Introduction Street Classification

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The North Pearl District borders are from NW Quimby Street in the north, W Burnside
Street in the south, the Willamette River and NW Broadway Street in the east, and NW
15th Ave in the west. The North Pearl District Plan boarders are from NW 26th Ave in the
north, NW Lovejoy in the south, the Willamette River in the east, and I-405 in the west.

Street Classification
TSP Classifications
The Concept Plan map shows new streets, pedestrianways (access corridors), and
pedestrian bridges. The streets and pedestrianways will be built in conjunction with
development and redevelopment of sites. The design and function of the streets will be
consistent with the TSP classifications and applicable framework plans, design criteria,
and design standards in The River District Right-of-Way document. One pedestrian
bridge, connecting NW Irving to new development northeast of the remaining railroad
tracks, has been built consistent with the Concept Plan map. One other pedestrian bridge
is envisioned, connecting the eastern end of NW Marshall to new development north of
the Broadway Bridge. A continuation of the boardwalk being developed on the eastern
side of three new parks between NW 10th and 11th would cross Naito Parkway to the
Centennial Mill and the Willamette Greenway and connect to the Willamette Greenway.

Street Widths Right of Way
The predominant existing right-of-way pattern is 60 feet throughout the River District.
The exception to this norm are several of the Special Function streets where either wider

right-of-way exist or will be provided or where new right-of-way will be established as
streets are extended.

Typical River District Streets
The predominant existing street width for two lane streets with on-street parking in the
River District is 36 feet curb-to-curb. An optional width for new two lane street
extensions is 34 feet which allows wider sidewalks in more pedestrian intensive areas.

Special Function River District Streets

Special Streets
Most streets are 60 feet wide except along Naito that is 87 feet wide. Most two lane
streets with onstreet parking are 36 feet curb to curb. Except for Naito and Broadway
which carry through traffic from beyond the area and are thus wider than typical streets.

The North Park Blocks run down Park Ave and 8th Ave up to Glisan Street. 13th Street is
a designated Historic District Street. The street functions as a key thoroughfare in a
national historic warehouse district. 10th Street from Johnson to Quimby is a Boardwalk.

Traffic Classifications
Burnside Street and 14th Ave are designated Major City Traffic Streets continuing west
onto Thurman Street. Naito, Overton, Lovejoy, 9th, 10th 11th, Glisan and Everett are
considered Traffic Access Streets. I-405 to the Fremont Bridge and Columbia River
Highway are Regional Trafficways.

Transit Classifications
The Fremont Bridge and Columbia River Highway are Regional Transitways. An
Intercity Passenger Railway runs through the eastside of the district from the Steel Bridge
up to the Fremont Bridge. Union Station between Front Ave and Irving Street is a
Passenger Intermodal Facility. Northrup, Lovejoy, Glisan, Everett, Burnside, Broadway,
9th, 10th and 11th are Transit Access Streets.

There are three bus lines that travel through the district as well as the Streetcar.

 Number 7-9 AM 12-1 PM                 4-6 PM       Sat 12-1 PM        First        Last
     9     12     5                      10              5            5:18AM      12:36AM
    16      4     0                       4          no service       6:18AM       6:13PM
    77      8     4                       8              4            5:33AM      10:17PM
 Streetcar 10     5                       9              6            5:34AM      12:06PM

Pedestrian and Bicycle Classifications
Lovejoy, Couch, 9th, Irving, Hoyt, Glisan, Everett, Broadway and Naito are City
Walkways and City Bikeways. Overton, Jhonson, and 14thare City Bikeways. Northrup,
13th, 11th, 10th, Park, and 8th have Pedestrian Classifications.

Freight and Emergency Response Classifications
Lovejoy between 9th and Broadway, and 14th is a Minor Truck Route. Currently Naito
does not have a freight classification but it has been identified as an important facility by

the freight community. I-405 to the Fremont Bridge and Columbia River Highway are
Regional Truck Streets and Major Emergency Response Streets. Overton, Lovejoy, Hoyt,
11th, 10th, Broadway, 9th, Glisan, Everett, Naito and Burnside are also Major Emergency
Response Streets. All other streets in the district are Minor Emergency Response Streets.

Street Design Classifications
14th is a Regional Corridor. Northrup, Lovejoy, 11th, 10th, and Broadway are Community
Main Streets.

Street Trees and Street Lighting
Significant traffic streets generally have narrow upright street trees while minor traffic
streets have broad headed street trees. Street lighting fixture type and spacing is based on
the continuation or extension of existing design character within the district and
continuity with the urban design pattern beyond the district.



Centennial Mills is located on the eastern edge of the Pearl District adjacent to the
Willamette River. The street system in the immediate vicinity of the Centennial Mills site
functions well, carrying traffic volumes below capacity. Naito Parkway serves as a portal
between the Pearl District, Central City and Northwest Portland. Other important portals
include Burnside, the Steel Bridge, the Broadway Bridge, Thurman Street, the Glisan and
Everett couplet, and the 14th and 15th Ave Couplet for access to and from the 1-405. The
site is not well served by public transit. Portland Office of Transportation is currently
making streetscape improvements between SW Market and NW Davis. At NW 10th and
Overton and Naito Parkway a pedestrian bridge is planned. A pedestrian bridge is also
planned at NW Marshall and 9th and Naito. Street and pedestrian improvements are
planned on Naito and the Broadway Bridge north of Terminal One (Appendix A).

Traffic Counts

                                        Broadway Bridge; Average Daily Traffic Volumes



Traffic Count





                           1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

                                              Broadway Bridge; AM and PM Peak




Traffic Count

                                                                                                         AM Vol
                                                                                                         PM Vol





































                                    NW Lovejoy and NW 10th Ave; Average Daily Traffic Volumes




 Traffic Count






                              1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

                                               NW Lovejoy and NW 10th Ave; AM and PM Peak




Traffic Count

                                                                                                                            AM Vol
                                                                                                                            PM Vol





































In the North Pearl District, there are a total of 2552 parking spaces. There are 1965 off-
street spaces and 587 on-street spaces. Of the off-street spaces, 1067 are in garages and
898 are surface parking. Of the on-street spaces, 340 are short-term – three hours or less,
and 247 are long-term – five hours or longer.

The rest of the Pearl District has 8,677 total parking spaces. The North Pearl has about
4% less off-street parking and 3% more on-street parking compared to the rest of the
district. The North Pearl has 22% less garage parking, and 15% more surface off-street
parking. The North Pearl has 5% less short-term on-street parking, and 7% more long-
term on-street parking.

                                            Off-Street Parking

  Number of Spaces

                     6000        15%
                     3000        64%                              1965
                            Rest of Pearl                     North Pearl

                                            On-Street Parking

                     2000      1812
                     1800       3%
  Number of Spaces

                                18%                                         Long-Term
                      600                                        587
                      200                                        13%
                            Rest of Pearl                   North Pearl

ROW Standards; On Street Parking
2.1.4 Curbside Parking: a linear zone for motorized
vehicles at the edge of the street; can be exclusive at all
hours or used as a moving traffic lane at AM and PM peak

Size: 7 feet on lower volume streets or higher
volume streets with a bike lane separating
parking and the traffic lane; 8 feet on higher
volume roadways or streets with loading

Stall length- see Code of the City of
Portland Chapter 33 Zoning Standards.
Federal ADA requirements for new parallel,
on-street van parking spaces will be
adopted by the City of Portland. These
standards may affect design section, street
lighting, street trees and pedestrian criteria
contained in these guidelines.

Application: Throughout the River District

2.1.7 Loading Dock/Parking Zone: a zone where existing loading docks take up the
street edges normally reserved for sidewalks; where the dock remains but is not in
use, parallel parking can be provided adjacent to it; where the dock has been removed, 90
degree head-in parking can be provided; this street configuration assumes vehicles and
pedestrians mix in the space between docks or between docks and buildings.

Size: 11 feet maximum width at a typical dock length varies-see Code of the City of
Portland Chapter 33 Zoning Standards

Loading Bays-10 feet wide by 35 feet long.

Application: On a Special Function Streets with raised
loading docks/raised platforms.

2.1.8 Parking Access: a driveway for vehicular
access to surface or structured, off-street parking;
preferably located near mid-block, away from
intersections; driveway design should emphasize
that vehicles are crossing a pedestrian zone;
garage ramps perpendicular to the street direction
are encouraged; ramps parallel to the street
direction are discouraged.

Size: Width conforms to the adjacent sidewalk

Length varies-see Code of the City of Portland Chapter 33 Zoning Standards.

Application: Encouraged on certain streets in the CCTMP section of the Transportation
System Plan; typically discouraged on streets with significant transit service.

Parking: Central City Planning and Zoning
Parking Ratios in the North Pearl District (River District 2) are high compared to other
areas of the Central City.

E. Residential/Hotel Parking. The regulations of this subsection apply
Residential/Hotel Parking. Adjustments to the regulations in Paragraphs
E.1. and
E.3. through E.10., below, are prohibited.
1. To determine whether Residential/Hotel Parking is allowed,
prohibited, or
subject to Central City Parking Review (CCPR):
a. Determine whether the residential or hotel use the parking will be
in conjunction with is an allowed, conditional, nonconforming, or
prohibited use on the property where the parking is proposed. Find the
appropriate line on Table 510-9.
b. Based on the regulations of this subsection and those in Subsection
below, determine if the parking itself, or some aspect of it, is allowed,
prohibited, or subject to CCPR. Find the appropriate column on Table
2. Minimum required parking. There are no minimum parking

3. Maximum ratios. Parking is limited to the maximum ratios of this
a. Dwelling units. The maximum parking ratios for dwelling units are in
Table 510-10.
b. New hotel rooms. The maximum parking ratio in all sectors is 1.0
spaces for each new hotel room created.
c. Existing hotels. The maximum parking ratio in all sectors for existing
hotels is 0.7 spaces for each 1,000 square feet of net building area.

