|Riders from Portland at the Legislature yesterday - via Street Trust|
Oregon should spend more on transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure and less on widening freeways, the architects of a proposed $8 billion transportation funding bill heard at a public hearing Tuesday night.As if to demonstrate the need in the worst way, on Monday a person driving a pickup truck struck and seriously injured an Elementary School student walking after school was out.
“At the exact time we should be working to ease congestion by making it easier and safer for people to walk and bike, we are doubling down on dirty fossil fuels at the expense of our communities and the planet,” Angel Falconer, Milwaukie city councilor, told the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization in submitted testimony.
The framing in this story shows this and seems problematic on several counts:
A Scott Elementary School student was hit by a pickup and hospitalized shortly after dismissal Monday afternoon, according to officials.A driver, a person driving a car struck the student! This passive voice nonsense ascribing agency to the car itself, and minimizing the driver's agency and responsibility, must end. Drivers are responsible for the safe operation of vehicles, and (at the moment anyway) the cars don't suddenly decide on their own to hit people or to engage in dangerous driving maneuvers.
The school had just dismissed its students at 3:45 p.m. when a first-grade girl walking along Arizona Ave NE was hit by a pickup trying to squeeze through a line of crammed cars of parents waiting to pick up their children.Anger and impatience by an adult seems to be the core of the problem here, not any careless or distracted walking by a child being a child.
"I saw a truck driving and coming in toward the school and he just quickly went into his driveway, he forced his way in," said Jennifer Arias, a parent who witnessed the crash. "He had been honking his horn at the car that was blocking his driveway"....
The district said it used the incident as a reminder of the importance of teaching children about traffic safety as a pedestrian.
|Arizona Ave near Scott Elementary School|
Arias said Arizona Ave NE is always backed up with cars of parents dropping off their children in the morning or scooping them up in the afternoon.The Staff time allocated to street monitoring is insane! That's time that should be allocated to teaching prep and education support activity, not to traffic control. If 30 staff spend one hour each day, a half hour in the morning and half hour in the afternoon, that's nearly 3.0 FTE allocated to traffic control and safety. That's nuts!
The busy street does not have sidewalks, so children are forced to walk on the side of the road, said Scott Elementary School Principal Sara Casebeer.
While there are roughly 30 staff members stationed around the school during drop-off and pickup times to oversee 640 children, Casebeer said there was not a staff member stationed off campus where the incident took place."Seriously injured" sounds like an understatement if she was taken to Doernbecher. This could be a life-changing event with life-long consequences.
Staff members are typically stationed to take kids to and from buses, in the playground, parking lot and the sides of the building where kids are picked up and dropped off.
Casebeer said the incident has prompted a new protocol for dismissals which involves rotating staff members to escort children from school grounds, along Arizona Ave NE and to Brown Road, a busy intersection where the school employs crossing guards.
"Safety is our number one priority and our focus has been on helping children understanding what happened," Casebeer said. "We're making sure our kids feel safe."
The girl was taken to Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital for treatment.
She was seriously injured but is expected to survive, said Lt. Chris Baldridge of the Marion County Sheriff's Office....
The message said Marion County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. The driver of the pickup has not been charged or arrested, Baldridge said.