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Better Block will unveil its four 2016 street demos at Thursday event

Posted by on February 17th, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Better Block demonstration project on 3rd Ave-16
Better Block’s 2014 demo on SW 3rd Avenue got results.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The volunteer street transformers at Better Block PDX are kicking off what they call “a transformation moment for our organization” at a “volunteer appreciation party” Thursday night.

It’ll be a starting gun for the first full year of what the group hopes will be an ongoing conveyor belt of new ideas for Portland streets, with help from Portland State University’s pipeline of aspiring planners and engineers.

The event is 6 p.m. at 1805 NE 2nd Ave.

Here’s Better Block’s news release:

PORTLAND, OREGON‐ Leaders of the group Better Block PDX will announce its four upcoming projects at its first annual volunteer appreciation party. Better Block PDX is a group of public space advocates who have utilized temporary materials to show alternative ways for how street space can be reallocated to improve safety, livability, health, and happiness.

In 2014, the group was responsible for the highly successful group was responsible for the Better Naito project which created nearly a mile of public space next to Portland’s signature Waterfront Park.

“This is truly a transformation moment for our organization” said Ryan Hashagen, a volunteer for Better Block PDX, as he announced the upcoming projects. Ben Chaney, another volunteer, said, “After over six months of brainstorming, collaboration, and vetting, we are excited to get the ball rolling on our 2016 projects.” The projects were selected based on feedback with community members and graduate students at Portland State University. The goal is to showcase a temporary street reconfiguration later this year; specific street designs will not be made until after significant community outreach.

The 2016 projects will be unveiled tomorrow and all projects are dependent on variables including but not limited to funding, volunteer capacity, and permitting.

Leaders will also announce that Better Block PDX has submitted paperwork to become its own non‐profit.

Previously, the group was under the non‐profit Umbrella, an organization that handles administration for a number of non‐profits. Better Block PDX is appreciative of the assistance Umbrella has provided.

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

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley February 17, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I continue to see Better Block PDX projects (and some of the more guerilla-type cone ones) as the best way to get real change: proving how simple, cheap and effective a reconfiguration can be is a brilliant strategy–the one that Janette Sadik-Khan used to such good effect in New York City.

    I’m eager to see what they’ve got on the “conveyor belt”.

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  • Bill Stites February 17, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Did I miss the time and location?!

    Was great to participate on the Naito set-up; excited to see upcoming projects.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Pure and simple – they are urbane rock stars in my book.

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    • paikiala February 18, 2016 at 9:53 am


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      • Anne Hawley
        Anne Hawley February 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm

        To the extent that “urbane” means cool and witty, I’d say both.

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        • Todd Boulanger February 18, 2016 at 4:09 pm


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  • Adam H. February 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Michael, the Face Book event says it’s at the Community Cycling Center, but then gives the address to Bike Farm. Did CCC move from Alberta or was this a mistake? I don’t want to show up to the wrong location!

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    • Greg Raisman February 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      The CCC admin offices are in the same building as Bike Farm. That is the building we will be in. Not in the retail store on Alberta. Thanks for making sure everyone is clear on where to go.


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      • Adam H. February 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        Great, thanks for the clarification!

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