July 22nd, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, Health, Media

KATU Looks at Traffic Injuries Near City Parks

tabordogsMt. Tabor Park

As Portland officials continue searching for a way to fund crumbling streets and build missing sidewalks, the City Council is scheduled this week to send a tax measure to voters: a $68 million property-tax bond to fund repairs in city parks.

A new report by WW's news partner, KATU-TV, shows city safety needs are at the intersection of those two efforts.

The station analyzed Oregon Department of Transportation crash data for the past three years and pinpointed where pedestrians and bicyclists have been injured within a quarter-mile of the city's most popular parks.

KATU studied Laurelhurst Park, Mt. Tabor Park and Sellwood Park, among others, to see which surrounding streets had the most traffic accidents over three years.

Transportation bureau spokesman Dylan Rivera tells KATU reporter Chelsea Kopta that the city already sets aside money for walking safety around parks.

"Within the overall budget, Rivera said there is a smaller budget, worth about $812,000 this year, slated for projects within a quarter mile of Portland parks," Kopta reports.

More projects could be coming—if the transportation bureau can secure $50 million a year for its budget.

The city is preparing this month to release an extensive list of road repairs and safety projects that would be funded by a street fee proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick.

Josh Alpert, the Hales staffer overseeing the street-fee effort, says the two work groups tweaking the proposal will study three years' worth of possible projects.

"Lists come out next week," Alpert tells WW, "and the committees are doing a deep dive to make sure those projects match community priorities."

WW reported earlier this year how, despite concern over walking safety, Portland ranks as one of the nation’s safest cities for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 
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