Local traffic victims’ families will band together to form new voice for safety

Posted on October 6th, 2015 at 10:00 am.

kristi finney families for safe streets

Kristi Finney talks to fellow safety advocates Monday to plan the launch of Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A group of people who’ve lost family members on Portland-area streets has seen the success of their peers in New York City and is preparing to launch a similar organization here.

“I really am interested in behavior change, cultural change.”
— Kristi Finney

If you know anyone who has lost loved ones to traffic — whether the victim was walking, biking or driving — Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets is building its network in advance of a planned Nov. 15 launch.

Families for Safe Streets has been a key force behind New York’s rapid adoption of a Vision Zero policy that prioritizes traffic safety over traffic speed. This spring, NYC transportation advocate Paul Steely White told us he’d “never seen a campaign have so much influence over elected officials in such a sort time.”


City engaged in battle against speeding epidemic

Posted on June 12th, 2015 at 11:59 am.

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-6
PBOT has asked the state for a trial of new speed limit zones they say would reduce collisions.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Of all the ingredients that make up a dangerous roadway environment, most pundits and policymakers agree that speeding is one of the biggest threats. At a meeting of transportation advocates hosted by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick earlier this month, the scourge of speed was a constant thread through the discussion.


Multiple people assaulted by ‘unstable’ man on Eastbank Esplanade

Posted on February 24th, 2015 at 11:07 am.

high water on willamette-4-3
The incidents happened just north of this location.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A reader has shared a disturbing incident that took place while he was riding his bicycle on the Eastbank Esplanade before sunrise this morning.

According to Jeff B., at around 6:15 am he was thrown off his bike while riding southbound on the floating portion of the Esplanade just north of the Burnside Bridge. In an email to BikePortland, Jeff described what happened:

“A man hit me with what appeared to be a car antenna and checked me into the railing. At first I thought he was just messing with me and taking a step towards me to scare me, but that wasn’t the case. I was going about 20 mph and went down hard, even shattering my helmet.”


24 hours, two people hit (one killed) walking across Division Street

Posted on January 5th, 2011 at 5:02 pm.

It has been a horrible start to a new year for the safety of people walking on the streets of Portland. In the past 24 hours, two people have been hit (one of them killed by a hit-and-run driver) while attempting to cross SE Division Street.

SE Division street as it appears on PBOT’s High Crash Corridors map. The dots represent crashes recorded between 1999 and 2008. Larger dots represent multiple crashes.

At the end of last year, Mayor Sam Adams and the City of Portland designated SE Division Street and 122nd (just four blocks from where a man was killed last night) as the second most dangerous intersection in the city and made it part of their High Crash Corridor program which was launched in November.


Thoughts on TriMet’s safety task force report

Posted on October 22nd, 2010 at 2:13 pm.

Bus and bikes
TriMet now has a road map to
improved safety. Will they follow it?
(Photo © J. Maus)

On Wednesday, the TriMet Task Force on Safety and Service Excellence released its final list of recommendations. The task force was put together following a tragic incident back in April where a TriMet bus operator drove into five people in a crosswalk in downtown Portland, killing two of them.

Here’s an excerpt from the cover letter to the report written by task force Chair (and former TriMet GM) Tom Walsh,


Beware of glare: A cautionary tale

Posted on October 6th, 2010 at 1:02 pm.

Setting sun on N. Killingsworth.
(Photo © J. Maus)


TriMet reviewing new bus safety device with LED, audio warnings

Posted on August 26th, 2010 at 11:21 am.

Portland City Tour ride -16
New safety device would warn
people when a bus is turning.
(Photos © J. Maus)

In an effort to improve the safety of people walking and bicycling around their buses, TriMet is considering the use of a new product that would emit LED lights and short bursts of sound when a bus makes a turn.

Josh Blanchard, president of Safety Concepts (the company making the device), tells me that the “state of the art device” will prove capable of “drastically reducing accidents between buses, pedestrians and cyclists.”


ODOT bus ad: ‘Keep an extra eye out for bicycles’

Posted on June 30th, 2010 at 10:14 am.

While standing on SE Hawthorne Blvd last night I looked up and saw an ad on the side of a TriMet bus that caught my eye…

(Photo © J. Maus)


A report from the Transportation Safety Summit

Posted on February 18th, 2010 at 10:18 am.

Transportation Safety Summit-23
Mayor Adams addresses the crowd.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Mayor Sam Adams hosted the Transportation Safety Summit at U of O’s White Stag Building in downtown Portland Tuesday night and a standing-room only crowd of over 200 citizens, advocates and city and state officials showed up.

The event offered an opportunity (albeit short at only two hours) to network, learn about Portland’s transportation safety concerns, and share feedback about how the City should, according to the Mayor’s official invite, “close the gap between the current state of traffic safety in Portland and the desired state.”


Tonight: Transportation Safety Summit

Posted on February 16th, 2010 at 9:40 am.

PDOT Transportation Safety Summit
At the 2007 summit, we helped
PBOT with the safety chapter
of the 2030 Bike Plan.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Tonight from 6:30-8:30pm at the White Stag Building (70 NW Couch St) is the 4th Annual Transportation Safety Summit. Hosted by Mayor Sam Adams, this event will be an excellent opportunity to learn and to share your insights and concerns with the leaders of PBOT, ODOT, the Portland Police Bureau, and others.

The Summit comes at a time of a lot of news and momentum around traffic safety (back in January I wondered out loud whether 2010 would be the Year of Transportation Safety in Portland).