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Vigil brings light to tragic stretch of Barbur Blvd

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 20th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

People lit candles and gathered at a gravel turnout on SW Barbur Blvd to remember Angela Burke and to raise awareness of safety concerns.
-Full Gallery-
(Photos © J. Maus)

Vigil for Angela Burke-16
Southwest Portland resident Roger Averbeck
stands with a photo of Angela Burke.

A vigil was held tonight to remember Angela Burke, the 26-year old woman was killed last Wednesday night while trying to walk across SW Barbur Blvd. Under a full moon, inches from five lanes of high speed traffic and a few hundred feet from where Burke was struck, people lit candles, spoke softly to one another, and huddled to stay warm

"We've been doing too much talking and not enough doing."
— Marianne Fitzgerald, neighborhood activist

In order for people to attend the event without being hit themselves (people walked to the vigil location from parking lots nearby), neighborhood volunteers passed out orange safety vests and put up signs that read, "Please Drive Slowly." The Oregon Department of Transportation also set out cones along the curb to warn people in cars of the event.

Barbur in this stretch (especially during rush hour) is nearly uncrossable to all but the most daring individuals. At one point a group of Burke's co-workers who wanted to pay their respects stood across the street and looked at the gathering vigil crowd. Unable to cross, they walked a few tenths of a mile south to a signed crossing near a TriMet bus stop (even that was "scary," said one woman in the group) and then walked north in the bike lane against traffic to get to the vigil location.

Vigil for Angela Burke-20 Vigil for Angela Burke-6 Vigil for Angela Burke-22

Its dangerous maneuvers like that that make neighborhood activist Marianne Fitzgerald frustrated. She said the time has come for ODOT and the City of Portland to make Barbur safer. "We've been doing too much talking and not enough doing." Fitzgerald helped the city develop the Barbur Streetscape Plan back in 1999 but it has remained largely unfunded ever since (except for about 4,000 feet of sidewalk just south of downtown which PBOT funded through a federal stimulus grant).

"I came out tonight because I wanted to find out what I can do. Something's gotta' happen here."
— Cara Carlson, nearby resident

After the vigil, Fitzgerald will join ODOT and PBOT staff at a neighborhood meeting to discuss safety issues on Barbur. The meeting was planned two months ago — after a man was struck by a car and killed while trying to walk across Barbur about a mile south of where Burke was hit. "It's just a tragic coincidence," she said, that another life has been lost just before that meeting.

Cara Carlson, 33, lives in the Town & Country Apartments just across the street from where Burke was hit. She was driving home on Wednesday night and was escorted through the crash scene by police. "That made it so real for me," she said.

Vigil for Angela Burke-8

The experience shook Carlson into action. "I came out tonight because I wanted to find out what I can do. Something's gotta' happen here... I walk, I drive, I take the bus, and I ride by bike on this street and no matter what I'm doing, it's horrible... I love my apartment and I don't want to leave just because I'm afraid to move around."

"I didn't know Angela," Carlson said, "but I'm compelled to do something."

This tragedy was also very real for another person at the vigil; a man who was in the back seat of Caleb Pruitt's car when the collision occurred (Pruitt's girlfriend was in the passenger side and sustained minor injuries in the crash).

Malakai (a nickname, he didn't want his real name used) says he had only known Pruitt for about an hour. After having drinks, he hopped in Pruitt's Subaru sports car for a ride home. Minutes before hitting Burke, Malakai recalled that Pruitt was showing off his driving skills in what Malakai referred to as a "very nice and very fast" car.

"What do you think?!" Pruitt allegedly asked Malakai as they gained speed with each block, "Now it's not a matter of skill," Malakai replied, "It's a matter of luck." Those were the last words spoken... just before Pruitt's luck ran out.

According to Malakai, he recalls seeing Burke trying to cross the street. Pruitt, he says, tried to swerve around her, but his speed was simply too fast for either person to avoid the collision.

