Browsed by
Category: walking

Portland launches ‘PedPDX’ to update citywide walking plan

Portland launches ‘PedPDX’ to update citywide walking plan

East Portland street scenes-8

Crossing large arterials in east Portland — like 122nd — should be much easier.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When it comes to moving people in Portland, “walking” is listed in our 2035 Comprehensive Plan as the highest priority mode. To make sure that policy makes it into practice, the Bureau of Transportation has embarked on the first update of their Pedestrian Plan since 1998. They call it “PedPDX”.

PBOT should stop using “ped” and “pedestrian” and replace it with “walk” and “walker”.

Yesterday PBOT launched a survey to recruit 15 Citizen Advisory Committee members and unveiled the plan’s new website.

“The plan will prioritize sidewalks, crossing improvements, and other investments to make walking safer and more comfortable across the city,” the site reads. “It will identify the key strategies and tools we will use to make Portland a truly great walking city.”

The plan will aim to do that by producing a project list that will guide investment, create policies that influence how projects are implemented, and help walking compete with other transportation modes as our city grows. PBOT acknowledges that a new plan is needed to address the fact that, “significant gaps and deficiencies remain” in the walking network, especially in neighborhoods far from the central city. The existing 1998 plan was created in a time long before we considered transportation equity and Vision Zero — two principles that dominate investment and policy decisions today.

When the 1998 Pedestrian Plan was passed, the Pearl District was, “a tangle of dirt streets, railroad tracks and warehouses.”








Please support BikePortland.

Portland mode priority policy in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan (adopted June 2016).

Here’s what PBOT says PedPDX will do:

— Establish a clear plan vision, goals, and objectives
— Identify gaps and needs in Portland’s pedestrian network (including needs for new sidewalks, crossings, and other pedestrian improvements)
— Prioritize needs to ensure that we are directing funding to locations with the greatest needs first (project prioritization will reflect the City’s commitment to improving equity outcomes and reaching our Vision Zero goal)
— Articulate the strategies, actions, and tools we will use to improve walking conditions within prioritized areas, and across the city
— Identify context-sensitive design solutions for various part of the city
— Update the City’s pedestrian classifications and designations, which help drive pedestrian design requirements; and
— Identify the performance measures we will use to track our progress implementing the plan over time

This plan will likely have many intersections with bicycle use. With construction of a network of protected bikeways downtown expected to begin next year, PBOT needs clear policy guidance for how to integrate walkways into these new street designs. Another issue that’s like to come up is a design standard for separating bicycles users from people walking on popular paths like the Waterfront, Esplanade, and Willamette Greenway paths.

Another major issue PBOT will address as part of this plan is street crossings — a very weak link in both our walking and biking networks. The plan will include a “pedestrian network gap analysis” where crossing gaps citywide will be quantified. A related and extremely important issue that PedPDX will tackle is parking setback standards. Whether walking or biking, many of Portland’s crosswalks would be much safer if PBOT would enforce and/or create new parking restrictions near corners. When people park too close to corners, it’s difficult for walkers and bikers to see oncoming cross-traffic.

PBOT hopes to have a draft plan completed by July 2018 and council adoption by fall of that same year.

Learn more and apply to be on the CAC at the PedPDX website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.





The post Portland launches ‘PedPDX’ to update citywide walking plan appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Your guide to Portland’s ‘Walktober’ fest

Your guide to Portland’s ‘Walktober’ fest

It's walking... like you've never seen it before.(Photo: Oregon Walks)

It’s walking… like you’ve never seen it before.
(Photos: Oregon Walks)

This guest article is written by Noel Mickelberry, the executive director of Oregon Walks

It’s a special time of year for people on foot. It’s a little rainy, there are patches of sun, and it’s the perfect time to prep yourself for Halloween – it’s Walktober, an entire month of walking fun that Oregon Walks has been organizing for the past five years.

noel 320

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel
Mickelberry.

