PORTLAND, Ore. -- Neighbors filled Alatheia Church in Southeast Portland Tuesday night to brainstorm ideas for making Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard and other streets around Portland safer.
So far in 2016, 31 people have been killed in Portland traffic crashes.
Last month, 15-year-old Fallon Smart was hit and killed on Southeast 45th Avenue and Hawthorne. Police said the driver was speeding and passing traffic in the center lane.
“This particular tragedy could have been maybe mitigated by having planters or diverters in the center turn lane so it couldn’t be used as a passing lane,” said Tony Jordan, chair of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
Last weekend, Police said a man charged with DUII and reckless driving hit and killed 61-year-old Damon Burton near Southeast 122nd Avenue and Division Street.
“Remember that a car is a deadly weapon and speed kills,” said Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick.
Novick said the city was installing new photo radar speed cameras in several of Portland's high crash corridors, including East Portland, an area where many neighbors have said they feel ignored. Novick said the city is doing what it can with the money it has to improve those areas.
“A big chunk of the gas tax that voters passed in May is going to put sidewalks around David Douglas High School, Sacramento Elementary and 122nd Avenue,” said Novick. “It would cost $600 million to put sidewalks everywhere we should have sidewalks. I wish we had $600 million.”
Just after the meeting, a man was struck by a hit-and-run driver at Southeast 148th Avenue and Division Street.