How will the project improve safety?

We are committed to the health and safety of the community in all aspects of the project. Whether it is building shoulders for emergency vehicles, fixing local streets to reduce conflict between motor vehicles making the streets safer for school children to get to and from school, or improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, safety is always top of mind and will remain our priority.

We are committed to the safety of the students of Harriet Tubman Middle School. This project will not build on school property. Proposed design elements may eliminate through traffic in front of the school, making the surrounding local streets safer for students who walk or bike to school. The project proposes constructing a sound wall between I-5 and the school (within ODOT property) that would reduce traffic noise levels to below current levels. The project also plans on constructing a retaining wall between the school and I-5 to improve the soil stability and the safety of the school’s structure in the event of an earthquake.

Local street improvements will offer greater visibility, protection, and access to people walking and biking, making streets safer. The project includes new multi-use paths, a pedestrian- and bicycle-only bridge across I-5, and improvements on local streets for all users such as well-lit sidewalks, Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramps, and buffered bikeways. The multi-use path on N Williams Avenue will be separated from vehicles, better protected, and over 30 feet wide – equivalent to the width of three auto travel lanes. The new pedestrian and bicycle-only bridge will provide a safe route between Clackamas Street on the east side of I-5 and the Rose Quarter on the west side. New multi-use paths between the Hancock-Dixon crossing and NE Broadway at Flint/Vancouver may also be considered based on community input during the design phase.Aux Lane Schematic

New auxiliary lanes are designed to separate slower vehicles entering and exiting the highway from higher speed vehicles driving on the highway. Auxiliary lanes are proven to increase safety by providing drivers more time to merge, reducing rear-end and sideswipe crashes, and congestion. We expect the new auxiliary lanes to reduce the frequency of crashes by up to 50%, easing traffic flow, and saving drivers and people taking bus transit 2.5 million hours of delay each year.

The project will also build full shoulders, which will provide space for vehicles to get safely off the roadway and give emergency service vehicles safer and quicker access to an emergency within or beyond the Rose Quarter area. Full shoulders will also provide opportunity to implement “bus on shoulder.” Bus on shoulder is a strategy to improve bus service by allowing transit to use the highway shoulders. It removes buses from congestion and results in faster travel times and reliability.