Memorial to slain Portland pedestrian repaired by PBOT
UPDATE: Portland Bureau of Transportation crews restored the memorial to a slain pedestrian on Monday, Jan. 6.
PBOT said a work crew repaired the sign on the pedestrian island and also rehung the wreath honoring the life of Fallon Smart, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2016.
Read our previous reporting below:
A memorial to a Portland teenager — killed while crossing a busy road by a hit-and-run driver — has itself become the latest casualty of the city's streets.
Pots of flowers, a pinwheel, a wreath and a traffic sign highlighting the pedestrian passage were knocked over on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard at 43rd Avenue, leaving dirt strewn across the name written on the cement: Fallon Smart.
A spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau said there was no record of anyone calling 911 to report the incident. The flower pots were righted later in the day, but a fresh dent could be seen clearly on the pole.
Cindy Zielinski, owner of the nearby Fyberworks store, told the Tribune she thinks a car hit the memorial sometime before she arrived for work on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 4.
It looks like a motorist knocked over the memorial to slain pedestrian Fallon Smart at SE Hawthorne and 43rd sometime overnight. Police say no 911 calls reported the incident pic.twitter.com/HB8IRb2Thu— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) January 4, 2020
"It feels incredibly disrespectful," she said. "They just don't care."
Zielinski said the area has become safer since the Portland Bureau of Transportation installed the pedestrian island in 2017, but drivers still make prohibited left turns off Hawthorne.
Smart, 15, a talented singer known for her math and science skills, was preparing to enter her sophomore year at Franklin High School in August 2016 when she was fatally struck by a driver.
"The one car had stopped and the other car just sped around it," said Zielinski, who was there that day.
A detailed investigation by the Oregonian later uncovered that the involved motorist — foreign exchange student Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah — likely was spirited away by his home government of Saudi Arabia before he could face a trial for manslaughter and other charges.
The former head of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, Tony Jordan, said the 1997 Hawthorne Boulevard Street Plan would have removed a traffic lane on the road in order to add more bike paths and other improvements. But that option, proposed by PBOT, never happened.
"If they had done the pedestrian friendly route I don't think there would have been a center lane for the guy who killed Fallon to speed on," Jordan said.
Median islands, like the one installed where Fallon Smart was murdered by a speeding driver, wonâ€™t actually protect pedestrians from an errant vehicle.— Tony Jordan ðŸ˜¹ðŸ‘€ (@twjpdx23) January 4, 2020
For far less $$ the city could have just put concrete planters in the street and it would be better, IMO. pic.twitter.com/tr6Z9MwnQ9
A spokesman said PBOT first learned of the incident after a phone call by the Trib.
"We are taking steps to assess and fix the damage," said PBOT's Dylan Rivera.
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