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24 hours, two people hit (one killed) walking across Division Street

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 5th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

It has been a horrible start to a new year for the safety of people walking on the streets of Portland. In the past 24 hours, two people have been hit (one of them killed by a hit-and-run driver) while attempting to cross SE Division Street.

SE Division street as it appears on PBOT's High Crash Corridors map. The dots represent crashes recorded between 1999 and 2008. Larger dots represent multiple crashes.

At the end of last year, Mayor Sam Adams and the City of Portland designated SE Division Street and 122nd (just four blocks from where a man was killed last night) as the second most dangerous intersection in the city and made it part of their High Crash Corridor program which was launched in November.

At about 1:49 pm today, a 47-year old woman sustained life-threatening injuries after being hit by a man driving a pickup near Division and 170th. Police say the man driving the truck is cooperating with the investigation and did not show any signs of impairment.

Last night, 38-year old Rance Lee Lamb from Southeast Portland was hit and killed while attempting to walk across Division near 126th Avenue. The driver of the car did not stop and is currently on the loose. According to police, witnesses say a black vehicle (maybe a Mercedes Benz) struck Lamb and then sped away "at a high rate of speed." The driver has been described as a white female in her mid to late 20's. If you have any information about this crash or the driver, contact Officer Peter Kurronen at (503) 823-2208.

In 2010, 15 people were killed while walking on the streets of Portland.

Both of these crashes are tragedies on many levels. These wide, fast arterial streets continue to claim victims and we have yet to dedicate significant resources to tame them. Banners are not enough. We need a combination of new policies, laws, and infrastructure to turn these de facto "freeways" (in the words of Mayor Adams) into streets that improve our city instead of continuing to degrade it.

UPDATE, 1/6: From PPB:

Portland Police Major Crash Team Investigators have determined that vehicle parts left at the scene of this morning's fatal pedestrian hit and run match a black 90's era Mercedes Benz, possibly S Class model. The hit and run vehicle will have damage to the right front headlight along with possible hood damage. Investigators are still looking to find this vehicle and identify the white female driver.

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  • Dave January 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Agreed - while I don't think it's always clear who is to blame in these incidents (speaking very generally, and not necessarily about these specific ones, since I know very few details), one thing at least is clear - our infrastructure and law do not support safe use of our streets in many cases (particularly on these large streets). If you're going to make a law that every street corner is a crosswalk, you need to set speed limits and build the street in such a way that people are traveling at speeds where they can actually stop for people crossing, and can actually see the people waiting to cross. Simply saying every corner is a crosswalk on a street like SE Powell BLVD does no good whatsoever because nobody is going to set foot in a road where the normal speed of travel is 35-40mph, with nothing to stop people or alert them to the presence of other people other than paint on the road. That's just encouraging people to get hurt, in my opinion.

    It seems absolutely crazy to me that so many lives are lost just in order to enable people to get places. Something really intentional and serious needs to change, as soon as possible.

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  • Ryan Good January 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    One person dead, another with life-threatening injuries. I wish I had something poignant and insightful to say, but what is there to say? I'm so sick of reading about people being MOWED DOWN BY CARS while just trying to walk/bike around the city. What is it going to take to make this stop?

    My deepest sympathies to Lamb's family and friends.

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  • JIM R January 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for the update Jonathan.

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  • Stig10 January 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Maybe the BTA could choose to focus on making the streets safer for everyone instead of just cyclists. A way to do that would be to launch a campaign to make Oregon the toughest state in the union on DUI and hit-and-run.

    I'd imagine they'd get quite a bit more political support. Everyone deserves safety from the worst and most aggressive 10% driving our streets.

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  • Random_rider January 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    So very sad. We have no way of knowing who was at fault or to what extent in either of these collisions and I hope for a quick recovery and justice for those involved. It's impossible to design a completely safe transportation system but by now it has to be abundantly clear that what we currently have simply doesn't work. The State must give local jurisdictions control over setting speed limits. The City must slow traffic down. If drivers get to their destination 5 minutes later and it saves a life, great.

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  • BURR January 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    the engineers should have known when they designed and built these streets that they would be deadly to pedestrians.