Think of it as the Pedalpalooza of walking – anyone can lead a walk or join a walk, and they are all on our online calendar.3

Two of our favorite ways to enjoy Walktober are by walking for social change, and walking for exploration – and there are plenty of walks to do that this year!

How will you Walktober? Here are some ways to join us!

Read More Read More

Your guide to Portland’s ‘Walktober’ fest

Your guide to Portland’s ‘Walktober’ fest

It's walking... like you've never seen it before.(Photo: Oregon Walks)

It’s walking… like you’ve never seen it before.
(Photos: Oregon Walks)

This guest article is written by Noel Mickelberry, the executive director of Oregon Walks

It’s a special time of year for people on foot. It’s a little rainy, there are patches of sun, and it’s the perfect time to prep yourself for Halloween – it’s Walktober, an entire month of walking fun that Oregon Walks has been organizing for the past five years.

noel 320

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel
Mickelberry.

Think of it as the Pedalpalooza of walking – anyone can lead a walk or join a walk, and they are all on our online calendar

Two of our favorite ways to enjoy Walktober are by walking for social change, and walking for exploration – and there are plenty of walks to do that this year!

How will you Walktober? Here are some ways to join us!

Read More Read More

A suspected drunk driver has hit and killed a man who was walking across Division Street

A suspected drunk driver has hit and killed a man who was walking across Division Street

The intersection of Division at SE 124th near where Damon Burton was killed.

The intersection of Division at SE 124th near where Damon Burton was killed.

A man was arrested yesterday morning for recklessly driving his car into a person who was trying to cross the street in southeast Portland.

40-year-old Clifford Eugene Perry faces charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) and Reckless Driving. Perry will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court today.

On Sunday evening Perry was driving westbound on Division near 124th (map) “at a high rate of speed” (according to Portland Police investigators) prior to coming into contact with 61-year-old Damon Patrick Burton. Perry, who the police suspect was drunk, then continued driving on Division until crashing into a gas station at 122nd. Burton lived in the neighborhood and was trying to cross Division from south to north prior to being hit.

(The police have not said where exactly Burton was crossing from, but it appears from photos taken by other news outlets that Burton was likely crossing at 124th.)







Division is one of the deadliest streets in Portland and has been a part of the bureau of transportation’s High Crash Corridor program for years. According to PBOT data Division has 50 percent more walking-related collisions than average.

The cross-section of Division where Burton was killed is daunting. He was trying to cross over nine lanes — two auto parking lanes, two bike lanes, four standard vehicle lanes, and a center turn lane.

According to the city of Portland’s Vision Zero Crash Map, this same section of Division has been the scene of two fatal and three serious injury collisions since 2005.

Mr. Burton is the 31st 32nd person to die on Portland streets so far this year and the ninth person to be struck and killed while walking. 37 people died on Portland’s streets in all of 2015 and there were 10 fatalities that involved someone walking. If this pace continues we would have 47 deaths this year which would be the most since 1998. This is also the second fatal collision involving a walker on Division this year. A person was killed while crossing Division at 156th on January 12th, which spurred PBOT to install a rapid flash beacon at that location shortly thereafter.

This latest fatality comes two days after advocates joined with City Commissioner Steve Novick and other agency leaders at a “Rally to end unsafe streets.” Burton’s death also comes as many in the community are reeling following a spate of preventable roadway tragedies that have taken the lives of vulnerable users.

19-year-old Larnell Bruce was intentionally struck and killed with a car by a man with ties to white supremacist groups on August 10th in Gresham; 15-year-old Fallon Smart was hit and killed by a reckless driver on Hawthorne Blvd on August 19th; and 15-year-old Bradley Fortner is still in the Intensive Care Unit with a brain injury suffered after being hit by someone driving on Columbia Blvd while walking to school in north Portland on August 30th.

On Saturday in Beaverton a 61-year-old woman was hit and killed by a motor vehicle operator while jogging. She was trying to cross NW Baseline at 166th.

