PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The director of the Oregon Department of Transportation said after deadly incidents on Powell Boulevard, we need to rethink how we use U.S. 26.

The statement comes after a cyclist was hit and killed by a semi-truck last week.

“Recent incidents on Powell, including a tragic death on Oct. 4, are evidence that this road cannot, and should not, function as a traditional highway anymore,” said Kris Strickler, the ODOT director. “It’s time to make changes to ensure the safety of all users.”

In response, Strickler has instructed his team to evaluate all possible options to quickly transform Powell into a safer roadway.

“It’s an unsafe intersection,” said Lela Hopkins, who says her son was at Powell Park when the cyclist was hit and killed. She comes to SE 26th and Powell regularly to drop off and pick up her son from daycare.

“The daycare is talking about having an extra person out here as crossing guards, which I really appreciate because my son is four and he’s just a little guy. So, if a bicyclist can get hit, my three-foot-tall son can too,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins grew up in Portland and went to Cleveland High School, which is also at this intersection. She’s used to how busy this boulevard can be, but is relieved to hear transportation officials want to make even more safety changes.

She envisions established barriers and raised bike lanes for better protection.

In recent years, ODOT has installed flashing crosswalks, lowered speed limits and widened bike lanes.

But with parks, schools, restaurants and neighborhoods now nestled along this state highway, officials say no change is off the table to keep people safe.

Dennis Corsine, who works on Powell, hopes to see more police traffic patrols to stop speeders.

“In foreign countries, like Asian countries, they use a raised platform at the intersections. It’s basically a stairway that goes up and you can walk all the way around and walk down to any corner, that you want to and only cars and motorcycles are allowed underneath it,” he said.

While communities, businesses, and the state need freight access to continue to thrive, ODOT said safety for everyone is crucial.

“If changes result in slowing traffic down, I believe that is an acceptable tradeoff. My hope is that most people would make the same choice,” Strickler said.

There will be a community forum on Thursday, Oct. 20th at 6 p.m. at Cleveland High School. Representatives from PBOT, ODOT, Portland Public Schools and TriMet will be there. ODOT will be prepared to talk about ways they can make fast and meaningful changes to Powell Boulevard at the event.