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East Portland fatality puts heat on City’s paving priority – UPDATED

Posted by on March 1st, 2013 at 9:55 am

Streetview of where a girl was struck and killed last night by someone driving a car as she tried to cross the street.

Mayor Hales and his interim PBOT Director Toby Widmer are on the hot seat this morning for their decision to make paving a higher priority than safety. The City’s budget plan to “realign” $7.15 million in PBOT funds — $1.2 million of which would come from an already planned sidewalk project on SE 136th Ave — was immediately controversial when it was announced last week. And that was before last night when a five-year-old girl was tragically killed just blocks away from where that new sidewalk was slated to go.

“Repaving streets is absolutely important for this city, but let’s not fix potholes at the expense of children’s safety and accessibility for people with disabilities.”
— Stephanie Routh, Oregon Walks

According to the Portland Police, around 7:00 pm last night Morgan Maynard-Cook was visiting a friend across the street from her home on SE 136th. She was on the east side of 136th. Her home is on the west side of the street at the corner of 136th and Harold (map). When ready to come home, she went to cross 136th after a northbound car slowed to let her cross. She then left the grasp of the person she was walking with, ran out and was struck by a 69-year old woman driving a car in the opposite lane. Maynard-Cook died on the way to the hospital.

There are no sidewalks on either side of 136th in this location. The posted speed limit is 35 mph (a speed that results in a fatality in 65% of collisions, whereas a speed of 20 mph comes with 0% chance of fatality).

This summer, PBOT was planning to build a sidewalk on the east side of 136th between SE Powell and Holgate, just 0.4 miles north of where Maynard-Cook was hit. While technically, the money PBOT — under the direction of Mayor Hales — is proposing to “realign” for paving would not have built a sidewalk in the location of this tragedy, last night’s news will weigh heavily on Hales’ mind as he ponders the budget. Especially since, according a police spokesman I spoke with this morning, Hales visited the scene last night just minutes after police arrived.

Not surprisingly, the mayor is already hearing from the public about the lack of sidewalks in this area.

KGW-TV’s story last night mentioned that Maynard-Cook’s mom, “said the neighborhood has no sidewalks, no crosswalks and lots of children trying to walk around in those conditions.” (Incidentally, an ad before the KGW online video was for a new Honda that comes with SMS texting in the dashboard.)

Executive Director of Oregon Walks Stephanie Routh released a statement this morning that said, “Proposing to cut a long-awaited basic sidewalk project in Portland’s poorest neighborhood and severely cutting funding for ADA access [another proposal from Hales/Widmer] is not in keeping with the city’s stated commitment to equity… Repaving streets is absolutely important for this city, but let’s not fix potholes at the expense of children’s safety and accessibility for people with disabilities.”

Former Mayor Sam Adams was not shy about saying his top transportation priority was safety. PBOT staffers had even started calling him “our traffic safety mayor.” And Adams put money where his mouth is by allocating $16 million to sidewalks in east and southwest Portland. Mayor Hales, looking to differentiate himself from Adams (perhaps more for politics than policy), has made it clear paving is Job #1.

Paving and maintenance is important. But it must be funding in a very careful balance with system improvements that will make people safer. No one has ever died because of a pothole or a rough road. (UPDATE That’s not true and it was a mistake to write it.)

Would a sidewalk have prevented last night’s tragedy? Of course we can’t say for sure. But as someone with three young children myself, I can say from experience that the presence of sidewalks and curbs matters. Curbs are an important physical feature that communicates something to kids even before they can speak. When my almost two-year-old comes to a curb, he knows a street with dangers lies ahead.

When I asked Mayor Hales about PBOT’s proposal to “realign” this sidewalk money for paving, he distanced himself from the decision. “It’s a bureau budget. It’s just a starting point.” Asked if the sidewalk funding cut would be adopted into the final budget, Hales said, “I’d say it’s about 50/50.”

After last night, I have no doubt those percentages have changed.

UPDATE 11:52 am: Statement from Mayor Hales just released:

“My heart goes out to the family of Morgan. As a parent, I can find no words that are sufficient to describe this horrible occurrence.

