The Walking Climate in Oregon

While walking around Portland, I have noticed cars parked right up to the edge of intersections.  State Law forbids parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, yet this law is rarely observed in Oregon.  Another law many drivers do not know about is ‘Every Corner is a Crosswalk’, meaning that every crossing is a legal crosswalk, even if it is not striped.

I believe focusing on the color and reflectiveness of clothing is a distraction from Portland’s responsibility to comply with and enforce existing parking and crosswalk law.  By following through with education and enforcement campaigns, the city can help increase visibility at every crosswalk.

I understand police resources are tighter than ever, so it is incumbent upon Oregon to continue its record of innovation by designing roads that consider the safety of all road users.  We should listen to US Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood, who has advised state DOT’s to “Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.”

As posted to the Think Out Loud ‘Foot Traffic’ episode.

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