UPDATE, 9/6 at 9:00 pm: Another person has been hit on Division near this same intersection. It happened Tuesday night. Here is the police statement:

On Tuesday September 6, 2016, at 8:44 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report that a pedestrian was struck by a driver at Southeast 148th Avenue and Division Street and that the driver fled the area.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the male pedestrian suffering from traumatic injuries. He was transported by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment and his current condition is not known.

Preliminary information indicates that after striking the pedestrian, the driver fled the area but then returned and was providing aid to the pedestrian. Prior to police arrival, the driver left again and a female came to the scene and drove away in the suspect vehicle.

Officers engaged the female driver in a short pursuit before she crashed at Southeast 150th Avenue and Main Street, where she was taken into custody.

Officers are searching the area for the driver, described as a Hispanic male in his early-40s.

Traffic Division officers are at the scene conducting an investigation.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post A suspected drunk driver has hit and killed a man who was walking across Division Street appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Hit by Uber driver? Portlander watches as car that hit him drives off

Hit by Uber driver? Portlander watches as car that hit him drives off

Park Blocks 5

SW Park Street, a bit south of the incident described.
(Photo: Marilyn M)

Here’s a troubling incident that doesn’t directly involve a bike, but certainly could have.

Less than a month after Portland became one of the first cities to legalize Internet-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, it calls into question the street culture that such services could be creating.

According to a local lawyer, it seems to qualify as a hit-and-run. Police are declining to investigate.

Here’s the account from reader John E. (emphases mine):

Walking to work going East on Alder St, I came to the intersection of Park and Alder about 8:00 AM. Park is a single lane street with parking on both sides. As I get close Car 1 pulls up to the stop sign and is going to turn right and stops. Car 2 (Uber) pulls up next to it as if it is going straight and stops to the side of Car 1 but slightly further back. The two cars are side by side stopped where the red truck in the attached picture is. Both are stopped and traffic is coming from the same direction as me so I start to cross the crosswalk and then Car 2 makes a move as if to attempt to block the view of Car 1. The driver of Car 2 was staring down the driver of Car 1 and seemed irritated with him. In doing so he was looking the wrong direction and moved about a 2 feet forward and struck my right knee hard enough he knew he hit something as he looked panicked but again, I’m okay.

Right after being hit I was a little panicked and my first reaction (later regretted due to a sore hand) was I smacked the hood. I quickly passed through the intersection to get to a safe spot. The driver rolled down his window apologizing but I was angry, scared, panicked, disturbed and really just not sure what to do. I knew I wasn’t hurt so I thought about starting to walk the next 2 blocks to work and then saw that the car was driving past me and never looked over at me so I just kept walking towards work. The driver was a white male about 30 years old (give or take 5 years). I know it was an Uber due to the U sticker in the front windshield. I wished I would have gotten the license plates but it all happened so fast. I went back to the spot and the hotel at that intersection said they had cameras that might have caught it but their facilities person was on medical leave and no one else could help. Macy’s down the street had a camera facing the street but they refused to help unless the police requested it. So I went to the police station and they laughed me off since I wasn’t hurt and told me “good luck.” I didn’t notice if anyone was in the backseat and am not sure if a pickup or dropoff just happened.

Uber sent me an credited me $25 which I wasn’t seeking or had asked for. It was kind but would have been insulting had I actually been hurt. The reason I reached out in the first place was only to try to report the driver so they could hopefully remove bad drivers like that from the road (or at least their employment). I honestly didn’t even expect any response from Uber but was glad they at least responded to say they would investigate it. At this point I’m more upset with the response from the Portland Police but from your website and some others I’ve read it sounds like that is the norm.

John is definitely right about that last bit, at least. In most circumstances, Portland police won’t consider issuing a citation, let alone an investigation, unless an ambulance ride is involved.

But there’s also supposed to be an exception for hit-and-run cases.

Note that despite John’s hunch, it’s not certain that this person was on the job driving for Uber, or even if this is the same person who sometimes uses that car to drive for Uber; all we know is that there was an Uber sticker in the window.