My thoughts also are with the Portland Police officers who responded last night. Each of them has family, too, and each is affected by such tragedies in different ways.

Safety throughout the city has to be our first priority. I have been at work fewer than 60 days, and so far the city of Portland has experienced eight automobile-related fatalities, four of which were pedestrian deaths.

There has been a lot of talk of late about paving streets, and about sidewalks and crosswalks throughout our city. There has been a lot of talk about the backlog of projects, and about how to pay for these core responsibilities. As always, public safety has to be our North Star, guiding all of our decisions in every part of the city.

We will work through these decisions together, as involved citizens, as elected officials, as city employees, as residents of Portland, and as people who are holding our families a little bit tighter today.”

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  • Gibbs March 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I used to live just south of here, and I was upset when I heard that a sidewalk for this street had been cut–I used to catch and get off a bus in one of the unsidewalked areas around here, and it was unpleasant. I was delighted to learn Portland was finally going to install sidewalks out here, and incredibly disappointed to learn that this project was cut in favor of the paving that should have been done by PBOT over the past decade+. East Portland shouldn’t have to pay a safety fine for the failures of a central Portland actor, Mayor Hales. There’s no way to catch up on our paving projects without a major change in the way PBOT funds itself and it’s projects, but, again, East Portland shouldn’t have to pay for this.

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    • Jake March 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      The people of east Portland had worked for TWENTY YEARS to get this sidewalk plan into place, and Hales took it away within his first month as Mayor, in order to re-pave roads in the center of the city. This is disgusting. Just because they’re poor, does not mean these people don’t deserve a safe place for their kids to walk to and from school.

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      • Hugh Johnson March 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        Yeah welcome to “Bike City, U.S.A.” This city is still so blind to anything out here.

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  • RJ March 1, 2013 at 10:12 am

    It’s too bad that we’re having a sidewalks (or other capital improvements) vs. maintenance argument at all. (Maybe worse yet that we’re pouring gasoline on it by tying to it a pedestrian death that didn’t occur in the proposed project area?) It’s a no-win.

    The new mayor is trying to be a good steward of the City’s budget by doing more maintenance catch-up. If you don’t understand why this makes financial sense, the graph here says it all pretty succinctly.

    The cost of deferring needed maintenance one year is that the maintenance costs increase geometrically for the following years — which shrinks the budget for everything else you might want to do in the future. So the long-term problem really isn’t “potholes vs. bike lanes!!!”, but EVERYTHING WE NEED TO BE DOING vs. our terribly deficient transportation funding stream.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 1, 2013 at 10:23 am

      I agree with you RJ. I am not putting forward that sort of dichotomy of sidewalks OR paving.

      Also, no one in their right mind can refute the financial consequences of putting off maintenance… But we also have to be pragmatic about how we go about tackling that issue. While the maint. backlog is a big issue, it’s not as dire as it has been made out to be. The fact remains here in Portland that the issue has become a political football, so we must appreciate all the City Hall and media dialogue about it through the lens of politics…which doesn’t always lend itself to the facts or to sound policy decisions (understatement!).

      There are more policies to tackling the maint. backlog than simply throwing money at it and playing politics with it. Encouraging people to walk and bike — and making places where they can do so easily and efficiently — would decrease thousands of auto and transit trips every day, thus limiting deterioration over time.

      And we also have more roads and lanes than we need. We could do a thorough audit of all our lane miles and decide to let some of them deteriorate. That would save some money.

      We could also actually charge people for what it actually costs to drive. Congestion pricing, a local gas tax, performance parking programs, and so on, should happen immediately and we could use that money to work on the maintenance backlog.

      I agree we should not have a maintenance vs. bike/walk argument… But if we have politicians making those types of choices, we need to push back and then reframe the debate.


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      • RJ March 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

        I pretty much agree with all that. It’s just frustrating. I want improved bike access and facilities in the central city — something more than slapping down sharrows and calling it good — so we meet our long-term goals for safety and bike mode share. I want more sidewalks, neighborhood greenways, and safer crossings everywhere we need them, building on the great work the city did with the East Portland in Motion plan. I want maintenance to be appropriately funded so the backlog doesn’t rob future mayors of the ability to help build the things that need to be built.

