The Halsey/Weidler couplet improvement project plan includes a marked on-demand crosswalk at Northeast 112th Avenue; however, the planned crosswalk goes only halfway across the couplet.
Margot Miller, 83 years old and a long-time Gateway resident, lives on trim-kept Northeast 116th Place. She and her neighbors—who know her affectionately as Mrs. Lionel, so called after her husband of 60 years, who passed away a few years ago—thus may someday semi-enjoy a halfway solution to what she has been pushing for several years: a couplet-wide marked crosswalk between 108th and 122nd avenues along Northeast Halsey Street. She lobbied Tom Badrick, Parkrose Heights Neighborhood Association chair and Halsey-Weidler Work Group member, for a marked crosswalk at 114th Avenue in the short run. Nevertheless, she may have to settle for the planned semi-crosswalk at 112th Avenue and the lighted and marked intersection at Northeast Halsey Street and Northeast 111th Avenue, which is a long and wrong-way pedestrian route across busy Northeast Halsey for someone who lives on Northeast 116th Place. “I either run like mad or I run halfway [across the five-lane, 35-mph stretch of roadway to] where they have to stop,” laments the feisty Miller.
Badrick points out that a 114th Avenue marked crosswalk is still part of the East Portland in Motion five-year plan, but he believes the 2012 plan’s implementation is more than 18 months behind schedule and that such a convenient crossing for Miller and her neighbors is still “on the radar but not the highest priority,” according to Badrick.
The lack of marked crosswalks in Northeast Portland creates dangerous crossing conditions for even the most intrepid and able-bodied souls (“Incorrectly oriented markers dangerous to the blind,” MCM November 2015). A sighted female pedestrian was killed in a marked crosswalk at Northeast 117th Avenue and Northeast Glisan Street two years ago where a lighted on-demand crosswalk already was planned.
Two years later, the crosswalk at Northeast Glisan Street at 117th Avenue remains under construction—dangerously so, with a view-blocking, orange-striped fence in the so-called “safety island”—while it awaits installation of, and a PGE power drop to, a trio of on-demand switch-and-light poles.
Miller is concerned about the beautification focus of the Halsey/Weidler couplet that seems to discriminate against residents and businesses west of Northeast 102nd Avenue and east of Northeast 112th Avenue.