Also, this was admittedly a slightly ambiguous situation: even John describes himself as not “hurt.” But according to lawyer Charley Gee of the local firm Swanson, Thomas, Coon and Newton, this probably qualifies as a hit and run under Oregon law.

Since violation of ORS 811.705 Failure to perform duties of driver to injured persons is a felony the appellate courts have interpreted the statute to have a knowingly mens rea (criminal mental state) which is the highest intent to prove. The main case on hit and run is State v. Corpuz 49 Or App 811 (1980), which found that the state must prove the driver knowingly committed hit and run (as in they knew they hit someone and left) but also includes the following:

“The burden is on the driver involved in an accident to stay at the scene and verify that no one was hurt or in need of assistance or to risk severe penalty. We decline to put the burden on the state to prove that a driver knew another person was injured. The state need only prove that defendant knew, or prove circumstances from which it can be inferred that he knew, he was involved in an accident which was likely to have resulted in injury or death to another person.”

State v. Corpuz, 49 Or. App. 811, 820, 621 P.2d 604, 609 (1980).

So in this matter, if the collision was one where a reasonable person would consider likely to have resulted in an injury, then the driver needed to stay at the scene and affirmatively verify that the victim was not hurt. Just looking out your car window and seeing the fact that the person walking is not immobile after the collision is not sufficient.

So if John’s description is accurate, this seems to have been a felony that no one is willing to do anything about.

Uber hasn’t responded to an emailed request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The real question in this incident isn’t about liability or even criminal activity per se. It’s about whether it’s socially acceptable to cruise away after causing an incident like that. And though it’s unquestionably true that this sort of thing happens regularly in Portland, it may make sense for someone — the police, Uber, someone — to hold commercial drivers to a higher standard.

For the moment, we’re glad John is OK, and we’re not looking forward to the next version of this story that we might hear.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org


The post Hit by Uber driver? Portlander watches as car that hit him drives off appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Postcard from Austin: curb extensions that don’t block bikes

Postcard from Austin: curb extensions that don’t block bikes

curb extension bumps 1000

A quick, cheap crosswalk enhancement on 3rd Street in Austin, Tex.
(Photos: M.Andersen)

Austin, where I spent a few days this week, is not yet a great city to bike in. But some of the ideas it’s developed in its bid to become one are useful, and here’s one.

Crosswalk curb extensions are great. By visually narrowing intersections, they slow traffic, prevent high-speed turns, and shorten distances for people crossing on foot.

But for future bike infrastructure, they’re a problem, especially in cities like Portland that have built a lot of them. They stop it from being cheap and easy to create parking-protected bike lanes by swapping curbside parking with a door-zone bike lane. When Portland installed curb extensions this year on Northwest Broadway, many people who’ve been hoping for a protected bike lane there groaned — it seemed like a strong sign that the city was giving up on that possibility.

(For its part, the Portland Bureau of Transportation says curb extensions won’t be extremely expensive to tear back out if Broadway is selected for improvements.)

In any case, Austin has started using a quick and dirty trick to create curb extensions: five-inch-high concrete domes, arranged to create a pedestrian refuge area.

curb extension bumps 2 1000

The original mold had a humble origin, Austin bikeway engineer Nathan Wilkes said.

“One of our public works managers bought salad bowls at the dollar store,” he said.

– Advertisement –


They work. Stormwater flows easily around them. People biking can easily avoid them, assuming the placement is careful and the lighting is decent. They’re mountable, so a truck that really needs the space can drive over them, but big enough that people driving will usually avoid them. And (at least as the rules are being read in Austin) they don’t trigger a requirement for new building or stormwater permits, so they can be added quickly and cheaply.

They wouldn’t do well with snowplows. But in Austin (as in Portland) that’s very rarely a problem.

Seattle, another city that’s growing very fast and working hard to change its streets to match, has actually been using a similar trick with plastic posts and thermoplastic coating:

seattle curb extension post

Like Seattle’s flexible posts, Austin’s low bumps have a downside: they’re fragile.

broken curb extension bump

I’m told that Austin plans to address this by sinking bolts down the middle of the concrete domes, reinforcing the glue that is currently holding these in place.

