Portland Police have arrested two drivers and are looking for a third in relation to a collision that left another person trying to cross SE Division Street dead last night.
So far the investigation has revealed that an adult female was killed while crossing at SE 138th just after 10:00 pm.
Here’s more from the Portland Police Bureau:
“… officers believe the pedestrian was walking south across Southeast Division Street when she was struck by a vehicle being driven west on Southeast Division Street. Shortly afterwards the woman was struck by a second vehicle that was also traveling westbound on Southeast Division Street. The driver of the first vehicle that struck the victim drove away from the scene. The driver of the second vehicle remained at the scene.
Officers searched the area, but at this time have not located the driver or vehicle that was believed to have first struck the pedestrian. The driver of the second vehicle was taken into custody. The driver of the second vehicle involved in this crash has been identified as 42-year-old Brent A. Klausner.”
So. We have two drivers involved so far. One of them fled the scene. The other (Klausner) was taken into custody. But it gets worse. While officers were investigating the crash, “a driver traveled around the road closure and into the crime scene, narrowly missing a Major Crash Team investigator.”
The police took that third driver, 31-year-old Angel G. Cardona-Aguilar, into custody.
Both men have since been released. Klauser was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. Cardona-Aguilar was booked on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, and Reckless Endangering.
To summarize: Three drivers involved; one of them on-the-loose for felony hit-and-run, two of them arrested for reckless driving and DUII. This is complete madness. Auto abuse is an epidemic and we need much more aggressive actions to mitigate its myriad impacts on innocent people.
This is the 24th traffic fatality in Portland so far this year. 10 of those killed were walking. This is the fourth person to die while walking on outer SE Division this year. On March 11th, 74-year-old Fuk Chan was killed trying to cross at 115th. 86-year-old Dorothy Anderson was killed at SE 169th on May 8th. And on July 23rd, 69-year-old James Deery was hit and killed at 158th.
This is frustrating because we know how bad Division is, yet we haven’t completed the steps needed to fix it. City crash stats show Division ranks No. 1 for motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries, No. 4 for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and No. 2 for bicycle injuries and fatalities.
The good news is PBOT has a big plan to improve safety on this stretch of Division and it’s slated to be completed by mid-2019. Then there’s TriMet’s Division Transit Project expected to bring even more significant changes to the street when it begins construction next year. The bad news is these plans aren’t much solace given all the sacrifices we’ve made already.
And how many more people will be hurt and/or killed before these basic safety updates are completed?
Among these updates is a rapid flash beacon to be installed at 138th. It’s unclear whether that would have helped last night. As we saw last week when a man and young child were hit on 122nd, the presence of a beacon is often a weak countermeasure in the presence of such a massive threat like the one posed by reckless people driving on a high-speed arterial highway that cuts through residential neighborhoods.
I don’t know what else to write at this point.
CORRECTION, 4:01 pm: The headline of this story originally said a man had been killed. It was a woman. I regret the error.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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How many more people need to die on Division? It’s almost criminal of city leadership to not take IMMEDIATE emergency measures to traffic calm the street overnight. I don’t care what it takes. DO SOMETHING!
The city could close one lane each way until they fixed the design and most likely prevent most of these crashes. They could do it immediately.
YES!! I want to recommend this 1000 times!
If we are to mitigate the worst effects of climate change we need to get all the oil burners off the road pronto. Lets invest some of our vision zero dollars in to a mobile car crusher and make the penalty for injuring or menacing a vulnerable road user ( or crash investigator) the instant crushing of the offending vehicle so it can be recycled, in addition to other legal penalties. Maybe these motoring outlaws will think twice when they see their fellow criminal’s rides turned in to scrap metal. I am not sure traffic calming alone is enough if the quality of drivers on our streets has degraded so far that not even crash investigators under a blanket of warning lights are safe.
Make the offender push a big red button that crushes their car right in front of their face.
Was it two years ago that there was a Monday News piece here about a suburb of London that crushes cars if the driver gets a second violation for close passing of a person on a bike? The law was initially put on the books to deal with hot-rodders misbehaving on public roads, but the local police repurposed it.