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    • rigormrtis January 6, 2011 at 9:15 am

      And anyone who fills a pool with water should know that someone may drown.

      I think most people know that being in front of a car doing 40+ has the potential for injury.

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    • Allison January 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      When division was graded and built it didn't carry nearly as much traffic as it does now, especially at 122nd. There's been a great deal of infill which increases the car density - which is generally a good thing. And it's not like engineers get to make policy. If traffic engineers ran the world, it'd look pretty different.

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  • Joe January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    hit and run what does it take to wake these assholes in cars up, one thing I notice about Portland is drivers dont give a shit about anything but themsefls.

    The will tail gun you one 23rd and almost all NW side
    its sucks.. I just want to get down the road and not
    battle with a 2 ton beast, with a brain dead zomble.

    sorry I was almost hit 2x's last week near burnside
    the void..

    my heart goes out to all that battle these roads.

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  • Vladislav Davidzon January 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    At the end of the day, fault matters very little when the bottom line is that both the driver and the pedestrian are both ultimately victims of really bad design. Really really bad and stupid design.

    A roadway and vehicle design that allows someone to travel at an unsafe speed or in a way that endangers people is the problem. This isn't a republican or a democrat issue, it's a fundamental design issue. The sooner we start understanding that there is such a thing as BAD design and GOOD design, the sooner we're going to move beyond the idiotic car.vs.pedestrian.vs.bike debates towards actual solutions.

    There was a time before Ralph Nader where we accepted bad design of cars as a given. The design changes he demanded, such as seat belts, have saved millions of lives. He achieved that because he managed to steer the dialogue from one about the actions of the drivers to the fundamental design of the machine. We need to do the same thing today, but on a whole different scale -- shifting the dialogue from one about assigning fault to the driver or the pedestrian, to viciously judging the design of the roadway and the machinery.

    There is nothing short of outright war on our streets, and we can and must do better.

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    • rigormrtis January 6, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Sanest post in weeks.

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    • Scott Batson January 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

      So skip over responsibility of motor vehicle operators to drive sober and obey speed limits. Skip over pedestrian duties to walk sober and obey safe crossing law. Just blame engineers who 40 years ago built the road the people wanted. I can design a road that will achieve any 85th percentile speed you want or I want. Not everyone wants what you or I want. And that still leaves 15% of the drivers choosing to ignore, or just ignorant, of what is the correct behavior. Experience trains the mind about how to react. How many on this list have been in an auto crash, i.e. actually had a learning oportunity?

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

        Scott,

        Thanks for your comment. (For those of you who don't know, Scott is a traffic engineer with the City of Portland and he is a great advocate for safety. I have joined him on a Safe Routes to School walkabout and he has worked on many bike-related infrastructure projects.)

        Back to your comment... I don't think we should "skip over" anyone's responsibility for this and I hope no one is naive enough to think all the blame belongs to traffic engineers.

        That being said, how do you expect people to react to this? The fact is that these arterials destroy and degrade our environment in myriad ways and — even though we have many many smart people like you and smart tools to employ to fix them — they are still pretty much the same as they were 40 years ago. They are wide, fast, and have minimal to no major traffic calming features.

        What is stopping PBOT/ODOT from taming these arterial streets? I know it's a mix of politics, public acceptance, funding, etc... but I would ask people in a position to fix them - what do we value most? If we value quality of life and life itself above all else than why can't we figure out a way to shift the paradigm and stop allowing private motor vehicles to remain atop the transportation pyramid?

        These arterials are being treated like freeways and they run through almost every neighborhood in our city. If we can't tame them there isn't much hope to acheive many of our green, economic, transportation, or livability goals.

        Everyone must do their part. People need to know that use of a road comes with a big responsibility to be aware and safe... but education only goes so far. The car/speeding/distracted driving culture is so strong that anything short of radical, physical infrastructure won't have much impact on making our streets safer.

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        • Scott Batson January 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

          Randomly: Freeways are much safer roads. Most crashes in the US happen on rural, 2-lane roads and we don't yet know enough about the particulars of either crash to draw conclusions (they're not 'accidents', choices were made). Also, be careful what you're asking for. Division at 126th is a 'complete street'. It has amenities for all modes of travel. Accessibility is the more important characteristic to advocate for. Accessibility for auto users is high, everyone else is low. BTW, ODOT and PBOT are currently formulating what Powell east of I-205 will look like in the future. Advocates for adjusted accessiblity standards might want to get plugged into that process, so the engineers design what the people want now.