Because installation is so simple and unobtrusive, these may also become Austin’s most common treatment for protecting bike lanes. City Transportation Planning and Policy Manager Art Pearce, who is also in Austin this week for a National Association of City Transportation Officials conference, mentioned that he was looking at 3rd Street for ideas about how people walking can be well-served by protected bike lanes. Sounds like a good idea.


The post Postcard from Austin: curb extensions that don’t block bikes appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Bike-friendliness and walk-friendliness are actually pretty different, study says

Bike-friendliness and walk-friendliness are actually pretty different, study says

Rosa Parks Way -3

Rosa Parks Way.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland has a long way to go, but it’s one of the country’s best cities to bike in. Sad to say, it isn’t yet one of the country’s best cities to walk in.

So why do so many people, here and elsewhere, speak as if there’s an activity called “bikingandwalking” that can be encouraged all at once?

Some new research from a recent Portland State University engineering grad helps to disentangle the science of these two awesome activities.

“Highly walkable and highly bikeable environments are quite different,” writes Christopher Muhs (who’s now a transportation engineering assistant at local firm DKS) in his paper. “Two of the most divergent characteristics are travel speeds and distances. … It follows that pedestrians tend to travel much shorter distances than cyclists.”

Muhs, working with PSU professor Kelly Clifton, looked at various studies that found correlations between characteristics of cities and neighborhoods and the amount of biking and walking that happens in them — number of intersections per mile, for example, or the size in square feet of local retail stores. Here’s one interesting discovery:

The magnitudes of the impact of built environment variables on walking are often much larger than those with bicycling. This is also true of trip distance or travel time variables. In three US studies, the magnitudes of the trip distance coefficient for walk mode choice were more than three times those of the corresponding coefficient for bicycling.

In other words: it takes a lot longer to rebuild a city into walk-friendliness than it does to rebuild it into bike-friendliness.

– Advertisement –


Here’s another insight: it might be possible for a city to be too dense for biking.

Cycling may also be sensitive to minimum and maximum thresholds. For example, high-density locations correlated with central business districts, downtowns, and regional centers may not provide environments conducive to cycling. The greater intersection densities and traffic control often mean more stops, slowing travel speeds. … On the other end of the spectrum, low-density environments may not provide destinations within a reasonable distance for utilitarian cycling but may offer better recreational opportunities.

Muhs also touches on this perennial problem:

It has also been acknowledged that cyclists may be more multimodal than other travelers, due to weather or other situational constraints. … Nearly all of the literature we reviewed consisted of cross-sectional studies, with individuals observed at just one point in time. The lack of longitudinal studies on bicycling makes us raise the question: Is our current understanding of cycling behavior based on a slim percentage of the overall cycling population?

Yes indeed.

The paper from Muhs and Clifton was published this fall in the Journal of Transportation and Land Use.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org


The post Bike-friendliness and walk-friendliness are actually pretty different, study says appeared first on BikePortland.org.

‘Sidewalk closed’: Portlanders fend for themselves amid building boom

‘Sidewalk closed’: Portlanders fend for themselves amid building boom

brian rod

Rod Yoder, left, and Brian Davis are both looking for long-term solutions.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s official policy is that when push comes to shove, making it safe and efficient to walk is a higher priority than making it safe and efficient to bike, which is a higher priority than making it safe and efficient to drive.

So why is it that when construction closes part of a street, sidewalks are so often the first to go?

On Thursday, a local engineering consultant led a walk through downtown Portland to show that it doesn’t have to work this way.

