PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Parents on Thursday asked regional leaders for a dedicated investment in safe routes to schools.
In a packed room, parents from 9 school districts testified about the need for safer streets. “We want our voices to be heard. We want our streets to be safe,” one parent said.
Metro leaders were expected to hand down a final vote on the matter Thursday but ran out of time. They will convene to vote next month instead.
The For Every Kid Coalition wants to see a minimum of $1.5 million for classroom programming, at least $5 million for street and sidewalk improvements within a 1-mile radius of schools and a minimum of $27.7 million for road improvements that increases safety for all people on foot, bikes and transit.
“We thought it was really important that we got safe routes to school,” Alexa Reynolds, a fourth grader, testified.
Alexa says she has seen drivers in her Washington County neighborhood who don’t pay attention. “I feel that it’s really dangerous,” she says.
On Wednesday, two middle schoolers were hit by a car and injured in Gresham.
“If the urgency that’s represented by all the families and organizations that are here today are not enough, I hope that the reality on our streets is,” Noel Mickelberry, the executive director of Oregon Walks says.