I would like to propose a second use for the crusher. For motorists caught playing with a vibrating toy (phone) while driving, they get to choose to never have access to a phone again or never have access to a car, and they get to watch one of them get crushed. We could probably sell pay per view and triple our education budget with the proceeds.
Any reason why you are leaving electric vehicles out of this?
If you read carefully I only emphasized the serendipity of getting oil burners off the road at the same time we are disarming the outlaw drivers, but I did not rule out crushing Teslas and such if their drivers hurt or endanger VRU’s
I want to see lawsuits. Full traffic signal too expensive? Compare that to a settlement they can’t even guess at. Road narrowing too expensive? Compare that to the second lawsuit settlement, after the first one proves to be worth something.
There is no need to install a full traffic signal. PBOT could easily install half signals (see SE 16th and Hawthorne for an example) like Seattle but refuses to do so for reasons that I cannot understand.
PS: It has nothing to do with MUTCD approval because Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons were not approved and PBOT continued to install them.
Video at every intersection of the East Portland speedway grid. Better lighting so even the drunks can see, as well as the cameras. Um, some enforcement? People ARE dying.
I do wonder what Vision Zero can do when someone drives under the influence? I think I know the answer and it probably doesn’t involve speed changes, diverters, or retired cops sitting in camera vans. The correct answer sadly isn’t a popular one on this forum. Better policing and reinstatement of sobriety checks would do us a favor in the beer drinking, pot smoking culture that is portland.
In car ignition interlocks are incredibly cheap ($100) but mandates have been fiercely opposed by the public because many of them do, in fact, drive while under the influence of alcohol.
Yes, more and better enforcement could help with this. But keep in mind that Vision Zero is about creating a system where people can be drunk and do stupid things but it won’t result in someone getting killed.
When people can drive 40-50 mph on n’hood highways AND do so while drunk, someone will probably die. If a drunk person were on a narrower road with shorter sight lines, more obstructions/diverters, more physical cues that caused them to slow down… someone would probably not die.
I think the main systemic problem behind drunk driving in the US is the car-centeredness of the transport system. That and the loosey goosey nature of our drunk-driving laws. It’s ok to drive after one or two drinks but the legal threshold is hazy and differs from one person to the next depending on weight and metabolism. I think people tend to overestimate their tolerance and underestimate their impairment — especially after a few drinks. In Europe, the limit is zero — which is much easier to understand and comply with. And due to the relative prevalence of public transport, it’s more convenient and inexpensive to get home from the bars safely.
Not generally true.
It is simply impossible to set up roads that are both incapable of supporting fatal speeds by passenger cars and capable of supporting freight movement. This being the case, holding out for solutions that can pass a purity test not involving enforcement is another way of supporting the status quo.
I know you don’t really support the status quo. I also know there are complications in all approaches (enforcement with our current police is fraught with unequal risk, automation has privacy issues and so forth). However, anyone pretending that we will eliminate, or even significantly reduce, roadway violence by mere engineering changes isn’t serious, imo.
What’s larger than a passenger car that we’re constantly having to bring into the city via freight shipments?
The solution is to slow traffic, and reduce the number of lanes. Everyone knows this.
Doing this will have disastrous effect on mobility in east Portland, and I’m not at all sure those that live there would support it. Eudaly (running PBOT!) has been silent, and Hardesty (likely to win in November) opposes any effort to make driving more expensive or difficult (because of “equity”), so it’s not clear we can count on even our “progressive” elected leaders to take the politically difficult steps required to fix the problem.
That’s not the solution in this particular case. There is no safe lower speed for drunk driving. I doubt a neighborhood survey would show people don’t want DUI enforcement.
A drunken driver going 10mph will have some difficulty wreaking mayhem.
Do you have data showing drunk drivers are consistent at following speed limits?
They’re generally not. You need to engineer the street to lower the speed. Speed humps are the cheapest way to do this that I know of.