4. Parking is allowed when new dwelling units and hotel rooms are
a. Dwelling units are created:
(1) As part of new development;
(2) By adding net building area to existing development that increases
the number of dwelling units;
(3) By conversion of existing net building area from nonresidential to
residential uses; and
(4) By increasing the number of units within existing net building area
already in residential use, for example, by converting a duplex to a
b. Hotel rooms are created:
(1) As part of new development;

(2) By adding net building area to existing development that increases
the number of hotel rooms;
(3) By conversion of existing net building area from non-hotel to hotel
uses; and
(4) By increasing the number of hotel rooms within existing net building
area already in hotel use, for example, by converting a 10-room hotel
to 20-room hotel.
5. Parking for existing dwelling units. Parking for existing dwelling units
subject to CCPR if the parking area is created through internal
conversion of
the building, by excavating under the building, or by adding gross
area to the building. Parking for existing dwelling units where the
area is not created in this manner is prohibited.
6. Parking for existing hotel rooms. Parking for existing hotel rooms is
7. Operation.
a. Residential. Parking created to serve residential uses may be operated
either accessory or commercial parking, with the following limitations.
Parking spaces may be used only as follows:
(1) For parking by residents of the units the parking was created in
conjunction with;
(2) Rented, on a monthly basis only, to residents of the plan district; and
(3) Where the residential uses are part of a mixed-use project that
includes at least 25,000 square feet of nonresidential uses, the
parking spaces may be used for short-term parking between 7:00 AM
and 6:00 PM.
b. Hotel. Parking created to serve hotel uses must be accessory. These
limitations apply on weekdays between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
8. Parking structures. Parking that is in a structure is allowed.
9. Surface parking for residential uses. Where a development includes
residential uses, and some or all of the parking will be on a surface lot,
developer may choose one of the following three options. Other surface
parking is prohibited.
a. Up to 20 parking spaces is an allowed use, where the following are
(1) The parking is adjacent to the building occupied by the residential
units it is created in conjunction with; and
                                          -of            -on
(2) The total number of parking spaces----- any type----- the site is less
than 21.
Where the provisions of this subparagraph are not met, the parking is

subject to CCPR under the provisions of either Subparagraph E.9.b. or
b. More than 20 spaces is subject to CCPR where:
(1) The total surface parking area on the site is 40,000 square feet or
less; and
(2) The parking is an interim use, as part of a phased development plan.
c. More than 20 spaces as a permanent use, and more than 40,000
feet of surface parking area on a site, may be approved through CCPR if
the following are met:
(1) There is no more than 1 surface space for each 1,000 square feet of
site area, not including streets;
(2) The surface parking is serving the residential uses only; and
(3) The project creates more than 50 dwelling units per acre, not
including streets.
10. Surface parking for hotels.
a. Up to 20 parking spaces is an allowed use, where the following are
(1) The parking is adjacent to the building occupied by the hotel rooms it
is created in conjunction with; and
                                          -of           -on
(2) The total number of parking spaces----- any type----- the site is less
than 21.
Where the provisions of this subparagraph are not met, the parking is
subject to CCPR under the provisions of Subparagraph E.10.b., below.
b. More than 20 spaces is subject to CCPR where:
(1) The total surface parking area on the site is 40,000 square feet or
less; and
(2) The parking is an interim use, as part of a phased development plan.

A. Growth Parking. The regulations of this subsection apply to Growth
Adjustments to the regulations of Paragraphs A.1. through A.5. are
1. To determine whether Growth Parking is allowed, prohibited, or
subject to
Central City Parking Review (CCPR):
a. Determine the use or uses the parking will be created in conjunction
b. Determine whether the use the parking will be created in conjunction
is an allowed, conditional, nonconforming, or prohibited use where the

parking is proposed. Find the appropriate line on Table 510-15.
c. Based on the regulations of this subsection and those in Subsection
below, determine if the parking itself, or some aspect of it, is allowed,
prohibited, or subject to CCPR. Find the appropriate column on Table
(1) If all aspects of a proposal are allowed, then the parking is allowed.
(2) If all aspects of a proposal are allowed or have been approved through
an adjustment, then the parking is allowed.
(3) If any aspect of a proposal requires CCPR, then the parking is subject
to CCPR.
(4) If any aspect of a proposal is prohibited, then the parking is
2. Office uses. Parking created in conjunction with office uses is
regulated as
a. Maximum ratio. Parking is limited to the maximum ratios in Table
b. Allowed. Growth Parking for office uses is an allowed use.
c. Operation. The parking may be operated as either accessory or
commercial parking, at all times.
3. Uses other than office. Parking created in conjunction with uses other
office is regulated as follows:
a. Maximum ratio. There is no maximum ratio.
b. Review required. Up to 60 parking spaces is an allowed use where the
total number of parking spaces on the site is less than 61. More than 60
spaces is subject to CCPR.
c. Operation. The parking must be accessory on weekdays between 7:00
and 6:00 PM.

4. Mixed office and other uses. Parking created in conjunction with both
and non-office uses is regulated as follows:
a. Maximum ratio. Parking for the office uses is limited to the maximum
ratios in Table 510-16. There is no maximum ratio for the other uses.
b. Review required. Review is required as follows:
(1) Where parking for all uses is limited to the maximum ratios in Table
510-16 for all uses, the parking is an allowed use.
(2) Up to 60 spaces for all the non-office uses on the site are an allowed
(3) Where there are more than 60 spaces on the site for non-office uses,
and the amount of parking for the non-office uses exceeds the
maximum ratios in Table 510-16, the parking is subject to CCPR.
c. Operation.
(1) Parking that is an allowed use under Subparagraph A.4.b., above,
may be operated as either accessory or commercial parking at all
(2) Parking that is subject to CCPR under the provisions of

Subparagraph A.4.b., may operate as accessory parking. The parking
spaces that are created in conjunction with the office uses may be
operated as either accessory or commercial parking at all times. The
parking spaces that are created in conjunction with the non-office
uses must be operated as accessory parking on weekdays between
7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
5. Parking that is not an allowed use under Paragraphs A.2., A.3., and
above, and is not otherwise prohibited, is subject to CCPR.
6. Operation reports. The requirements of this paragraph apply to
Parking where there are more than 60 parking spaces on the site.
a. The applicant must have a signed agreement with the Parking
Manager to
provide the information specified in Paragraph A.6.b., below.
b. The applicant must provide annual operation reports to the City. The
operation reports are based on a sample of four days during every 12-
month reporting period, and include information on the following:
(1) Physical: Number of parking spaces, amount of net building area.
(2) Usage: How the parking spaces were used, based on the following
categories. Percentage of parking used for:
• Short-term
• Long-term daily (four or more hours) and monthly permit (other than
• Carpool monthly permit
• Spaces used as accessory parking.
(3) Hours of Operation: What the hours of operation are on weekdays,
Saturday, Sunday, and whether the facility is open during special
events in the area.
B. Preservation Parking. The regulations of this subsection apply to
Parking. Except for Paragraphs B.2.d. and B.4.d., adjustments to the
of Paragraphs B.1. through B.4. are prohibited.
1. To determine whether Preservation Parking is allowed, subject to
Central City
Parking Review (CCPR), or prohibited:
a. Determine the use or uses the parking will be created to serve.
b. Determine whether the use the parking will serve is an allowed,
conditional, nonconforming, or prohibited use on the property where the
parking is proposed. Find the appropriate line on Table 510-17.
c. Based on the regulations of this subsection and those in Subsection
below, determine if the parking itself, or some aspect of it, is allowed,
prohibited, or subject to CCPR. Find the appropriate column on Table

(1) If all aspects of a proposal are allowed, then the parking is allowed.
(2) If all aspects of a proposal are allowed or have been approved through
an adjustment, then the parking is allowed.
(3) If any aspect of a proposal requires CCPR, then the parking is subject
to CCPR.
(4) If any aspect of a proposal is prohibited, then the parking is

Map 510-8
Core and Parking Sectors


Definition of Green Streets
The North Pearl District Plan planning process has placed significant emphasis on
creating opportunities for implementing sustainable practices in the study area, including
green streets. However, as a new concept, multiple definitions of green streets exist and it
is not always clear which definition is being used.

This is the case also for adopted policy language influencing this effort. For instance, in
the North West Plan’s concept plan, NW Pettygrove is labled a “green street,” defined as
“routes for pedestrians and/or bicyclists that provide safe and memorable connections
through the community and to nearby areas and attractions. A key role of the greenstreets
is to strengthen connections between area parks and destinations, and to the Willamette
River.” The North of Lovejoy Project recommends NW Pettygrove to be a “green
street,” defined as a “limited access connection.”

In sum, there is no clear definition of how a green street is supposed to function and look,
and there is limited adopted policy language for the study area to guide us, especially
given the increased use of green streets in storm water management.

The City of Portland has recently adopted language defining what a green street is, and
what their appropriate elements are. The City has also adopted green streets designs,
approved by the Water Bureau, the Bureau of Environmental Services, and the Portland
Office of Transportation.

As the North Pearl District Plan evolves, and green streets continue to be proposed as
elements to consider, the City of Portland recommends using the City-approved
language. This basically entails defining a green street as a street that:
• Handles stormwater on site through use of vegetated facilities;
• Creates attractive streetscapes that enhance neighborhood livability by helping to
    calm traffic by introducing park-like elements into neighborhoods; and
• Serves as an urban greenway segment that connects neighborhoods, parks, recreation
    facilities, schools, and main streets.

Below is more information about green streets as well as a summary of the relevant
documents guiding this process.

What are Green Streets?
Green Streets are designed to improve neighborhood aesthetics, livability and safety
while preserving the natural environment. This is achieved by planting vegetation in key
areas along the street right-of-way to filter storm water on site, and to slow traffic. As a
result, the green street becomes an interconnected part of the metropolitan greenway,
linking to other neighborhoods, parks, schools, recreation facilities and main streets.

Key Components
Bioswales – Vegetated stormwater treatments that minimize impervious surfaces. The
swale generally consists of layers of topsoil, washed pea gravel, washed drain rock and
existing subgrade. Water runoff is filtered through these layers and vegetation, reducing
the amount of silt, pollution and water entering the sewer or watershed. Swales are often
designed as planters as in the pictures below.

                  Portland, SW 12th & Montgomery Street Planters

Street trees – Act as stormwater interception and temperature mitigation while
improving air quality. Trees also break straight road sight-lines, causing motorists to
drive slower.

Permeable Pavers – Allow storm water to
move through the paving material, filtering
and decreasing water entering watersheds
and sewers.

                                                           Westmoreland, SE Knapp St. and 21st

                                                               Curb extensions – Narrow roads by
                                                               widening sidewalks upon approach to
                                                               intersections. The road narrowing slows
                                                               motorists, and the sidewalk extension
                                                               decreases pedestrian crossing distances
                                                               while increasing pedestrian visibility.
                                                               Curb extensions can be combined with
                                                               bioswales as in the picture to the left.

Portland, SE 21st and Tibbets (at People's Co-op)

“Although green street features aren't cheap, costing $85,000 per acre on average, that is
less than conventional storm-water pipes at $106,000 to $230,000 per acre. In the long
run, green streets will also save the city money by taking the pressure off to expand the
Big Pipe system, as development occurs after 2011.”1

Right of Way
Swales and planters within the right-of-way are placed in the furnishing zone. Typical
sidewalk corridors in the North Pearl District are 12’, while Special Street sidewalk
corridors are 13’. According the River District Right of Way Standards (Appendix B), the
recommended widths for a 12’ sidewalk corridor zone is a 4’ furnishing zone, and 5’ to
6’ through pedestrian zone. A 12’ sidewalk corridor zone with a curb extension conforms
to the above standards and adds an additional 7' extended curb.

