Tragedy Finds its way to Another Neighborhood Street

Traffic and pedestrian conditions, and how the neighborhood and city respond to them, just may be the defining moment of the day in our community.  Unfortunately, that defining moment comes with the loss of life, and the stark reality that our major neighborhood thoroughfares are simply not designed and maintained in a way to keep pedestrians and drivers safe.  In another disturbing accident, a pedestrian was killed last night while trying to cross SE 82nd, just one block north of where it crosses Foster.  This time alcohol cannot be blamed, and it only continues a disturbing trend of unsafe conditions for drivers and pedestrians alike in the neighborhood.

While so much of our attention has been drawn to traffic/pedestrian conditions on Foster, it must be noted that 82nd Avenue is also a city-identified high crash corridor.  It also forms one third of our neighborhood boundary and links to several other neighborhoods who are negatively impacted by said traffic conditions.  Combined with Foster, 82nd makes two of three boundary lines in Foster-Powell that the city considers unsafe because of the high rate of collisions.  Those two corridors also run through neighboring Lents and Mt. Scott-Arleta, which creates a regional concern that is only being acknowledged by the city with little decisive action.  And it isn’t just the city; 82nd is a designated state highway, which makes this more than a Portland problem.

In the end, though, it will need to be the city that steps up.  This should go on no longer, and the more that it does, the more the city will shoulder the blame.

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3 Responses to Tragedy Finds its way to Another Neighborhood Street

  1. Aaron says:

    I wonder how we might crowdsource sidewalk improvements. This is the age of DIY and community-based change. Are there options that don’t require a long process of lobbying a government entity to take action?

  2. Nick Falbo says:

    I’m not sure what we can really do about 82nd. Like you say, it’s a state highway, which means the City of Portland doesn’t really have control over it. The traffic safety planners wrote a “high crash corridor action plan” a few years ago for 82nd Ave:
    http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=370378&c=54892

    But it sometimes feels like we’re putting lipstick on a pig. Don’t get me wrong, these safety improvements are desperately needed, and every little bit does count. Cora Potter was on the citizen committee for this project, and I want to make sure she and the other neighbors involved in the planning get credit for all of their hard work advocating for improving these big streets.

    But in the same way that neighbors are envisioning a better, perhaps distinctly different, Foster Road, how can we advocate for 82nd avenue, when it doesn’t seem like ODOT would really listen?

  3. squish says:

    70 year old men crossing in a non cross walk don’t bode well on 82nd. This is not nessessarily the cities fault. Drivers need to slow down, yes, but pedestrians need to watch out for the cars around them and not assume they’re going to stay on the road. Slow down-wake up!

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