Traffic & Pedestrian Safety: What Our Neighborhood Needs

Here’s the list of what neighbors and I have noted in our area centering around the NE 47th & Glisan intersection. We doubt this is a complete list, but it’s a start. We definitely understand that Providence isn’t required to do anything about street improvements. And, we understand the city’s budget is non-existent.

While it’s also true that construction of a 31-unit Guest House will not overwhelm our neighborhood with traffic, such was not the case with the construction of the cancer center. There has been a large influx of cars to the area in the last several years.

Maybe some of you know that Providence Portland Medical Center had 1.24 Million outpatient visits in 2010. I had no idea until someone found this article: Even OHSU only had 744K outpatient visits in 2010. Imagine what the flow will be when the Professional Plaza is expanded to another 60-70 doctors (the 10-year-plan projects a 40% addition to the 160 doctors they have there now).

All of this is to say that the neighbors are living with the traffic and parking impacts of the hospital that are far more significant than represented in the Traffic Impact Analysis study that Providence commissioned.

Pedestrian Safety: crossings & Improvements along Glisan

43rd & Glisan: Problem: Cars pass on right in bike/parking lane, unsafe crossing to the bus for elderly. Drainage problems on this intersection because it is the low spot in the road. Request: Curb extensions with swales. Striped crossing.

44th & Glisan: Problem: Cars don’t stop for pedestrians with any consistency. Many neighborhood children cross to the corner market and many families take their children to school on this route. This is also a pedestrian route to the light rail station. Request: Crossing treatment.

45th & Glisan: From renderings of the Providence Guest House, it appears Providence may have plans to stripe this crossing for the safety of their guests.

47th & Glisan: Problem: Out-dated signal system. No Left turn northbound on 47th to Glisan. Parking space could be sacrificed for turn lane there. Timing of the lights could be changed to all one way, or a left turn arrow only. This is the bottle-neck everyone is trying to get around, hence all the cut-through traffic. Request: In-depth Analysis of the intersection before any approvals are given about building out lot #10.

53rd & Glisan: Problem: Seniors from Emilie House can’t cross fast enough to make it to the bus stop before the light turns. Several of them have been asking for years to have this improved. Request: pedestrian island or curb extensions.

Cut-Through Problems with speed bumps as calming devices

  • 43rd to Hoyt cut through from eastbound Glisan to northbound 47th
  • 44th to Hoyt, cut through from eastbound Glisan to northbound 47th
  • 44th to Davis, cut through from eastbound Glisan to southbound 47th
  • Flanders to 53rd, cut through from northbound 47th  to eastbound Glisan
  • Royal, Irving, etc, cut through from southbound 47th to westbound Glisan
  • 53rd Ave, cut through from Burnside to Glisan.

Could you imagine what a good neighbor Providence would be if they voluntarily chipped away at this list over the next 3-4 years? What if the pedestrian island  at 53rd and handful of speed bumps were installed in 2012, what if the rest of the speed bumps and a crossing were installed in 2013, and the rest of the crossings completed in 2014? What if Providence took the initiative, as if to say, we understand the impact of a giant organization like ours operating in the midst of a neighborhood of primarily single family dwellings?

Audacious as it is to consider, in a situation like that, we could lay down the posturing that Providence has no impact on the neighborhood or that new expansion will not have an effect on the area, a posture that has become the norm. We could begin to build a better community for the everyone, especially for Providence customers and employees who enjoy walking.

Note to neighbors…..if you don’t see an item on the list, please leave a comment or send an email through the contact form. Thank you.
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5 Responses to Traffic & Pedestrian Safety: What Our Neighborhood Needs

  1. Avis McHugh says:

    There is heavy congestion from the Providence Medical Clinic which has parking lots located between 55th (clinic parking lot on east side of bldg. and clinic) and 53rd (clinic parking lot on west side of street). Employees park on many of the side streets. Emilie House is located between 55th and 56th. Our residents and visitors park on side streets and in designated resident parking behind our building with a one-way drive entering from 56th, exiting on 55th. Yellow curb paint– no parking within 20 feet might be a safety enhancement for both 55th and 56th. There is a light at 56th.

    There is a Tri Met bus stop located on the North side of Glisan from 55th Street. On 55th, the medical clinic parking and Emilie House parking empties out going both directions in this narrow passage way.

    A painted cross walk across Glisan at 55th to a Tri Met bus stop located on the North side of Glisan, would perhaps slow traffic and enhance pedestrian crossing. Middle street turn lanes are present here (on Glisan) which also make crossing hazarderous for pedestrians crossing to the bus stop. There are elderly and handicapped living in Emilie House and the medical clinic entrance is one-half block away.

  2. jim porter says:

    painting the curb yellow on both sides of glisan at 55th would give cars a better chance to see if cars can enter safetly. a painted cross walk across also would be a big help. not only for emily house, but those of us who want to catch the #19 bus west bound

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