Some say more needs to be done at crosswalk where child hit

Some say more needs to be done at crosswalk where child hit

PORTLAND, Ore. – A 10-year-old boy who stepped in front of a car Thursday is doing better.

Peter Chen has been upgraded from critical condition at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

He was at a crosswalk on busy Southeast 82nd Avenue between Francis and Center streets when he was hit.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and the city did put lights in at the crosswalk but some say more needs to be done.

The boy's uncle said he'd like to see more done to grab drivers' attention. The road is considered one of the top 10 most dangerous in Portland. So ODOT and the city did safety projects back in 2010.

Right now, when the button is pushed at the crosswalk, two lights flash on each pedestrian crossing sign and a computerized voice says, "Cross street with caution, vehicles may not stop."

The location was the first lighted crosswalk of its kind by ODOT in the Portland area. Pedestrians have 30 seconds to cross before the lights go out.

Chen and his family went out to the middle of the crosswalk and he hit another button there, and then he stepped out in front of a car.

Police say the woman driving didn't do anything criminal. She might get a ticket for not stopping for the crosswalk.

People who use the crosswalk often say they have to be careful.

"Sometimes you have to stand out here and wait and wait," said Malinda Word. "I've stood out here and like (wave my arms) just to get across."

According to ODOT, there hasn't been a pedestrian killed or seriously hurt on this stretch of 82nd Avenue since 2000. It says a study on a crosswalk like this one showed only 1 in 5 drivers yielded to pedestrians before the lights were installed. But 4 out of 5 did after the lights were put in.

Next week ODOT will inspect the lights at this crosswalk to see if they're bright enough. The lights have already been made brighter after neighbors complained.