Powell Pedestrian Safety Meeting Recap

February 12, 2014

Hopworks Urban Brewery


**If you live in HAND and have any questions, please contact chair@handpdx.org.


In attendance:

Nate Young, Hopworks

Tyler King, Creston-Kenilworth N.A.

Rich Newlands, PBOT 20’s Bikeway Project

Clay Veka, PBOT High Crash Corridor Program

Marilee Hilstrom, Hosford-Abernathy N.A.

Sue Pearce, Hosford-Abernathy N.A.

Shelli Romero, ODOT

Rachel Davies, Creston-Kenilworth N.A.

April Bertelsen, PBOT Powell/Division Transit and Development Project

Trell Anderson, Catholic Charities





20s Bikeway Project:

Rich from PBOT discussed future plans for the 20’s Bikeway Project. The project will ultimately connect a ‘neighborhood greenway’ from SE to NE, somewhere between 20th and 30th, ideally around 26-28th Aves. Currently there are two options being discussed for crossing Powell Blvd:

1. Remove remaining parking on SE 26th, making room for full-width bike lanes on both sides of the street.

2. Remove the northbound bike lane on 26th, widen the southbound lane, and create a ‘bike couplet with northbound traffic using 28th.

Option 2 is currently preferred, and would create a signalized intersection at 28th Ave. (the current crosswalk is at 28th Pl.)

Earliest completion is likely to be 2015, with design, engineering and construction set to take the intervening year.


High Crash Corridor Program:

Shelli from ODOT and Clay from PBOT discussed the High Crash Corridor (HCC) program, which includes Powell from the Ross Island Bridge to 92nd. With the designation of Powell as a HCC, there have been increased “traffic enforcement actions” to encourage improved driver, pedestrian, and cyclist behavior, most recently at the crosswalk at 28th Pl in January.

ODOT is currently finalizing their Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) plan for 2015-2018. The current draft plan includes the following:

  • $3.4 million in the Fix-It Program that would make safety improvements on Powell Blvd. from 20th to 33rd Aves (listed as S8 – US26: SE 20th Ave – 33rd Ave. on the 100% Proposed Safety Projects list). These improvements would include things from tree-trimming to signalized crosswalks. See website for details.
  • $3.0 million in the Enhance Program that would improve transit access along the Powell and Division corridors (listed as E87 – TriMet – Powell-Division Corridor Safety & Access to Transit). This could include further safety modifications to improve access for those reliant on public transportation.


Shelli encouraged everyone to comment on projects that should be funded by the STIP plan, including the two listed above.





Discussion then moved to identify the timelines of these various projects, which were grouped into three broad buckets:

  • Short-term (9 months – 2 years) – tree-trimming, sign-cleaning along Powell could be expected to happen starting the end of 2014
  • Mid-term (2016-18 STIP) – curb ramps, signals, ODOT Fix-It projects could begin in 2016
  • Long-term (5-10+ years) – High-capacity transit for Powell-Division Corridor, additional STIP plan and funding


Additional Discussion:

The group discussed a number of additional topics briefly:

  • Can Portland Police Department (PPD) run more visible enforcement along Powell during morning and evening rush hours? Could the officer that parks at Cleveland High School (at 26th and Franklin) park closer to Powell to encourage appropriate behavior?
  • Does Cleveland High School discuss traffic safety? Numerous students cross Powell to attend school in the morning and evening, as well as to get lunch at Wendy’s and Hopworks each day. Many of these crossings are made at locations other than the crosswalks which is frighteningly dangerous.
  • Could the median at 28th St. be signed as not for use by pedestrians?
  • What concrete steps can be taken prior to 2016 to improve pedestrian safety? Could funding be allocated for a Rapid-Flash signal at the current crosswalk location at 28th Pl.?


Bottom line: Current conditions present a real and present health and safety issue at this location and MUST be addressed sooner than 2016.


Next Steps:

  • Hopworks and Creston-Kenilworth and Hosford-Abernathy N.A. representatives will request a letter from their respective boards to ODOT supporting the STIP funds as well to PBOT supporting the 20s Bikeway Project.
  • Creston-Kenilworth and Hosford-Abernathy N.A. representatives will reach out to their PPD liaisons regarding increased policing along Powell.
  • Hopworks will contact Cleveland High School regarding student training and behavior.


A second meeting will be scheduled in mid- to late-March to reconvene and discuss progress and additional information.