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What are the most dangerous streets in Portland for bicyclists?

Southeast Portland is particularly dangerous for bicyclists. Traffic accident statistics show that it has a high concentration of bicycle versus automobile accidents in comparison to other areas of the city. Approximately 1,600 car versus bike crashes happened in the area during the period of 2009 through 2013.

Out of Portland's 10 most dangerous roads to ride your bicycle on, six of them are located in Southeast Portland. One of the most dangerous is Powell Boulevard. A 22-year-old cyclist was involved in a tragic crash on a recent Sunday on Powell Boulevard and he had to have his right leg amputated as a result.

However, Southeast Division Street is by far the most dangerous with 59 bike versus car accidents from 2009 to 2013. The next worst streets for bicycle safety in order of most dangerous to least dangerous are: Northeast Broadway Street, with 49 crashes; Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard with 42 crashes; Southeast Powell Boulevard, with 37 crashes; East Burnside Street, with 35; Northwest Broadway, with 31 crashes; Southeast Stark Street, with 30 crashes; Southwest Capitol Highway, with 28 crashes; Southeast Holgate Boulevard, with 27 crashes; and Southeast Foster Road, with 26 crashes.

Since the recent Powell Boulevard collision, dozens of bicycle rights advocates have been gathering to ask for safety improvements. One demonstrator with the group says that the intersection where the accident happened has seen crash after crash. Meanwhile a spokesperson representing the Oregon Department of Transportation said that they plan a $3.8 million safety upgrade to the section of Powell where the accident happened, and they plan on completing the upgrades by 2017.

When it comes to a cycling crash, Portland residents on bikes are no match for automobiles, and such incidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries for the bicyclist. Until safety upgrades are completed on the above-listed roadways, bicyclists might want to avoid these dangerous roads and take side roads or alternative routes instead.

Source: The Oregonian, "Portland's worst streets for bike-car crashes? SE Division, data show," Amy Wang, May. 18, 2015

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