    The Oregonian, Greener, Gentler Streets; Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

The recommended widths for a 13’ sidewalk corridor zone is a 4’ furnishing zone, and a
6’ through pedestrian zone. A 13’ sidewalk corridor zone with a curb extension
recommends a 4’ furnishing zone a 6’ through pedestrian zone, and adds an additional 7'
to 8’ extended curb. The recommended widths for a 15’ sidewalk corridor zone, and a 15’
sidewalk corridor zone with pervious paving, is a 6’ furnishing zone, and a 4’ to 6’
through pedestrian zone.

There are several swale standards in different City of Portland documents, however, The
Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Stormwater Management Manual supercedes
all other specifications (Appendix C). The manual defines the minimum width for a street
swale to be 8’. The minimum width for a planter is 3’. If there is parking adjacent to a
planter, it will require at least a 2.5’ furnishing zone for vehicle access. Curb extensions
require a minimum 6’ swale width, and are generally 15’ in length. Swales that are not in
the public right of way can be 5’ to 12’ wide.

Under these specifications, streets with on-street parking could accommodate a 6’ curb
extension swale, dependent upon the width of the travel lane. However, streets with 12’
and 13’ sidewalk corridor zones, with on-street parking would not be able to
accommodate any type of planter. This is because these streets require a 4’ furnishing
zone, and 2.5’ of the furnishing zone is reserved for vehicle access, leaving only 1.5’ for
a planter, less than the 3’ minimum.

Streets with a 15’ sidewalk corridor with on-street parking can accommodate a 3’ planter.
Streets with a 15’ sidewalk corridor without on-street parking are able to accommodate a
3’ to 6’ planter. All streets without on-street parking can accomodate a 3’ to 4' planter.

Policies Guiding Green Streets
City of Portland Stormwater Management Manual
Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; Adopted March 2007

The Stormwater Management Manual provides developers and design professionals with
requirements for reducing the impacts of increased stormwater flows and pollution that
result from new development and redevelopment. Its requirements apply to all projects
within the City of Portland, whether public or private.

Green Street Details

These green street details are for use when development requires stormwater
improvements in the public right of way - specifically for the design of swales, planters
and curb extensions. They don't address every circumstance, but they do represent the
current, collective knowledge of city staff who design, review, construct and maintain
these types of facilities and the adjacent infrastructure.

The details provide the minimum design requirements. They are not a substitute for the
professional knowledge and experience necessary to best accommodate the minimum
requirements with the specific site and project circumstances.

Ultimately these details will be included in Portland’s Stormwater Management Manual.
The manual is on a three-year review cycle with the next revision scheduled to be
complete in late fall 2007. The manual will provide the additional supporting information
not included in these drawings. In the interim, Environmental Services makes these
details available to the design and development community.

These details have been approved by Chief Engineer of the Bureau of Environmental
Services, City Engineer of the Portland Department of Transportation and Chief Engineer
of the Portland Water Bureau.

Green Streets Cross Bureau Team Report; Phase 1
City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services, March 2006

For the purposes of this report, a green street is a street with vegetated facilities that
manages stormwater on site. In fall 2005, Commissioner Sam Adams charged city staff
with creating a programmatic approach to implementing green street elements as a
component of street projects wherever feasible, and to increase feasibility by identifying
solutions to current implementation issues and challenges. This charge was divided into
two phases. The charge in the first 90-day period, or Phase 1, was to identify
opportunities and challenges, and to recommend solutions for key issues. This is the
Phase 1 report. The second 90-day period, Phase 2, will look at potential options for
moving forward with implementing a broader green streets program, and scoping what a
green street program could look like over the next five to ten years. Issues identified in
Phase 1 will be followed up and implemented by standing committees and City staff.

Phase 1
To gather the information needs identified for Phase 1, the Green Streets Cross-Bureau
Team (Green Streets Team) was formed in August 2005. The Green Streets Team is
comprised of staff members from ten different City bureaus and offices with
interdisciplinary expertise in stormwater engineering, transportation, planning, utilities,
parks, sustainability, and maintenance. The Green Streets Team identified four priority
opportunities that would encourage and support green streets implementation, and four
priority issues and challenges that would require resolution. These priority opportunities
and issues/challenges, or “work elements”, are identified in bold text in the following

Work element Work product

Opportunities 1) Provide outreach to design/development/contractor communities
concerning green streets
2) Provide early contact and assistance to the public
3) Develop green street-specific technical guidance document

4) Develop the concept for a stormwater master planned district (Gateway)

Issues/Challenges 1) Balance the multiple interests that use the right of way
2) Clarify green street maintenance issues and responsibilities
3) Identify issues related to locating green street facilities near existing infrastructure
4) Investigate options for green street funding and resources

Portland receives an average of 37 inches of rain a year between 80 and 90 % falls in
small, frequent storms. Couple this with the fact that 66% of the City’s total stormwater
runoff is collected from streets and rights of way and it becomes apparent that a
comprehensive Green Street approach can be an important urban strategy.

A Green Street performs the following functions:

•   Handles stormwater on site through use of vegetated facilities;
•   Provides water quality benefits and replenishes groundwater (if an infiltration
•   Creates attractive streetscapes that enhance neighborhood livability by enhancing the
    pedestrian environment and introducing park-like elements into neighborhoods;
•   Meets broader community goals by providing pedestrian and, where appropriate,
    bicycle access; and
•   Serves as an urban greenway segment that connects neighborhoods, parks, recreation
    facilities, schools, mainstreets, and wildlife habitats.

A Green Street is defined as a vegetated facility and does not, at present, include porous
paving. While porous paving is not yet approved for widespread use in the vehicle travel
lanes of the public right of way, and maintenance and installation issues are still being
resolved, the City continues to test various types and applications of porous paving as a
potential stormwater management tool on public streets.

Appendix B: Definition of Green Streets

The “green street” is defined as a street that handles stormwater on site through the use of
vegetated facilities. The City of Portland recognizes a green street as “a public or private
street that utilizes surface vegetated facilities (such as swales and planters) for stormwater
management purposes prior to discharge. Ultimate discharge could be directly to the
ground through infiltration, an Underground Injection Control Structure (UIC), a surface
water body, or a combined or separated sewer.” A disposal hierarchy specified in the
City’s Stormwater Management Manual determines the allowable destination for treated

In addition to vegetated facilities, pervious pavement options are considered green street
elements if the pervious material has been designed appropriately to address water quality
issues in consideration of the site’s use and risk of pollutant loading per the City of
Portland’s Stormwater Management Manual and as specifically approved for use by the

Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Office of Transportation (PDOT), and Bureau
of Development Services (BDS).

Green Streets Cross Bureau Team Report; Phase 2
City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services, March 2007

These are specifications for swales that are not within the public right-of-way. For
instance, swales placed in parking lots are required to be 5’ to 12’ wide.

Portland Transportation System Plan (TSP)
Portland Office of Transportation; Adopted on March 12, 2007

The TSP acts as the principal policy document guiding transportation in Portland. It is a
comprehensive 20-year plan for transportation improvements in Portland. The TSP was
recently adopted by City Council and will be effective May 5, 2007.

Definition from TSP Glossary

A Green Street:
• Handles stormwater on site through use of vegetated facilities;
• Creates attractive streetscapes that enhance neighborhood livability by helping to
   calm traffic by introducing park-like elements into neighborhoods; and
• Serves as an urban greenway segment that connects neighborhoods, parks, recreation
   facilities, schools, and main streets.



Policy 6.11 Street Design Classification Descriptions

H. Greenscape Streets
Design Treatment. During improvement projects, consider the use of vegetated
stormwater treatment techniques; minimizing impervious surfaces; preservation
of existing vegetation, topography, vistas and viewpoints; driver perception;
street lighting; and sight distance requirements. Vegetation may be landscaped or
native, depending on the existing and desired character.

Policy 6.20 Connectivity
D. Use large-scale Green Streets as a means of connecting neighborhoods, using the
right-of-way efficiently, and enhancing neighborhood livability.

Policy 6.21 Right-of-Way Opportunities
A. Evaluate opportunities and the existing and future need for a bikeway, walkway, or
other transportation use or potential for use as a stormwater management facility
when considering vacation of any right-of-way.
C. Acquire or control parcels of land that may be needed in the future for any
transportation or transportation-related stormwater management purpose when the
opportunity arises through sale, donation, or land use action.

Policy 11.8 Environmental Sustainability in Transportation
G. Incorporate sustainable design and Green Street design solutions for streets and

other transportation projects.

Policy 11.9 Project Selection
G. Address area-wide needs, including access and mobility, environmental protection,
Green Street design and quality urban design, in a comprehensive approach to
project selection.

Policy 11.10 Street Design and Right-of-Way Improvements
E. Use a variety of transportation resources in developing and designing projects for all
City streets, such as the City of Portland’s Pedestrian Design Guide, Bicycle Master
Plan-Appendix A, Design Guide for Truck Streets, City of Portland Green Streets
Policy, and Design Guide for Public Street Improvements.
N. Continue to explore cost-effective methods to finance local street improvements,
including green streets projects.
O. Consider and minimize impacts on the natural environment and watershed health,
consistent with the City and regional response to the Endangered Species Act, the
City’s Green Streets Policy and stream crossing design guidelines in the Green Streets
handbook, in the planning, design, and development of transportation projects.
Q. Develop standards and incentives to encourage Green Streets projects in private
development, redevelopment and enhancement projects wherever technically and
economically feasible.

Policy 11.12 Maintenance
B. Incorporate retrofitting or removing impervious surfaces and culverts identified in
the region’s fish passage and watershed management programs into maintenance
activities for the transportation system.

METRO Green Streets
Adopted June 2002

This is a resource for designing environmentally sound streets that can help protect
streams and wildlife habitat. The handbook describes basic stormwater management
strategies and illustrates street designs with features such as street trees, landscaped
swales and special paving materials that allow infiltration and limit runoff. The handbook
also provides guidance on balancing the needs of protecting stream corridors and
providing access across those streams.

A Green Street:
   • Integrates a system of stormwater management within its right of way
   • Reduces the amount of water that is piped directly to streams and rivers
   • Is a visible component of a system of “green infrastructure” that is incorporated
      into the aesthetics of the community

   •   Makes the best use of the street tree canopy for stormwater interception as well as
       temperature mitigation and air quality improvement
   •   Ensures the street has the least impact on its surroundings, particularly at
       locations where it crosses a stream or other sensitive area.
   •   Is one component of a larger watershed approach to improving the region's water
       quality, and requires a more broad-based alliance for its planning, funding,
       maintenance and monitoring.

Northwest District Plan
Portland Bureau of Planning; Adopted November 2003

The Northwest District Plan develops a vision, urban design concept, policies, land use
and zoning provisions and other implementation strategies for a large part of inner
Northwest Portland. The plan is intended to guide public and private investment over the
next twenty years for the portion of the Northwest District Association (NWDA)
neighborhood south of NW Vaughn.

