Last Saturday, at the invitation of David Douglas School Board member Kyle Riggs, I (along with State Representative Shemia Fagan) walked the stretch of 136th where 5-year-old Morgan Cook was struck and killed on February 28. It is certainly a terrible stretch of road for pedestrians – and the spot where Morgan was struck was not even the most inherently dangerous place. For example, between Reedway and Ellis streets, on the west side of 136th the brush has grown right down to the roadway, so that there is not even a shoulder for anyone to walk along. A pedestrian would be forced to walk in the street.
We need sidewalks in East Portland, and I support completing the 136th avenue sidewalk project (which happens to be near, but not including, the spot where Morgan was struck) that PBOT recently proposed postponing. I understand that we need to maintain the roads, too, but pedestrians cannot be forgotten.
Sidewalks are expensive, though, so I realize we can’t put them everywhere we need them until we find new sources of money. But it seems to me that it can’t be too expensive just to clear out some blackberries, so at least people are able to walk on the side of the road instead of in the road. I have asked the Mayor’s office to talk to PBOT about prioritizing brush removal at spots like that stretch between Reedway and Ellis.