PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation hopes new, reflective delineator posts installed near Jefferson High School will help prevent opportunities for future drive-by shootings. 

The move comes after three Jefferson High School students were struck by stray bullets in late 2022.

There have been a string of shootings near the North Portland high school. Two Jefferson High School students were shot after school in mid-October and another student was shot in the shoulder following a drive-by shooting in November.

The posts have been installed at several points along North Commercial Avenue between North Killingsworth Street and North Alberta Street. 

This map shows where they new reflective posts are installed on North Commercial Avenue near Jefferson High School. Courtesy PBOT
This map shows where they new reflective posts are installed on North Commercial Avenue near Jefferson High School. Courtesy PBOT

Cars can still pass along the road, but the posts make it more narrow in some places and create choke points that force drivers to slow down. 

The newly installed points form a 14-foot-wide gap or “choke” point at select points, making it so that only one car can pass at a time. People driving along North Commercial Avenue will need to take turns passing through the posts. 

“It’s a deterrent in many ways for people to speed through that street, as well as if there was a drive-by shooting or something like that, it would be much harder for them to navigate through and out of a neighborhood while committing an act of violence,” said PBOT spokesperson Hannah Schafer.

PBOT said it installed the posts at the request of Portland Public Schools. 

The installations are temporary, PBOT said. The city will study them over time and remove them if it determines they’re no longer needed. 

Schafer pointed out that similar barriers proved effective in the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood.

“The safety of Portland youth, whether from traffic violence or gun violence, is paramount,” said Transportation Director Chris Warner. “PBOT was happy to lend our support to create a safer street adjacent to Jefferson High School.”

Portland Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero agreed that the street improvements are a step toward better protecting Jefferson students and the community. 

PBOT and Portland Public Schools will likely hold talks in summer 2023 to determine the next steps. PBOT said as long as there is a need for the safety measures, they’ll stay in place.



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