        I hate that the 136th Ave. project was cut. I hate that the curb ramps were cut. I’m hoping that the mayor is being straight with us when he says that he’s trying to demonstrate responsible fiscal stewardship before he asks for a new funding tool. If he gets it right, there will be a bigger pie for everything. Here’s hoping.

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  • o/o March 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Sad sad… there is a lot of streets without sidewalks around Portland especially SW and East Portland areas. Drivers need to be alert and slow down out there.

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  • Todd Hudson March 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

    It’s a tightrope act balancing much-needed road maintenance and other needed projects. That being said, axing a sidewalk project in a long underserved part of town was not a good idea.

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  • Dave March 1, 2013 at 10:18 am

    The Portland Police Bureau should reassign all officers currently working auto thefts until there is a calendar year with ZERO fatalities among human-powered travelers. Drivers deserve no more regard for their property than they give for the lives of cyclists and pedestrians.

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  • Chris I March 1, 2013 at 10:45 am

    The city should push for a combined Local Improvement District / PBOT funding scheme for neighborhoods like this. The LID would collect money from the neighborhood, and PBOT could kick in the other half and handle the project management (either contract out or use city workers). The reality is that neither side is entirely responsible for this work. These neighborhoods should have been built with sidewalks in the first place. The housing was cheaper because this work was not done, and the neighborhoods were outside of the city.

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    • Cora Potter March 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      The more equitable thing to do would be to create improvement districts in the higher land value, higher-income areas and let those residents (who have lower property taxes even though they have higher property values) pay for their road paving and use the public budget to help pay for the basic improvements and deferred investments in low income areas of East Portland, Cully and Brentwood Darlington.

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      • Chris I March 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm

        Oh, silly me, for choosing to buy a smaller house in a neighborhood with sidewalks. I’ll gladly let the city re-distribute my wealth to a family that chose to buy a larger house in a neighborhood without sidewalks…

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        • Cora Potter March 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm

          I live in a small house in Lents. A house with exact same square footage as mine in inner NE, built in the same year, pays almost $500 less a year in property taxes because the assessed value on my house is higher due to the county reassessing in East Portland before measure 5 went into effect, but inner NE was not reassessed before measure 5. Today, the market value of my house is $100,000 less, but I still pay more.

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  • J-R March 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

    As understand it, PPB conducts a crosswalk enforcement once a month for two hours and they put up signs telling motorists that it is happening. Every traffic officer should do two hours of crosswalk enforcement per day! Three cars refused to yield to me on Tuesday when I was in the crosswalk at my local library. It’s a MARKED crosswalk!

    It’s not hard to find violators without an organized, preplannef

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  • Zaphod March 1, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I’m extremely saddened by this. My heart goes out to the family.

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  • J-R March 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    As understand it, PPB conducts a crosswalk enforcement once a month for two hours and they put up signs telling motorists that it is happening. Every traffic officer should do two hours of crosswalk enforcement per day! Three cars refused to yield to me on Tuesday when I was in the crosswalk at my local library. It’s a MARKED crosswalk!

    The PPD should have every traffic officer do an hour of crosswalk enforcement daily instead of the once a month two- hour action.

    It is not hard to find violators without an organized, preplanned, signed, decoy- pedestrian enforcement action. Just pick a spot, observe and enforce!

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  • Zaphod March 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I was just going to leave it there but what really needs to be addressed along with proper infrastructure is education. The deference of right of way by motorists creates an extremely dangerous situation even though their intent is good. I encounter this quite often and unambiguously have been hit if I had proceeded at the beckoning of a driver who means well but creates real and serious risk.

    Nevermind my experience… this incident is really sad.

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    • Help March 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Excellent and underrated point. It’s more dangerous to have one driver stop and other(s) continuing than just to have EVERYONE drive and the pedestrian wait till there’s time to cross.

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  • JRB March 1, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I’m agee with others that this is not a question of having to choose between maintenance or safety (or bikes versus pedestrians). There is no excuse for short changing either. We already raise enough tax revenue as a country to fund necessary infrastructure, we just spend way too much of it on things like maintaining the world’s largest military and corporate welfare.

