Updated: Pedestrian Safety Hits Close to Home

Updated 1:20PM February 1st: KATU is reporting that Sara Cogan, 66, died from her injuries.

Walking the dog last night, my partner and I came across the intersection of NW 23rd and Quimby (one block from our home) taped off with crime scene tape and a number of police vehicles in the area.

Watching the 11 o’clock news, we learned that two women were struck by a car, one had a broken leg, and the other, 60, is in critical condition. The driver of the car – who police said was not speeding – said she never saw them.

I was out earlier in the evening with my 16-year-old-with-a-learners-permit behind the wheel and there is no question visibility was poor in the rain, and I was scanning somewhat nervously for pedestrians as we drove through the neighborhood.

Two immediate thoughts as I absorb this in a rather personal way:

1) This is exactly why speed limits on neighborhood streets should be more like 18mph than 25mph (although 23rd is technically a collector, not a local service street) – the survivability of the pedestrians hit by a car would go up dramatically at the lower speed.

2) As transportation chair of the neighborhood for about a decade, getting something to break up the traffic flow on 23rd between Northrup and Thurman (we argued whether a stop sign or traffic light was more appropriate) was a frequent discussion. I can’t help wondering if we (I) should have pushed harder…

My thoughts and prayers go out to the two women who were hit.

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