2019 is off to a harrowing start in Portland when it comes to the safety of people who are not driving cars on our streets.
As of this weekend we have had five fatal traffic crashes. Four of the victims were walking, one of them was someone on a bicycle. All of them were struck by someone driving a car. There are also two other victims struck by drivers who are still clinging to life at area hospitals.
One of them is 16-year-old Juana Jiménez Francisco, known to family and friends as Juanita. Francisco is a 10th grader at Madison High School who immigrated from Guatemala to Portland in March 2017. According to a GoFundMe page she was returning home from a weekend job at McDonalds when she was hit on February 24th.
Just like the person hit and seriously injured that same night on North Fessenden and the man killed back in January while trying to cross SW Salmon, this tragic incident occurred on a stretch of road — NE 82nd and Jonesmore — that is very well known for its unsafe conditions and where plans to make it safer have been in the works for many years.
We must expedite these projects in a way that matches the urgency of the safety crises they aim to address.