PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A planned protest took place in Tigard on Tuesday at an intersection that is considered “highly dangerous.”
The protest comes one month after 57-year-old Karen Kain was killed after a hit-and-run collision at Hall Blvd. and Lucille Ct. Kain’s 86-year-old mother was severely injured in the collision.
Kain was walking her mother to the memory care center across the street from her home. Authorities say the driver didn’t stay on the scene.
KOIN 6 News learned she was new to the neighborhood – moving to the area to be closer to her aging mother.
A handful of protesters were young kids, with one of them holding a sign directed at ODOT that said “How many more people have to die?”
Neighbor Rob Skinner remembers Kane as “a sweet soul.”
Skinner told KOIN 6 News “it’s insane. It’s really dangerous with the all the children that are living here.”
However, Skinner said it’s not just the speed limit that’s a problem.
“There are no safe crossings for these kids, very difficult for them to get to school and to the stores,” Skinner explained.
Protesters say that Hall Blvd., which is located state Hwy. 141 between 99 W and Locust St. is unsafe and there are requests that ODOT either invest the funds to make it safe or turn it over to the city of Tigard and provide them with the funds to make it safe.
Protestors also say that there are no continuous sidewalks on either side of the road to allow safe access to Metzger Elementary or Metzger Park, and that the speed limit needs to be lowered from 40 miles per hour.
Don Hamilton with ODOT says right now, the state is doing a speed zone analysis on the stretch of road and says many considerations are underway but admits whatever they decide to do will take time.
“There’s so much work we have to do, we have to study what’s going on the area we have to look at the history of the area, there’s a lot that needs to be done, we can’t make things happen by snapping our fingers there’s a lot that needs to be done,” Hamilton said.
ODOT officials said the agency is in talks with the city of Tigard about transferring ownership of the road to the city.
Mayor Jason Snider of Tigard released the following statement to KOIN 6 News:
“ODOT can improve safety in the roadways that have long been declared a priority. Washington County cities are rapidly growing, which means more people walking, biking, taking public transportation, and driving vehicles on our roads and highways. We recently urged the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to increase funding for urban street safety improvements. The recent tragic fatalities on Southwest Hall Boulevard in Tigard heighten the urgency of these requests.
“Hall Boulevard, owned and maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), has been subject to deferred maintenance and a lack of critical safety investment for years. With insufficient crossing opportunities, incomplete sidewalks, inadequate bike facilities, deficient public transit stops, and general poor surface condition, this road no longer serves our community. Although ODOT and the City are discussing a jurisdictional transfer of Hall Boulevard, the most recent crash and loss of life is a heartbreaking reminder that immediate action is needed to actively and collaboratively pursue investments and improvements along this roadway.
“We urge state officials to take immediate action by allocating flexible Federal dollars towards significant investment on Hall Boulevard. We cannot wait for additional tragedies to occur on Hall Boulevard, a key multi-modal corridor within our community.
In the meantime, we have submitted a speed zone study request with the goal of reducing the posted speed on Hall Boulevard. The study is a necessary first step in completing a speed zone change (reduction).”