From page C-6

These are routes for pedestrians and/or bicyclists that provide safe and memorable
connections through the community and to nearby areas and attractions. A key role of the
greenstreets is to strengthen connections between area parks and destinations, and to the
Willamette River. While most of the Northwest District is located within City-designated
pedestrian districts that are intended to have a strong pedestrian-orientation, the
greenstreets have been a special focus of improvements to create identifiable, pedestrian-
oriented corridors that provide passage through the neighborhood on streets with
relatively low automobile traffic volumes. Greenstreets serve as quieter alternatives to the
area’s busy main streets. Greenstreets include improvements such as special paving
materials, street trees, public art, street furniture, special street lighting, street crossing
signalization, sidewalk widening and traffic calming strategies, where appropriate, to
promote their safety and attractiveness to pedestrians and cyclists.

Alternative approaches. The emphasis of
some greenstreets may be on pedestrian
amenities, while others may be on bicycle
system improvements. For example, a
concentration on bicycle facility
improvements may be most appropriate
on NW Thurman Street (outside the main
street area), which will serve as a key
connection between Forest Park
(particularly Leif Erikson Drive) and the
Willamette River Greenway, two popular
recreational destinations separated by a
distance too great for most pedestrians. In

contrast, pedestrian improvements are more appropriate on NW Pettygrove Street, which
runs through the heart of the Transition Subarea and will serve
to link neighborhood parks.

North of Lovejoy Project
Portland Bureau of Planning; Adopted May 2005

The North of Lovejoy Project proposes changes to development regulations that have
governed a northern portion of the Pearl District since the Central City Plan was
adopted in 1988.

Pettygrove Street is designated a limited access connection Green Street.

South Waterfront District Street Plan Criteria and Standards
Portland Office of Transportation, October 29th 2003

In 1996, the Portland City Council accepted the City Engineer’s Report titled North
Macadam District Street Plan, which identified and classified a street system for the
North Macadam District. On January 20, 2003, City Council adopted amendments
to the Central City Plan and updated the district’s special design guidelines and the
zoning code. At the same time, City Council changed the district name to South
Waterfront. The South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria and Standards amends the 1996
City Engineer’s Report including the Street Plan, Classification and Function Tables and
guiding principles. This document provides the amended design criteria and standard
details for the district’s public right-of-way.


The new River Parkway and its accessways that lead to the greenway offer a special
opportunity to enhance and unify the urban and natural contexts of South Waterfront.
One way to accomplish this is through landscape designs and treatments that incorporate
indigenous plants that are linked with the greenways more intensive ecological landscape
treatments. Accessways connect the internal street network of South Waterfront to the
greenway. The South Waterfront Street Plan identifies all accessway connections and
their classifications. The term accessway specifically refers to the actual transportation
path that is used to connect one area or use to another. The transportation component is
augmented by building setback areas that create a space defined on either side by
building frontages. Many of the accessways provide east-west transitions from the urban
interior of South Waterfront to the greenway and the river. Landscape designs in
accessway setback areas should support pedestrian and bicycle movement. Arrangements
of plantings can be incorporated within the accessway or building setback area to offer
stormwater collection and/or dispersal functions, such as swales or stormwater planters.
Development adjacent to accessway paths intersecting with the greenway should blend
species of vegetation used in the interior parts of the district with those used in the
greenway. Plant species in accessway setback areas are encouraged to be native or native-
like and coordinated with the greenway.s treatment. Surface materials that provide some
permeability to stormwater yet provide a hard, smooth surface for biking and walking are
encouraged where these types of movements are intended.
Pedestrian Street intersections outside of pedestrian through zone and in non-vehicular
accessways. Except on Green Streets, unit pavers may be used along the entire furnishing

Public Right-Of-Way Performance Criteria And Standards
Green Streets: Enhanced landscaping within the public right-of-way occurs in Gaines and
Meade and supports Bureau of Planning “Green Street” concept. Minimum roadway area
provides an opportunity for expanded and innovative landscape plantings between the
back of curb and the building line. Designs include layered plantings that achieve

stormwater management goals and integrate with ground floor uses such as cafes,
restaurants, shops and residential frontages.

Pedestrian Design Guideline
Portland Office of Transportation, 1998

The purpose of Portland’s Pedestrian Design Guide is to integrate the wide range of
design criteria and practices into a coherent set of new standards and guidelines that, over
time, will promote an environment conducive to walking.

Seperated Pathway Types

City of Portland; Green Streets Policy, Adopted March 2006

City of Portland, Office of Transportation, Portland Pedestrian Design Guideline, 1998.

City of Portland, Office of Transportation, South Waterfront District Street Plan Criteria
and Standards, October 29th 2003.

METRO; Green Streets, Adopted June 2002

The Oregonian, Greener, Gentler Streets; Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; Stormwater Management Manual, Adopted
March 2007

Portland Bureau of Planning; North of Lovejoy Project, Adopted May 2005

Portland Bureau of Planning; Northwest District Plan, Adopted November 2003

Portland Office of Transportation; Portland Transportation System Plan (TSP), Adopted
on March 12, 2007

Universal Streets

Universal Streets (Shared Streets, Shared Spaces, Controlled Chaos Streets, Naked
Streets, Psychological Traffic Calming) are generally streets and intersections without
traffic signals, signs, street markings, curbs, or traffic calming devices. Without a clear
right of way, “motorists are forced to slow down to safer speeds, make eye contact with
pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers, and decide among themselves when it is safe to

The idea is that by making roads unpredictable, drivers will become more aware of their
surroundings. Instead of automatically obeying stop signs and lights, they are forced to
interact with other road users. In turn, this integration of traffic reduces the dominance of
the automobile making streets safer for all other modes. “Planners have found that

                                                         (Source: MetropolisMag, 2006)

without the conventional rules and regulations of the road in place, drivers tend to slow
down, open their eyes to their environment and develop a ‘feel’ for their surroundings. In
effect, every person using the street, be it an SUV owner or a kid with a wagon, becomes

This idea emerged around 1985 when Dutch traffic engineer, Hans Monderman,
challenged the prevailing view that pedestrians and automotive traffic should be
separated. He experimented with integrating drivers into the cultural and social world of

    Der Spiegel (Germany), European Cities do away with Traffic Signs, November 2006 (translated)
    Hutsul, Christopher, Streets Without Borders Attracting Attention, Toronto Star, 2006.

the towns in which they drive. He found this improved safety, reduced speeds and
improved traffic circulation.4

Concepts and Design Characteristics5
Universal streets integrate pedestrian activity and vehicular movement on one shared
surface. Under this approach the street has first and foremost the functions of a residence,
a playground, and a meeting area. It has the additional functions of carrying access traffic
and providing parking spaces, but is not designed for intentional through traffic. The
shared street can be characterized as follows:

•   It is a residential, public space.
•   Through traffic is discouraged.
•   Paved space is shared by pedestrians and cars, with pedestrians having priority over
    the entire street.
•   Walking and playing are allowed everywhere.
•   It can be a single street, a square (or other form), or a combination of connected
•   Its entrances are clearly marked.
•   There are no conventional, straight stretches of pavement with raised curbs, and
    pavement (carriage way) and sidewalk (footway) are not rigidly demarcated.
•   Car speed and movement are restricted by physical barriers, and by deviations, bends,
    and undulations.
•   Residents have auto access to dwelling fronts.
•   The area has extensive landscaping.
•   The area has street furnishings.

A study in Germany found that the street redesign led to a 20 percent increase in play
activity, and that play also became more complex. The use of bicycles and toy vehicles,
and also of games requiring more space increased. The shift in play location from narrow
sidewalks to the street's entire width including the former traffic lane was a notable
change (Eubank 1987).

Similar studies in Japan report that 90 percent of those surveyed said the shared street is
for people's use rather than for automobile use; 67 percent said that their children play in
the street and that it is seen as a safe place to play. Other results show great satisfaction

  Resurgance Magazine, “Green Streets are ‘Naked’ Streets” 2006,
  Changing the residential street scene: adapting the shared street (Woonerf) concept to the suburban

that the street space can be used for more than one purpose, and in particular that children
can play throughout, not just in the play-lots. A majority of the residents (66 percent) felt
that the shared street encourages social interaction and conversation between neighbors
(Ichikawa 1984).

Surveys and opinion polls in Israel also show that the shared streets foster encounters and
communication between neighbors. Most residents prefer a dead-end street (cul-de -sac)
over a through one-way street, stating that a dead-end street improved the environment
and safety of their neighborhood. The majority (81 percent) of the children were found to
play every day in the street as their main play zone. Between 88 and 100 percent of the
residents said they are willing and want to maintain the public planting beds within the
streets, and almost 50 percent said they are actually doing so (Polus 1985, 1990).

A nationwide study in the Netherlands (Kraay 1985, 1986; Dijkstra 1990) indicates that
residents' attitudes toward shared streets are influenced by the level of satisfaction from
the design and social performance of the public spaces, rather than by the functioning of
the traffic system. Moreover, the residents are willing to accept restraints on traffic and
driving in order to improve their social and residential environment. The surveys found
that mothers as well as children consider the shared street safer than an ordinary street. It
is also clear that the amount of knowledge one has about shared streets directly
corresponds with attitudes toward them. Thus, opposition to implementation is mainly
correlated with general lack of knowledge about the shared street

Case Studies
Portland, Oregon, Festival Street
Seed Magazine, 2006

One block of street in Portland’s Chinatown has been converted into a curbless “festival
street.” There are no white lane dividers or sidewalks. Instead, rough-hewn granite
columns distinguish places for pedestrians and places for cars. “The idea of this street is
that it's designed like a public square but it's open to traffic,” said Ellen Vanderslice, a
project manager for the Portland Department of Transportation. “We were very
consciously trying to create a body language of the street that tells people something
different is going on here.” The approach appears to be working, she said. “Pedestrians
tend to just mosey across the street every which way,” Vanderslice said. “And drivers
slow down and pay attention.”

The following examples are from

Makkinga, Friesland, The Netherlands


This small village has a central street running through it, used by children going to school
and people passing through. It had traffic lights and other markings giving priority to
motorists over pedestrians and cyclists.


Hans Monderman decided to transform this street to give more priority to pedestrians and
cyclists. To create the shared street, all traffic indications were removed making a more
social space, requiring drivers to use eye contact to communicate with other road users.

A small traffic circle was installed. Often these are used to create a sense of ambiguity,
adding to driver hesitation, thus slowing the motorist. Some cars may go around it while
others merely go over it. The sidewalk was also made to be more level with the street. As
a result, traffic speeds have reduced to 18 mph and casualties fell by 10 percent.