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  • wsbob March 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

    From reading the description of this incident from yesterday’s Oregonian story, and bikeportland’s brief summary of what the police had to say about the incident, sidewalks wouldn’t have helped prevent the collision…but a crosswalk may have. There should be signaled crosswalks spaced reasonably for people walking.

    Streetview’s depiction of the section of the road where the collision occurred, and off into the distance, shows broad shoulders. Simply paving them could make them great for both walking and biking.

    This long, straight, character of this street looks to be one where some people driving would be inclined to drive very much faster than the posted speed limit. Vehicles traveling at 35 mph posted speed…and inevitably faster…can make crossing such a street very difficult on foot.

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    • 9watts March 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

      While sidewalks and cross walks and other infrastructural improvements are good (and missing completely here) let’s not forget that the little girl being run over is about the dangers of cars dominating all our public spaces, and speed. Until we recognize cars and the culture which naturalizes their ubiquity as the dangers they are to life we’re not likely to make much progress.

      When we can walk in the street again (as we used to before cars), then we can congratulate ourselves, but I’m afraid not until then.

      The future of transport is human powered.

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    • davemess March 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Bob, I disagree. There is a major difference between a curb and raised sidewalk and a paved shoulder. That 6 inch curb is a huge barrier to cars and keeps them honest, preventing them from drifting out of the lane.

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    • Cora Potter March 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      In stretches like this, where it’s difficult to tell exactly where a legal crossing exists, sidewalks definitely would make a difference. Sidewalks come with curbs and corners – which are needed to create statutory crosswalks and the visual cues that indicate where pedestrians will cross even if there are no stripes on the road.

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      • wsbob March 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        These people crossed mid-block…I believe, according to the news stories, because the little girl’s house was directly across the street. Even if the street had sidewalks, it’s quite possible they would have stepped down off the curb and crossed mid-block, since the street also probably doesn’t have crosswalks.

        Sidewalks with curbs, and intersections with signaled crosswalks, of course, provide a higher measure of safety for people walking and crossing the road. In an era of extremely strapped budgets, as this seems to be, something simpler like extended and paved shoulders, and somewhat temporary type crossing signals could go a long way to make conditions safer in the interim.

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      • 9watts April 5, 2013 at 6:48 am

        Not necessarily, Cora.
        Hans Monderman’s approach is exactly the opposite. You may not agree with him, but his take is that the predictability, settledness if you will, of the approach you describe can lull those in cars into thinking everything’s taken care of and they can get away with being (even) less alert.

        In the end I doubt it is about infrastructure as much as it is about lack of enforcement, excessive speeds, and the culture of distraction that is enveloping our transportation experience.

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  • wsbob March 1, 2013 at 11:16 am
  • Andyc of Linnton March 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Lord. How many of our fellow citizens must die on our streets for any sort of humanistic infrastructure to be implemented in our city?
    My heart goes out to the family.

    Someday, one day, maybe before I die, I’d like to hear some official/politician, etc come out and say that our current of death and injury on our streets is unacceptable in a civil society. Alas, I am becoming a quite bitter cynical man, and would probably have a stroke if this ever happened.
    Again, my heart to the family, and to all of those who have lost loved ones to these avoidable tragedies.

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  • spare_wheel March 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    A posted speed limit of 35 on a two lane residential road is simply outrageous. The speed limit for all roads other than major arterials should be lowered to 25.

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    • wsbob March 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Just relying on the general location of the street, and the streetsview picture accompanying this story, ‘county road with residents living alongside it’ probably would more accurately describe this street than simply ‘residential street’.

      It wouldn’t be like a closer-in neighborhood street with more regularly spaced intersections. Washington County, where I live has streets similar to this one, for example, 170th, with a posted speed of 40mph, making it very treacherous to cross the street when exiting the nature park’s west side.

      Just guessing about the reason such streets have such high posted speeds…I suppose it may have to do with planners and transportation department officials seeking to have streets within their area capable of providing the maximum level of vehicle carrying capacity (LOS ?). Good for economic statistics but kind of rough on people actually trying to live along or travel such roads by means other than motor vehicles.

