U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici is recovering at home with her husband, U.S. District Judge Michael Simon, after they were struck by a motorist in Northwest Portland on Friday night.
Among those wishing the Oregon Democrat a speedy recovery are 13-year-olds Anusha Jeyakumar and Nivedha Sathish Kumar and 14-year-old Sahana Muthaiya of Beaverton, who in November won the 2022 Congressional App Challenge for Oregon’s First Congressional District from Bonamici’s office.
Thank you to everyone for your well wishes, and to the first responders and health care workers who provided the care we needed. My husband and I are continuing to recover at home, and are grateful for your kind thoughts and support.
— Suzanne Bonamici (@RepBonamici) January 15, 2023
The app, called BikeBetter, uses publicly available Oregon Department of Transportation data to show users, especially bicyclists, routes in order to avoid high-crash areas.
The app shows that Northwest Everett Street, where Bonamici and Simon were walking around 8:44 p.m., has recorded 20 crashes involving bicyclists in the past 15 years. But only one of those crashes happened near the intersection of Northwest 19th Avenue, where the couple walked. They had attended the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shabbat Service at Congregation Beth Israel on Friday, along with elected leaders such as Gov. Tina Kotek, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Portland Commissioners Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson.
The teens want more attention paid to dangerous roads — and for people to take care when using them. The app covers Hillsboro, Beaverton and Portland.
“There are quite a few streets that are alarming,” said Nivedha, “and Everett is definitely one of them.”
The Portland Bureau of Transportation encourages bicyclists to use Northwest Flanders Street, a neighborhood greenway that incorporates safer infrastructure.
The Beaverton teens, friends through family, share a love of biking and started coding during the pandemic, they said via Zoom Sunday. They used the programming language Kotlin to create the Android app once they heard about the Congressional contest and were inspired to enter. In the future, they may recode it with a different language to make it compatible with other devices, said Anusha.
Friday’s collision happened when a motorist made a slow turn and knocked the couple down, according to Portland Police spokesperson Kevin Allen. The congresswoman, 68, was treated for a concussion and a laceration to her head. Simon, 66, was treated for minor injuries.
The driver was cooperative with police and stayed at the scene, Allen said. She was not arrested or cited.
Collisions like this one “can happen to anyone,” said Sahana. “We want to make sure everyone is cautious,” she added. “We send out our warmest wishes to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici.”
— Beth Slovic; [email protected]; 503-221-8551
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