By Garlynn Woodsong | CNA Board Member, SW1 CNA LUTC Chair
“On Tuesday, June 25, just before 6 p.m., police officers responded to a rollover crash near northeast Lombard Street and northeast 42nd Avenue,” reported the Willamette Week last June. “The unidentified driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is the 28th traffic-related fatality so far this year.”
“Smith was driving a blue 2000 Ford Crown Victoria eastbound on northeast Lombard Street, just west of 42nd Avenue, when it appears he struck the rear tire and wheel of a bicyclist, the affidavit said,” reported The Oregonian in December 2015. “Smith said he had veered to the right to avoid another vehicle that had swerved toward him, the affidavit said.”
“A busy road in northeast Portland has reopened now after a man was hit and killed by a taxi cab this morning,” KXL Radio reported in April. “Police got the call just before 1 a.m. to the intersection of northeast 64th and Columbia Boulevard, saying a pedestrian was hit. Crews tried to save him, but he died at the scene. Police say the victim was a delivery driver, who just pulled his truck out into the road, hopped out to close a gate and was hit by the taxi cab.”
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 23 fatalities and 85 severe injuries on Columbia Boulevard and Lombard Street between I-5 and I-205.
We’re tired of hearing of deaths on North Portland Highway / Lombard Street, and on Columbia Boulevard.
People are dying needlessly on Lombard, both on bicycles and within automobiles, because the Oregon Department of Transportation does not maintain the bicycle facilities there to any acceptable standard of safety. And both high-speed streets have local street and driveway intersections that offer many opportunities for car-on-car crashes as well.
The Concordia Neighborhood Association has been concerned with the Columbia / Lombard Corridor for many years now. We are unable to safely walk from our neighborhood to the Columbia River, even though we can see it from some of our houses, and its distance would certainly be within a pleasant walking distance of our neighborhood – if only safe facilities existing to connect us with it.
Emissions – not only from the roadway facilities themselves, but also from the industrial land uses nearby – drift into our neighborhood and foul our air when the wind blows from a generally northerly direction, as well as when it doesn’t blow much at all.
It is in this context that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has kicked off the Columbia / Lombard Mobility Corridor planning process, which focuses on the corridor between I-5 to I-205, with a buffer area to include parallel routes.
The process is expected to last through next July, resulting in a plan to guide a strategy for making implementation investments.
Stay tuned to this page in CNews. Better yet, attend the LUTC meetings the third Wednesday each month at 7 p.m. in the McMenamins Kennedy School Community room.
Garlynn Woodsong lives on 29th Avenue, serves on the CNA board and is an avid bicyclist. He also is a dad who is passionate about the city his son will inherit. He is the planning + development partner with Cascadia Partners LLC, a local urban planning firm. Contact him at LandUse@ConcordiaPDX.org.