Readers Respond to City Inaction on a Deadly Road

“Nobody wants to ride their bike on a highway.”

ROAD TO NOWHERE: Southeast Woodstock Boulevard at 97th Avenue. (Aaron Mesh)

On Feb. 4, a driver struck and killed 71-year-old Tom Amato where Southeast Woodstock Boulevard meets 97th Avenue. It was a death six years in the making. That’s how long city transportation officials have promised a crosswalk and other safety upgrades at that location (“A Death on Woodstock,” WW, Feb. 14). What they’ve actually installed in that time: nothing. The Portland Bureau of Transportation blamed staffing struggles and “budget uncertainty.” Here’s what our readers had to say:

Mid County, via “I hate to keep harping on this particular topic, but it really illustrates the city’s willful ignorance and lack of commitment to its residents and areas east of 82nd Avenue.

“The Mid-County area was incrementally forcibly annexed by the city in an illegal land grab. Instead of better civic services as promised, residents experienced a drop in them, made worse by an uncaring city bureaucracy. In the mid-1990s, there were a series of increasingly tragic pedestrian-vehicle incidents in Outer East due to a lack of adequate lighting and pedestrians having to walk in the street for lack of sidewalks at a time vehicular traffic was increasing.

“After a particularly sad incident that resulted in the death of a young girl, the public outcry over the repeated preventable deaths reached a breaking point. Mayor Vera Katz in response promised sidewalks for Outer East. While some high visibility/heavily traveled roadways did receive said improvements, now over 25 years later, the rest of Outer East still awaits their sidewalks.”

TurtlesAreEvil, via Reddit: “They did add a raised bike lane to Woodstock for a block or so where it merges with Foster in 2018. I used to regularly ride this section in 2017 it’s pretty sketchy. Not surprising, PBOT hasn’t made much progress.

“Foster is a complete shitshow all the way down to 122nd where it changes to one lane each way and gets a little better. Trucks and trailers are constantly parking in the south-side bike lane, it never gets swept, and there are massive potholes in it that never get filled.”

eric_hedford, via Twitter: “Good news is, they put in bike lanes on North Lombard Street. Bad news is, nobody wants to ride their bike on a highway.”

Zbignew, via “Want to increase the budget? Hire 10 people and give them the power to ticket vehicles that have expired registrations. Let them roam the city and tag any vehicle parked on public streets with expired tags. Not a day goes by where I don’t see multiple vehicles with expired registrations. Saw one yesterday expired in 2021. All that revenue is going uncollected.”

space-pasta, via Reddit: “What do you mean they did nothing? They’ve been studying the issue nonstop. A few more studies and we should be ready to put together a planning committee.”


Thanks for your article on Darcelle XV Plaza [”Paranoid Plaza,” WW, Feb. 14]. It made me angry.

For years, I wondered why the city never took care of the subterranean parking lot problem underneath the park so it could reopen as a park for all. In the back of my mind, though, I knew that eventually some wealthy developer would claim it for their own and/or the neo-liberal practices of the City Council would appease the monied folk by keeping it away from the public at large.

Darcelle XV Plaza should be managed exclusively by the parks department and should simply be open to all with a very simple design. I am opposed to the contracting out of services either to Friends of Green Loop, Downtown Safe & Clean, or any other quasi-public agency. This sets a precedent for the entire public park system and is very undemocratic.

If the Ritz-Carlton developers wanted a dog park, they should have included it in their design…they already are tax subsidized!

I wonder what Walter Cole would think about this.

Tony Williamson

Northeast Portland

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