After another death, community groups will press City for ’emergency’ on outer SE Stark


Looks like an emergency to me.

We’ve seen this sad movie before: After seemingly incessant traffic violence on our streets, people join together with tears in their eyes and frustration in their hearts to implore our government agencies to do more to make our streets safe.

This time Oregon Walks and the Rosewood Initiative will lead the way. They’re hosting a press conference to draw attention to terrible conditions on outer SE Stark Street after a woman was killed by an auto user at 148th Street last week. That was the third fatal traffic crash at or near that same intersection in less than a year. In a statement (below), Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry is calling on the City of Portland to declare an official emergency on SE Stark in order to immediately reduce the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph.

Mickelberry hopes the Portland Bureau of Transportation will take a similar approach to the emergency declaration they successfully pursued on SE Division last year.

Here’s more from the Oregon Walks press release:

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Advocates and Community Members Demand a Safer Outer Stark

On Thursday, February 8th Oregon Walks and The Rosewood Initiative will hold a press conference on SE 148th & Stark at 10am on Thursday, February 8th – calling for action to improve safety after a community member was killed by a hit and run
driver.

We believe that crashes are preventable. We are calling on our local elected officials to invest in safety improvements on Outer SE Stark immediately.

– Use an emergency ordinance to lower the speed limit from 35mph to 30mph on SE Stark from I-205 to 162nd. This was recently implemented on Outer SE Division St.
– Fully fund the Outer Stark Safety Project – including street redesign, signalized crossings, and pedestrian lighting and other traffic calming measures.
– Ensure that implementation of the Outer Stark Safety Plan includes robust community engagement to ensure the project meets community needs.

Noel Mickelberry, Executive Director of Oregon Walks, the state’s pedestrian advocacy organization, shares that this is the 6th most dangerous road for people walking in the City. “We have seen too many people unable to get to where they need to go because of the dangerous design, high speeds, and limited crossings along Outer Stark. To reach Vision Zero, we have to invest in safer street design and Outer Stark is a perfect example of a street that is not designed for the safety of people.”

“People are dying on SE Stark and other East Portland streets way too often,” said Kem Marks, Director of Transportation Equity at The Rosewood Initiative. “We need our elected leaders to take action to make our streets safe for everyone. This is a high priority equity issue for East Portland.”

“East Portland streets were designed to move large quantities of cars quickly. The problem is, these roads are not highways, they are our neighborhood streets. They are lined with multi-family housing complexes and thousands of people that call East Portland home. We have a collective responsibility to the people that live in our communities east of I-205 to make these streets safe,” said Jenny Glass, Executive Director, The Rosewood Initiative.

Join us for a press conference to learn more about our safety priorities, and our ask to City Council:

When: Thursday, February 8th at 10am
Where: Intersection of SE 148th & Stark. Parking available at Scan Design on 148th, just south of SE Stark.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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