Breaking News
More () »

Weeks after being hit by a car, Rep. Bonamici presents Beaverton with $4 million check for pedestrian safety

"What happened to me and my husband reinforces that this could happen to anyone," Rep. Suzanne Bonamici said.


On the evening of Jan. 13, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici was leaving a Shabbat Service for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr hosted by Congressional Beth Israel in Northwest Portland. While crossing the street, in a crosswalk and with a green light, the congresswoman and her husband were hit by a car. 

Three weeks later, Bonamici made her first public appearance in Oregon since the crash, fittingly, to deliver a $4 million check to the mayor of Beaverton for pedestrian safety improvements. 

"The recovery has been challenging, but it could have been a lot worse," said Bonamici, who suffered a concussion and a laceration to the head. "I'm grateful to be here today."

The $4 million, presented on a large novelty check, comes from Department of Transportation grants and an appropriation from Congress specifically aimed at funding community projects. The end goal is to revitalize the crosswalks, bus stops and sidewalks of the downtown Beaverton loop. 

The loop, which runs along Southwest Watson and Hall streets, spans 20 blocks, two state highways and crosses both railroad and MAX tracks. 

Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty said those tracks have often felt like a dividing line between Old Town and Central Beaverton. 

"Our long-term goal is that this is seen as one district instead of a rail line that splits it and that keeps one side of our community on one side of the track and the other side on the other," Beaty said. 

The project is still in the planning stages, and Beaty said the city will be working on a demonstration model for a few blocks in the short term. 

In the long term, Beaty said pedestrians could expect wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes, more street trees and timed traffic lights to help people cross high-traffic corridors like Canyon and Farmington roads. 

Improving pedestrian safety downtown would have several benefits, Beaty said. It would be good for small businesses, provide more connections between disparate communities and, with fewer people driving, would be good for the environment as well. 

"Our goal is to emphasize safety while supporting climate-friendly transportation," Beaty said. 

Bonamic said the crash in January still lingers with her, making her a little more wary when out walking, but she said she expects that to fade with time. 

"It does kind of change your perspective," Bonamici said. "I'm not going to stop walking, but we need to do everything we can to make our streets and sidewalks safe for pedestrians."

Before You Leave, Check This Out