Could any improvement in road design prevent a collision when a young man has a few drinks and decides to take his souped-up sports car for a thrill ride? Nothing can prevent every crash, but certainly more can be done to make Barbur — with it's wide, unimpeded lanes and sweeping curves — less tempting for future Caleb Pruitts.

Ron Kroop is the ODOT District Manager of Operations and Maintenance for this area. Kroop said he takes his job seriously and "internalizes and anguishes over every fatality and injury" that happens on highways he oversees.

As for making it safer to cross, he said, "It's not an easy answer." "The speed of the vehicles and the curve make it a real challenge." He spoke of the complexity and challenges inherent in balancing the need for humans to cross the street with the ability for people in cars to stop in time to avoid hitting them (or other cars).

There's a popular TriMet bus stop just south of where Burke was hit and all that warns motor vehicle operators of its presence are signs. There is no paint, lights, or other crossing treatment to speak of. When asked about doing more to facilitate crossings, Kroop explained that ODOT worries not everyone will stop: "A concern is — and this is going to sound bad but I'm going to say it — you're trading one type of accident [people being hit], for another type of accident [rear-end collisions]."

If anyone would like to talk with Kroop about making Barbur safer, he gave me his phone number and encouraged people to call and ask him questions. (503) 229-5266.

The death of Angela Burke has activated the community and has raised questions about how we choose to balance the movement of motor vehicles with the safety of all road users. The answers might not be easy, but they can't be harder than living with the consequences of doing nothing.

— See more photos from the event here.

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  • mello yello December 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    The Subaru Impreza STI's have 300 hp/300lbs-ft of torque and AWD. They acceleration is even more brutal than the old rear wheel drive muscle cars of the 70's that had more horsepower. My cousin has one -- it can smash you deep into the seat-back and is painful on full acceleration off the line(on a track). Pruitt was doing doing this on city streets.

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  • Nick December 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    As many of us push for a society that uses cars less, I wonder what can be done to harness the thrill-seeking behavior present in so many young men? Are there other activities that could draw them away from using our roads as race tracks?

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    • q`Tzal December 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

      I like the list from the Wikipedia page:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_sport#Classification

      Nine air sports are mentioned including: BASE jumping, bungee jumping, gliding, hang gliding, high wire, ski jumping, sky diving, sky surfing, and sky flying.

      Eighteen land sports including:indoor climbing, adventure racing, aggressive inline skating, BMX, caving, extreme motocross, extreme skiing, freestyle skiing, land and ice yachting, mountain biking, mountain boarding, outdoor climbing, sandboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding, snowmobiling, speed biking, speed skiing, scootering and street luge.

      Fifteen water sports including: barefoot water skiing, cliff diving, free-diving, jet skiing, open water swimming, powerboat racing, round the world yacht racing, scuba diving, snorkeling, speed sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, whitewater kayaking, windsurfing.

      The problem is that we accept that this thrill seeking behavior will take place amongst non-thrill seekers.

      Play hard, play dangerous but do it away from those not playing hard or dangerous.

      I was a thrill seeking driver doing +120mph interstate weaving when it suddenly hit me: "the buzz is not from endangering others but myself and I was going to have to kick up the hazard level far beyond the public's ability to react safely". THAT is when I started driving in a sane manner.

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  • K'Tesh December 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    The thing I keep thinking is that DWI is 100% preventable.

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  • K'Tesh December 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    More photos of tonights event
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157625517534711/

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  • mello yello December 21, 2010 at 12:13 am

    It's a wait and see to learn the level of intoxication of Pruitt during the crash. At this point, I'm inclined to believe the hot-dogging and loss of control of a powerful car by a showoff was the main culprit. DUI's have an element of oblivious inattention on the part of the driver. Pruitt knew exactly what he was doing with the car before the crash -- and just couldn't control it at such high speed.

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    • K'Tesh December 21, 2010 at 12:59 am

      I believe that the alcohol played a role. Perhaps the driver would have never been showing off without the relaxation of his inhibitions that it caused. No matter what, he has to live with the consequences, and so does Angela's family .

