Home > Complete Streets, Cultural Movement, dangerous by design, Design the Details, Visual Stimulus > Stopping distances approaching Division St. and 11th St.

Stopping distances approaching Division St. and 11th St.

Recognition + Reaction + Breaking = Stopping Distance 


Important to recall the consequences at these different speeds. For instance, if you’re struck by a car going 40-mph, there’s a 70% chance you don’t make it. At 30-mph, there is a good chance you’ll live.

Chart by PBOT via Bike Portland

The above are distances to recognize, react and physically stop when something or someone presents. Of course, there are variations between people, automobiles and environmental conditions. Also, the above numbers are high estimates, but even with lower numbers (Yupedia) the pattern holds true.

The faster we drive, the longer it takes to stop.

Or, put in the context of Division St., the more it is designed for speed, the more likely severe crashes will take place. In this section of Division St., beginning at 8th St. going south the speed limit is 40-mph and it is designed to be driven comfortably at 55-mph. It has wide lanes, a clear sight distance, and a lot of us race in attempt to avoid red lights.

We need to start changing the context…




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  1. February 20, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Very useful to see that even at the speed limit it takes you over 1/2 a block to stop.

    Maybe we could race to see if we can avoid killing folks – everyone’s a winner.

  2. Brian
    February 20, 2012 at 10:17 am


    As someone once rear-ended by a truck going 35 miles an hour I can attest to the severity of such a collision. Thankfully, I’m alive and recovered a dozen years later but not before a couple of years of dealing wth the ramifications….

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