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    • i ride my bike March 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      The problem is the hurdles, both regulatory and financial, are too high to change the design and speed of a street. It should not be so difficult, time consuming and expensive to make simple yet fundamental changes to streets. This has to change, screw all this LOS, 85th %, speed study BS.

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  • Starkwooder March 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    For me it’s about the entire design priority of the entire area. Outer East Portland is designed for automobiles. Period. Pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters – these are afterthoughts – things that force developers to install stuff when they build… NOW… next to historic – “who the eff cares, where’s my driveway?” neighborhoods. No one cared about walking or bicycling 60 some years ago and since. We have 4 lane “roads” set at 35-45mph cutting through neighborhoods and separating kids from schools. We have sidewalks… sure in some places – with giant utility poles rammed down the center so you get to walk to the park on a one foot broken chunk of concrete a mere inches from traffic going 50+mph. You gotta watch your back when you cross a side street. You can get hit by someone turning off the main expressway… I mean road. Driver’s ignore cross walks. If they do stop they risk getting rear-ended. Even the local school zones are part-time. Maybe an hour a day – mostly less – 15 mins in the morning and 15 mins after school. Better not be late or stay late if you want to walk home! Young mother’s RUN across the street – or get trapped in the “middle turn lane” – a piss-poor use of road space if you ask me. Outer East Portland is designed and committed to accomodating automobiles. We all feel it. It’s ingrained. When you cross the street… the guy in the truck pulling his boat revs his engine as if to say, “You better not be in my way… I will hit you.” and you just keep crossing without really thinking about it. It’s common. Just accepted. And depressingly riskier for anyone not in an automobile.

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  • grimm March 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Terrible and very sad.

    Most all my area has sidewalks, but this one section between Fred Meyers and my block is not and becomes unnerving, especially at night.

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  • steph routh, Oregon Walks March 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks to Jonathan and all the thoughtful comments. We applaud Mayor Hales’ responsiveness to last night’s terrible crash. Our thoughts are with the family in this time of inconceivable grief.

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    • Jeff Bernards March 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

      That’s why I keep the studded tire issue alive. It’s not just roads and costs, it reduces available money for all transportation options. We need the BTA, Oregon Walks, OLCV, Coalition for a Liveable Future and others to get on board with this issue. It effects the climate and environment on many levels.

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  • jim March 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I guess I will get censured out again unless I change my name.
    I hear this mother had already lost one child on this street. I would have done some closer supervisation on the rest of them, especially if they are that young.

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    • are March 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      an older daughter was injured, not killed. in this case, the five year old girl was being escorted by a thirteen year old. what exactly are you saying the mother should have done differently, and be sure to mention whether you have consistently held yourself to the same requirements, whatever they are, and whether you are saying the first one is free, which just sounds weird.

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  • El Biciclero March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I’m being cold, here–but an auto speed of 20mph does not carry zero risk of fatality in the event the vehicle hits a pedestrian. The linked graphic lists the risk as 0% because they make an assumption that a driver going 20 will have time to stop before reaching a crossing ped. According to the same graphic, actually getting hit at 20mph carries a 5% risk of fatality and a 65% risk of injury. Still dramatically lower than the 65% risk of fatality if hit by a car going 35mph, but not zero.

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    • matt picio March 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Exactly – those who click on the graphic will see that, but for those who don’t follow the link, that’s a pretty misleading statement. Estimates for fatalities with a vehicle speed of 20mph vary from 1.2%-10% depending on the source. They also vary widely depending on whether the victim had any awareness of hazard prior to the crash.

      None of that discounts the point Jonathan was getting at, which is that 35mph-40mph is far more hazardous to vulnerable road users than 20mph.

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  • Alexis March 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Jonathan, great reporting as usual. I hope this makes Hales rethink the idea that you can put something other than safety as your top priority.

    One thing to note, though, I don’t think it is 0% chance of fatality at 20mph. It does look like that slide says that, but more commonly I hear 90-95% rate of survival. I think the reason is that there are some crashes that result in fatal injuries even at low speed due to coinciding factors like vulnerability and angle of impact. So it might be worth double-checking the source on that fact.

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  • Scott Kocher
    Scott Kocher March 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    “No one has ever died because of a pothole or a rough road.”

    Sadly, not true.

