One of Portland’s Most Dangerous Intersections Finally Gets a Traffic Camera

That’s possible because lawmakers expanded who can write the tickets.

The intersection of Southeast 122nd Avenue and Stark Street. (Sam Gehrke)

The city of Portland installed a first-of-its-kind traffic safety camera at a major intersection Tuesday, the start of a new technique to make the city’s most dangerous streets less deadly.

The camera, installed at Southeast Stark Street and 122nd Avenue, will issue automatic tickets for speeding and running red lights to drivers traveling east on Stark. (Before now, the city only had cameras that either monitored speeding or running red lights—but not both.) Citations will be issued come May 11.

The intersection chosen by city transportation officials is the same one featured by WW in a March 2021 cover story on traffic deaths. Stark and 122nd are two of the city’s most dangerous streets: Three pedestrians died on each road between 2017 and 2019.

The city plans to install additional devices this year.

The installation follows a March change in Oregon law that scrapped a requirement that a sworn police officer review every automated ticket. The law now allows a civilian to review such tickets.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, championed the change. She tells WW the cameras are a “cost-effective way to reduce dangerous driving on our streets” and says she’ll continue to push for “more of this technology.”

This article was published with support from the Jackson Foundation, whose mission is: “To promote the welfare of the public of the City of Portland or the State of Oregon, or both.”

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