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Enough is enough: Arbor Lodge neighbors to hold vigil after spate of tragedies

Posted by on September 27th, 2016 at 1:04 pm

The crosswalk on Greeley at Bryant where Stanley Grochowski was hit. Bryant is a designated neighborhood greenway.

The crosswalk on Greeley (on the left, nevermind the incorrect label) at Bryant where Stanley Grochowski was hit. Bryant is a designated neighborhood greenway.

It all started on the evening of March 30th.

Brian Duncan, the former chair of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association, was hit while trying to bike across North Rosa Parks Way at Greeley. He’s now paralyzed from the neck down. Then at the same intersection just three months later, Diana Miller-Dixon died after someone ran a red light and crashed into her car. Then two months after that on August 30th, and just two blocks away, Stanley Grochowski was walking in a crosswalk when he was hit by someone driving a car. Grochowski died from his injuries 10 days later on September 9th and police are still looking for the person that ran into him.

These tragic and violent acts committed by people driving dangerously on neighborhood streets have forever altered the lives of Brian Duncan and the families that Diana Miller-Dixon and Stanley Grochowski left behind.

And they’ve also filled residents of this usually quiet and family-oriented neighborhood with anger, fear, and sadness.

This Thursday night the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association is hosting a vigil for Grochowski — a man who was homeless and had very few connections to local family or the community at large. Neighbors also want to bring attention to these safety issues.

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Christopher Jones is trying to work at a neighborhood level to raise the profile of these incidents and make changes that will lead to safer streets for he and his growing family. “But change is slow going,” he shared with us in a recent email.

All three of these crashes happened on N Greeley Avenue, a busy corridor that’s a main conduit to Arbor Lodge Park and Chief Joseph Elementary School.

Thursday night’s event will take place at 6:00 near the crosswalk on Greeley at Bryant. Here’s the description from the neighborhood’s Facebook page:

Please come and show your support for safe streets, honor this man who was killed by a hit and run driver, and bring a sign. We will have some signs asking folks to slow down, to look, some saying, “this was preventable”. But bring your own too!

We will stay for 30 minutes. Please join your neighbors in the visible show of support for safer streets and to honor this man who died.

All over Portland neighbors are rallying together to reclaim their streets from dangerous driving. The city and advocates are doing their part to help, but change isn’t happening fast enough.

If you live, work or ride in this north Portland neighborhood please consider showing up and get involved to make things better.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Disastronauticus
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Disastronauticus

Got no-signal left-hooked by a minivan pulling into the New Seasons on N. Williams last week. He “didn’t see me” even though he had just passed me two seconds previous. Thankfully he only murdered my bike and bruised my collarbone.

Drivers really need to start assuming some of their responsibilities out there, for I am seriously getting tired of almost getting killed by people who can even bother to use their blinkers in this town.

Peter
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Peter

I drive and/or bike this stretch of road daily. Something about it makes vision tough. The cross-walks are way too dark and its hard to see much until you are right up on them. I always slow way down when approaching them but not everyone does. Greeley should be avoided on bike except for crossing the street.

Approaching Greeley on Rosa Parks from the west you are certain to have to be careful with cars trying to turn right. Approaching from the east, you have a LOT of cars crossing the bike lane to make a right. I’ve never had a problem there but its a high risk crossing.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I am afraid that just asking the ” extreme deviant” drivers to slow down is not enough. We need concrete physical changes to the streets, low speed limits and strict enforcement to put a stop to the deadly wave of joyriding, distracted driving,and motorized violence that has plagued the land since the days of Henry Ford.

Sam
Guest
Sam

At minimum there needs to be a button for pedestrian/bike crossing at this intersection that gives drivers a red light with no turn on red while bikes and peds are crossing Greeley.

Josh Chernoff
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Josh Chernoff

I’m thinking about starting a go fund me to fund my efforts of filing citizen citations and start going after people where it hurts, their pocket book!.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Greeley probably could use a light at Bryant. I pass through that intersection two or three times a day and there are a lot of people that use that crossing to get to the park.

Cars tend to go through this area of Greeley pretty fast and often don’t stop for peds. Not sure why they behave worse here than most places, especially with the park right there.

Glenn Fee
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Glenn Fee

Thanks for the heads up on this, Jonathan. I’ll be there with my son, who commutes across Greeley twice a day to get to Chief Joseph. Unfortunately, one large issue for speed on these streets (Denver included) is that they serve as cut-throughs for Vancouver residents who work downtown and wish to avoid I-5. This isn’t the only issue, of course, but it’s a complicating factor on streets that are already designed for cars to go entirely too fast for their surroundings.

Alex
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Alex

Slight correction – 2 of the accidents happened on Greeley, one happened on Rosa Parks (although very close to Greeley!).

