Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 22nd, 2021 at 7:05 am
A bustling commercial section of NE Fremont in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood was the location of Portland’s most recent traffic tragedy.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, two people walking near the intersection of NE Fremont and 44th (map) were struck by someone driving a car just before 6:00 pm Tuesday night. One of the people died on the scene and the other is still in the hospital with what PPB says are life-threatening injuries. The driver is now part of an ongoing investigation by the PPB’s Major Crash Team, who are still looking for tips from witnesses who might have seen what happened. If you have anything to share, please contact email@example.com and include Traffic Investigations Unit case number 21-354996 in your message, or call (503) 823-2103.
Further official details have not been released, but a source (below) says the people were in a crosswalk when the collision occurred.
This section of Fremont is in the heart of the Beaumont shopping area. The lane configuration is typical of small Portland main streets: One general use lane in each direction and on-street parking on both sides. All the cross streets in this area are off-set, meaning they come to a “T” at Fremont instead of making traditional, 4-way intersections. With parking on both sides of the street, relatively narrow road width, off-set intersections, and dark and rainy conditions, this location can be very difficult to navigate. The posted speed limit is 20 mph.
BikePortland reader and transportation advocate Bjorn Warloe is very familiar with this section of Fremont. He shared his thoughts on Twitter last night,
“Tons of parking and offset streets make sketchy crossings and if you want to use a light you have to walk either to 42nd or 57th, which are 3/4 of a mile apart. If the city was serious about safety here they would remove most if not all parking and replace it with wider sidewalks so the street would be the same width but with much better visibility. Crosswalks could also be elevated to the same grade as the sidewalk. Instead it is signed as 20 mph but many routinely go faster and I am actually passed several times a year by cars going closer to 40.”
This horrific and tragic death is the 66th fatality on Portland streets so far this year. That’s the highest number of deaths since 1972. 28 of them were walking. So far no bicycle riders have been killed.