Southwest Portland News Archives

Vigil planned for Angela Burke on Monday night

Posted on December 17th, 2010 at 11:38 am.

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition have just announced a vigil for Angela Burke:

In cooperation with Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. and Friends of Barbur, a quiet vigil for Angela Burke and all who have lost someone close to them on the roadway will be held Monday at 5:30 pm, tentative location near the corner of SW Barbur Boulevard and SW Hamilton.

See the full press release below…

Community Responds to Senseless Tragedy on SW Barbur
Neighbors and friends to hold vigil for Angela Burke and those lost on our roadways

Portland, Ore. – Angela Burke, a 26-year old woman from New York, was struck and killed while walking her bicycle across SW Barbur Blvd. on Wednesday night. Caleb Pruitt, the driver who killed Ms. Burke, was arrested on allegations of negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

According to the police report, “Investigators learned that just prior to the [crash] Pruitt was driving at a high rate of speed and appeared to lose control of the car before striking Burke and killing her.”

In a crash, the risk of serious injury or death increases exponentially as speed climbs higher than 20 miles an hour. On SW Barbur Boulevard, people riding in the bike lane or walking on the sidewalk are only a few feet away from cars traveling at 50 miles per hour. Wednesday’s tragedy shows us that a death can result from something as simple as crossing the street.

Steph Routh, Director of the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition: “Ms. Burke’s death was as senseless as it was preventable. In our community and in our region, everyone should feel safe while walking or biking on our roads. There is no higher priority than preserving life. This tragedy is a mournful reminder of how far we have to go in terms of traffic safety.”

Transportation safety advocates and organizations, including Friends of Barbur, the WPC, and the BTA, have been working to improve safety on the Barbur Bridges (the narrowest and most uncomfortable sections of SW Barbur Boulevard for bicyclists) but these improvements – though critically important – are not enough.

Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance: “Our street environment must prioritize the safety of people walking and biking. We cannot tolerate anything less. Speed and crash reduction must play a major role in the BTA’s advocacy initiatives, legislative agenda, and Vision Zero safety campaign. “

We – as advocates, as transportation authorities, as parents, as people who walk and bike and care about the safety of our neighbors – must take swift action to make significant safety improvements along the entire length of SW Barbur Boulevard, and on every street where people are walking and biking near motor vehicle traffic above 20 miles per hour. We call on state and local transportation authorities to make a commitment to lowering speeds and enforcing safe behavior

The BTA and WPC thank the Portland Police for acting swiftly during the investigation and for bringing charges to the man responsible for killing Ms. Burke. The message is clear: people will be held responsible for killing someone as a result of negligent driving.

We mourn the loss of Angela Burke and extend our sincere condolences to her friends and family. We cannot imagine their loss.

In cooperation with Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. and Friends of Barbur, a quiet vigil for Angela Burke and all who have lost someone close to them on the roadway will be held Monday at 5:30 pm, tentative location near the corner of SW Barbur Boulevard and SW Hamilton.

Participants are encouraged to bring a candle, lights, and personal signs commemorating Angela, a loved one or call for safer streets. More information regarding exact venue available on BTA and WPC websites and Friends of Barbur Facebook page as it is confirmed.

Photos and thoughts from the scene of Barbur fatality

Posted on December 17th, 2010 at 9:53 am.

Scene of fatal crash on SW Barbur Blvd-3

Looking south on Barbur about .3
miles south of SW Hamilton. The
orange paint is where Angela Burke’s
body came to rest. The apartment complex is
in the upper left.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last night I went out to SW Barbur to get a better sense of the scene of the fatal crash that occurred there Wednesday night.

By way of markings in the street painted by Portland Police Bureau crash investigators, Angela Burke’s body came to rest about three tenths of a mile south of where SW Barbur Blvd (99W) crosses SW Hamilton. The collision occurred directly across the street from a parking lot and just a few feet north of the entrance to the Town and Country Apartments at 4800 SW Barbur (map). [Read more…]

Advocates react to tragedy on SW Barbur

Posted on December 16th, 2010 at 3:28 pm.

