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New bike lane on SW Salmon improves bike access to Naito Parkway

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
New lane striping SW Salmon at Naito-3
New striping gives bike riders their own lane.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Getting to Naito Parkway and Waterfront Park from downtown Portland just got easier thanks to relatively small — yet significant — changes to two blocks of SW Salmon Street.
(more…)

PBOT ad campaign: ‘This is why drivers should slow down’

Friday, June 20th, 2014
Detail from PBOT advertisement.

It’s a sad fact that too many people are killed while walking on Portland streets. Despite having some of the safest roads in the country, we still lose too many of our fellow citizens this way. Recently, these troubling tragedies have caused advocates to sound the alarm and local electeds to use “improving pedestrian safety” as a rallying cry in their effort to raise new local transportation revenue.

Another way our city has reacted is with a new marketing campaign aimed at addressing some of the root causes of these collisions: speed and road user behavior. The other day I cam across a new promotional ad created by PBOT with the goal of getting people to slow down and be more aware when using the streets.

The main title of the piece is “Put the brakes on: This is why drivers should slow down.” The ad also shares the infamous “speed kills” graphic that lays out how an even 10 mph difference can mean life or death. The bulk of the piece focused on tips for walkers — with a list of seven tips translated into eight different languages.

Sharon White, a traffic safety specialist at PBOT who works on the High Crash Corridor program (among other things), said the “Put the brakes on Pedestrian Deaths” ad campaign is being inserted into high school newspapers. Specifically, PBOT has placed the graphic in two schools located close to SE Powell Blvd, one of the most dangerous streets in Portland: the Franklin High School Post and the Cleveland High School Clarion.
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PBOT hires Margi Bradway as new Active Transpo Division Manager

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
Oregon Active Transportation Summit-16
Margi Bradway speaking at a panel discussion
at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit in 2012.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has hired Margi Bradway to be their new Active Transportation Division Manager. Bradway, 40, comes to PBOT from the Oregon Department of Transportation where she managed the agency’s Sustainability Program and more recently became their lead staffer on active transportation policy. Bradway was also a close adviser to ODOT Director Matt Garrett.

Here’s more about Bradway from ODOT’s website:

Margi is a long time Portland resident with a background in environmental science. Before law school Margi worked for the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C. on national wetlands policy. During law school at Lewis and Clark College, Margi worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Justice in the Natural Resources Division. Margi was also an environmental attorney at Stoel Rives.

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PBOT offers bikers a ‘Quick Fix’ of donuts, coffee and conversation

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
PBOT Quick Fix event-3
Sunday Parkways? Nope. Just the
morning commute on N Willamette Blvd
(with a free donut stop).
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

It was like a mini Sunday Parkways this morning on N Willamette Boulevard. As part of their National Bike Month outreach efforts, The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) set up a “Quick Fix” station to offer free coffee, donuts and lube jobs to anyone who happened to be biking by. And business was brisk.

Andy and Cheryl Kehrli where two of dozens of people who stopped by. Andy held a mug of coffee in one hand and his bike in the other while PBOT staffer Abra McNair lubed up his squeaky chain. “We were just riding over to get coffee and we knew this would be here,” said Andy. He told me he bike commuted to work for nine years before he retired a few years ago. Now he and Cheryl ride every day. “We just sold our Prius,” he said, “Because it never gets driven.”

This part of north Portland (the Overlook/Arbor Lodge/University Park neighborhoods) is booming with bicycling these days and quiet, calm streets like Willamette are a big reason why. It also doesn’t hurt that some of the city’s best neighborhood greenway streets — like Concord, Bryant, and Wabash — criss-cross the area. There were so many people biking out on Willamette this morning that when a car did come rumbling by, it seemed out of place. Or, as PBOT’s McNair put it, “Cars just seem awkward on this street.” (more…)

Five ideas from NYC’s ‘Vision Zero’ plan that Portland could steal

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Tomorrow, Portland’s city council is expected to approve a project (item 234) that’s likely to chart the city’s shift to “Vision Zero,” the philosophy that nothing — not vehicle speed, not road capacity, not even economic productivity — is more important to the transportation system than preventing the serious injury or death of a person on the road.

It’s a provocative idea. But what exactly does it mean the city would do that it doesn’t already do today?

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City contest offers rewards for sharing winter rides

Monday, January 6th, 2014
PBOT recently joined a special Breakfast on the
Bridge event to promote winter biking.
(Photo by PBOT)

Though those scurvy (and yeah, OK, pretty badass) vikings in Minneapolis might not understand the concept of biking in the winter actually being fun, a new city promotion is looking to spread the word to more Portlanders.

“The fresh air, the lack of congestion along Waterfront Park, the ability to consume eggnog without weight gain,” city transportation promoter Timo Forsberg explained in an email last week. “We want to encourage them to try it out.”

So the city is asking Portland bikers to use the hashtag #Resolve2Ride on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their decision to pedal through the January weather. The city’s Active Transportation Division will then use the list of folks who do to pull four winners of a “Winter Cruise send-off package” or a $25 bike shop gift card.

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PBOT looks to get back on track with PR moves and new ‘vision’

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Dylan Rivera (on the left) is now PBOT’s Communications
Manager and a member of the Director’s Team.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two recent moves by the Portland Bureau of Transportation show that the agency wants to fix its past PR woes, tighten up its communications strategy and set a clear(er) course for the future.

On Tuesday, PBOT announced that existing media spokesperson Dylan Rivera (a former reporter at The Oregonian) would be the new Communications Manager for the bureau, overseeing a team of three staffers. They’ve also hired former Politifact reporter for The Oregonian Ryan Kost. And yesterday, the City published a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a consultant to help them create a two-year strategic plan that, “defines PBOT’s vision statement, mission statement and guiding principles.”

This is a big deal. (more…)

Portland takes note as NACTO releases ‘Urban Street Design Guide’

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Screenshot from NACTO website.

The National Asssociation of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) released their Urban Street Design Guide yesterday. The new guide is being hailed by its creators as, “a blueprint for the 21st century streetscape” and it couldn’t come at a better time for Portland. (more…)

Two PBOT job openings will shape our transportation vision

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Sullivan's Gulch Corridor Project First Open House-5-4
Former PBOT Planning Division Manager Paul Smith,
standing, was a key figure in drawing up plans like
the Sullivan’s Gulch Corridor project.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A pair of key job openings, one very large and one quite small, could help the Portland Bureau of Transportation pivot into an agency that, at every level, prioritizes the movement of people instead of the movement of cars.

Or the other way around.

The big position is the city’s transportation planning manager, a role recently vacated by Paul Smith. As head of the team that sets big priorities for the city’s streets and then convenes stakeholders to work out specific plans to change them, the new planning manager will set an important tone for the office.

New PBOT Director Leah Treat said in an interview with BikePortland last week that upon joining the department, she personally rewrote the hiring description to fit her goal of finding “an unconventional person” for the role.

(more…)

City will celebrate one year, one million bike trips over Hawthorne Bridge

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Hawthorne Bridge bike counter hits 1 million-7
Bike trips are worth celebrating.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) plans on making some noise about the success of cycling on the Hawthorne Bridge. To toast the upcoming one-year anniversary of the automated bicycle counter and the 1 millionth trip of 2013, PBOT is hosting a special “Breakfast on the Bridges” event this Friday (7/26).

When the counter reached 1 million trips back in April, we wondered why there wasn’t any fanfare. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to tout cycling, but the City didn’t make a peep. Perhaps now that the bureau seems to be finally settling in with two new faces at the helm (Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and new Director Leah Treat), they are ready to get their cycling groove back.
(more…)

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