The state department of transportation plans to address issues raised by the death of a cyclist in a Portland bicycle accident last December on a notoriously dangerous stretch of SW Barbur in Southwest Portland.
As I noted in a post last December, the issue most recently came to public attention with the death of 26-year-old Angela Burke. Burke was struck by an allegedly drunk and stoned driver as she rode along a section of SW Barbur that is notorious among local cyclists as one of the scarier stretches of road in Greater Portland. According to media reports at the time the driver who hit Burke was traveling at approximately 75 mph in a 35 mph zone.
According to Bike Portland, the ODOT plans to install four beacons along the most dangerous stretch of road: the crossing points near the Rasmussen apartments where a crosswalk straddles the road very close to a potentially dangerous bend. The website quotes an ODOT spokesman who notes that “the speed of the vehicles and the curve” make the crossing “a real challenge.”
Soon, there will be two beacons facing in each direction – one each at the crosswalk itself and one on each of the approaches to it. Bike Portland reports that the upgrades will cost about $100,000 and will be ready this summer.
We can all applaud the activism that has brought about this change in the local traffic pattern, even as we mourn the human loss that seems to have provided the final impetus for government action. Activists and other cyclists who have been injured in an Oregon bicycle and car crash also need to be aware of the important role that a Portland bicycle accident attorney can play in the wake of any crash that leads to property damage, injuries or even death. Portland is proud to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Lets all do our best to keep it that way.
Bike Portland: Fatality spurs action from ODOT on SW Barbur