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Portland, Oregon – Vision Zero City Profile for Boca Raton

by Jim Wood

This article “Portland, Oregon – Vision Zero Profile for Boca Raton” is a way to inform Boca Raton city officials and residents as we plan our own Vision Zero project. To assist the city effort, BocaFirst has developed a number of services on bocafirst.org. They can be found here.

Background on Portland’s Vision Zero Project

We selected Portland for a Vision Zero profile city because of their excellence in transportation planning and implementation. They were the first community in the US to receive a platinum Bicycle Friendly Community award and are currently only one of five communities to hold that distinction. They have also received awards for their walkability

Portland completed their Vision Zero Action Plan Vision Zero vF.indd (portland.gov) in December, 2016 and began implementation shortly thereafter. Their goal is to eliminate all fatalities and serious injuries on Portland roadways by 2025. The scope of their plan includes all roadways within their city boundaries with the exception of interstate highways.

Portland Details

Details about the City of Portland are here.

Crash History

Portland’s crash statistics copied from their Vision Zero 2022 Deadly Traffic Crash Report are in the following table.

Portland – All Roads20182019202020212022
Severe Injuries241274206**
* Unavailable

Clearly the fatality trend during Vision Zero implementation is in the wrong direction. There are a number of factors contributing to this and we will provide a separate article on reported causes. In February, 2021 Portland dissolved its Vision Zero task force, but remains committed to the Vision Zero goals.

The Portland Vision Zero Action Plan

Portland’s Action Plan has four major crash factors that are decomposed into specific actions in the plan.

  1. Street design
  2. Impairment
  3. Speed
  4. Dangerous behaviors

Lessons for Boca Raton

Some relevant aspects of Portland’s Vision Zero project for Boca Raton include.

  1. Including state and county roadways in Boca Raton’s action plan is the right thing to do but makes achieving Vision Zero goals very difficult. Boca Raton has several state and county roadways within its boundaries that have speed limits equal to or greater than 40 mph. Research Literture Review on Vehicle Travel Speeds and Pedestrian Injuries (nhtsa.gov) shows the following:
  1. A pedestrian hit at 20 mph or less has a 5% chance of death
    1. A pedestrian hit at 30 mph has a 40% chance of death
    1. A pedestrian hit at 40 mph has an 80% chance of death
    1. A pedestrian hit at 50 mph or greater has nearly 100% chance of death.

While progress can be made on city-owned roadways with relatively minor changes, reaching Vision Zero goals on Boca Raton’s state and county roadways will require bold actions.

  1. Some innovative Vision Zero communication tools include:
  1. A dashboard: Vision Zero Dashboard | Tableau Public
    1. A monthly newsletter: PBOT Vision Zero March 2023 NewsletterFree merchandise: Request Free Vision Zero Pins, Stickers, Brochures, and Fliers
    1. Free yard signs: Request a Vision Zero Yard Sign
  • Often only the victims’ immediate family and friends are aware of the details of roadway deaths; thus, desensitizing most residents of the horror of roadway deaths. Portland tries to overcome this situation by publishing details regarding the victims and crashes. See pages 4-7 in their annual Vision Zero report: download it.
  • Maintaining the productivity of a large volunteer organization, such as a Vision Zero Task Force, is difficult over a long term. A different organization structure should be considered for Vision Zero implementation.


The objective of “Portland, Oregon – Vision Zero Profile for Boca Raton” is to provide Vision Zero Action Plan insights for Boca Raton city officials and residents.

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