Taming Speed for Safety: Portland Case Study
Speed-related fatalities and injuries have reached alarming numbers, with a recent national study finding that more than 10,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are related to speeding. That’s an estimated 27 lives lost each day – children, parents, grandparents, friends – all deaths that could and should be prevented.
Standing in the way of preventing these human tragedies are outdated approaches and standards that have failed to preserve safety for people moving on our roadways, sidewalks, and bikeways. This is particularly problematic in many states, where inertia or resistance to making difficult political decisions at the state policy level ties the hands of local communities who want to improve their own speed management practices.
Fortunately, many leaders are stepping up to modernize and improve they way they manage speed, including upstream efforts to address the underlying systems, policies, and the built environment that influences speed.
Portland, Oregon is one of the communities taking a leadership role under the banner of Vision Zero, and their multi-pronged approach stands as a model for other Vision Zero communities.