I can’t hold my tongue anymore. After seeing yet another near miss earlier today I have to say something that some might not take too kindly to. I live in zip code 97006 near S.W. Cornelius Pass Road. We live close to (actually in line of sight with) Reedville Creek Park and it is located along S.W. Cornelius Pass Road between two large schools. In this park located among the basketball courts and soccer field, is a skateboard arena. One of them huge concrete monstrosities that draw kids from miles around, which can be a good thing in itself.
You parents are familiar with it, a place kids can meet their friends, socialize, play some sports and unsupervised, buy and sell drugs . . . . oh, wait! I said a good thing didn’t I? It’s bad enough that the kids are bombarded with the drug dealers and such at this park, but to also risk their young lives just getting there is unforgivable. This is where the near miss should be of concern to all. Many of these kids travel on foot, on bikes and on skateboards, down the adjacent streets to get to this park. Most stay on the sidewalks, then there are the “cool kids” that walk down the middle of the side streets. This still isn’t a problem. It is when they cross Cornelius Pass Road to get to the park that is a problem.
When the youngsters cross the street it is rare that they actually check approaching traffic from both directions first! They don’t cross the road directly either as if it were a cross walk, they meander diagonally across two bike lanes, two traffic lanes (one in each direction) and a wide median . . . all without looking first! And this is done often by those walking, biking and skateboarding! Today I saw a youngster dart across the street between two cars stopped at a traffic light! Yes, the traffic light has a cross-walk too. A number of the children cross the road one and two blocks from the park where there is no cross walk or traffic light to help them because it is closer and easier to dash across the street between traffic then to walk to the intersection and cross with the signal light.
The traffic in this area numbers in the thousands of vehicles per day. It is the main connection between U.S. Highway 26 also known as the Sunset Highway and Highway 8 also known as the Tualatin Valley (T.V.) Highway. While the road in front of the park is two lanes, it changes to four lanes at the intersection with the traffic light. It means that two lanes of traffic merge right in front of the park with vehicles competing to see who will be first to the single lane. This area’s speed limit is supposedly 35 Miles Per Hour but I have only seen a few abide by it. Many times I have seen cars doing minimally 50 Miles Per Hour, some I’m guessing up to 70! Some of those are Police vehicles with no sirens and no lights showing. I’ve been waiting to see another vehicle pull out from one of the many side streets directly in front of one of these fast movers some day and the results won’t be pretty.
So what is the answer? Excessive speeding in this area requires enforcement by the local Sheriff’s Department and the City Police Department. Quit ignoring the situation and start writing citations, lots of them. Crosswalks? Crosswalks and possibly a blinking light to warn approaching motorists to the foot traffic at some of these intersections. Or even a crossing guard, something! As for the drugs and such, supervision. There should be at least one parent for every so many kids supervising them for a few hours each day in the park. Maybe a couple of parents, for a few hours then another parent(s) does a shift and so on. Until the park closes. Then it should be checked occasionally by the local Police throughout the night. (Yes they even using the park at 3 in the morning!) Why not have the Police supervise them during the day? Why should the taxpayer’s money be spent raising your children! As they say, you brought them into this world, you take responsibility for them!