Latton, Wiltshire, UK

This small town has a rural road that carries about 2,000 vehicles per day. The road is
very wide, flat and straight. Residents in the area were concerned about the speeding so
they decided to work with the local government to implement psychological traffic
calming. The white line in the center of the road was removed. Stone gateways into the
town created a sense of place and broke up the straight line of sight. Colored surfacing
was also added to the bus stops to bring attention to this area of the road most likely
crossed by pedestrians. As a result, speeds fell an average of 7mph and the number of
cars exceeding 40mph fell from 50 percent to 10 percent. Many more towns throughout
Europe have shown similar successes.

The following examples are from

Haren, The Netherlands



Many traffic devices were removed including traffic lights, white center lines, dividers,
sidewalks and separated bike lanes. Brick paving was installed for the crosswalk which
extends beyond shops and surrounding buildings. Simple drainage detail was included.

Extensive work was and continues to be done to reorient visually-impaired pedestrians.
Most cyclists share the road with traffic, as speeds have dropped to 15-18 mph.
Congestion problems have been diminished.

Shared Space Traffic Sign

Drachten, The Netherlands


Traffic controlled by traffic lights. 17,000 vehicles and 2,000 cyclists per day.


Traffic were lights removed, and the asphalt was replaced by brick. This area has now
become a meeting place rather than a place for traffic.

Olderberkoop, The Netherlands

Drainage is located down middle of street. Brick paving of the road extends into the
nearby cafes. This is intended to make motorists feel they are not merely driving on a
road, that instead they are driving through a social space where cyclists and pedestrians
have as much ride of way as the car.

This technique was also used at a crosswalk between a school and playground in a nearby
town. Curbs were removed and brick paving leads from the school into the street and into
the playground, emphasizing that children cross the street from the school to the
playground. As a result, motorists’ speeds have been reduced without any other traffic

This area has now become a favorite place for cyclists and pedestrians. This road was
made “a neutral entity, as a book that is easily legible telling Oldeberkoop’s story

Wall Street, Asheville, North Carolina, 2006

Wall Street continues to have a friendly pedestrian environment. It averages 402 ADT,
with an average vehicle speed consistently below 32 km/h (20 mi/h). The street is home
to many unique shops, restaurants, an outdoor climbing wall which was placed by a
merchant on the parking deck with the City’s permission, and a church. A section of
Asheville’s Urban Trail interpreting Wall Street’s history was added in 2000. Its
quaintness attracts heavy pedestrian traffic, making Wall Street a popular shopping and
dining destination in downtown Asheville. “Wall Street is truly one of downtown
Asheville's gems,” stated Leisa Barnette, Executive Director of the Asheville Downtown
Association. The physical characteristics of the street that are conducive
to slow automobile speeds combined with the pedestrian friendly streetscape elements enable
Wall Street to prosper.

West Palm Beach Florida, US
Roads Gone Wild 2004

Signals were removed in several areas throughout the city. As a result, traffic speeds were
reduced, casualties and injuries decreased, and traffic flow is now smoother

Future Projects

Terry Avenue North, Seattle, US
Streetless in Seattle 2006

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels targeted Terry Ave. North as a prime location for new urban
infill development. The design team decided to take advantage of the large ride of way
(averaging 73 feet) and turn it into a shared space. They modeled the street after the
Dutch winkelerf, which is a shared commercial street.

                                          Many of the sections of the street do not have
                                          sidewalks and encourage people to cross in the
                                          middle of the street. “You’re not walking along
                                          a channelized conduit for people alongside a
                                          channelized conduit for vehicles,” says
                                          landscape architect Shannon Nichol, founding
                                          partner of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and a
                                          consultant on Terry Avenue North. “You’re
                                          walking through a series of spaces that extend
                                          across the whole width of the street.” Instead of
                                          a continuous pattern of evenly spaced trees,
                                          Terry Ave. has steered away from this
                                          traditional street design, favoring scattered

focal points such as stand alone Douglas fir trees.

Street designers were not able to implement all of their shared street concepts due to
ADA compliance issues. Terry Ave will not have traffic lights, but ADA required the
street to have curbs and tactile warning strips for the visually impaired.

In The Netherlands, this type of treatment is called a winkelerf. A winkelerf is a shared
commercial street, and has a number of unique design features to handle both pedestrian
and vehicular traffic, with the following details:
• Curbs are eliminated to merge street and sidewalk seamlessly together.
• Bollards, texture tiles and landscaped areas separate the street and sidewalk.
• Special paving materials and patterns designate traffic lanes and pedestrian areas.7

  Seattle’s Winkelerf (living shopping street) Terry Avenue North

(Seattle Department of Transportation, 2005)
Exhibition Road, London, UK (Implemented 2006-2009)
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, 2006

“To integrate vehicle and foot traffic effectively whilst preserving the road’s important
function as a vital transport link serving people from the whole surrounding area.”


Design Concept

Lessons for Portland
Compared to the US, motorists in Europe may be more accustomed to these types of
uncontrolled traffic environments. Many towns have narrow streets full of pedestrians
and cyclists, forcing motorists to constantly be aware. Thus, this type of treatment would
be best implemented in areas that already have a significant amount of bicycle and
pedestrian traffic.

There are concerns from organizations for the deaf and blind. “They will have no visual
memory or awareness of the space therefore it is a completely different experience (from
those without disabilities).”8

Monderman has stated that 15 percent of drivers will behave badly, in their own interests
no matter what. This figure may be even higher in the US, where individuality rather than
group interests are more culturally prevalent.

Researchers Ashton and Mackay have found that pedestrian fatalities increase
dramatically at speeds above 18-22 mph. They also discovered that pedestrian and cyclist
comfort levels decrease at speeds above 20 mph. Research has also concluded that eye
contact between drivers and other street users decreases exponentially at speeds above 20
mph. Thus, shared streets should be designed for speeds no more than 20 mph.9


  Joint Committee on Mobility of Blind and Partially Sighted People, “Shared Space in the Public Realm,
Policy Statement,” October 2005,
  Hamilton-Baillie, Ben “Urban design: Why don't we do it in the road? Modifying traffic behavior through
legible urban design,” Journal of Urban Technology, Volume 11, Number 1, April 2004, pp. 43-62(20)

Baker, Linda, Streetless in Seattle April 17, 2006,, Naked Roads 2006, Accessed March 5, 2007,

Der Spiegel (Germany), European Cities do away with Traffic Signs November 2006

Hamilton-Baillie, Ben Urban design: Why don't we do it in the road? Modifying traffic
behavior through legible urban design, Journal of Urban Technology, Volume 11,
Number 1, April 2004, pp. 43-62(20). For More Information Hamilton Baillie Associates,

Hutsul, Christopher, Streets Without Borders Attracting Attention, Toronto Star, 2006.

Joint Committee on Mobility of Blind and Partially Sighted People, Shared Space in the
Public Realm, Policy Statement, October 2005,

McNichol, Tom, Roads Gone Wild December 12, 2004,

Resurgance Magazine, Green Streets are ‘Naked’ Streets 2006,

Shared, 2006, Accessed March 10, 2007,

Seattle Department of Transportation, Terry Avenue North, Street Design Guidelines,
March 2005,

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, The Exhibition Road Project 2006,, Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System, 2006

Seed Magazine, Where the Sidewalk Ends, 2006

Congestion Pricing
As cities become increasingly congested with automotive traffic, many have turned to
congestion pricing (road pricing, congestion charging) to reduce the negative impacts of
congestion. This is generally a fee imposed on those who drive on highly used roadways.
It is based on the concept that the price of using a road should be equal to the cost of
using the road; not only the costs of constructing and maintaining the roads, but also the
pollution, the noise and the delays to other drivers.

This pricing scheme creates a disincentive to driving on specific roads, and it offers a
priced alternative for those who wish to reach their destination more quickly. It is
intended to reduce congestion and thus increase efficiency. The smooth flow of traffic, as
well as the shift to public transport; carpooling, bicycling and walking, also decreases
pollution. In turn, revenues from the program are often used to improve non-single
occupancy vehicle (SOV) modes.

Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) pricing includes variable tolls, carpool
lanes, vehicle miles traveled fees and parking fees. The following cities have
implemented extensive DSRC congestion pricing programs: Singapore (1975), London
(2003), and Stockholm (2006). Several other cities throughout Italy, the UK, Norway and
Denmark have instituted similar programs.10

Vehicle Positioning Systems (VPS) pricing is a combination of an on-board positioning
capability, typically using GPS satellite systems, with on-board processing and mobile
communications. The following cities are instituting pilot or feasibility studies: Hong
Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and the UK.11

In the United States, San Francisco has become the first major American city to receive
federal funds to pursue a congestion pricing program similar to those in Stockholm and

The combination of a growing number of motor vehicles, and demands on scarce
resources and land, motivated Singapore to be the first city to implement road pricing.13

   Key Research, Denmark
   Hong Kong Transportation Department; New Innovations in Traffic Management
   The New York Sun, Growth or Gridlock, June 12, 2006
   Road Pricing Singapore’s Experience

By 2003, traffic congestion in central and inner London slowed motorists to below 3
mph. The city wanted to reduce congestion, improve the bus network, and make central
London more pleasant for residents, visitors and businesses.14

The city wanted to distribute traffic more efficiently throughout the day and to increase
the use of public transportation.15

In the 1970's Singapore's government was not a democracy, so it was able to institute the
ALS pricing program without public approval. Despite this, the government made an
effort to sell the scheme to the public.16

In 1995, The London Congestion Research Program presented a study declaring that the
city's economy would benefit from a congestion charge program. In 1999, the Greater
London Authority Act enabled any future mayor to implement a congestion charge
scheme. In 2000, future mayor Ken Livingstone consulted the public and parties
interested in congestion charging. After assessing the most acceptable form of charging,
he used the scheme as the focus of his 2000 election campaign. He emphasized the need
to reduce traffic congestion in central London by introducing the congestion scheme,
while at the same time dramatically increasing the number of busses. In February 2002,
the basic program was agreed upon and implemented. Livingston's re-election in 2004
shows in part the public success of the program.17

Road pricing ideas have been around in Stockholm since the 1980’s when the
environmental party “the Stockholm party” created a coalition with the large Social
Democratic party. They worked on a new road pricing law, which was presented to the
government in 1990. However, there were strong forces against the law, as it could pose a
threat to new road construction and car demand.

   Victoria Transport Policy Institute, January 2006
   Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2006
   Hamilgon, Booz; Land Transport New Zealand Research Report, Investigation of Implementation Issues
for Congestion Charging, 2006

Companies in the construction, car and real estate sectors formed a lobby organization to
push through more road construction projects. It was important for this lobby to redirect
money from a possible congestion-pricing program, which would invest in public
transportation. The lobby was successful in defeating the bill. Instead of voting for the
bill, the government appointed mediators to propose transport solutions. After 7 years of
research, three projects were proposed, a large road construction program, an entrance fee
into the central city to finance road investments and investment in transit.18 However,
these programs were dropped based on various perceived problems.

