July 8th, 2013 2:36 pm | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: Legislature, City Hall, Transportation

Oregon Legislature Passes $3.6 Million in Sidewalk Funding for East Portland Road Where Child Was Killed

news2_3919THE COLD SHOULDER: “A kid should be able to cross the street in front of her house without risking her life,” says Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland), who protested cuts to a sidewalk program before a 5-year-old girl was killed by a car Feb. 28. “Until we solve that, I don’t even want to turn the attention away to other issues.” - IMAGE: James Rexroad

Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland) has pledged since March to find state funding to build sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks for a stretch of Southeast 136th Avenue where a 5-year-old girl was killed by a car.

On the final day of the state legislative session, she got it.

House Bill 2322, passed by the Oregon Legislature one hour before the session ended, provides $3.6 million from the Oregon capital construction budget to extend the sidewalk along Southeast 136th Avenue from Holgate Boulevard south to Foster Road, and from Powell Boulevard north to Division Street.

That includes the spot where 5-year-old Morgan Maynard-Cook died on Feb. 31 after being hit by a Suzuki Grand Vitara at about 7 pm while running across Southeast 136th Avenue at Ellis Street.

Her death touched off a political firestorm—the Portland Bureau of Transportation had proposed cutting a sidewalk construction project along Southeast 136th Avenue to free up money for road paving, a priority for new Mayor Charlie Hales.

Hales ordered interim PBOT director Toby Widmer to restore the sidewalk funding, and Fagan began advocating for state funding to add sidewalks the full stretch from Division to Foster.

“For too long East Portlanders have been told to ‘be patient,’” Fagan said today in a prepared statement. “But Morgan’s family, and every family, has a right to be very impatient when it comes to the safety of their children.”

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