Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 25th, 2010 at 10:30 am
encourage folks to walk more.
(Screen shot from KGW-TV)
A spike in traffic collisions over the weekend highlights the urgent need for traffic safety improvements across the Portland area.
On Friday, two Franklin High School students were hit while walking in a crosswalk near their school. According to the Police Bureau, the boys were attempting to cross SE 52nd Avenue at Woodward, when someone driving a car sped around already stopped cars, struck them, and then drove off. Their injuries were not life-threatening.
52nd Avenue is slated for crossing safety improvements as part of the 50s Bikeway project we highlighted last week. That project was first identified as a priority 13 years ago.
Then on Saturday night, a 44-year old man was struck and critically injured while he tried to cross SE Foster* at 122nd. This collision was initially reported by the Police Bureau as a fatality, but the man was later revived while at OHSU and remains in critical condition.
According to the PPB’s Major Crash Team, the man was attempting to cross south to north and the person driving the car was going west on 122nd. “Witnesses reported that the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk and walked in front of one car before walking in front of the vehicle that hit him.”
*On a related note, Jessica Finlay, one of two women hit by a vehicle driven by Tito Jose Feliciano while walking across SE Foster back in November, passed away Friday morning. She had been in a coma since the collision. Finlay’s friend, Lindsay Leonard, died at the scene.
Also on Saturday night, a man was struck while riding his bicycle near N. Willamette and N. Bryant. The person who hit the man on the bike did not stop and the police later arrested him. According to booking information on the Multnomah County website, 55-year old Lilifi Toutai spent the night in jail and was released on Sunday.
PBOT is aware of the dangerous conditions for non-motorized traffic on Willamette. There are plans on the table to remove on-street parking on the north side of the street in order to create more room for bike traffic. Bryant, the intersection where this collision took place, is slated for major bike boulevard improvements this year.
As more Portlanders move around under their own power, it’s essential that the City invests in long overdue roadway improvements to make our streets safer. You can remind City planners about the urgency of these investments by telling them to build the projects listed in the Bicycle Plan for 2030 and by getting involved in the upcoming budget process.