Family mourns pedestrian killed, neighbors demand change - KPTV - FOX 12

Family mourns pedestrian killed, neighbors demand change

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Dozens and dozens of people lit up the corner of a northeast Portland intersection Thursday night to remember and honor the man killed there while walking across the street last week.

Patrick Curry, 58, died when police say a car driven by 29- year-old William Hurst struck him in the road at Northeast Cully Blvd. and Mason St. Saturday night. Hurst was charged with manslaughter, reckless driving, and a DUII that was not his first.

“This guy has done this before, and he just hasn’t killed nobody until now,” said Curry’s brother Roy Curry Jr., adding the family decided to hold a vigil in a stance against drunk driving.

There were a lot of hugs, tears and fond memories shared by those who knew him best.

Patrick Curry’s mother described him as the perfect son, who visited her each day.

“He would come down and give me a hug and kiss and say ‘Mom I’m going now, I love you.’ Everyday. Everyday,” Katherine Curry said through tears.

As people showed up to the vigil carrying candles and flowers and wearing gear from Curry’s beloved Dallas Cowboys, many had trouble just getting to the group. Cars whizzed by as they tried crossing Cully – there’s no crosswalk across the busy street.

Cully Association of Neighbors Transportation board member Laura Young said it’s a hazard residents have been fighting for years.

“Prioritizing life over maintenance is what needs to happen,” Young said.

Wednesday, the association sent a letter to the Portland Bureau of Transportation saying the group is saddened by the “needless tragedy” and urged the city to fund safety upgrades, including a pedestrian crossing to the corridor.

The group wants  crosswalks with rapid-flash beacons, center island medians for pedestrians and protected bike lanes.  

Young said the intersection was put on a priority list for the city making it eligible for improvement funding within one to ten years. She said within the last year, the city changed its mind and shifted the priority of the area to 11 to 20 years.

PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera told Fox 12 the project was again raised to priority by Commissioner Steve Novick last week before the deadly crash occurred.

According to Rivera, a traffic safety engineer with PBOT was out at the intersection Wednesday to look at different options for safety improvement. He said some small changes like making a crosswalk and installing a median island could be completed this year, although the bigger scope of the project is at least three years away and would require competing for funding from the city. Other pieces of the multimillion dollar project proposal include building new sidewalks and options for curb extensions.

The public can comment on the proposal by emailing city commissioners or coming to upcoming hearings on the comprehensive plan on April 14 and April 20.

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