Speed humps are illegal on emergency streets. A more useful strategy is to reduce the number of lanes, which you yourself have already advocated for above, plus to reduce lane width to no more than 9 or 10 feet, with those obnoxious rumple strips that Seattle uses. But making the lanes less straight would help too, introduce some artificial curves, round-abouts, and artificial T-intersections on the very wide Division roadway pavement. The main idea is to interrupt any driver’s ability to “get up to speed” on Division. Since the city won’t add signals every block like they have downtown, then other devices need to be deployed.
“Do you have data showing drunk drivers are consistent at following speed limits?”
“fun fact”….drivers going >10mph BELOW the posted speed limit is one way police visually identify DUI suspects
anecdotally, unless impaired beyond all reality, drunk drivers typically are at least TRYING to make it home safe (as opposed to distracted drivers who willingly disregard their situation in order to stare at their phone)…um…hooray?
You’re asking someone else for data when you produced none yourself?
IMO, what PBOT Maintenance needs to do is rip up a bit of pavement here and there. They don’t actually need to fix anything, at least not on the short-term, but just leave traffic cones and construction flashers all over the place so that the net result is a “temporary” construction site that is the whole length of Division with one traffic lane and most of the parking removed on each side. When PBOT or Trimet is actually ready to build the stuff they’ve promised (what, 22 years now?), then they can remove the “temporary” construction items. Until then, just leave it as a mess that cars have to slowly navigate through. Think “Better Naito”, but longer-term.
Another fatal accident occurred on Marine drive shortly before the East Portland Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting last night. Vision Zero was the topic as well as news that the 4M bike project would probably be delayed due to lack of funding to properly address the infrastructure on the most eastern portion of the proposed bikeway. Heavy sigh….
Speaking of delayed Neighobrhood Greenways….wasn’t there supposed to be a new signalized crossing installed on Division in the mid 130s as part of the 130s Neighborhood Greenway? (A Neighborhood Greenway that was funded in 2014.)
Try 2011/2012, for funds to be spent in 2014: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/Transportation/article/349088
Total funds allocated to the City of Portland: $6.623 million
Funds available no sooner than Oct 1, 2013
Item #1: East Portland Active Transportation to Transit, Areawide Improvements ($3.25 million federal funds) – Improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities with a focus on access to transit in the area south of I‐84, north of Foster Rd and east of I‐205
a) Improved east‐west bicycle facilities connecting to Gateway, Division and Holgate LRT stations on Green line ($1 million)
b) Improved north‐south bicycle facility in the 128th to 134th avenue corridor ($1.3 million)
c) High quality bicycle parking at targeted transit facilities ($0.4 million)
d) Sidewalk Infill on SE Division ($0.54 million).
a. Infill .54 mile of sidewalk gaps and build ADA curb ramps on SE Division from I‐205 to 145th Ave, within existing 7 feet of public right‐of‐way behind the curb.
b. Cost estimate includes design and construction cost, including stormwater management, mostly likely with curb extension planters.
e) Enhanced crossings, including access to bus stops and some Neighborhood Greenway crossings ($0.7 million):
a. SE Division from I‐205 to 174th Ave (city limits) – 10 crossing locations.
b. SE 122nd Ave from SE Market to SE Powell – 4 crossing locations.
f) Post‐construction SmartTrips program ($0.5 million)
Total project cost $4.44 M
$1.19 M in match: $0.5 M SmartTrips + 0.69 General Transportation (GTR) and/or TriMet
Potential matching funds from GTR – Sidewalk infill on arterials and GTR – Neighborhood Greenway accounts and TriMet (for bicycle parking)
PBOT developed the candidate RFF East Portland Active Transportation to Transit project in concert with the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the East Portland Action Plan group and the East Portland in Motion project group.
Item #3: Bike Sharing Program ($2 million federal funds)
Additional public and private funding of $2 million brings total funding (cost) to $4 million
Operations funded by user fees and system sponsors
Proposing a 740 bike, 74 station‐bike sharing system
Bikesharing service area mirrors Central City Streetcar Loop
Tell me, what has actually been completed? Where do Portland’s priorities lie?
