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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Protest for Pedestrian Rights

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 8:42 PM

The crosswalk at SE 80th and Foster is marked with white lines and a "pedestrian refuge island" in the middle of the street, and it's where cars have hit three young Portland pedestrians in the last week.

Lindsay Leonard, 23 was killed there when a car struck her last Sunday, November 1, her friend Jessica Finlay, remains in critical condition from the crash. Only days later, a car struck a worker at the fruit stand on the corner, Dan Portner, 32, as he crossed the street. According to his boss at the little fruit store, Rob Valdez, Portner is in a coma at OHSU, where doctors are trying to stop the bleeding in his brain. "People drive way too fast here," says Valdez. "I've seen way too many close calls."

Cars continued to speed through the crosswalk despite the signs, lights and roughly 30 friendly faces lining the road during tonight's Willamette Pedestrian Coalition vigil for the many neighborhood residents injured and killed on Foster.


Mayor Sam Adams turned up for the event—in response to the recent deaths he promised swift changes to the city's dangerous intersections. Neighbors say city crews were out today trimming trees at SE 80th and Foster, but that the crossing needs better lighting.


The vigil was Yvonne Smith's first big outing since a car ran over her legs two years ago, up on N Chautauqua in St. Johns. Pedestrian rights lawyer Ray Thomas (left) is suing the driver, who was on Oxycodon.

More pictures below the cut.


Sarah Iannarone and her partner (right) bike daily up Foster to buy supplies for their owner of Arleta Library Cafe. "This road was designed for automobiles, not for people. What we need to do is make it more difficult for cars to go through," says Iannarone.


Tim Jackson walks his dog Cooper daily around Montavilla. He often has close calls while crossing SE 80th and Stark, like today when a driver drove right past him in a crosswalk. "I was mad. I looked at him and said, 'I'm in a crosswalk.' And he just looked at me and kept going," says Jackson.


Lawyer Ray Thomas wants to put these up around Portland. "Like ghost bikes for pedestrians."


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