While pedestrian accidents in Portland are an unfortunately common occurrence, some local residents face significantly greater risks. In the north end of the city, a battle has been going on for several years regarding how and when traffic improvements should be made. Joining forces, city leaders worked together to resolve a pressing public transportation issue and, in the process, ended up making significant strides in addressing pedestrian dangers as well.
Rivals Join Forces to Promote Pedestrian Safety
On September 10, 2018, one of Portland’s busiest neighborhoods finally got a frequent flyer bus line, which will run every 15 minutes, providing residents with easier access to other points throughout the city. In the bargain, they received much-needed improvements to crosswalks at surrounding intersections, which will help to decrease the high rate of pedestrian accidents that have plagued the area.
According to reports from Oregon Live, 122nd Avenue is one of Portland’s busiest and most dangerous streets in terms of pedestrian safety. Three people were killed while walking in the area over 2017, and another two have died since the beginning of 2018. Former city commissioner Steve Novick lobbied TriMet, the city’s bus, light rail, and commuter service provider, for years to put a frequent-stop bus line in the area, which would help to relieve some of the foot traffic. Before improving the project, TriMet insisted that more than $8 million in pedestrian safety improvements would need to be made.
Joining Novak in the effort, former Mayor Charlie Hales helped in getting budgeting approval. While they fell short, they did secure more than $4.7 million to add crosswalks, flashing safety beacons, and other improvements. An additional $4 million is expected to be added in the coming years.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony on a recent Monday, Novak and Hale were in attendance, invited by former rival and current commissioner Chloe Eudaly. Eudaly said that prior to the improvements, people in the area were more than twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured as the result of pedestrian accidents than were residents in other sections of the city.
Additional Improvements Underway
The improvements on 122nd Avenue are all part of a larger effort to reduce accidents and injuries throughout the area. Under Portland’s Vision Zero plan, the following safety initiatives are being implemented throughout the city, in the hopes of increasing traffic safety and, in the process, decreasing the pedestrian fatality rate:
- Increased crosswalks in high traffic areas;
- Improvements to sidewalks and lighting;
- Reduced speed limits, which help to reduce the severity of crashes;
- Increased traffic enforcement to apprehend reckless drivers before collisions occur.
Contact Us Today for Help
At the Johnston Law Firm, we know the devastating injuries that can occur as the result of pedestrian accidents and the impact they can have on victims and their loved ones. If you have been injured in this type of crash, our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys are here to help. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online today and request a consultation.