Portland is known as the bicycle capital of the nation, but it is also one of the safest cities in the nation to travel by foot. And this isn’t something that happened by accident. Portland plans their city with pedestrians in mind. As a result, they have fewer pedestrian accidents, coming in well below the national average.

Portland’s Pedestrian Safety

From 2003 to 2012, Portland has 1.12 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents according to a recent study. The same study revealed that the national average is 1.56 deaths per 100,000 placing Portland in the top 10 safest pedestrian cities in the nation. Preventing pedestrian fatalities basically comes down to planning. Many cities grow at such a rapid pace that there is pressure to built more roads and wider roads in order to relieve some of the vehicle traffic congestion. Sadly, this is often done at the detriment to the safety of pedestrian traffic.

The Bike Bill

However, when Portland passed the “Bike Bill” in 1971, this not only started the process of planning for bike safety around the city, but it also made it safer for pedestrians in the process. Part of what makes a safe bike city also makes for walkable streets as well. The design elements in cities with walkable streets include curb extensions, wider sidewalks, mid-block crossings, crosswalk countdown signals, and refuge islands. Portland has these elements throughout the city. Part of the “Bike Bill” included a requirement that whenever streets are developed, bike and pedestrian upgrades must be added as well. This state-wide law in Oregon also states that any time new facilities or streets are built, or if the auto capacity of a street is being increased, bike and pedestrian improvements must be included. While Portland is a safe place for pedestrians, it is not unfortunately accident free.  If you have been involved in an accident with a vehicle or bicycle and have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. At Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC, our experienced attorneys will fight to get you and your family the settlement that you deserve.  To schedule a consultation, contact us online or by phone at 503-233-6507.