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          • Allison January 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

            I grew up out there. I'm only 27 and I've watched it change. I suspect the engineering for Division at that area was totally appropriate for when it was built. When my parent's house (148th and Powell) was built, there was enough empty space on Division that there was an *airfield* at 148th and Division. We're not keeping up with the changing needs of the road users and we're certainly not anticipating the traffic systems we want in twenty years. I don't blame engineers - I have every faith that given the go-ahead, we'd get the roads we ask for. But we haven't asked for what we need to minimize harm to road users.

            Freeways are safer - at least partially because we pour political and actual capital into them. We update them, expand them, and certainly maintain them in a way we just choose not to do for local streets and arterials.

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          • Alex Reed January 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

            Scott—
            Thanks for informing us of the difference between how traffic engineers interpret "amenities" and "accessibility."
            From the layman's perspective, I would have thought exactly the opposite. I would have said Division was "accessible" to bikes because there was a bike lane, but that the bike "amenities" were sorely lacking (because cars go way too fast and there's no, say, cycle track). I'll try to keep this in mind when advocating for better bicycle and pedestrian accessibility.

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        • 3-speeder January 7, 2011 at 6:30 am

          This looks like a good place to remind everyone of a link that appeared in BikePortland about 2 months ago to an article discussing traffic engineering vs. neighborhood priorities:

          http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2010/11/22/confessions-of-a-recovering-engineer.html

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      • wsbob January 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

        "...Just blame engineers who 40 years ago built the road the people wanted. ..." scott batson

        'What the people want'. That's exactly why the functionality of streets for anything but driving, has gotten so bad. For so long, the prevailing voice of what people want, has been for roads that move ever greater numbers of cars at rates of speed that aren't good for anyone not in the cars using the roads.

        Roads such as Foster Rd and Division, in SE Portland, and Canyon Rd, and Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Cedar Hills Blvd in Beaverton, are lousy for crossing and biking along...even living nearby to, because people for decades have consented to the deteriorating livability roads such as those have produced through engineering developments providing for increasingly higher volumes of cars traveling roads at high rates of speed.

        If people really wanted to drive more slowly and safely, they would. To make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, people could at least, voluntarily keep their motor vehicle speed limit 5mph under posted speed limits, without unduly upsetting following drivers...but how many seriously consider doing something like that?

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        • Dave January 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

          It's important to note as well, that engineering the roads to promote slower speeds would also be a huge benefit to the 30,000-40,000 people in the U.S. dying *inside* cars every year.

          They don't just disregard the safety of people outside their vehicles, but their own, their family's, etc. It's natural, we follow the path of least resistance, and the path of least resistance on a large road with no physical obstacles and few signals is to drive fast (since all you have to do is depress the gas pedal). Note also that on freeways, the average speed is about 10-15mph over the speed limit. Same concept applies. And if the speed limit is set at 35mph, you can't feasibly drive at 20mph, even if you feel uncomfortable driving faster, because you then become a hazard in the midst of other traffic moving 35-40mph.

          We do all have personal responsibility, but the simple fact is, if the roads are engineered strictly to move cars quickly, that is exactly what they are going to do, by simply allowing most people to follow the path of least resistance, and by pressuring the rest to follow suit.

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    • M January 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Good comment. Move it forward.
      Stop assigning blame, especially in the bike nobel, autos awful.

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    • M January 6, 2011 at 10:38 am

      That is the best comment I've ever read here.

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  • Daniel Ronan January 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    One policy that could be implemented relatively quickly and at little cost would be to put up barricades in certain lane portions or entire lanes of high traffic arterial streets.

    These barricades could serve as a reminder a week or even two weeks after a crash as to just the severity of getting behind the wheel by way of "inconvenience." The more drivers "inconvenienced" by being presented with obstacles that lower vehicle speeds, perhaps the more drivers will start to pay attention.

