speed limit on part of Southeast Division Street.
Friday, the speed limit from Southeast 87th Avenue to 154th Avenue was lowered from 35 mph to 30 mph for 120 days.
That stretch of Southeast Division Street is one of the most dangerous in Portland. It’s defined as a high crash corridor because it has 50 percent more crashes than the city average. The section has been the scene of five pedestrian fatalities in the past year, including two on a single night, Dec. 7.
“That night really said to us we need to do something about that,” said John Brady, spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “It’s one of the corridors that’s the most dangerous for fatalities and serious injuries.”
PBOT used a little-known state law to enable the Portland City Commission to quickly lower the speed limit. Commissioners used their emergency safety authority to reduce the speed limit with Thursday's vote.
During the 120-day temporary slowing, PBOT will file a state application to make the speed reduction permanent.
Local residents agree that lowering the speed limit would be a good idea.
“When you are on this busy street, you don’t pay attention to pedestrians,” said Sergey Pulkhin.
Laurie Hall also walks SE Division every day, and she says, every day, she's worried about getting hit by a car.
"It's very scary, it's taking your life in your own hands. They just don't see you. They just don't stop," Hall said.
PBOT has also installed brand new safety cameras, near 148th, on Division. The cameras go operational on Monday. For the first 30 days, get caught speeding, and you'll get a warning. After that, you'll get a ticket. Tickets will cost you at least $160, depending on how fast you were going.