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  • EMS December 21, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Angela loosing her life was a tragedy that will not soon be forgotten by many, not the least of whom her family and friends. As a TriMet bus driver who drive past this dark and busy stretch of road several times every evening, I am aware of how scary and dangerous this area is for my passengers who get on and off my bus. I find it disturbing that there is not a better way to secure the cross walk near the apartments that was put in a few years back - would a traffic light do the job here? I certainly would not mind stopping for a light to have people cross this busy highway in a safer manner. Certainly, something needs to be done here.

    My heart goes out to Angela's family and friends...

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    • Nick December 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      Interesting that a TriMet driver posted a comment; there was something Angela said to me at work that day that's nagging me, and is related...

      She said she didn't know how to put her bike on the bus racks. (She usually would drive, but car was in the shop. Was supposed to be done, too, but mechanic said it needed another hour or two...). So coming into work (and going home, as we see), she biked all the way to/from the MAX downtown.

      She kind of brushed it off ("probably faster to bike it anyways", etc.), but coming home in those conditions after work...maybe it would have made a difference.

      Is that a common problem---the bus bike racks seeming intimidating or difficult to use for people new to it? Is there a way to increase education about that?

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  • Spiffy December 21, 2010 at 6:58 am

    it's nice to see such a good turnout... wish I could have made it... seems like the event got the attention of some DOT groups so hopefully they'll start doing something to improve the area...

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  • malka December 21, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Although it's not quite the "autobahn" that Barbur is, Powell, too, can be treacherous to cross at certain times of the day (or night). Several weeks ago, I called the city's safety hotline regarding the pedestrian crossing at Powell and SE 54th Ave. It has no lighting, and after dark is practically invisible as a pedestrian crossing (not that drivers are much more respectful during daylight hours). I was told that someone would contact me about the "project" but that it could take six weeks or longer to receive a response. If Angela's untimely death can in any way be rectified it will be through ongoing civic activism for safer road conditions and driver awareness.

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    • Steve B December 21, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you, Malka. Indeed, it is a call for all of us to work harder on these dangerous conditions throughout the city.

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  • Joseph December 21, 2010 at 7:05 am

    @EMS

    A "real" traffic signal at the crosswalk with flashing warning signs around the curve to alert drivers that they may need to stop is an excellent idea and should be worth the cost to prevent the loss of additional lives. And to Mr. Kroop, I'd rather have rear-end accidents than pedestrians getting run down, as there is a higher chance for survival for those being rear-ended than there is for those on foot.

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  • Merckxrider December 21, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Nick
    As many of us push for a society that uses cars less, I wonder what can be done to harness the thrill-seeking behavior present in so many young men? Are there other activities that could draw them away from using our roads as race tracks?
    </blockqu
    Cycling organizations should do some propaganda and outreach to young men using the idea that motor depencence is unmanly--"What kind of pussy lets a motorised box carry them around"; "Real men are their own motors" "Driving is gay." Use the kind of sexist and homophobic slurs that young men use in conversation with each other if you want to get their attention. I'm old enough to be invisible when eavsdropping in public places and know what I'm hearing--this is the one approach that just might work to de-lini driving and masculinity.

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  • thefuture December 21, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I'd like to see more restrictions in terms of car companies advertising bad and extreme driving habits especially in commercials. What other industry do you see advertised that encourages you to use their product illegally? Pretty much any commercial with the caption at the bottom 'professional driver...closed course' means they're going to be driving said car super fast and in many cases through an urban environment.

    I can recall seeing one recently where a guy is driving crazy just to get a box of doughnuts to a meeting at his office in time. Seriously?

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  • wally December 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

    As usual, a great job of reporting and thoughtful commentary. Thanks, Jonathan.

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  • matt picio December 21, 2010 at 9:06 am

    "walked north in the bike lane against traffic" - Unfortunately, in the absence of sidewalks, that's exactly what they're supposed to do. On a road like Barbur, that makes things less safe both for the pedestrian and for any cyclists riding in that lane. This is a major reason why it's so important to build Complete Streets and to complete the Essential Pedestrian Network that Multnomah County and Portland have both identified.

