What is the Oregon Walks Fatal Pedestrian Crash Report?

Oregon Walks assembled a team of volunteers and experts to gather and review documentation from all 48 fatal pedestrian crashes in Portland from 2017 through 2019. The team looked at police reports, roadway designs, and driver and pedestrian behaviors, and prepared what may be the most comprehensive look at pedestrian crashes by safety advocates in Portland’s history. The goal of the Oregon Walks Fatal Pedestrian Crash Report is to provide a strong analytical basis to focus and guide transportation planning and pedestrian advocacy efforts in Portland.

What Did We Learn?

Data from fatal pedestrian crashes in Portland from 2017-2019 brings transportation equity and infrastructure issues into sharp focus. Transportation planning cannot be successful in the absence of examining, understanding, and addressing systems of oppression as those most impacted by the policies that allow traffic fatalities to happen are those who are marginalized. Policymakers, transportation agencies and community members alike must not only recognize the symptoms of infrastructure inadequacies, but acknowledge that the root cause of traffic crashes and pedestrian fatalities are highly influenced by systemic racism, poverty, inequality, systems of oppression, public policy, and unequal distribution of government resources.

Key findings of the Oregon Walks Fatal Pedestrian Crash Report include:

• Those living in the underserved area of East Portland are disproportionately affected by fatal pedestrian crashes with all crashes occurring in areas where the median income is below the city average.

• People who identify as Black, who are experiencing homelessness, who are Older Adults or who are Persons with Disabilities are all at a disproportionately high risk of being killed in collisions.

• Street lighting was found to be an urgent issue with 79% of crashes occurring in the dark with potential lighting inadequacies identified at a majority of these locations. Further engineering review is needed.

• A lack of traffic calming and speeds set above the statutory limit were a factor at a majority of fatal pedestrian crash locations.

• A majority of fatal pedestrian crashes occurred on roads that are designated by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) as “High Crash Corridors.”

Read and Download the Full Report

The full report contains three parts:

Crash Reviews
Provides information relating to each of the 48 fatal pedestrian crashes in Portland, Oregon from 2017-2019. For each crash the following are included - a description,  maps and street views with markup, a discussion of crash factors, and recommendations relating to infrastructure deficiencies.

Facts and Figures
Presents a compilation of data from all 48 crashes, primarily in graphs and tables.

Focus Issues
Discusses in detail particular aspects of Portland’s pedestrian fatality crashes that emerge from the crash reviews and data. A range of topics including transportation equity, street lighting, vehicle design, distraction, enforcement and media coverage are explored.

Click on the images below to read the reports in full and download the .pdf's

Explore the Interactive Crash Map

The interactive crash map  is a valuable tool for visualizing the relationship between fatal pedestrian crashes and infrastructure factors:

• Click on each yellow circle to view the location and information for each of the 48 reviewed fatal pedestrian crashes in Portland from 2017-2019. Information includes: nearest intersection to crash location, whether the location is part of the PBOT High Crash Network, curb-to-curb crossing distance,  number of lanes, speed limit at the time of the crash, estimated vehicle speed at the time of the crash, whether the crash location speed limit is set above the statutory limit, a Google Maps Street View link and a link to the respective Oregon Walks crash review.

• Click on the drop-down menu in the upper right to view data overlays of infrastructure characteristics (e.g. speed limits, street lighting, traffic signals, pedestrian crossing signals, crosswalks, speed bumps, driver speed studies), as well as an overlay of the Portland Bureau of Transportation High Crash Corridor Network.

• Click on the +/- icons on the left to zoom in and out, and use the magnifying glass icon to type in addresses or landmarks to review location infrastructure and proximity to fatal pedestrian crashes.

Take Action

Oregon Walks has assembled a list of recommendations and actions for transportation agencies, policymakers, advocates and community members. Read the Fatal Pedestrian Crash Report Summary and Recommendations to learn about what you can do to help end the epidemic of traffic violence in Portland.

Working together, we can achieve the common goal of zero traffic fatalities.

Learn More

Multnomah County has released a report about traffic safety and public health that overlaps our work: https://multco.us/file/95330/download

The Portland Bureau of Transportation's traffic safety information is here: https://www.portland.gov/transportation/vision-zero

ODOT released a report that overlaps with our work:
https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Safety/Documents/Pedestrian_Safety_and_Social_Equity.pdf

Media

Willamette Week - You're Driving Too Damn Fast
https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2021/03/17/youre-driving-too-fast/

Willamette Week -Three Lives Lost Crossing the Street in East Portland [TRIGGER WARNING]
https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2021/03/17/three-lives-lost-crossing-the-street-in-east-portland/

Willamette Week - Seven Facts About Portland Pedestrian Deaths That Might Surprise You - and One Solution
https://www.wweek.com/news/2021/03/17/seven-facts-about-portland-pedestrian-deaths-that-might-surprise-you-and-one-solution/

BikePortland - Families of crash victims urge changes as Oregon Walks releases report findings
https://bikeportland.org/2020/11/17/families-of-crash-victims-urge-changes-as-oregon-walks-releases-report-findings-322854

Willamette Week - Black Portlanders Are Killed Crossing the Street at Three Times the Rate of White Pedestrians
https://www.wweek.com/news/2020/11/25/black-portlanders-are-killed-crossing-the-street-at-three-times-the-rate-of-white-pedestrians/

Oregonian - Nonprofit wanted to know why pedestrians died. Portland charged $570 for the police reports
https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2018/10/nonprofit_wanted_to_know_why_p.html

Families and Communities

We hope that providing information about crashes empowers families, neighbors, communities and policymakers to make our streets safe and comfortable for everyone. We acknowledge that each crash that we have reviewed involves personal and family tragedies, ripple effects throughout our communities, and public health and safety concerns. Our work is always a work in progress. We welcome feedback and any additional information that will help us to improve our work.

Reach Out

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or feedback.

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