Letter: Portland intersection needs attention

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At 7:48 a.m. on July 25 I was crossing Franklin Street with my dog while the crossing signal was activated. A gray GMC pick-up stopped at the light started to make a right onto Congress Street while I was directly in front of the driver’s side. As the truck touched me I slammed my fist on the hood, pulled my dog out of the way, and watched the laughing driver continue to make the turn and drive away. I filed a report with the police and had an opportunity to talk with the driver who had been brought to the police station. I asked him if he was blinded by the sun and he replied he couldn’t see me or the dog even thought we were right in front of him. His passenger agreed.

“Yield to Pedestrians” signs were placed around this intersection but they, by themselves, are insufficient. The traffic lights need to restrict right turns when the pedestrian crossing signals are activated. This is critically important at this specific intersection because of the high traffic count in the morning and especially because of the sun being in the eyes of the drivers going east on Franklin Street. The Public Service Department does not have a sufficient budget to hire traffic engineers for the work. I find this a very poor excuse for not implementing changes for the safety of pedestrians and vehicles.

Jay York