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  • Tanner March 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Paving and safety are not antithetical! I’ve known plenty of cyclists and pedestrians who have taken tumbles thanks to uneven and dangerous road surfaces – and it is logical nonsense to redirect responsibility onto walkers / cyclists for their inexperience etc. Road quality is absolutely in the best safety interests of all of us, opposing them is complete and utter BS.

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    • Paul in the 'couve March 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Who indicates they are “opposed” to maintaining roads and filling pot holes? The only thing I see anyone opposed to is utterly neglecting to provide reasonable facilities for anyone but motorists. We are all for paving streets and filling pot holes, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of already extremely inadequate provisions for pedestrians, children, handicapped and cyclists.

      The person in a wheel chair may appreciate a smooth road to roll down, but if they have to roll inches from cars driving 45 mph because there is no sidewalk, the added safety of not having pot holes is useless.

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    • 9watts March 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      “Road quality is absolutely in the best safety interests of all of us”

      I’m going to disagree with you wholeheartedly, Tanner. Smooth, predictable road surfaces encourage speeding. Bumpy roads, or roads with imperfectly maintained surfaces, whatever their flaws, discourage speeding. Speed (differentials) are the problem here.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson March 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Somehow the loss of life and limb is not included in the City Auditor’s calculations; they need to revisit their process! Adams was dead on to make safety #1, just as it is in any decent work place. Good to hear Hales repeating that. From J’s photo, it looks like we need some serious potholes in SE 136th…might slow down traffic. Weird how we value a shock absorbers’ life over a human one.

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  • Dan March 3, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Several things:
    1) We are all guilty in the lack of sidewalks/deferred maintenance; it’s our City Council and our responsibility to hold their feet to the fire to keep our priorities moving forward.
    2) As a starting point, how about dropping the speed limit on ANY street without sidewalks to 20 mph. Cheaper than sidewalks, it will provide increased safety until the funding is there to provide the infrastructure.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    We all agree this type of street is a deficient facility and operationally less safe than it should be. I have long proposed that there should be an allowance to post a lower speed limit than a traditional 85th percentile analysis would set if there were no sidewalks, etc. Traffic calming and other enforcement would be important to add in the interim until sidewalks are built. One thing to remember is that this street and many other neighborhoods that were annexed into the city may never have had their operations and speed limits evaluated from what the county had set. (I saw this a lot in Vancouver after we annexed a lot of east Clark County and then set about to calm and make them complete streets 5 & 10+ years later.)

    Most county agencies at the time were not supportive of traffic calming as a service to their residents. Historically most county engineers set posted speeds on the upper threshold for their classification without considering if they were complete or not – per sidewalks, crosswalks, etc. And to be fair many of these once quiet rural areas are very busy now vs. when they were laid out.

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    • wsbob March 6, 2013 at 12:04 am

      “…And to be fair many of these once quiet rural areas are very busy now vs. when they were laid out.” Todd Boulanger

      Word ‘quiet’, to mean I suppose, that with a smaller population and less development, the number of motor vehicles using the road was smaller. In earlier years, with fewer motor vehicles traveling the road, people would likely have had greater distances between passing motor vehicles, to cross the road safely, somewhat reasonably allowing higher posted speed limits such as this one has.

      That’s how I’d describe the situation with 170th out in Washington County, which I mentioned in an earlier comment. Similar type of road as this one. In the last 20 years, number of motor vehicles using that road has increased immensely, very seriously elevating the hazard to people on foot or bike in need of using the road.

      Too many motor vehicles being used on the road at too fast a speed, in turn not allowing people on foot or bike, opportunity to safely cross or ride along it; reducing opportunities for people driving to pass people on foot or bike with great enough distance from them

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  • Ryan March 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    “Occurrence?” Seriously? That’s an official statement, which means every word in it was chosen carefully, and “occurrence” strikes me as an awfully weak word to describe the horrific, tragic, senseless, and preventable death of a child. It seems to me like language chosen to sanitize the “occurrence.” How about “this horrible tragedy,” or “this horrible, accident,” or “this horrible death?” From a political standpoint, it’s a lot easier to be associated with an “occurrence” than with a tragic, preventable accident.

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