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    • Steve B January 6, 2011 at 12:00 am

      that is a really incredible idea.. very innovative!

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  • jim January 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    like I said before- those banners are worthless and a waste of money

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  • Steve B January 6, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I just don't have words for this stuff.. it's just too impossible to even comprehend. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have to bear this tragedy.

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  • CaptainKarma January 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

    They need to do a CSI/NCIS operation, where the have the exact time of the hit & run. Triangulate the cell phones going down that road at that time, get the number & names, cross reference to black mercedes registrations, bingo, most likely. I know they can do this. Might need a Jane Doe search warrant, but it IS basically murder we're talking about here. The cell phone doesn't need to be in use at the time, just powered on. The thing is, it probably WAS in use. Grrrrrrrrrr!

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    • rigormrtis January 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

      With such psychic powers as yours, why not just tell us who did it?

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      • Opus the Poet January 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

        That doesn't require psychic powers, just a little deduction, and making the assumption that someone driving a Mercedes probably has a cell phone with GPS capability. While not a 100% drop kick assumption, I would say that it has a better than 75% chance of being right.

        BTW this is one of the reasons I don't have a cell phone now that they all have GPS. We were never promised that the GPS tracking would not be used in a criminal investigation to find out who was at or near the crime scene to be used as suspects...

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        • matt picio January 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

          So do many cars now, and the black box in every car records a lot more information now than they did even a few years ago.

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  • Stig January 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Speaking of high crash corridors, a motorist in a covered bed pickup truck ran the red light right in front of me as I was crossing SE Foster on the Springwater this morning.

    Never slowed, just sped through Eastbound. 2 more seconds and I wouldn't be here. Hopefully he'll at least make it to work on time.

    I find crossing arterials more dangerous than riding on them. Having the right of way doesn't provide much of any assurance of safety.

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    • spare_wheel January 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

      This is not "inattention", it is violence.

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  • adam January 6, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I hope they find those hit and run cowards and give them the appropriate ticker or whatever.

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  • Elliot January 6, 2011 at 8:12 am

    OregonLive has an update: Police narrowing in on older S class Mercedes Benz in fatal hit and run.

    Two points of key new info:

    1) Vehicle is believed to be a "black 90's era Mercedes Benz, possibly S Class model".

    2) "Based on vehicle parts left at the scene of the crime, the Mercedes sustained right front headlight damage along with possible hood damage."

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  • random rider January 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Even if they do find the car they will have a hard time proving the identity of the driver and it will be impossible to determine if she was DUII at the time of the collision.

    It's horrible to say, but fleeing the scene of a collision seems to be , legally speaking, a smart decision.

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  • Todd Boulanger January 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

    What still surprises me to some extent - for all of Portland's support for livability and advanced traffic planning/ engineering - are the handful of commercial arterials that are truly pedestrian dangerous - throwbacks to the 1960s with too many lanes and too high of speed (design and enforcement threshold) for in town safety.

    The SE and NE streets of Hawthorne, Division, Lombard, are commercial streets I no longer like to stop along because they are too uncomfortable for all road users - driving, parking, walking, and biking are just too difficult to do it safely. Even Sandy with all the recent reengineering work could have been better designed for the safety of transit, pedestrians and cyclists.

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    • spare_wheel January 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Todd Boulanger
      The SE and NE streets of Hawthorne...

      Ironically, Hawthorne is a designated bike route on the master plan. Why is this city so reluctant to implement sharrows on arterials that get a lot of bike traffic?

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  • Todd Boulanger January 6, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Perhaps one traffic education tool to adopt in reaction to this transportation carnage - like when the right hooks happened - would be to place red 'x's on the pavement at each injury/ fatality location, as is done in Denmark.

    When will CoP and ODOT adopt and implement a true Vision Zero for traffic injuries and fatalities vs the need for speed (to support volumes)? These crash sites are the transportation equivalent of 'broken windows' - the daily small safety infractions when drivers speed past pedestrians trying to cross streets, etc.