    I wasn't able to attend last night, but thank you all who went, for braving the cold, the traffic, and for reminding people of the tragic consequences of driving drunk.

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  • Mark December 21, 2010 at 9:08 am

    State DOTs are usually a bottleneck when cities try to design low-speed, pedestrian/bike friendly streets. States should not have as much control over local streets as they do. Neighborhoods and local jurisdictions know more about local road safety issues than a state org ever will.

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  • the "other" steph December 21, 2010 at 9:21 am

    @Wally +1. Thanks, Jonathan, and thanks to all who took time to join the vigil.

    It was deeply moving to be among people who feel vulnerable on our roads and who grieve for a loved one or someone they may not have had the chance to meet. I feel accountable to last evening's memory and know I'm not alone.

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  • Joseph December 21, 2010 at 10:09 am

    By the way, who is this rear-seat passenger? Why does the Trib article only mention "The passenger riding in Pruitt’s 2008 Subaru Impreza was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after the collision." I've not seen any news articles up to this point mention a third occupant in the car, although the Oregonian has used the language "a passenger in [the car]..." which could mean there were additional passengers, but none were mentioned explicitly that I have seen.

    ref: http://goo.gl/4ITau

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

      Joseph,

      The rear seat passenger is the guy I mention in my story. No one else has reported it because it's simply not known. After the crash, "Malakai" called the police and then fled the scene. He has since been subpoenaed by the DA and is cooperating with them and the police.

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      • Joseph December 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

        Interesting. Thank you.

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  • wsbob December 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

    "... Malakai (a nickname, he didn't want his real name used) says he had only known Pruitt for about an hour. After having drinks, he hopped in Pruitt's Subaru sports car for a ride home. Minutes before hitting Burke, Malakai recalled that Pruitt was showing off his driving skills in what Malakai referred to as a "very nice and very fast" car.

    "What do you think?!" Pruitt allegedly asked Malakai as they gained speed with each block, "Now it's not a matter of skill," Malakai replied, "It's a matter of luck." Those were the last words spoken... just before Pruitt's luck ran out.

    According to Malakai, he recalls seeing Burke trying to cross the street. Pruitt, he says, tried to swerve around her, but his speed was simply too fast for either person to avoid the collision. ..." maus/bikeportland

    It's quite a catch to have had 'Malakai' be so forthcoming for this story. I hope his words here are consistent with answers to questions the police likely have asked of him.

    Guys like Pruitt are the reason the public has been forced to equip streets with speed bumps. At the least, everyone that has to use the road for some reason, is inconvenienced, and even worse...terrorized, injured or killed as Angela Burke was, because people like Pruitt don't drive safely on city streets.

    If and when Pruit ever gets to drive a motor vehicle on a public road again, it probably should be something that can't go any faster than a riding lawn mower (and definitely not one's that's been modified for racing.).

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  • q`Tzal December 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

    For safety gatherings and vigils like this:

    Could one of those portable speed radar signs (like in this image) be wheeled out? Even if the local Police don't do any thing else other than drop it off?

    Could one of those portable speed radar signs simply be bought by the BTA or a local pedestrian coalition to be onsite for this sort of instance?

    Could someone record the speeds of every auto that then continues to speed and hope to achieve something? I envision a large group of people: measuring out a specified distance, having a spotter of extra fast vehicles, a coordinator who announces (by radio?) to everyone who they are timing and when to start their stopwatches, and at least three people at the end of the marked distance to independently record the elapsed time, license plate and a brief description of the driver.

    Maybe I'm feeling evil but it might be fun to sit about 200 yards either direction from the bus stop crossing area after dusk with a big sign that people could flip up that states:
    "WILL YOU BE ABLE TO STOP FOR THE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING AHEAD?"

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    • Spiffy December 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

      I would love to be able to issue citations in a group setting like that... I've often thought of taking camera footage and sending it to the police and media... but I heard they can't do anything without a clear face, even though they have the vehicle info, so they won't hold owners accountable for their vehicles...

