The City of Salem continues to place a high priority on improving bicycle and pedestrian safety measures in our community.
The Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program now makes it easier than ever for Salem residents to share their concerns and help to guide these efforts. Using the new online application, residents can quickly report particular street crossings of concern and submit a request for safety improvements. An interactive street map allows users to quickly call out a location of concern, view other safety improvement requests, see how each project request is prioritized, and track the status of each request.
To address these recommendations, $125,000 has been allocated annually for the design and construction of pedestrian safety crossings in the adopted FY 2020 – 2024 Capital Improvement Plan. This Plan is reviewed and approved by City Council each year. These funds come from the City's share of the Oregon State Gas Tax.
The Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program was one of several recommendations that came about as a result of a Pedestrian Safety Study completed in March 2018. A Project Advisory Committee, that included representatives from the City, Salem's neighborhood associations, the Salem-Keizer School District, Cherriots, and other organizations guided the development of this program.
Those interested in learning more about the Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program, transportation safety improvement projects, or all of the other ways the City is working to make it safer for everyone who drives, walks, or bikes in Salem, please visit the City's website.
We're investing in your safety
Through the FY 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan, we are making many improvements to Salem's transportation system designed to make it safer for walkers, bikers and motorists. Brown Road NE reconstruction to include new sidewalks and bicycle lanes, is just one of the most recent examples. Examples of other additions include:
- Rapid flashing beacons and median islands at busy crossings around the city
- Buffered bike lanes for High and Church streets downtown
- New speed signs and speed humps on the Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway
- New, wider Court Street pedestrian bridge
- Four new speed-monitoring cameras at high-volume intersections
We're also installing 41 new streetlights around Salem through April 2020. In this second year of installation, the majority of streetlight need, and greatest benefit are planned for north and northeast Salem. Your streetlight fees help fund infill lighting to help prevent crime and improve safety for motorists, bicycle riders and pedestrians. Request a new streetlight in your neighborhood to be included on a future priority list.
It's still up to you
Despite the many new city safety mechanisms in place, nothing can substitute for personal caution whether you are driving, walking or bicycling.
It is particularly important during fall and winter months, when fog, clouds, rain and darkness reduce visibility. Here are some safety suggestions for all manners of transportation:
Be visible at all times. Wear light or bright clothing during the day, or reflective materials at night, and keep your lights on or a flashlight in hand any time visibility is poor, but particularly at night.
Be predictable. Don't make sudden changes. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
Never assume you are visible to another party. Make eye contact to make sure you are seen.
Be alert at all times.