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    • matt picio January 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

      I realize the question is rhetorical, but I suspect the answer is "when people demand it". We as individuals decry the injuries, deaths, and near-misses, but the citizenry as a whole still accepts them in the name of fast, convenient travel. The most effective way to curtail these events would be for everyone to slow down - but the evidence thus far suggests that people don't want to slow down, that they are willing to "bend" or break the law in the name of their own convenience, and that they believe that these "accidents" that happen to other people won't happen to them. Until those attitudes change, some of this problem is going to remain no matter what changes we make to enforcement or engineering.

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  • Steve January 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

    It's an odd juxtaposition -- the mention of the Mayor's effort to fix these most dangerous streets in November where people are still dying and the incredibly (and unfortunately) pompous photo of the Mayor to the right of the page.

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  • Cyclist that screams at Cyclists January 6, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Lot of inexcusable driving behavior for sure. In other news, I think we have all had that dark day Oregon moment where we are driving the speed limit, sober and alert and still spooked ourselves when noticing crossing pedestrians later than we would have liked. Oncoming traffic lights, road reflection (thanks to our rain) and dark clothing mixed with poor crossing judgment on the pedestrians part can surprise the best of us. I bike 20 miles to work during the warmer months but stay away during the wet. I am the first to roll my window down and scream at any late crossing pedestrian or cyclist with poor clothing and no lights. Usually its along the lines of "BUY SOME LIGHTS A$$ HOLE, YOUR MAKING IT HARD FOR ALL OF US!" Driver and cyclist alike. Once I very gingerly rolled up next to a cyclist at an intersection (moments earlier he abruptly crossed two lanes cutting in front of me and over to the bike lane, in a blink) and politely informed him he is very hard to see and should consider getting lights. He apologized and said "yeah sorry, I didn't grab them today." Negligence that causes more catastrophe for him than any car would sustain. He was an older man, looked like a regular commuter, I hope he thinks about how others see him before he gets on his bike going forward.

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  • bruce January 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

    These are really fairly simple problems/issues to comprehend. We mostly are going too fast and doing too much. Especially 4 lane streets in the city are treated as highways. I would guess that a majority of citizens don't fully know pedestrian related laws. There aren't really that many pedestrians or cyclists visible particularly in the outer regions so they are seen as a nuisance. We have all got to slow down. It is stupid to simply blame this or that govt entity. There are posted speed limits and plenty of laws on the books to protect the innocent. Everyone: slow down. Getting there is part of life and life is the goal.

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  • Joe January 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Do ppl really do 20mph in a 20 zone.. not really
    speed is a huge factor and ppl behind the wheel dont care I feel,, well some do and I thank them :) other hate cyclists. weird

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  • random rider January 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I think the issue of distracted driving is going to get much worse before it gets better. I saw an commercial for some new vehicle that has a relatively large touch screen in the middle of the front console that allows you to adjust the temperature, control your iPhone and play a freakin movie.

    How many more "he just appeared out of nowhere" stories are yet to come?

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  • adam January 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    stories like this are way too common for my taste. sorry, portland, I do not feel safe crossing the streets in your town.

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    • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

      Then don't cross them. Go anywhere else in Am'urka and cross theirs. Report your findings and successes. We're all waiting...

      My point here is that if you go anywhere else in the US that resides five miles out of Portland you will be mowed down where you stand. You have NO CLUE how good we have it. None.

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      • matt picio January 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

        For most of us, it's not quite that bad - but for elderly and disabled individuals I agree. Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Virginia Beach (the metropolitan areas, not necessarily the city proper) all have gigantic arterials that are difficult to cross - and the situation has gotten worse with the move from timed signals to sensor-activated and button-activated signals. When the sensors fail to activate, or when buttons are inoperative, hard to find or hard to reach - it's difficult at best to get across them without being intimidated, honked at, passed too closely, or all of the above.

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  • sabernar January 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    SE Division is just as bad close in, too. Ever try to cross in the crosswalks at 29th or 31st? It's rare that people stop and I've had cars not slow down even though I was in the crosswalk walking across the street.

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    • cyclist January 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Division is 2 narrow lanes at 29th, cars rarely exceeds the speed limit there because of all of the traffic (adjacent businesses) and the streets are pretty narrow, there aren't any left turn lanes and cars making a right also generally need to do so from the traffic lane. In my opinion it's pretty damn easy to cross Division through about SE 60th, after that it becomes a higher-speed street.

