• UNNECESSARY TRAGEDY

    by  • March 1, 2013 • Lisa Marie, Sustainable Cities, The Shaming Room • 0 Comments

    Today in East Portland, a family is receiving the news no parent is ever truly prepared to receive. A tragedy of which no sense can ever be made: the death of a child.

    Last night in East Portland, a 4 year old girl was killed by no fault of her own other than walking in her neighborhood and living east of 82nd Avenue, where “back to basics” doesn’t include the basic safety of sidewalks.

    What is more basic than a child’s life? Than the health and safety of those most vulnerable?

    The young girl was killed by a car on 136th Ave; a stretch of road in a neighborhood often neglected and ignored, and the very street where a basic sidewalk project was slated by the Hales administration to be cut from this year’s budget.

    This death was preventable. It is shameful that it takes a tragedy such as this to demonstrate the budgetary value of infrastructure for active transportation.

    Our legislators and Mayor are currently pressing for an over $3 Billion highway expansion, but are willfully placing our children’s lives at risk by denying the necessity of basic infrastructure for all road users in all neighborhoods. Just how much is a child’s life worth? Ask their parents. Ask yourselves.

    What are our priorities as a city? If we can’t afford to provide for the safety of our children, it’s time to reexamine where and how our money is being spent.

    Thoughts and hearts are with the family, the poor children who witnessed what happened, the driver whose life is forever changed, and the little girl who passed. In the days ahead, we need to do everything within our power to ensure that this heart-breaking tragedy is not repeated. That her life and legacy will serve as an impetus for safer streets. That she did not die in vain.

    This is a solemn wake-up call. Let’s hope our representatives are listening.

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