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  • Bjorn December 21, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • mikeybikey December 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

    If those doesn't prove the case for strict liability, then what does?!

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  • Sharron Clemons December 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I would love to be able to issue citations in a group setting like that... I've often thought of taking camera footage and sending it to the police and media... but I heard they can't do anything without a clear face, even though they have the vehicle info, so they won't hold owners accountable for their vehicles...

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  • Joe December 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    So sad, I have a question anyone know the law regarding riding in the middle lane here in PDX, yesterday had a old guy yell at me and said thats why we hate you people. I was like come on, almost hit a ped he was so mad. * Ive rode/lived in SF and lotta places but some people here in OREGON just dont understand the law. ( Im 45 years old and have been biking for many years )

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    • CaptainKarma December 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      The old generation will be dying off over time and hopefully the newer generations will be mor open minded and tolerant. I believe it will be so.

      Sounds like that guy listens to too much (i.e., any) talk radio.

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    • toby December 22, 2010 at 12:51 am

      I believe that Oregon law requires cyclists to ride as far right as practicable, with exceptions such as; turning left, if it's single lane and there's not enough room for vehicle to pass, etc. I'm sure there's more, but yeah, if you're riding downtown on a one way with three lanes (if I inferred your statement correctly) then you should be in the right lane unless you were making a left turn, as best as I understand it. Assuming the far right was not an exit only and you were going straight.

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      • Alexis December 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm

        ORS 814.430 is what covers this. In short, downtown, where there is no bike lane, if you are keeping up with traffic, you may be wherever you like.

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  • KWW December 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    That stretch of road is downright dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists (drunk drivers or not). How many more people have to die for a segregated bike/pedestrian lane with 30" high jersey barriers?

    They are good enough for this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dora_Baghdad_soldiers.jpg
    and good enough to protect ODOT and highway contractors while they work on the roads:
    http://www.solutions.precast.org/pdfs/Traffic_Barriers.pdf

    Why aren't they good enough for us?

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    • Steve B December 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. I wish we would look at both temporary and long-term solutions for separation. If you visit NYC anytime soon, you'll see they've picked up on this and seem to be adding barrier walls to bikeways with alacrity.

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  • VRytt December 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I saw the vigil last night, it was very moving, and I applaud all involved.

    I suppose I'm just venting, but I'm a little confused by something - and to be honest, a little frustrated. I keep seeing comments on other blogs and articles like this:

    "Sucks she chose to ride or walk her bike on a very dark and twisty stretch of Barbur at that time of night - I live in the area and I never would"

    I'm curious as to the authors other solution?

    A. It was dark because it was night time, and at night - it's dark. She was coming home from work.

    B. I live in the area too, I'm curious as to what this person would have done differently? How else was Angela supposed to get home? She could've taken Hamilton down to Corbett, crossed over the 5, and gone up and down Slavin, but that route doesn't have as many lights, barely any bike lanes, and it's twisty as well (granted, it's not as dangerous as Barbur, but I often witness a fair share of crazy drivers on this route)

    You can cut right through our apartments and reach her complex very quickly if you come from Barbur.

    These are the only 2 ways she could've gotten home. Are people suggesting that she should've stayed at work until the next morning after the sun came up? She'd still have to take one of the same routes.

    I guess I'm just confused and honestly irritated at so many people (on other blogs) focusing so harshly on why she was walking / biking home at night on Barbur - yet they never state what they would've done differently.

    I don't mean to be naive, I know it happens all the time, and everyone has a right to thier opinion, I guess mine is just that I'm irritated at the focus of some people.

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    • VRytt December 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      In reflection, perhaps thier argument was that she should have crossed at Hamilton and walked her bike on the sidewalk against traffic on the other side of Barbur, but it's still a twisty, dark, not well lit section of Barbur. I don't know...just irritated that blame would be placed on her rather than a speeding, intoxicated driver.

