As part of a long-standing effort to make it safer to drive, bike, and walk in our community, the City of Salem will add a new safety feature at high volume intersections.
New Intersection Safety Measures. Beginning September 1, motorists who exceed the speed limit while driving through high-volume intersections may be captured on camera and issued tickets. These new safety measures are designed to reduce crashes in and around intersections by encouraging drivers to slow down. Initially, Fisher Rd NE and Silverton Rd NE will have the new technology activated with other locations to be added at a later date.
“Speed plays a major role in motor vehicle crashes, especially those resulting in serious injuries,” says Steve Powers, Salem City Manager. “Our goal is to improve driver behavior and safety for everyone at high volume intersections. Changing driver habits will make Salem’s roads safer for everyone who uses them.”
To discourage drivers from entering intersections on red lights, Salem added photo enforcement cameras to three intersections in 2008. Since they were installed, Salem has seen a 92 percent decrease in traffic crashes at those locations. Later this year, the City will also add photo red-light cameras at Commercial and Madrona Ave. SE, Commercial Blvd. and Kuebler Blvd., and Center St and Hawthorne Ave NE.
School Zone Safety. September signals the beginning of a new school year and an increase in the number of drivers, cyclist and pedestrians trying to safely get to and from school. To prepare for students returning to Salem-Keizer schools, we’re reminding everyone that school speed zone beacons will be flashing in your neighborhoods to help kids get to school and return home safely. Please remember to travel at no more than 20 miles per hour when in a school zone with flashing beacons so that you can react quickly if a child makes an unexpected move in your lane of travel.
Safe Passage and Crossings for Bikers and Walkers. Salem will continue building bike lanes and pathways, adding and improving sidewalks, and installing flashing lights at crosswalks to make riders and pedestrians more easily seen. In the past several years, the City has also added crosswalks and pedestrian crossing islands, made improvements to intersections and installed speed humps throughout Salem to be a more biking and walking friendly city.
In September, we’ll also open a new pedestrian crossing at Commercial and Royvonne with a striped crosswalk, American with Disabilities Act compliant curb ramps, a median island, and rapid flashing lights to alert drivers. This is one of several pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement projects that have been prioritized for funding in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan based on recommendations of the 2018 City of Salem Pedestrian Safety Study.
The Pedestrian Safety Study looked at crash data, police reports, and field observations across the city of Salem. The recommendations include safety measures for certain intersections and corridors, strategies for citywide application, and suggested policy updates. The development of a “Safer Crossings Program” that is now nearing completion and will provide Salem residents a clear process to request pedestrian improvements and track the status of requested projects.
Other pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement projects recently completed or under construction include:
- Stop signs and radar speed signs along Fisher Rd NE;
- Ryan Drive SE Pedestrian Safety Improvements;
- Improvements to the sidewalks and street lighting on portions of 12th St SE;
- Rapid-flashing beacons and sidewalk improvements on Portland Rd;
- Completion of several Winter-Maple Family Friendly Bikeway improvements with more planned;
- 22nd Street SE Pedestrian crossing;
- Church Street Pedestrian Bridge Replacement
Learn more about improvements planned in your neighborhood. Here are a few more ways you can help keep Salem’s streets safer for all: