safe routes to school

New BTA policy looks to make its biking advocacy more racially equitable

by on November 12th, 2015 at 9:08 am

diego hernandez
Diego Hernandez, a Reynolds School District board member running for the state legislature, speaks at a BTA event Tuesday advocating for Metro to fund safer streets in East Multnomah County through a regional Safe Routes to School program.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s largest biking advocacy group has, for the first time, created a written policy to help it fight racial disparities in transportation.

“The reality of Portland is that while we are one of the whitest cities in America, it’s not going to be a white city forever.”
— Rob Sadowsky, BTA

As the most bikeable areas of Portland grow even whiter and many less bikeable areas grow even more diverse, the group says it needs to focus more on building “a community where everyone from all racial backgrounds has access to safe, healthy, and affordable transportation options.”

“The reality of Portland is that while we are one of the whitest cities in America, it’s not going to be a white city forever,” Executive Director Rob Sadowsky said Wednesday. “Over half of Portland Public Schools students already are students of color.”


Safe routes to school coalition takes message to east county tonight

by on November 10th, 2015 at 1:16 pm

The flyer for the event was written in four languages.

Tonight in eastern Multnomah County an unusual cast of characters will gather to speak out in support of safer routes to school. I say unusual because biking and walking advocacy doesn’t often happen east of I-205.

The event tonight is being organized by the For Every Kid Coalition in partnership with the Community Alliance of Tenants.

This coalition is pressuring regional politicians and policymakers to dedicated more funding toward Safe Routes to School. Specifically, they want $15 million in federal “flexible funds” to go toward the program. The effort is one of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s five main advocacy campaigns that emerged after federal set-asides for the Safe Routes program have all but dried up.

Safe routes coalition: Too many kids unable to join Walk and Bike to School Day

by on October 12th, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Ride Along with the Stedman Family-5
Safer infrastructure would shift this traffic equation.
(Photo @ J. Maus/BikePortland)

By a scan of headlines and social media feeds, last week’s International Walk and Bike to School Day was a big success. But the full picture reveals a more sobering truth: The vast majority of kids didn’t walk or bike to school.

Legislators’ letter urges Metro to fund regional Safe Routes to School program

by on October 8th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Eight state legislators are chiming in their support of regional government Metro creating a regional Safe Routes to School program.

The proposal, which comes from a coalition of local transportation, health and justice advocacy groups, already has formal backing from the cities of Beaverton, Tigard, Milwaukie and Forest Grove, as well as the Beaverton School Board. It’s currently on track to become a major public issue next spring.

The idea is to dedicate some of the increasingly flexible federal transportation money that flows through Metro to giving elementary schools throughout the region an option to get a few classes in safe biking and walking, and to focus money for better crosswalks, sidewalks and bikeways around the same schools.


PBOT: School relocation will mean more auto traffic on North Flint

by on August 25th, 2015 at 9:03 am

Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-8
Traffic on Flint at Broadway.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A popular route for bicycling will change a lot when school starts later this week.

On Thursday the currently vacant school on North Flint Avenue just south of Russell will become the temporary home for Faubion School. Faubion (which serves kindergarten through eighth grade) will move from their northeast Portland location while their school is rebuilt over the course of the next two years.

Flint is a popular connection between the bike lanes N Vancouver Ave and N Broadway. The move means that what used to be a quiet backstreet for thousands of bike riders each day will see a lot more auto traffic. (more…)

Milwaukie and Tigard call for regional Safe Routes to School funding

by on March 30th, 2015 at 10:57 am

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s campaign to get walking and biking education and infrastructure to public schools across the Portland metro area got two strong boosts this month.

In successive unanimous council resolutions, the suburban cities of Milwaukie and Tigard voted on March 17 and 24 to ask the Metro regional government to dedicate funding to programs like the ones currently enjoyed by many Portland elementary and middle schools.

“Our goal is for Tigard to be the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities live healthy, interconnected lives,” Tigard Mayor John Cook said in a BTA news release. “Providing a safe route to school for every kid is essential to the health and safety of our community.”

Various Milwaukie and Tigard residents had more to say in the BTA’s release: (more…)

PBOT looks to hire ‘high profile’ Equity and Inclusion Manager

by on February 24th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Bike to School Day in NoPo-13
Making sure school investments are fairly
distributed is a big part of PBOT’s equity strategy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has taken a major step toward being a more inclusive agency with the announcement today that they’re recruiting for a new position: Equity and Inclusion Manager.

The agency will pay over $107,000 for the right “change agent” they hope will fill a “high profile within the Bureau,” and, “make decisions impacting all areas and functions” of the 750 person bureau.

Equity is a major initiative not just within PBOT but across city bureaus. The Portland Police Bureau hired their first-ever equity and diversity manager just last month. City initiative or not, PBOT has focused on equity for many years now and the effort has found new life as a priority for Director Leah Treat.

Regional Safe Routes program is one of many winners from Metro grants

by on February 23rd, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Mayor Adams at Safe Routes to School ride-2
A Safe Routes to School event in Portland, 2010.
Other cities will get regional funding
for the programs thanks to new Metro grants.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With the federal government’s support for early biking education shrinking, the Portland area’s regional government is making a significant investment.

Safe Routes to School programs in Tigard, Beaverton and across the region are among the winners of $2.1 million in Metro grants announced Monday. Other highlights include a new active transportation staffer for Portland Community College, a bicycle tourism initiative in the Gresham area and continued support for the City of Portland’s marketing of biking, walking and public transit.

The $2.1 million in two-year grants were chosen from among $4.6 million requested by various nonprofits and government agencies around the region.


The SW Portland schools with the most walking and biking

by on February 11th, 2015 at 11:01 am

Bike racks at Rieke Elementary School this morning.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

If you want a foot-friendly family neighborhood in Southwest, it’s hard to beat Hillsdale or Hayhurst.


As Congress drops Safe Routes to School, advocates ask Metro to step in

by on August 26th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

A Safe Routes to School ride in Portland in 2010. A new BTA campaign suggests tapping federal funding allocated to the Metro regional government to offer the program in suburban schools, too.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Second in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

Over the last two years, people trying to reverse the spectacular 40-year slide in the number of kids who bike and walk to school have come to a gradual realization: dedicated federal funding for the Safe Routes to School program is probably gone for good.