The stretch of Northeast 112th Avenue that saw the death of two young pedestrians early Tuesday morning is no stranger to serious car crashes.
In August 2014, two motorcyclists were critically injured while headed south on the road. Less than a week later, a woman drove her SUV into a Clark Public Utilities substation at Northeast 28th Street and died. Less than three months after that, a family was struck by a Ford Mustang near Northeast 39th Street while trick-or-treating on Halloween. One of the victims, a 7-year-old girl, died from her injuries. The emergency crew that responded to the crash scene nearly became victims themselves — a car crashed through the barricade that had cordoned off the site of the crash, narrowly missing officers from the Vancouver Police Department Traffic Unit.
In December 2015, a crash near the state Highway 500 interchange left a driver seriously injured. In March 2016, an off-duty Vancouver firefighter was walking on Northeast 112th Avenue when he was struck and killed by a northbound vehicle. In January 2018, two people were hospitalized in another collision near the Highway 500 interchange. A month later, a hit-and-run in a crosswalk left a pedestrian with a broken arm near Northeast 49th Street.
Northeast 112th Avenue, from East Mill Plain Boulevard to Northeast 28th Street, has been highlighted as a priority in Vancouver’s 2020-2025 Transportation Improvement Program, which points to a need for “corridor improvements to bring NE 112th Ave up to urban arterial standards, and address safety and accessibility issues for all modes of travel.”
The project is as yet unfunded, with no planned timeline.
Loretta Callahan, spokeswoman for Vancouver’s public works department, wrote in an email to The Columbian that the city has worked with adjacent property owners along the Northeast 112th Avenue corridor to install and upgrade sidewalks over the past several years.
“That work is ongoing,” Callahan wrote, adding that the city additionally secured a Safe Routes to School partnership with the school districts, and they work together on grant applications. Safe Routes to School is a program through the U.S. Department of Transportation that promotes walking and biking to school through infrastructure improvements.
“Further, the city actively seeks state and federal grants to improve/maintain pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout Vancouver,” Callahan wrote. “One sidewalk infill project that is expected to go out to bid in February is along the east side of Northeast 112th Avenue, between Northeast Chkalov Drive and Northeast Ninth Street. That is currently planned for construction starting late this spring.”