The walk (part of Walktober, the annual festival of fun on foot by Oregon Walks) was led by Brian Davis of Lancaster Engineering. Earlier on Thursday, Davis laid out his argument in a midday tweetstorm:

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

IMHO, sidewalk closures strike a nerve because they epitomize the gap between rhetoric and action that has stagnated PDX's transpo progress.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

This is so, so easy to fix, too. You simply don't allow developers option to close them. That's Seattle's tack: https://t.co/HQpzQ3olQG

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

And if we're serious about Vision Zero (spoiler: we're not), this is an urgency. So, so many safety issues arise from sidewalk closures.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

Our city is in the midst of a building boom rn, So sidewalk closures are everywhere. What was once a minor annoyance is now a big problem.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

Sidewalk closures fragment the walking network, thereby making walking MUCH more difficult, especially people w/ mobility limitations.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

Compare this to the driving network. Look at how we react to things that fragment it. Proposed Clinton diverters are a great example.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

Adding, basically, two obstacles to driving to a street which is not crucial to driving is a huge political issue. It's taking months!

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

Yet fragmenting the walking network is (still, in 2015, here in the future) readily approved by the City.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

If Portland is serious about progressive transportation and the green hierarchy, fixing this is the lowest of the low-hanging fruits.

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

We're going to fix this, and we're going to start that ball rolling tonight. Hope to see you later!

— Brian Davis (@briandavispdx) October 22, 2015

– Advertisement –


When we gathered Thursday evening, Davis was joined by a pair of volunteers for Oregon Walks who’ve been working with the organization (and with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which has been trying for years to make inroads on this issue) to convince the city to adopt a single, clear policy for what builders need to do when their project spills onto a sidewalk or roadway.

sidewalk closed crew

Our first stop was this year-long project on SW Stark and 3rd, where a construction project has taken over not only the sidewalk but a right-turn lane. This has removed the mixing zone that’s supposed to give people driving a chance to cross over the green bike lane without risking a collision by suddenly turning right in front of a bike at the corner.

bike lane

People on foot, meanwhile, have to wait through two extra 24-second light cycles to walk down Stark. Davis said that though a sidewalk on only one side of the street is tolerable in downtown Portland because most streets are narrow and most corners have safe crossings, he thinks it’d be unreasonable on a larger street that lacks marked crosswalks.

In the case of this street, Davis said, it’d be easy to preserve mobility on Stark Street by removing the one block of auto parking during the project. Davis estimated that this would cost the city about $200 per day in lost revenue, which could simply be charged to the developer. (If the developer didn’t want to cover that cost, it might tell its builder to find a more space-efficient way to store its trucks.)

From there, we walked to 2nd and Pine, where a project had removed a general travel lane set up the sort of temporary barrier-protected sidewalk that’s common in some other cities. Because traffic is so light on this part of 2nd despite many lanes of traffic, Davis said it didn’t cause any auto congestion issues.

brian jersey barrier

Further north on 1st and Couch, a closed sidewalk pushes many people into the narrow space between the MAX train tracks and curb.

1st across tracks

1st from behind

Davis chose the downtown route because there were so many examples within walking distance. But this obviously isn’t a downtown problem only, and indeed it’s probably a bigger burden and greater danger in other parts of town.

Can anything be done? We talked about the fact that Portland has empowered many different agencies to issue permits for construction work that blocks roads, but given clear and consistent instructions to none of them. That means the solution is basically a matter of bureaucracy.

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry said that if anyone is interested in helping advocate for the same sort of changes to Portland’s rules that Seattle just announced — that sidewalks should only be closed for construction as a last resort after other lanes have been temorarily removed — they should email her: noel@oregonwalks.org.

closed

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org


The post ‘Sidewalk closed’: Portlanders fend for themselves amid building boom appeared first on BikePortland.org.

With new ‘Livable Streets’ subgroup, BikeLoud will commemorate road deaths by all modes

With new ‘Livable Streets’ subgroup, BikeLoud will commemorate road deaths by all modes

livable streets fb

The Facebook page for the new “subgroup”
Livable Streets Action.

A new group called Livable Streets Action is taking the tactics that have won a string of victories for local biking this spring and summer and applying them to other modes, too.

