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Portland, Oregon

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News Blog: PBOT and Legacy Health Partner on Vital Safety Efforts

Working together, PBOT and Legacy Health have made it easier and safer for people who walk to get to the Legacy campus. Last summer, representatives for Legacy Health reached out to PBOT about making the crossing at N Vancouver and Graham safer. PBOT’s traffic engineers reviewed traffic patterns and determined that the intersection could indeed be improved. They determined that the best solution would be a Rapid Flashing Beacon. Working together, PBOT and Legacy Health agreed to jointly fund the project.

People crossing at the new RFB on N Vancouver

A family crosses at the new Rapid Flashing Beacon at N Vancouver and Graham. Photo by Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Installed in April, Legacy Health officials are already seeing a difference. “The intersection of Graham and Vancouver has been an unsafe and dangerous intersection for many years,” says Tom Bickett, Legacy Health vice president of Facility Operations. “We’ve communicated with the City of Portland about enhancing the safety of this area for a long time and we are pleased to now the “rapid flashing beacon” (RFB). Since the installation and go live, I have made it a point to observe the various activity between motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians and I have to say that this RFB seems to get the attention of all parties and a vast improvement over previous proposed solutions.”

On May 9th, Legacy Health collaborated with PBOT on another important safety initiative, a Vision Zero Community Listening Session. Vision Zero is the effort to make Portland’s transportation system the safest possible and to eliminate serious injuries and deaths on our streets. The effort is led by the Portland Bureau of Transportation in partnership with multiple city bureaus, other governmental and non-governmental agencies, including Legacy Emmanuel, and community groups from across the region.

Ginger Edwards speaks at the Vision Zero listening session

Ginger Edwards of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association shares a story of a neighbor who was paralyzed after being hit by a car while in a crosswalk. Photo by Hannah Schafer, Portland Bureau of Transportation. 

Convened by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick and hosted by Legacy Emanuel Hospital, the May 9th meeting gave Portlanders a chance to learn about the status of the City’s Vision Zero efforts and to provide their ideas and insights about how Portland can successfully get to zero.

Prior to the listening session, Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick and Transportation Director Leah Treat toured Legacy Emanuel Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Unit, which provides crucial medical services to people involved in crashes in the Portland area. The tour was led by Dr. Lori Morgan, chief administrative officer of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and Mike Morrison, B.S.N., a trauma nurse at Legacy Emanuel and a member of the Vision Zero Task Force. In 2014, the Level 1 Trauma Unit at Legacy Emanuel treated 2,586 trauma patients: 40 percent were involved in a motor vehicle or other motorized transport collision, 8 percent were struck by a vehicle and 4 percent were in bicycle crashes.

tour of Legacy trauma unit

Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick and Transportation Director Leah Treat tour the Legacy Emanuel Level 1 Trauma Unit where 40 percent of patients have been involved in a motor vehicle or other motorized transport collision. Photo by Hannah Schafer, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

“To achieve Vision Zero, we all need to come together, as a community, to say we won’t accept traffic crashes as inevitable,” said Leah Treat, director of PBOT. “I’m very grateful that we have Legacy Emanuel as such a strong partner in our Vision Zero efforts.”