In 2003, the Social Democrats won control of the government with the help of the Green
Party. In return for this help, the Social Democrats agreed to introduce congestion
pricing. In January 2006, the city began the six month trial.19 In September 2006, voters
approved the charge 53 percent to 47 percent. It remains to be seen when it will be

In 1975 the city instituted a pricing program called the Area Licensing Scheme (ALS).
Motorists who entered the central business district during peak hours purchased daily or
monthly licenses. In 1998 the city switched to an electronic road pricing (ERP) system. It
is based on the pay-as-you-use principle during peak hours. Motorists rent an In-Vehicle
Transponder (IU) for SGD 5 ($3) per day, or buy one for SGD 151 ($100).

                                                                   The IU is mounted in the car
                                                                   and used in conjunction with a
                                                                   pre-paid CashCard. The cards
                                                                   can be bought and recharged at
                                                                   specific locations and stores.
                                                                   The card is inserted into the IU
                                                                   and the balance is shown on the
                                                                   display. Each time the motorist
                                                                   passes through one of eight
                                                                   gantries, a short-range radio
                                                                   communication system deducts
                                                                   from the card. The deductions
                                                                   range from about 30 cents to
                                                                   $3.30, depending on traffic and
                                                                   time of day. The capital cost of
                                                                   the ERP system is S$197 M
   Ahlstrand, Ingemar; Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, Vol 35, Sept 2001 pp. 473-489, The
Politics and Economics of Transport Investment and Pricing in Stockholm.
   The New York Sun, Growth or Gridlock, June 12, 2006

($127 mil).20

Several high-use streets throughout central London were determined to be the congestion
charged streets. A large ‘C’ is painted at the entrance of these streets. Motorist pay £8
($16) between 7:00 am and 6:30 pm. Payments can be made at selected retail outlets,
internet payment booths, or cell phone messaging. A network of video cameras record
license plate numbers of vehicles and match it with the paid list. Those who do not pay
include motorists who live within the zone, disabled people, drivers of alternative fuel
vehicles, motorcycles and vehicles with 9 or more seats. The cost of the concession
contract is £230 M ($448 mil) over five years.21

     New York Times, August 13, 2001, Singapore's Rush Hour Solution Catching On In U.S.
     Victoria Transport Policy Institute, January 2006

This program utilizes small windshield-mounted transponder boxes, laser detectors and a
network of cameras to track the path of every car in the city. Each time a car passes
through one of 23 tolling points, the system identifies the car either from the transponder,
or by reading its license plate. This is checked against vehicle-registration information
and the appropriate fee is calculated depending on the time of day and the location. The
tolls range from $2.76 during peak hours to $1.38. The transponder is similar to the E-
ZPass in the U.S., whereby the tolls are deducted automatically from their bank

   Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2006

Under the ALS system, traffic entering the restricted zone (RZ) dropped by 44 percent.
This drop in traffic entering the city was attributed to changed travel behavior of
motorists who had been driving through the city. Since the central city had not been their
destination, they instead drove around the RZ. Motorists also chose to drive during the
off-peak pay periods. Few motorists switched to public transportation. By 1988, with a 77
percent increase in vehicle ownership and a 30 percent increase in employment in the
city, traffic entering the RZ increased just 13 percent.23

The ERP program is effective in maintaining average speeds of 30-40 mph on
expressways and 10-20 mph on arterial roads.24 Traffic volume was reduced by 10-15
percent. This reduction is attributed to influencing the behavior of those who had made
multiple trips into the RZ. Under the ALS program one fee was paid to enter the RZ
many times, the ERP charges for each trip.25

During the first few months of the program, traffic declined 20 percent amounting to
50,000 fewer cars per day. The average speed increased 37 percent from 8 mph to 11
mph. Peak time congestion declined 30 percent and bus delays declined 50 percent.
Transit rider ship increased 14 percent. Each year the number of bus passengers entering
the zone during morning peak hours has increased by 29,000. Taxi costs were reduced by
20-40 percent due to reduced delays.26

The charge contributes 50 million pounds to London's economy, mainly due to increased
transportation efficiency. Only 20 percent of businesses dislike the charge and 12 percent
said it affected their business performance.

One major drawback is that the city has not been able to keep up with the pace of
increased transit users. The government was slow to increase transit funding and
additional transit. Also, the city estimated revenues double what they have generated.
This shortcoming is due to the inability of the enforcement system to prosecute all

   Road Pricing Singapore’s Experience
   Singapore Land Transport Authority
   Road Pricing Singapore’s Experience
   Victoria Transport Policy Institute, January 2006
   London Transportation Authority, Transport for London, March, 2004

Traffic passing through the pricing zone decreased 22 percent, while traffic accidents
involving injuries fell by 5-10 percent. Exhaust emissions, including carbon dioxide and
particles, decreased by 14 percent in the inner city, and by 2-3 percent in Stockholm
County. Use of all forms of public transportation increased 6 percent and rider ship on
inner-city bus routes rose 9 percent, compared with a year earlier. “Since being
implemented…transit usage has increased by about 40,000 riders per day, dramatically
decreasing rush-hour travel times.”28

Although there was resistance at the start of the trial, towards the end 60 percent now
favor the program. Compaired with a 7 percent increase in business throughout Sweden,
business increased 15 percent within the pricing zone. Also, taxi drivers experienced
lower costs and increase revenues.29

“Some of the biggest beneficiaries, however, weren't drivers, but cyclists and bus riders.
Astrid Ericsson, a 32-year-old who lives in the city center, said her 35-minute bicycle
ride to work in the morning was much less stressful during the trial. She found fewer cars
and more bikes on her route. On rainy days, she took the bus, which got to the office 15
minutes faster than usual.”30

Lessons for Portland
Provide adequate facilities for those who chose to avoid the congestion charges. This
includes increased transit service, and more funding for non-SOV modes including
bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Lessons from London
There was a broad political consensus that congestion was a problem that had to be
remedied. Also, a range of exemptions ensured the program was fair. Existing,
thoroughly tested technology was used. A single entity with full legal powers initiated
and implemented the program. In the end, revenues were dedicated to non-SOV modes of

   Planetzin, San Francisco Eyes Stockholm, Congestion Pricing Success, March 2006,
   The New York Sun, Growth or Gridlock, June 12, 2006
   Wall Street Journal; August 2006
   Hamilgon, Booz; Land Transport New Zealand Research Report, Investigation of Implementation Issues
for Congestion Charging, 2006

Lessons from Singapore
Firstly, the public perceived that traffic was going to worsen and something had to be
done. The city established a well-organized public relations campaign from the
beginning. The program used existing technology. There was broad political support and
charging was part of an overall transportation improvement program. The program
remains revenue neutral, meaning the government is not generating a net return.32

General Suggestions
The Land Transport New Zealand Research Report (2006) found the following to be the
most important success factors (in order of decreasing importance):33

• A public perception of the need
• An appropriately resourced promotional campaign
• A single empowered agency
• A strong political position
• A robust business case

The Report also outlined these factors:

• The charge/revenue must be needed.
• The public needs to know where it is going.
• There must be broad political agreement.
• The charges must be part of a strategy.
• Regional benefits must be obvious.
• Distrust of the motives of the politicians must be overcome.
• Charges must be sensibly designed.
• The public should be involved during the scheme development process.
• There needs to be one decision making authority
• A revision of the charging basis – moving to less fixed and more variable,
• Well-planned public relations campaigns,
• A credible public transport alternative,
• Privacy is protected,
• A scheme is priced appropriately,
• The scheme is co-ordinated with other transport modes,
• A strong political position,


• The presence/ease of enabling legislation,
• A political champion,
• The public perceive the need,
• Revenues are invested in non-sov modes (hypothecation),
• A broadly equitable scheme,
• A well-planned investment in development,
• The scheme is coordinated with land use,
• The presence of a single empowered agency,
• A clear business case
• Achievable, sensible, predictable, adjustable, responsive and implementable

Based on polls and research, lack of political support is the most often stated challenge to
implementing congestion charging. Ways to overcome this is with public education
campaigns about how the charge is not related to increased taxes, how the scheme would
benefit the city, and that revenue would be directly invested in non-SOV modes of

Passage of time-consuming legislation may slow development of the program. For
instance, legislation may be required to allow certain governments to prosecute for
congestion-type traffic violations, to transfer responsibility between governments, and
legalities due to risk-sharing between public and private sectors.

Some will argue they already pay a tax for roads and this extra 'tax' is unfair, that they are
being double-taxed for a public good. Also, if government bodies and political decision-
making structures are fragmented, obtaining consensus is less viable.34

Case Studies of Failed Programs
Without a robust risk-based business case, congestion charge programs have failed in the
past. This caused a program in Stuttgart, Germany to be scrapped after a few years and
millions of Euros invested. They also used technology that was not mature, privacy was
not guaranteed and there was not sufficient political support.

Privacy issues also caused the failure of an electronic road pricing scheme in Hong Kong.
This is because the automated system tracked the location of the motorist. This was
overcome by removing the need for automatic vehicle identification.

In Cambridge, England the program failed because the public did not consider congestion
a problem, also there was not high-level support.35

   Hamilgon, Booz; Land Transport New Zealand Research Report, Investigation of Implementation Issues
for Congestion Charging, 2006

Keong, Chin; Land Transportation Authority, Singapore, Road Pricing Singapore’s
Experience, 2002

Luk, JYK; Road and Transport Research, Electronic road pricing in Singapore, 1999

US EPA, Transportation Control Measures, 1998

Victoria Transport Policy Institute, London Congestion Pricing, 2006

Other Innovative Street Treatments

Netherlands Woonerf (living street)
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking, 2001

Drivers entering a woonerf must pass by a sign indicating the new rules that apply.
The streets lack sidewalks so the whole street is on the same level. There are regular
shifts in the vertical and horizontal alignment, street furniture, play areas, designated
parking spots and different surface materials. All of these qualities contribute to the
feeling that priority rests not with the motor vehicle, but with residents on foot, children
playing, and non-motorized users. Woonerven are only appropriate for streets with an
already low flow of through traffic.

•   Access for emergency and service vehicles is always maintained.
•   Planners, engineers, and residents alike clamored for the introduction of woonerven.
    Indeed, one problem experienced with their use was that residents living on the
    streets wholly inappropriate for implementation of a woonerven, pressured their
    governments to have their street changed.
•   Nationally, 70 percent of the Dutch population thought woonerven attractive or
    highly attractive.
•   Nonmotorized users assessed them more positively then motorized users.
•   Residents appreciated the low traffic volumes and absence of through traffic, but the
    bigger play areas and environmental improvements were even more of a benefit.
•   Injury accidents were reduced by 50 percent.
•   Vehicle speeds were reported to average 13-25 km/hour (8-15 mi/hr.).


