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The celebration of the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project was marred by a pedestrian death

PBOT PHOTO  - New traffic signals, decorative street pole lighting and a green-striped bike lane are shown here at the corner of Southeast Foster Road and Holgate Boulevard. The Portland Bureau of Transportation reached the finish line for the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project — but the Thursday, June 13 celebration was marred by the death of a pedestrian on the same stretch of road later that night.

Louanna Battams, 82, was fatally struck while walking in an unmarked crossing on Foster near 71st Avenue, just a few blocks from the site of the press conference heralding the $9 million in improvements.

Battams lived in the neighborhood, and the involved motorist was not charged. Compounding the dark juxtaposition, a man and a woman also died Thursday night in a rollover crash on Interstate 405.

The so-called Foster "road diet" extends from Southeast 50th Avenue to the western edge of the Lents Town Center at 90th Avenue.

Work included 69 new curb ramps, street trees and ornamental lighting, a center turn lane and bike lanes between 52nd and 90th, median refuges with flashing beacons in six locations, traffic signals, repaving and expanding sidewalks from five to nine feet in width.

"The changes to the street and urban design transformed Foster Road from a high speed, auto-oriented corridor," PBOT said, "into a more balanced streetscape that is safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking transit and driving."

PBOT PHOTO - Local dignitaries, including Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and PBOT director Chris Warner, cut the ribbon on the new Foster Road Streetscape improvements.

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