Organizer Dan Kaufman, a videographer and longtime local social justice advocate who has helped organize demonstrations for transportation activism group BikeLoudPDX and the bike-based but non-transportation-focused group Bike Swarm, referred to Livable Streets Action as a “subgroup” of those other groups.

Livable Streets Action’s first event is tomorrow, a Friday afternoon commemoration for Marlene Popps, a woman who was hit by a car and left for dead on the evening of July 4 at the corner of SE 60th and Holgate. She died of her injuries July 21.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of SE Holgate and Foster, about three blocks from the site of Popps’s collision. It’s seen 22 reported traffic injuries between 2004 and 2014. Foster Road, which is due for a safety redesign next year, is one of Portland’s 10 high-crash corridors. Here’s the event listing on the Shift calendar.

– Advertisement –


“We will also take this last day of the month to remember the approximately 30 deaths on Oregon roads in July,” Kaufman wrote in his Facebook event description. “So far for the year we are 44% increase in road fatalities over 2014. Motorists account for the most deaths followed closely by pedestrians.”

Portland’s Vision Zero policy, adopted by the city council this year, aims to eliminate traffic deaths of people no matter how they are moving about the city. But in part because bicycling advocates have been particularly loud and well-organized, the issue of traffic safety has come to be closely associated with bicycling, with media reports regularly characterizing general traffic safety protests as being in support of bicycle safety. That’s prompted some discussion among BikeLoud organizers of how to better broaden their message and appeal in some situations.

In an email to the BikeLoudPDX listserv, Kaufman wrote that he hopes Livable Streets Action “can develop into a coalition of groups interested direct action in the support of liveable streets.”

Kaufman noted that Popps’ son Mike Neldon is working to raise $5000 for her memorial, and asked that people attending Friday’s action “bring a hat or bucket to help collect funds and a sign that indicates why you are there. We will be marching, collecting donations, and raising awareness at the crash site and around the intersection of SE Holgate and Foster.”


The post With new ‘Livable Streets’ subgroup, BikeLoud will commemorate road deaths by all modes appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Comment of the Week: The case for organized running advocacy in Portland

Comment of the Week: The case for organized running advocacy in Portland

I'm too clean-cut to be here in Portland with all these hippies. I think I should be in Kansas. Or maybe Salt Lake City.

Shared interests.
(Photo: Ed Yourdon)

Here on BikePortland, we love to switch focus around the many ways to enjoy bikes, from dirt-trails or the daily commute. And if you ask me, Jonathan’s inspired combination of sport, fun and policy is the special recipe that has made this site a viable business as well as a work of love for everyone involved.

So as reader Adam wrote this week, isn’t it time for someone to apply a similar approach to athleticism on foot?

Here’s what Adam wrote this afternoon beneath our post about the appeal of gravel paths to people running:

The idea of a running “lobby” came to me a few years’ back. I was biking on SE Salmon (a bike boulevard or neighborhood Greenway, or whatever you want to call it). Ahead of me was a group of maybe twelve runners, running in the road. Instead of being all “get onto the sidewalk!!!”, I instead thought about how many runners run on roads, and how their runs could benefit too from diverters, speed bumps, and other traffic calming measures.

… runners choose to run on roads instead of sidewalks for very practical reasons. Sidewalks are often eneven, with big slabs at odd angles causing a major tripping hazard. They often don’t gave curb cuts, meaning you have to jump up and down curbs every 200 feet – another tripping hazard. And they are often blocked by overgrown vegetation, huge recycling bins, people parking on them etc.

I would guess out of my social circle, maybe twelve of them bike, and 40 of them run.

We rely on financial support from readers like you.

Portland is a biking town, but there’s no question that it’s a running town, too. And it certainly seems to want to become a great walking town — but the constant obstacle for walking advocates is that so few people tend to identify strongly as walking lovers. Maybe a more organized sense of foot-based athleticism would do our city good.

Yes, we pay for good comments. We’ll be mailing a $5 bill to Adam in thanks for this great one. Watch your email!

The post Comment of the Week: The case for organized running advocacy in Portland appeared first on BikePortland.org.