As a result of this success, woonerven have become a routine feature of new residential
area design in The Netherlands. However, there have also been a number of problems
identified with woonerven. Retrofitting existing neighborhoods to become woonerven
was prohibitively expensive. The very strict design requirements of woonerven often
could not be met. For example, traffic flows in inner city neighborhoods might exceed the
low volume required for a woonerf and cause an overflow of traffic onto neighboring

Pedestrians complained that there was no designated or protected space for them without
raised sidewalks. Finally, the principles of woonerven could not legally be extended to
shopping streets or village centers (winkelerven and dorpserven).

Thus, in 1984, a Review Panel established by the Dutch Government reviewed the
woonerf law and made a number of substantial changes. 14 strict design rules were
reduced to just 6 basic principles, close to the original concept of the woonerf, but
allowing more flexibility.

At Home in the Zone
Planning Magazine, Oct 2006

Generally, traffic should be discouraged. Signage and full or partial barriers can block
entrance to the home /one street, or prohibit turns. On a larger level, neighborhood street
networks can be designed to avoid channeling traffic onto the street and to provide
adequate travel ways for all users, including cyclists. Appropriate paving (colored or
stamped pavement, for instance) can also encourage pedestrian use of the street. Homes
should be designed to have a strong relationship to the home zone street. One way to
accomplish that is through the orientation of rooms, doors, and windows. Residents
should have direct views to the outdoor living room from their indoor living room,
enhancing the sense of safety and community. On-street parking helps to calm traffic.
However, an effort should be made to avoid turning the street into a parking lot by
breaking up the parking areas with plantings, street furniture, play equipment, and so on.
Steven Scbepel, the former manager of the National Sustainable Safety Program in the
Dutch Ministry of Transport, adds these recommendations:

•   Do not hide playgrounds. Expose them in order to show that this is “a street for
•   Draw attention to places where people and cars might collide: crosswalks, bicycle
    routes, and building entrances.
•   Provide attractive seating for adults who are watching young children.
•   Offer secure bicycle parking, which does not take up much space. One car occupies
    the place of 12 bicycles.
•   Create tasteful signs. Schepel observes, “You wouldn't like to have these things in our
    living room, so try to minimize them in number and impact.”

30 km/hr Zones The Netherlands
Federal Highway Administration, 2001

Close to two hundred 30 km/hr (18 mi/hr) zones were created in the first 3 years of the
program and a series of evaluation studies was set in motion. Half of all the Dutch
municipalities have realized one or more 30 km/hr-zones.

•   The number of serious injury accidents had dropped by more than 30 percent.
•   33 percent reduction in through traffic.
•   85 percent of vehicle speeds between 20 and 30 km/hr (12-18 mi/hr) at speed humps,
    rising to 30 and 35 km/hr (18-21 mi/hr) between the humps

Transit Priority

Transit Signal Priority (TSP)
A Planning and Implementation Handbook, May 2005

TSP is made up of four components. There is (1) a detection system that lets the TSP
system know where the vehicle requesting signal priority is located. The detection
system communicates with a (2) priority request generator that alerts the traffic control
system that the vehicle would like to receive priority. There is software that processes
the request and decides whether and how to grant priority based on the programmed (3)
priority control strategies. And there is software that (4) manages the system, collects
data, and generates reports.

•   In Tacoma, Washington the combination of TSP and signal optimization reduced
    transit signal delay about 40% in two corridors.
•   TriMet (Portland, Oregon) was able to avoid adding one more bus by using TSP and
    experienced a 10% improvement in travel time and up to a 19% reduction in travel
    time variability. Due to increased reliability, TriMet has been able to reduce
    scheduled recovery time.
•   In Chicago, PACE buses realized an average of 15% reduction (three minutes) in
    running time. Actual running time reductions varied from 7% to 20% depending on
    the time of day. With the implementation of TSP and through more efficient run
    cutting, Pace (Chicago) was able to realize a savings of one weekday bus while
    maintaining the same frequency of service.
•   Los Angeles experienced up to 25% reduction in bus travel times with TSP.

Control Strategies for Transit Priority
Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Priority to transit vehicles reduces travel times, improves service reliability, increases

ridership and reduces the transit agencies’ operating costs. Most of the control strategies
for transit priority have applied to isolated signals with significant benefits to transit
vehicles. Priority control in signal systems is not being implemented because in the past it
has resulted in degradation of the overall traffic performance. Advanced traffic
management and traffic information systems (ATMIS) and new transit technologies as
part of advanced public transportation systems (APTS) offer significant potential for
systematically improving the operation of the existing transportation networks and at the
same time provide priority to transit vehicles. Improved algorithms for transit priority
could utilize the advancements in technology to provide transit priority without adversely
impacting the rest of the traffic stream.

Design based measures for transit priority include bus stop consolidation or
relocation. Installation of bus bulbs (widened sidewalks at bus stops), bus bays to
facilitate safe loading and reduce delay and conflicts with busses entering and leaving the
traffic stream. On-street parking management to ensure the availability of adequate curb
space for busses. These measures are often used in combination with traffic control
options (e.g., adjustments of signal offsets to accommodate bus travel times.)

The effectiveness of such measures is largely site specific. While mostly low cost and
easily implemented, the measures can create problems if installed in unsuitable locations.
For example, bus bulbs can work well if there is sufficient road capacity for the traffic to
pass the stopped bus, but it can contribute to long queues and delays if the bus blocks

Signal preemption extends the green signal at the intersection approach until the
transit vehicle is past or advances the start of the green.

Phase extension: holds the green until the transit vehicle clears the intersection. The
amount of additional green time granted by the preemption is preset in the controller
(about 10 seconds).
Phase advance: early start of the green for the phase serving the transit phase. It may
be also used to clear vehicles stored in front of the transit vehicle.
Special phase: signal phase activated by transit vehicles. This is normally used in
combination with phase sequences to clear non-transit vehicles stored in front of the
transit vehicle.
Phase skip: omit entirely phase(s) not serving transit movements to provide additional
green time to transit serving phase(s)
“Lift” strategy: detection calls from vehicles on non transit serving phases are ignored
for a time interval after the detection of a transit vehicle (Jacobson 1993). This
provides a quick return to the transit serving signal phase(s).
Because transit preemption disrupts the normal signal operation that could increase
the delay to the rest of the traffic stream, the following options are often employed in the
preemption control logic:
Compensation: additional green time is given to the non-transit phases to compensate
for the loss of green during preemption. This compensation time may be given
during the cycle immediately following preemption, or apportioned into more than

one signal cycle.
Inhibit: Once preemption is granted, subsequent requests by transit vehicles are
ignored for a user specified number of signal cycles.

Pedestrian Signal Priority

The Greenlight Project
Port Phillip, Victoria, Canada, 2004

This study timed how long it took for people of all ages, including children in Walking
School Bus groups, to cross major intersections. It also considered pedestrian behavior
and perceptions associated with the crossing task. The study found that pedestrians
needed longer green light times and a head start before turning traffic moved through the
intersection in order to cross the road safely.

These findings emphasized the need for pedestrian priority at signaled crossings on major
roads and for traffic signal times to be adjusted, where possible, with a new crossing time
standard to ensure sufficient time to complete the crossing. As a result, a series of
recommendations was put forward, and changes to signals have been implemented at
newly installed signal crossing in the City of Port Phillip. A further 15 sites have been
identified for progressive implementation of the Green Light project’s recommendations.

Reduced Waiting Times for Pedestrians at Traffic Signals
Vancouver BC, 2001

1. Permissive Windows
    The key measure proposed is an adjustment of the operation of pedestrian actuated
    signals (i.e., those signals actuated by pedestrian push-buttons only) to add a
    “permissive window” that allows for a near-instantaneous response at appropriate
    times in the signal cycle. It is also possible to apply this technique to 148 semi-
    actuated signals (i.e., those that can be also triggered by a vehicle from a side street)
    in the City.

2. Removal of Pedestrian Holds
    Pedestrian holds delay the start of walk signals to give vehicles time to turn. These
    holds are frustrating to pedestrians and about 30 pedestrian holds have been removed
    in recent years. It may be possible to remove some of the remaining 24 based on
    further study. Complaints have also been received from visually disabled pedestrians
    over this hold.

3. Removal from Signal Progression
    Several corridors in the City have the signals coordinated to provide a series of green
    lights progressively along the corridor. Although this increases efficiency along a
    corridor, it does result in longer pedestrian wait times. Some signals on these
    corridors, if sufficiently remote, can be partially or entirely removed from the

   coordination. An example would be Cypress Street and 12th Avenue which also
   serves as a bike route crossing of 12th Avenue. This would result in essentially
   instantaneous service to pedestrians.

4. Cycle Length Adjustments
    Changes to the overall cycle length may also serve to reduce waiting times for
    pedestrians in some instances and so will also be examined. As a rule, a shorter cycle
    length provides reduced waits for pedestrians.

5. Other Pedestrian Enhancements
    A variety of other improvements are possible at traffic signals such as pedestrian
    bulges, increased walk times, wider crosswalks, audible signals, turn restrictions,
    more visible signals, removal of right turn channels and intersection realignments that
    improve the flow and safety of pedestrians.

Bicycle Priority

Bicycle Priority; Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety Toolbox
Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 2003

A bicycle signal provides a separate signal to direct bicycle traffic through an
intersection. Red, amber, and green bicycle indications are installed in addition to the
standard red, amber and green ball and arrow indications.

In Davis, California the current signal phasing provides for a minimum bicycle green
time of 12 seconds and a maximum green time of 25 seconds. Additionally, a two-second
all red interval is provided at the end of this phase as opposed to only one second at the
end of other phases. Pedestrian cycle times are five seconds of walk and 18 seconds of
pedestrian clearance.

Other treatments include: the installation of the bicycle signal heads include advance
signing warning users that bicycle signals are in use at the intersection ahead, and a NO
RIGHT TURN ON RED LED changeable sign prohibiting motor vehicles from
conflicting with bike and pedestrian traffic during the bike phase.


For use at intersections with considerable traffic volumes and conflicts. There are three
kinds of intersections at which Davis, California has considered using bicycle signals and
which have subsequently become standard in California: at tee intersections with major
bicycle movement along the top of the tee, at the confluence of an off-street bike path
with an intersection, and where separated bike paths run parallel to arterial streets.

Crash Type

Improper Turning, Traffic Signals and Signs, Improper Passing


  •   Separates conflicting movements
  •   Provides bicyclists priority movement at an intersection
  •   Protects cyclists in the intersection, which may improve real and perceived safety
      at high conflict areas
  •   Improves flow of all types of traffic through the intersection
  •   Alternates right-of-way between different road users


  •   May result in additional delay for motorists and loss of vehicular capacity,
      particularly where a scramble phase is employed
  •   May create a false sense of security for bicyclists because they believe the bicycle
      signal phase will protect them
  •   May not be supported by local traffic laws
  •   Unfamiliar drivers may be confused or uncertain about intended purpose of signals

Lessons Learned

Jurisdictions considering bicycle signals should ensure that they are enforceable and
engage a public education campaign about their use before they are introduced. They
provide some of the best protection for cyclists at locations where off-street paths cross
the roadway.