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    • Duncan January 7, 2011 at 5:54 am

      This is not my opinion, having biked division from lower SE out to 202nd I notice a definite change after 205- it opens hup, people drive faster, roll on and off the street faster (blowing stop signs all the way).

      Remember that your chance of surviving a collision at 25MPH is around 50%, around 40MPH its closer to 5%.

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      • Opus the Poet January 7, 2011 at 8:58 am

        Actually @25MPH you have a 75% chance of survival, @40 a 15% chance. The number you quoted for the 25MPH was your chance of being able to leave under your own power @ 20 MPH. Incidentally 25 is the "knee speed" where injuries and fatalities take a sharp upward jump. At 20 MPH and below you have a fairly constant 5% chance of death by motor vehicle collision, about 1% for bicycles and joggers, but at 25 and above the death rate from all collisions goes way up no matter what runs into your unprotected body. I wonder what the results would be for other species? Is this common across all phyla, or do other forms of animal life have stronger or weaker internal organs when hit by moving objects. The idea is fascinating but the testing required to even gather the data required to form a hypothesis is disturbing. Sorry, just thinking out loud...

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        • matt picio January 7, 2011 at 11:54 am

          Most of the testing was on inorganic stuff like ballistic gel and dummies, but the point is well-taken. Impact damage goes up with the square of velocity but linearly with mass, so if you double the speed, it's the same as getting hit with a vehicle 4x as massive at the original speed. 3x the speed = 9x the mass, etc.

          Also, the impact damage depends on impact surface area - a bicycle hitting someone head-on has a much smaller surface area than a car, so all that energy is imparted in a smaller space. Higher speeds = higher chance of a head-on, rather than a broadside impact, which is one reason why the chance of injury/death rises regardless of vehicle type.

          The main reason injury/death rises so quickly above 25mph is cascading injuries - beyond a certain impact energy, bones are broken - and a broken bone causes lacerations and additional tissue damage. These secondary wounds can be deadlier than the primary injury, especially since the injuries tend to become focused deeper into the body.

          It's a fascinating field to study, if you can remain abstracted from the repercussions of the text. If you're easily able to visualize and "feel" the text, it's a quick route to queasiness.

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        • Duncan January 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

          thanks for refining my numbers.... its bee awhile since my last "traua nurses talk tough" no seatbelt class

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  • rider January 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Maybe we should start airing this British PSA? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVBfMMMUsGs&feature=player_embedded

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  • Doug Klotz January 8, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Question for Scott Batson:
    Could a traffic engineer design a four-lane (or "five-lane") road that is safe for pedestrians to cross at unsignalized intersections? Is there an example in the Portland area of such a road?

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  • wsbob January 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    "stories like this are way too common for my taste. sorry, portland, I do not feel safe crossing the streets in your town." adam January 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    "Then don't cross them. Go anywhere else in Am'urka and cross theirs. Report your findings and successes. We're all waiting...

    My point here is that if you go anywhere else in the US that resides five miles out of Portland you will be mowed down where you stand. You have NO CLUE how good we have it. None." Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

    The phenomena all metro area residents face, is that use of roads, over a period of decades have been methodically prioritized to favor motor vehicle travel over any other mode. This phenomena is due to more than complicated physical, engineering and technical changes involving wider streets, multiple lanes, timed traffic signals, and so on. It's also due to conditioned psychological changes to the people whom the roads should be serving.

    Many people have come to accept that it's wrong to in any way, to impede the speed of a motor vehicle's travel. As a result, they go a long way to tolerate deplorable conditions for pedestrians on streets like 80th and Foster in Portland, TV Highway out in Washington County, Canyon Rd, and Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy in Beaverton.

    The public has allowed monster inner city thoroughfares capable of moving high numbers of motor vehicles to be created, and now pays for that with declining livability and pedestrian deaths and injury. Even with countdown crosswalk signals that also are equipped with audible voice instructions, crossing a huge, six or even eight lane inner city thoroughfare, can be a daunting experience.

    The public is very s-l-o-w-l-y, coming around to the idea that they might like their streets to be safer from motor vehicles to walk and bike on, and to be more enjoyable to live next to.

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