PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the past 2 weeks there have been 10 deadly crashes in Portland, including Thursday morning when a 77-year-old man was hit and killed along NE Columbia Boulevard.
Since this year began, 18 people have lost their lives in traffic crashes in Portland. Commissioner Chloe Eudaly described April as “a brutal, heartbreaking month on Portland streets” and said “these deaths are simply unacceptable.”
She joined the chorus of activists pushing for safer streets.
In the days since a driver hit and killed a woman crossing NE Grand and Broadway, the Portland Bureau of Transportation installed an extended sidewalk with barriers for cyclists, with more improvements coming to that stretch of Broadway and Weidler in the coming years.
On her Facebook page, Eudaly said, “PBOT is taking additional steps to address the safety of intersections. We are installing more protected left turns to provide separate phases for pedestrians crossing the street and drivers making left turns. We are installing more leading pedestrian intervals to give people crossing the street a head start at a crosswalk, making them more visible to drivers. And PBOT is piloting a treatment called “left turn calming” that helps people driving make left turns safely. Left turn calming will be installed at 30 intersections this year.”
Driver behavior — driving under the influence, disobeying traffic laws, speeding — accounts for the overwhelming majority of traffic crashes, PBOT said.
PBOT officials said they’re increasing their efforts to put safety improvements on Portland streets as soon as possible after crashes.
Spokesperson Dylan Rivera told KOIN 6 News “it is fair to say that this 2-week period is an anomaly.” He added we still have “fewer traffic deaths year-to-date in 2019 compared to 2016,” when 19 people died in the similar time frame.
Traffic deaths tend to peak during the summer months and are generally lowest in the first few months of the year, he said.
The 10 fatal crashes