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At least 49 people were killed on city streets in 2019, the deadliest year for traffic fatalities in Portland since 1997.

OPB PHOTO - According to Oregon law, this car is illegally parked. For most drivers in Portland, the absence of a yellow curb or city parking sign is usually interpreted as a good place to park their cars.

But a new $5.9 million lawsuit claims Portland is knowingly ignoring Oregon law by allowing drivers to park too close to crosswalks and intersections, blocking the view of oncoming pedestrians and traffic.

BikePortland first reported that Portland attorney and transportation activist Scott Kocher filed the lawsuit against the city on Tuesday. In the filing, Kocher alleges the city's negligence caused the death of Elijah Coe, a motorcyclist who was fatally struck by a driver in May 2019.

"Eric Whitfield, who was driving northbound on SE 17th Avenue, stopped at the stop sign, and attempted to turn left (westbound) onto Burnside," the lawsuit reads."People had parked vehicles along the curb as the City's signage invited them to do, blocking Mr. Coe and Mr. Whitfield's view of each other."

According to Oregon law, cars are prohibited from parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, marked or unmarked. The suit argues that the Portland Bureau of Transportation fails to enforce this law.

Click here to read the rest of the story by OPB, a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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