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Changes ahead for St. Johns hit-and-run street

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — North Fessenden Street in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood was the location of a deadly hit-and-run Wednesday night. 

But frustrated residents said it wasn’t the first. 

Donna Cohen has been trying to convince the city for nearly a decade to make North Fessenden Street safer for pedestrians, April 11, 2019. (KOIN)

Donna Cohen has been trying to convince the city for nearly a decade to make North Fessenden Street safer for pedestrians. 

Cohen said she’s rallied at City Hall, demanding improvements to the street but years of silence have left her angry and frustrated. 

But the Portland Bureau of Transporation is finally doing something. 

Construction is currently underway on Fessenden. Officials plan to install flashing crosswalks and median islands. They also plan to improve intersections. In total, the project is expected to cost more than $4 million. 

John Brady with PBOT said some of the changes are being made at the request of community members like Cohen. 

While Cohen said she’s optimistic about the coming changes, she wondered whether at least one death could have been prevented if the street project had been carried out earlier. 

A hit-and-run late Wednesday night on Fessenden near Tioga killed 82-year-old Sandra Bosch. 

Portland police officers closed off a stretch of road at North Fessenden near Tioga, April 10, 2019. (KOIN)

Bosch died at the scene. Flowers were found near her hand. Her daughter, Tracey Paulson, told KOIN 6 News her mother “had a habit of sneaking out and picking flowers.”People living near where Bosch was killed said despite the speed limit being lowered to 25 miles per hour, drivers still speed through the area. 

“You look up hit-and-runs and do you know how many you see? It’s like becoming an epidemic,” said Vicki Cordier, another of Bosch’s daughters. “It’s shocking to me.” 

Cohen said she wanted the street changes to be completed before the start of the next school year but the city said it plans to complete the project by October. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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