NW Bend car-pedestrian crash raises safety concerns

Some area businesses say more needs to be done

Bend businesses on crosswalk safety

BEND, Ore. - Owners and workers at some businesses on Bend's Westside expressed concerns Monday about what they consider dangerous aspects of the busy street, in the wake of a serious-injury car-pedestrian crash.

On Friday evening, a 72-year-old southern Oregon man was struck by a vehicle on the corner of Northwest Galveston Avenue and 12th Street. The pedestrian has requested privacy from the hospital, but we know he was initially listed in critical condition and is still alive.

Employees of some businesses at the corner said they don't feel the intersection is as safe as it could be. There is one marked crosswalk at the intersection, but according to people at those businesses, oftentimes drivers will not acknowledge it.

"Nighttime, it's not very well lit at all," Brother Jon's Public House server Emily Sesso said. "Even the lights on the street I would say are dim at best."

One business owner related that problem specifically to the crosswalk.

"The paint on the streets -- it's visible, but not completely right now," Dakine Grindz co-owner Andy Harlin said. "The weather kind of took it away a little bit, but I think it could definitely be a little more vibrant, more like, 'Hey, there's a crosswalk right here.'"

Lighting could have been a contributing factor in this accident, since investigators said speed and alcohol were not believed to be factors.

Because of the unpredictability of drivers, those who cross the corner on foot every day said they have to take precautions.

"I've allowed myself more time, more patience -- just waiting to make sure everybody's stopping and paying attention,"​ Sesso said.

She also brought up the nearby Galveston and 14th Street intersection, where a roundabout is located.

"A lot of traffic is going very fast coming off this roundabout, and they're looking straight ahead," she said. "They're not looking at either crosswalk. There are multiple (markings) on the road that go unnoticed."

The city of Bend is currently planning a capital development project on the Galveston corridor that would address the issue of unlit crosswalks and make it easier for pedestrians to navigate safey. The project is about halfway through the design phase.

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