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.