Less than 24 hours after hearing dozens of people share concerns about the Oregon Department of Transportation’s priorities and poor safety record, their Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer might get yet another reminder when he leaves work this afternoon.
Volunteers with Bike Loud PDX plan to stage a “die-in” and vigil for traffic victims starting at 4:30 pm today in front of the agency’s headquarters on 123 Northwest Flanders Street (event listing here). The event aims to draw attention to deaths on ODOT-controlled roads by drawing chalk-outlined bodies on the ground.
Deaths on Oregon roads were up 9.4 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. 467 people died last year and so far this year that number is up by 8 percent. “This ongoing tragedy too often flies under the radar,” reads a statement about the event. “The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) needs to make immediate policy changes to halt this ongoing epidemic.”
After giving brief presentations, people will “die” by laying on the ground while someone reads the names of recent victims. There will be 10 minutes of silence to recognize them and then someone will read a list of safety demands. Those demands include: adopting a statewide Vision Zero policy, the transfer of Lombard, 82nd, Barbur, Powell, and other ODOT roads to City of Portland’s jurisdiction, the requirement of side-guards on trucks, more traffic law enforcement, and more spending on “basic safety improvements.”
There will also be a large poster with the demands that will be signed by participants and delivered to ODOT’s Windsheimer.
This group held a similar event in 2015.
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