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Portland Passenger Ferry Aims to Reduce Traffic Congestion But Carries Certain Risks

Traffic congestion throughout the city is a major problem for local residents. In addition to the aggravation it causes and the time it takes from your schedule, it increases the risks of car accidents in Portland. These can impact drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. A new ferry system promises to provide some relief, but it is important to be aware of potential hazards. 

How Heavy Traffic Increases Car Accident Risks

Commuting to the city for business, entertainment, or personal reasons means you will likely encounter traffic congestion. In addition to wasting time, it increases car accident risks by making motorists more likely to engage in aggressive driving behaviors. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), among the most common include: 

  • Cutting other drivers off when passing;
  • Driving too fast for conditions;
  • Failing to yield;
  • Following too closely;
  • Running red lights, stop signs, and disregarding other traffic signals. 

Congested traffic conditions also provide little room for error. When slamming on the brakes or skidding due to wet roads or other conditions, it is likely to trigger a chain reaction and impact other motorists on the road. 

Frog Ferry Launches Test Run From North Portland To Downtown Area

In an effort to reduce traffic congestion, there are plans for a Portland passenger ferry system. According to an October 14, 2021 KGW 8 News report, the vessel is expected to be operational by the spring of 2023 and would take riders from Cathedral Park to the South Waterfront in 25 minutes. It is part of a plan for a larger ferry system extending from Portland to Vancouver which promises to reduce traffic and save commuters’ money in gas and parking fees, while also benefiting the environment. 

Frog Ferry is the provider for the system and has been working with city leaders for over four years. In an Operational Feasibility Study conducted in 2020, the company identified two major issues in regards to passenger safety: 

  • Public safety at the terminal: Lack of proper dock maintenance, inadequate security,  crowded staging areas, and long wait times are all identified as potential issues that could put ferry passengers at risk. 
  • On-board passenger safety: Frog Ferry travels at roughly 22 miles per hour. While this is considered slow when riding in a vehicle, on the water it is fast enough to put standing passengers at risk. Making sure deck areas are clean and dry, providing adequate seating, and making riders familiar with standard safety practices can help reduce risks.  

Contact an Attorney for Help

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injuries in Portland, followed by public transportation accidents. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we want you to be aware of the risks. When these impact you or someone you love, our Portland personal injury attorneys help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online and request a consultation today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.