Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland) didn't settle for funding sidewalks on Southeast 136th Avenue.
As WW first reported this morning in Murmurs, Fagan not only secured $3.6 million in state money to design sidewalks and crosswalks on 136th Avenue—where 5-year-old Morgan Maynard-Cook was killed by a car in February—she also landed money to design sidewalks, crosswalks and lane widening on Southeast Powell Boulevard to the Gresham border.
House Bill 2322, which funds the 136th Avenue sidewalks, also includes $4.9 million for the Outer Powell Boulevard plan.
That's Oregon Department of Transportation blueprints for sidewalks, crosswalks and lane widening on Southeast Powell Boulevard between 111th and 174th avenues. The plans will push Powell to the front of the line for sidewalk construction funding in 2014.
Fagan, a freshman legislator, says she realized designing sidewalks for Powell was urgent while stumping for votes in her district.
"I had two options when I was walking down Powell: walk in a bike lane or walk through a strip club parking lot," she tells WW. "I thought, this is some kids' walk to school every day. That's not acceptable."
She got the money by forming an East Portland Caucus with Rep. Jeff Reardon (D-East Portland/Happy Valley) and Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson (D-East Portland).
Fagan tells WW she's delivering the pedestrian-friendly Powell her constituents have been promised for three decades.
"Every time I've knocked on doors in Portland," Fagan says, "people are pissed off—because for the last 30 years they've been hearing Powell was five to 15 years away from being a priority."