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      • sam December 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

        It's human nature. When something awful happens to someone, people look for whatever they can find that adds up to: Why That Won't Happen To Me. It's gross, but it's human.

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  • scoot December 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I was too sick to go, but I watched out my window, overlooking Barbur, and I saw people streaming by. I'm guessing it was the group that rode from PSU that had one SuperLit bike with blue wheel lights and all. It was good to watch and know what was happening. Thank you all for going.

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  • Roger Averbeck December 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks to all who helped organize the event - Steph from WPC, Margaux from BTA, Marianne from SW Neighborhoods, Don from SW Trails, Ron from ODOT.

    Just a guess, close to 100 people, who deeply care about safety and livability: Angela's coworkers, neighbors, advocates, pedestrians, bicyclists, transportation planners and engineers, all came together to support Angela's memory and renew our commitment for safer streets. Her tragic loss will not be vain if we keep working together.

    Neighborhood advocates have asked for and will keep asking for crossing improvements at the Rasmussen Apts transit stop nearby. Specifically, we requested that ODOT install a set of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB's), plus pavement markings at the crossing.

    Just a few of the many improvements needed on Barbur: A consistent speed limit (35 mph) all the way to the city limits, 11 ft traffic lanes (existing are 12 ft) on the bridges, fill in sidewalk and bike lane gaps, bike lane markings at the Cap Hwy "offramp", wider sidewalks on the bridges, improved illumination at the crossing and on the bridges, etc...

    Now that Barbur is designated as a "high crash corridor", we look forward to hearing what will actually change as a result of this classification.

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  • mello yello December 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Another pedestrian hit this morning -- this time my mom: http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Pedestrian-struck-in-Newberg-112281089.html

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    • the "other" steph December 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      It's your mom? Is she recovering?

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      • mello yello December 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm

        still at OHSU...she's stable though...won't let her out until they're completely sure of her head injury

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  • the "other" steph December 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Glad she's stable and will be thinking of her this evening. I'm so sorry, mello.

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  • Lance P. December 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I could only hope that the courts treat this case similar to a case in Southern CA. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BL49A20101222

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  • Elizabeth December 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    OMG. I just read the part saying:

    After having drinks, he hopped in Pruitt's Subaru sports car for a ride home. Minutes before hitting Burke, Malakai recalled that Pruitt was showing off his driving skills in what Malakai referred to as a "very nice and very fast" car.
    "What do you think?!" Pruitt allegedly asked Malakai.

    Seriously? It's amazing this jerk didn't kill anyone sooner. Money obviously doesn't but brains.

    I hope Pruitt gets locked away for a VERY long time (forever perhaps?) and is haunted every, single, day about the life he robbed from this girl's family and friends (not to mention Portland)

    And the girlfriend and Malakai - who didn't stop this idiot from driving - should live with the devastating memories of watching that poor girl take her very last steps on this earth before they carelessly took her down, and ultimately killed her. I don't believe it's harsh to say that these 3 people are cold-blooded murderers. How is it that they're alive and she's dead? It's always the good ones that are taken too soon.. and the ones that remain alive? The losers that killed them.

    RIP Angela.

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  • GlowBoy December 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    "I'd rather have rear-end accidents than pedestrians getting run down" -Joseph

    I agree. And I say that despite having been rear-ended on Barbur while stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and having gone through months of physical therapy afterwards.

    I wouldn't wish what happened to me on anyone, but I too would rather have a few more rear-enders so pedestrians can get across this quasi-freeway more safely. I don't blame the pedestrian crossing for my injuries, I blame the inattentive driver behind me who was blasting along at 50mph on Barbur without watching the road. I still stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and I FULLY support improving the crosswalk by Town & Country Apts.

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  • Kevin Wagoner January 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Any updates on making Barber safer? I did a recording today for an insurance claim for someone a pedestrian that was hit yesterday on Barber at the cross walk from the bus stop around mile post 2 or 3 heading south on Barber from downtown. Ridiculous that nothing has been done to calm this stretch of road.

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