Action needed now on Outer Stark

To Mayor Wheeler & Portland City Council,

Last Thursday we lost yet another life in a preventable crash as a woman crossed the street at the intersection of SE 148th and Stark. SE Stark is one of our most dangerous corridors in the city, and there have been at least four deaths of pedestrians and one person driving between SE 146th and the city limits since November 2016.

Because of dangerous street design, high speeds, and infrequent safe crossings, we know that we will continue to see deaths on Outer Stark if we don’t act now. In order to meet the City’s stated goal of zero fatalities by 2025, we need to respond quickly to address known safety concerns in our city.

We ask that Portland City Council take immediate steps to ensure the community does not lose another life in a preventable crash on Outer SE Stark:

  • Adopt an emergency ordinance to reduce the speed limit on SE Stark to 30mph from I 205 to SE 162nd Ave.  This is in line with what the city did on outer Division in response to the seriously dangerous conditions and are appropriate to address similar conditions present on SE Stark.

  • Fully fund the Outer Stark Safety Project, including full signaled crosswalks, pedestrian lighting, and other speed calming to ensure speed limits are followed.  Funding should reflect community identified needs on the corridor.

  • The Outer Stark Safety Project must include robust community engagement, by working with East Portland advocates and community members to ensure the project meets community needs.

As our elected leaders, and as a Vision Zero city, we must do more to protect our most vulnerable residents from preventable crashes - particularly in our low-income neighborhoods who bear the brunt of our most dangerous streets, and are 2.3 times more likely to be hit and killed while walking in Portland. 2017 was the most dangerous year on record for people walking, and we have an opportunity to change the bleak numbers we saw last year by investing in the safety improvements that will save lives.

We will be holding a press conference on Thursday, February 8th at 10am, at SE 148th & Stark - sharing our requested actions to improve safety. We invite you to join us and other community groups to showcase your support for improved safety for people walking on Outer Stark.

 

Sincerely,

 

Noel Mickelberry, Executive Director

Oregon Walks

 

Jenny Glass, Executive Director

The Rosewood Initiative