“They just keep happening. There were two last night… It’s hard to keep talking about the same thing over and over again. I feel like I can just cut and paste.”
— Stephanie Routh, Willamette Pedestrian Coalition

Biking, walking and neighborhood advocates are frustrated and saddened by the news of a fatal crash that claimed the life of 26-year old Angela Burke on SW Barbur Boulevard last night. For them, the crash isn’t just about one allegedly drunk and negligent man driving a car and a woman who lost her life, it’s about a street that is known to be very unsafe and that is widely known to be in dire need of safety improvements.

In a phone interview today, Stephanie Routh, executive director of the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (WPC), called Angela Burke’s death a “senseless tragedy” and was clearly frustrated by yet another headline of someone being killed while walking. “They just keep happening. There were two last night [a man was also hit and seriously injured while walking on N. Lombard]… It’s hard to keep talking about the same thing over and over again. I feel like I can just cut and paste.”
[Read more…]

Fatal crash on SW Barbur last night – Updated

Posted on December 16th, 2010 at 8:05 am.

Red area is approximate location of collision. The woman was walking southbound (west side of street).

[Read more…]

City acquires land for South Waterfront Greenway Trail

Posted on November 12th, 2010 at 1:34 pm.

The South Waterfront Greenway Trail will feature separate paths for biking and walking.

[Read more…]

New bike racks just the start for Hillsdale Town Center

Posted on April 28th, 2010 at 8:24 am.

The first customer of the new racks
(yes, she’s hugging it).
(Photo: Dave Johnson)

The Hillsdale Bicycle Coalition — who we introduced you to back in October — is celebrating their first real victory. Last Friday, crews installed three bike racks in front of OM Base Yoga in the Hillsdale Town Center (which happens to be an official, City-recognized town center) and the fledgling advocacy group says there’s a lot more to come.
[Read more…]

Newly formed Hillsdale Bicycle Coalition pushes bike parking

Posted on October 27th, 2009 at 12:13 pm.

Hillsdale Bicycle Coalition in the news.

From the Hillsdale News comes word of the Hillsdale Bicycle Coalition (HBC), a fledgling bike advocacy group that is already working on its first project.

According to the story, the group was formed to go after a $5,000 grant created through proceeds of a community book sale. They got the grant and now they’re already working to build “visible, accessible and convenient” bike racks.

The first rack they plan to install — slated for installation in March — will go in front of Food Front and Baker & Spice on SW Capitol Highway in Hillsdale. But that’s just the start, HBC co-founder Dave Johnson has sights set on lots more:[Read more…]

Cemetery will form committee to address bike access issue

Posted on September 29th, 2009 at 1:03 pm.

“We are formulating a strong core of people who are in leadership positions in the bicycle community… to discuss how our concerns can be mitigated without simply closing the cemetery to bicycle traffic.”
— David Noble, Executive Director of River View Cemetery

David Noble, the executive director of River View Cemetery in Southwest Portland, has planned a meeting with representatives from the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance next week. The meeting will revolve around how to manage bicycle traffic through cemetery grounds.

The cemetery — which is on private property that provides a popular alternate route for bike traffic — is concerned with unsafe riding and disrespectful behavior by some riders. The issue has been simmering for years, but came to a head last week after we reported on the installation of three sets of new speed bumps. [Read more…]

First look at Portland’s inaugural cycle track

Posted on August 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm.

Portland’s new (and first-ever) cycle track has been installed on SW Broadway near Portland State University.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

City’s first two-way cycle track planned for South Waterfront District

Posted on June 24th, 2009 at 1:25 pm.

To make way for the Portland-Milwaukie light rail project, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is drafting a new Concept Street Plan for the South Waterfront district.

As part of that plan, some major changes are coming to SW Moody Ave. Among them are a new, two-way cycle track facility. Art Pearce with PBOT is heading up the project and he brought the plans to the City’s Bike Advisory Committee earlier this month.[Read more…]