Rally to end unsafe streets held in downtown Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Rally to end unsafe streets held in downtown Portland

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Emotions ran high in downtown Portland where a rally to end unsafe streets was held on Thursday.

This rally comes in the wake of two recent collisions involving teenagers who were simply walking down the street when they were hit by a car. One of those teens died, the other remains hospitalized.

Organizers of the rally say 30 people have died on Portland streets so far this year. They are calling on everyone to be more aware of their behavior whether they are walking, cycling or driving.

Many speakers at the rally expressed their grief following the recent death of 15-year-old Fallon Smart on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, and the serious injuries suffered by Bradley Fortner, who was hit by a car while walking to Roosevelt High School.

The demonstrators say the situation has reached a crisis level and needs to be immediately addressed, but they say changes in the law will only go so far.

"We need everyone to realize that if you are driving too fast, you are endangering someone else's life. If you're looking at someone else's phone, you're endangering someone else's life. If you're drunk and driving, or otherwise intoxicated, you are endangering somebody else's life," said Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick.

The demonstrators are pushing for everyone to embrace what they call vision zero, a new way of approaching transportation. Their goal is to implement change across the board, and create a transportation system where traffic fatalities are no longer an assumed consequence.

Demonstrators said they realize it will take time to get new laws passed and to improve roadways, but they say everyone can help change the situation right now, by simply being more mindful on the road.

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