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City of Portland will take ‘deep dive’ into data to assess neighborhood greenway system

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
A family ride from NoPo to Sellwood-18
Greenways use speed bumps to calm traffic,
diverters to reduce volumes, signals to cross busy
streets and sharrow markings and signs to guide users
through the city.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

As cities from Seattle to St. Louis to Louisville work to duplicate Portland’s “neighborhood greenway” concept on their residential streets, Portland is giving its trend-setting system a closer look.

A team of experts in the city’s transportation bureau will spend part of their time in the next few months looking closely at trends in how people use the system while biking, walking and driving.

A public report is due in early 2015.

City Active Transportation Division Manager Margi Bradway said Wednesday that the goal of this report, which she predicted will receive national attention once it’s complete, is to inform an upcoming policy conversation here in Portland about how best to keep improving the greenway system.

(more…)

Portland legislators launch effort to put 82nd Ave under PBOT control

Friday, November 7th, 2014
east 82nd
(Photo: Elly Blue)

It’s looking as if the 2015 legislative session could bring a change that Portland transportation advocates have dreamed of, without much hope, for years.

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PBOT, via blog comments, responds to “difficulties” of Williams project

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Williams Avenue-1
Williams and it’s brand new, left-side bike lane has been a hot issue this week.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“I ride N Williams every day and am experiencing some difficulties myself.”
— Leah Treat, Director of PBOT

This week marked a very positive milestone for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT): They seem to be opening up a bit about joining the comment section here on BikePortland. I think this is a great development because it shows they understand the value of direct online engagement with their customers (us) and it could be a sign that they’re gaining confidence around the bicycling issue.
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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.
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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.
(more…)

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.

(more…)

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?

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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…)

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