The family of a 15-year-old Cleveland High School student who was killed while crossing Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard in 2016 will be paid $395,000 by the City of Portland. The settlement comes from a lawsuit filed by the Estate of Fallon Smart. The suit alleged wrongful death and negligence from the Portland Bureau of Transportation based on conditions at the intersection of Hawthorne and SE 43rd.
The tragic death of this young Portlander and the maddening circumstances surrounding the man who killed her are blights our city will never fully recover from; but this relatively rare and large payment by PBOT could be a positive sign that road agencies will take more responsibility to keep our streets safe.[Read more…]
This post is part of an ongoing look at crosswalk closures. It was written by contributor Catie Gould and Jonathan Maus and edited by Emily Guise.
(Written by Scott Kocher, a Portland-based pedestrian and bicycle lawyer at Forum Law Group LLC and safe streets advocate advocate. We recently highlighted his efforts to improve Highway 30. Note: Kocher’s law firm is also a financial contributor to BikePortland, but that had no influence on editorial decisions.)
I love to ride in the West Hills. From the central city, they’re the closest place to escape stop-and-go traffic. On weekends, people enjoying Northwest Skyline on bikes seem to outnumber people in cars. On weekdays, commuters zip between Portland and the west side. It feels like a world apart from Highway 26 gridlock.
Which brings me to March 16th. I was riding down NW Cornell from Skyline. There were bad potholes below the upper tunnel. Not just bumps, these were the kind that could easily cause a person on a bicycle to crash — which could be catastrophic at downhill speeds. Hoping to get them filled, I stopped and reported the potholes using the City of Portland’s PDX Reporter web app.
I noted in the report that the holes were a hazard for people on bikes. On March 28th, those potholes weren’t fixed, so I reported them again. On May 1st, I took a day off to go check on the route of a popular group bike ride that typically draws 100s of people. The potholes on Cornell were still there. I marked them with yellow paint, and reported them, for the third time.
We’re long overdue to put the spotlight on a great comment.
Our Comment of the Week goes to noted local activist and lawyer (and BikePortland supporter) Scott Kocher.
On Wednesday he shared insights about a road he knows very well: NW Skyline Blvd. His comment came on our story about Multnomah County’s online open house that seeks feedback on their 20 Year Road Plan. One project on that list would consider “augmenting shoulders” and possibly providing, “enhanced shoulder bikeways.”
Anyone who’s ridden a bicycle on Highway 30/St. Helens Road between northwest Portland and the St. Johns Bridge understands why it has the moniker “Dirty 30”. With a major paving project in the pipeline, ODOT has a chance to change that bad reputation.[Read more…]