It’s worth noting that the 20s Neighborhood Greenway was funded in 2009 and completed in 2017. The clock is ticking PBOT.
I wasn’t previously aware that pedestrians near the 20s were getting hit and dying at the same rate as outer Division. Thanks for the info.
PBOT clearly should be taking this into consideration when it comes to prioritizing infrastructure. I wonder why they aren’t doing so?
I think the tally of the dead is important. That’s why I keep an accurate one here. Just FYI this is the 24th fatality. I have confirmed with PBOT that my list is accurate. Please be aware that the PPB is saying they’ve “investigated” 25 fatal crashes. I realize that’s confusing and I’m not sure why the PPB says it like that. We need to all be on the same page with these fatals IMO. It’s not a number to take lightly.
I was told 24 fatalities at the meeting last night by Vision Zero staff. That was before the incident on Division. Regardless, it’s very disheartening to those of us that are involved with transportation issues to get fatality reports as we walk into meetings. It happens far to frequently and it continues to beat me down mentally and emotionally.
Thanks Jim. And I appreciate all the advocacy you do for us.
One has to wonder if infrastructure is going to help when you have drivers who drive around police barricades and nearly hit officers . Infrastructure could have the desired impact if instead of flashing pedestrian crossing lights, we have solid steel bollards that rise up as you walk across the street. That way drivers would have skin in the game. Alternatively we could start revoking drivers permits and confiscating the vehicles.
Sadly, the weak driving laws, poor enforcement, and lack of infrastructure reflects societies values.
Time to implement a drink tax?
We’ve already got one!
The rich are even better at getting away with this behavior.
Curb bumpouts and median islands help, by narrowing the roadway, slowing drivers, and giving pedestrians a shorter exposed period when crossing. Flashing beacons and on demand red lights also help because even bad/intox drivers are usually trying to obey signals.
Harsher penalties can eventually change behavior. If DUI meant automatic 1 year loss of license with no exceptions, and driving without a license meant some for-sure jail time, people will start to behave differently. But it takes time to change behavior.
IIRC, all the data and modeling supports the notion that it is the certainty of the penalty being received and not the harshness of it that actually changes behavior. Unfortunately, with all the stars aligned against enforcement (right wing won’t support taxes to fund it and left wing has legitimate concerns about how it will be applied and other risks) we’re unlikely to be able to get any certainty for those penalties. Heck, we can’t even get enforcement of distracted driving laws, and those folks are out there waving their devices about for all to see.
CORRECTION, 4:01 pm: The headline of this story originally said a man had been killed. It was a woman. I regret the error.
It’s easy to demonize drunk drivers- even more so if they are driving recklessly. When we hear about drinking and driving, it’s like a switch that turns on the “personal responsibility alarm” and nothing else matters.
But, the multi-prong arm of vision zero would point out that safer street design, and access to public transportation and alternatives to driving would decrease drunk driving and fatalities caused by drunk drivers.
When we decided to wholesale adopt the automobile as our way of life it was a Faustian Bargain. In exchange for the chance to go everywhere, at any time ,in comfort and leisure we sold our souls and our future to the Devil. Our society and the Earth have been paying the price for this bargain for a long time now, but Lucifer is really ramping up his collection efforts as of late. He is demanding the sacrifice of our young and old as well as our sanity as we twist our thinking around to justify clinging to our supernatural power. It is only too clear that the only way to save our souls, ourselves and our planet is to give back this dubious gift, and move quickly to a world in which automobiles only play a tiny part.
Not necessarily true — none of the problems you listed (climate change, danger) in inherent in cars themselves, only in our current manifestation of them. After a century of marginal changes, we’re entering a phase where everything could change.
Though I do admire the poetry in your post.
That’s some terrific creative writing.
All of these posts, and not one acknowledgment a human died. Just complaining about planning.
Slightly off-topic, but Brent A. Klausner, the driver second vehicle involved with crash who was arrested and charged with a DUI, was also arrested for stealing a puppy from the Oregon Humane Society in 2013. There were warning signs about this guy.