I have lived in this neighborhood for a number of years and the traffic down Greeley is pretty bad, but the traffic down Lombard is _really_ bad. I would love to see some changes to that street.

Andy
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Andy

The solution is obviously for Commissioner Novick to have more media events where he talks about drivers needing to exercise more personal responsibility.

Tom Hardy
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Tom Hardy

Unfortunately the standard motorist response is “I did not see him/her/you!” This is especially the no ticket excuse to policemen as they WILL NOT WRITE A TICKET with this one. No matter how neglegent the motorist. even witnesses are not accepted by the PPB. It remains to be seen if camera’s with face shots as the collision is happening will work.

paikiala
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paikiala

A single lane modern roundabout would fit at Rosa Parks and Greeley with only minor right of way needed at the NW corner.

The one at SW Palater/Terwilliger is the size I’m thinking, and it serves about 11,000 trips per day. This intersection has closer to 25,000 per day, so it would have to be well thought out.

Bald One
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Bald One

I witnessed horrible driving here just last week. I was driving my car on N. Greeley near Bryant and I stopped for a pedestrian (a Mom with a little kid on a skoot bike) waiting to cross Greeley at the corner intersection. The approaching car stopped also. The mom turned to get her kid moving, and I watched in horror in my rear view mirror as the car approaching me from behind sped up, swerved around me, passed my stopped car on the right, and zoomed on down Greeley. Luckily the pedestrians had only just stepped into the street when this happened and were on the left side of the road, so they were still 15 feet away from the speeding car in the other lane. A horrifying thing to witness this near miss. Ridiculous driving behavior.

Gabriel
Guest

I got hit at the intersection on Rosa Parks and Greely on April 9th. I was heading east through the light on Rosa Parks and a driver turned left onto Greely right into me. He hit my back wheel and sent me spawling and I was able to walk away largely unscathed. Driver stopped, I waived a police officer over who was driving by and the driver gave me his insurance card while the officer watched. The insurance ended up being over 5 months expired and I have not received a single cent from the driver. The police officer has not been much help. I was a few feet from being killed, I refuse to ride Rosa Parks now, Ainsworth is much safer.

Christopher Jones
Guest
Christopher Jones

Thanks for covering this, Jonathan!

Arbor Lodge is working toward safer streets for everyone. We’ve had some horrible events this year, but I’m thankful that we’re organizing to make things better. Anyone interested in joining the discussion is welcome to. Check out https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/team-lodge-traffic-safety

Also, all credit for the vigil is due to Ginger Edwards and Katy Asher. While it’s been a team effort in Arbor Lodge to improve safety, they’ve particularly been leading the charge. I’m really proud to have them as neighbors.

I’m looking forward to meeting folks at the vigil. See you there.

buildwithjoe
Guest

2 more North Portland crashes in the last year a few blocks from my house.

a) Add RIP Nicholas Horsey Greeley and Lombard 11 months ago. Less than a mile from where Dianna and Stanley were killed. A witness said the DUI driver was going 50mph.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/12/unusual_circumstances_net_duii.html

b) about 12 months ago. A student (name not released) was legally crossing in a crosswalk when a bus honked at her. A car that had the legal obligation to stop did not. The city removed the bus stop because crossing Lombard at Oatman is so dangerous.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/10/girl_hit_by_vehicle_on_north_l.html

buildwithjoe
Guest

Another North Portland pedestrian hit recently. Bradley Esperanza Trujillo

https://www.youcaring.com/esperanza-trujillo-bradley-638085

Z
Guest
Z

I live near Greeley directly on Rosa Parks. In the mornings it can often take 5 to 10 minutes to wait for an empty space in traffic just to back out of the driveway, and often times another car will be coming around the corner from Willamette, see that I am backing out of the drive way then speed up right behind me, visibly cursing at me until they turn off onto Greeley. Also, I often walk my daughter to Chief Joseph. Being on the south side of Rosa Parks, we need to cross both Rosa Parks and Greeley to get to school. Villard is listed on the safe routes to school as the nearest recommended place to cross Rosa Parks but the actual intersection is circled as being very difficult. No one wants to stop for pedestrians on Rosa Parks if there is not a signal. Even at the Willamette/Rosa Parks crosswalk where the speed tracking sign tells people to slow down, no one wants to stop. I constantly hear vehicles speed up when either turning from Greeley or Willamette on to Rosa Parks. The traffic between Rosa Parks and Lombard increased dramatically over the summer while there was work being done on Willamette which seems to left off a little but has put more traffic back on Rosa Parks. As far as the light at Greeley and Rosa Parks, the lanes create too many situations in which drivers can’t see pedestrians crossing. Heading east on Rosa Parks and turning left on to Greeley, a driver can get a green light (there is no turn signal) while the pedestrian gets a walk signal. Drivers are not looking for pedestrians when in that situation, they are just trying to make it through the light. This is what I have observed over the last couple of years.