Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 9th, 2009 at 1:47 pm
(Still taken from Oregonian video
-- watch it below).
Responding to a week where several Portlanders were injured and one woman was killed while walking across SE Foster Blvd, Portland Mayor Sam Adams visited the site this morning. His visit comes on the eve of an awareness action by local safety advocates and on the same morning that national organization Transportation For America released a new report about pedestrian safety.
Adams said he walked several blocks around the intersection of Foster and 80th. After his walk Adams updated his Twitter account saying he would "recommend some immediate changes today."
The Portland-based non-profit Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (WPC) plans to hold a demonstration tomorrow following a string of tragic collisions that claimed the life of one woman and seriously injured two others while they attempted to walk across the intersection.
SE Foster and 80th is well-known as a perilous intersection. The Oregonian reported last week that some local residents liken it to a "freeway". The existing pedestrian island was installed in 2005 after someone died while walking across. Watch a video of the intersection by The Oregonian below:
This morning, Transportation For America unveiled a report, Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods) ranking America’s major metro areas and states according to a Pedestrian Danger Index.
"Although Portland is considered safer for pedestrians than most metropolitan regions in the country... We are still clearly not investing enough to protect our citizens from speeding traffic."
-- Steph Routh, Director of Willamette Pedestrian Coalition
The authors find that most pedestrian deaths could be prevented if streets were more thoughtfully designed to accomodate people and not just motorized vehicles.
The report found that Oregon spends less than 2%, or $1.28 per capita, on pedestrian facilities and safety. The Portland Metro area was ranked third in safety out of six regions in Oregon and 44th out of the top 52 largest metro areas in the country (with 1st being the most dangerous).
In a statement about the report issued today by the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, their leader Steph Routh said even though Portland ranked relatively high, there's still more that needs to be done.
"Although Portland is considered safer for pedestrians than most metropolitan regions in the country, the spate of recent collisions in Portland between pedestrians and motorists prove that we are still clearly not investing enough to protect our citizens from speeding traffic."
You can download the WPC's entire press release here (55kb PDF).
Mayor Adams' Transportation Director Catherine Ciarlo was tight-lipped about what PBOT's "immediate actions" would be on SE Foster. "We'll issue a statement tomorrow... We're looking into seeing everything we can do to make sure the visibility is as good as it can possibly be."
- Pedestrian Safety Awareness Action
SE Foster Rd near 80th Ave.
Tuesday, November 10th 5:00-6:30pm
Download Willamette Pedestrian Coalition Press Release for more details (86kb PDF)
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