European Approaches to Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility Design
Federal Highway Administration, 1994

In some cities, such as The Hague and Groningen, a special bicycle phase allows
bicyclists in the bike lane to proceed straight before motor vehicles (i.e., right-turning
traffic) are allowed to proceed. Motor vehicles are not allowed to turn right on red in The
Netherlands, although bicyclists are allowed to do so in certain cities and locations.

Bicycle lanes are not typically placed to the right of parked cars, since motorists cannot
see bicyclists as easily. It is common for bicycle lanes to end before intersections. Mixing
traffic before an intersection promotes anticipation and interaction among road users at
the crossing. Otherwise, automobile drivers turning right often are not fully aware of
bicyclists and moped riders coming from an adjacent bicycle lane.


Roundabouts Revisited
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, February 2006

Where roundabouts have been installed, motor vehicle crashes have declined by about 40
percent, and those involving injuries have been reduced by about 80 percent. Crash
reductions are accompanied by significant improvements in traffic flow, thus reducing
vehicle delays, fuel consumption, and air pollution.

Roundabouts are appropriate at most intersections, including high crash locations and
intersections with large traffic delays, complex geometry (more than four approach roads,
for example), frequent left-turn movements, and relatively balanced traffic flows.
Roundabouts can be constructed along congested arterials, in lieu of road widening, and
can be appropriate in lieu of traffic signals at freeway exits and entrances.

Roundabouts are not appropriate in areas with topographic or site constraints that limit
the ability to provide appropriate geometry, those with highly unbalanced traffic flows
(that is, very high traffic volumes on the main street and very light traffic on the side
street), and isolated intersections in a network of traffic signals.

Increased Safety
At traditional intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, some of the most common
types of crashes are right-angle, left-turn, and head-on collisions. These types of
collisions can be severe because vehicles may be traveling through the intersection at
high speeds. With roundabouts, these types of potentially serious crashes essentially are
eliminated because vehicles travel in the same direction. Installing roundabouts in place
of traffic signals can also reduce the likelihood of rear-end crashes and their severity by
removing the incentive for drivers to speed up as they approach green lights and by
reducing abrupt stops at red lights. The vehicle-to-vehicle conflicts that occur at
roundabouts generally involve a vehicle merging into the circular roadway, with both
vehicles traveling at low speeds (15-20 mph).

A 2001 Institute study of 23 intersections in the United States reported that converting
intersections from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts reduced injury crashes by
80 percent and all crashes by 40 percent. Similar results were reported by Eisenman et
al.: a 75 percent decrease in injury crashes and a 37 percent decrease in total crashes at 35
intersections that were converted from traffic signals to roundabouts. Studies of
intersections in Europe and Australia that were converted to roundabouts have reported
41-61 percent reductions in injury crashes and 45-75 percent reductions in severe injury

Roundabouts generally are safer for pedestrians than traditional intersections. In a
roundabout, pedestrians walk on sidewalks around the perimeter of the circulatory
roadway. If it is necessary for pedestrians to cross the roadway, they cross only one
direction of traffic at a time. In addition, crossing distances are relatively short, and
traffic speeds are lower than at traditional intersections. Studies in Europe indicate that,
on average, converting conventional intersections to roundabouts can reduce pedestrian
crashes by about 75 percent. Single-lane roundabouts, in particular, have been reported to
involve substantially lower pedestrian crash rates than comparable intersections with
traffic signals.

Improved Traffic Flow
A study of three intersections in Kansas, Maryland, and Nevada, where roundabouts
replaced stop signs, found that vehicle delays were reduced 13-23 percent and the
proportion of vehicles that stopped was reduced 14-37 percent. A study of three locations
in New Hampshire, New York, and Washington, where roundabouts replaced traffic
signals or stop signs, found an 89 percent average reduction in vehicle delays and a 56
percent average reduction in vehicle stops. A study of 11 intersections in Kansas found a
65 percent average reduction in delays and a 52 percent average reduction in vehicle
stops after roundabouts were installed.

A recent Institute study documented missed opportunities to improve traffic flow and
safety at 10 urban intersections suitable for roundabouts where either traffic signals were
installed or major modifications were made to signalized intersections. It was estimated
that the use of roundabouts instead of traffic signals at these 10 intersections would have

reduced vehicle delays by 62-74 percent. This is equivalent to approximately 325,000
fewer hours of vehicle delay on an annual basis.

Reduced Pollution
Because roundabouts improve the efficiency of traffic flow, they also reduce vehicle
emissions and fuel consumption. In one study, replacing a signalized intersection with a
roundabout reduced carbon monoxide emissions by 29 percent and nitrous oxide
emissions by 21 percent. In another study, replacing traffic signals and stop signs with
roundabouts reduced carbon monoxide emissions by 32 percent, nitrous oxide emissions
by 34 percent, carbon dioxide emissions by 37 percent, and hydrocarbon emissions by 42
percent.9 Constructing roundabouts in place of traffic signals can reduce fuel
consumption by about 30 percent.8,10 At 10 intersections studied in Virginia, this
amounted to more than 200,000 gallons of fuel per year. And roundabouts can enhance
aesthetics by providing landscaping opportunities.

Larger Vehicles
To accommodate vehicles with large turning radii such as trucks, buses, and tractor-
trailers, roundabouts provide an area between the circulatory roadway and the central
island, known as a truck apron, over which the rear wheels of these vehicles can safely
track. The truck apron generally is composed of a different material texture than the
paved surface, such as brick or cobble stones, to discourage routine use by smaller

Older Drivers
Age-related declines in vision, hearing, and cognitive functions, as well as physical
impairments, may affect some older adults' driving ability. Intersections can be especially
challenging for older drivers. Relative to other age groups, senior drivers are over-
involved in crashes occurring at intersections. In 2004, about half of drivers 80 and older
in fatal crashes were involved in multiple-vehicle intersection crashes, compared with 24
percent among drivers younger than 70. Older drivers' intersection crashes often are due
to their failure to yield the right-of-way. Particular problems for older drivers at
traditional intersections include left turns and entering busy thoroughfares from cross
streets. Roundabouts eliminate these situations entirely. A recent study in six
communities where roundabouts replaced traditional intersections found that about two-
thirds of drivers 65 and older supported the roundabouts. Although safety effects of
roundabouts specifically for older drivers are unknown, the 2001 Institute study of 23
intersections converted from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts reported the
average age of crash-involved drivers did not increase following the installation of
roundabouts, suggesting roundabouts do not pose a problem for older drivers.

Public Opinion
Drivers may be skeptical, or even opposed, to roundabouts when they are proposed.
However, opinions quickly change when drivers become familiar with roundabouts. A
2002 Institute study in three communities where roundabouts replaced stop sign-
controlled intersections found 31 percent of drivers supported the roundabouts before
construction compared with 63 percent shortly after. A more recent study surveyed

drivers in three additional communities where roundabouts replaced stop signs or traffic
signals. Overall, 36 percent of drivers supported the roundabouts before construction
compared with 50 percent shortly after. Follow-up surveys conducted in these six
communities after roundabouts had been in place for more than one year found the level
of public support increased to about 70 percent on average.

Roundabout Benefits
Washington State Department of Transportation, 2006

Reduced Cost
The cost difference between building a roundabout and a traffic signal is comparable. A
roundabout may need more property within the actual intersection, but takes up less space
on the streets approaching the roundabout. Roundabouts usually require less overall
property to build than a signal with turn lanes because traffic doesn’t have to line up and
wait for a green light. Roundabouts eliminate hardware, maintenance and electrical costs
associated with traffic signals, which can amount to approximately $5,000 per year. In
addition, many communities are favorable to the aesthetics of a well-designed and
landscaped roundabout.

Good locations for roundabouts
• Accident history – data about the number of accidents, type of crash, speeds, and other
  contributing factors are analyzed.
• Intersection operation – the level of current and projected travel delay being
  experienced, and backups on each leg of the intersection.
• Types of vehicles using the intersection – we look at the different kinds of vehicles
  that use the intersection. This is especially important for intersections frequently used
  by large trucks.
• Cost – this includes the societal cost of accidents, right-of-way (land purchase)
  requirements, and long-term maintenance needs.

Federal Highway Administration, Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation,

Federal Highway Administration, The History and Development of Traffic Calming, 2001

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Roundabouts Revisited, February 2006

Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety Toolbox, 2003

Planning Magazine, At Home in the Zone, Oct 2006.

Port Phillip, Victoria, Canada, The Greenlight Project, Re-directing pedestrian priority at
signalised crossings on major roads, 2004

United States Department of Transportation, A Planning and Implementation Handbook,
Transit Signal Priority (TSP), May 2005.

University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Transportation Studies, Control Strategies
for Transit Priority, 2000

US Department of Transportation, A Case Study Number 19, Traffic
Calming, Auto-Restricted Zones and Other Traffic Management Techniques- Their
Effects on Bicycling and Pedestrians, 1994.

Vancouver BC, Reduced Waiting Times for Pedestrians at Traffic Signals, 2001

Washington State Department of Transportation, Roundabout Benefits, 2006

For More Information

Issues for North Pearl District Plan
!    Area is well served by streetcar connecting downtown and PSU to NW.
!    However, service on northernmost area is served by three lines with x headways.
!    Better transit service will be needed as the area develops.
!    Possibly use new transit Mall bus system to add circulator service through district.

!    Pettygrove is considered as a ped connection (greenstreet). 13th Street and 14th Add
     from CCTMP work and Ann Niles piece.
!    Work to ensure that design of Fields Park is compatible with district.

Green Streets
!    Conflicts with ROW Standards
!    May need more ROW
!    Topography analysis

Traffic (Mauricio)
!    Increased density proposed as part of this plan may have to be mitigated so that the
     transportation system functions adequately.
!    Northwest Remand issues

!    Need safer, marked crossing to get from West End of Steel Bridge bike level across
     “Naito” into Pearl District.
!    Pearl district. Bike routes are not real distinct. Tracks on Lovejoy are difficult to ride
     17 by on West End.36

Universal Streets
!    HSP’s concept of universal streets needs more definition: there needs to be analysis
     of ROW width, use (bike, ped, auto, transit, parking), ownership (private or public),
     streetscape, stormwater management.
!    ADA folks may have issues with them.

Street orientation
! Maintains minimum conetivity standards for vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle and transit.
! Provides pedestrian friendly environment and does not cause sense of isolation or
    separation or confusion in the district.
! Does not signifcantly decrease vehicular capacity in the district leading to traffic

  Geller, Roger; Central City White Paper: Bicycle Transportation, Portland Office of Transportation,

! Increases in demand on transportation demand in the area due to developable land are

NW Remand

                        Appendix A

Central City Projects

Appendix B

                  Appendix C
Stormwater Management Manual Green Street Details


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