PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protestors gathered on Wednesday at what they’re calling a dangerous intersection in Southeast Portland to demand safety changes.
The protest comes after a cyclist was struck and killed by a semi-truck last week at Southeast 26th and Powell.
The group gathered arm-in-arm along the street, observing 30 minutes of silence in honor of beloved Portland chef, Sarah Pliner, the victim of the fatal collision.
Protestors said they gathered arm-in-arm forming a human chain to protect people in the bike lane because the state isn’t doing that.
Multiple advocacy groups, including The Street Trust, Bike Loud PDX and Oregon Walks organized the demonstration, demanding that ODOT immediately create safety measures, including the bike lanes and a bike box — the green-painted pavement marking where bicycles wait at red lights.
“What’s really frustrating about this intersection is that they removed safety measures in 2018,” said Kiel Johnson, Chair of Bike Loud PDX. “And that’s very upsetting.”
Last week, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, in charge of the city’s transportation bureau, called for the state to make immediate safety changes and also called on ODOT to transfer jurisdiction of Southeast Powell to the city.
ODOT officials saying a move like that could take years. However, on Monday, the ODOT director released a statement agreeing that it was time to make safety changes and directed employees to evaluate the more immediate options.
Next week, ODOT, PBOT, PPS and Trimet are hosting a community forum at Cleveland High School to discuss ways to make quote “swift” changes.