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State’s $1.9 million gift says it: flashing beacons are the safety tool of the moment

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
An active warning beacon in North Portland.
(Photo: City of Portland)

Two state legislators’ announcement this week that $1.9 million from the state’s general fund would pay for new flashing beacons and traffic islands at 18 East Portland crosswalks communicated two things about Portland streets.

First: that street safety is one of State Rep. Shemia Fagan’s core issues, something she’s consistently putting political capital behind. Second: that rectangular rapid-flash beacons, which communicate a person’s desire to cross without using red lights to stop traffic completely, have become one of the city’s go-to safety tools.

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UPDATED: ‘Outer Powell’ project gets $4.9 million for street safety improvements

Thursday, August 1st, 2013
People walking - SE Powell at 93rd-1
Walking on SE Powell Blvd is set to get easier thanks to funding recently approved by the Oregon Legislature.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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State Rep secures $3.6 million in state funding for East Portland sidewalks

Monday, July 8th, 2013
SE 136th Press Conference-7
State Rep. Shemia Fagan at a pres
s conference in April.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

State Representative Shemia Fagan has delivered $3.6 million in state capital funds to build sidewalks and crosswalks in East Portland.

At a press conference back in April, Rep. Fagan announced her intentions to pursue this funding, which she saw as her duty following the tragic death of five-year-old Morgan Maynard-Cook on February 28th. Not only did Rep. Fagan believe the state had a duty to build the sidewalks in light of the grief experienced by Maynard-Cook’s mother Connie Ruiz, she also did it to provide safer road conditions for the 2,000 students who attend schools in the area.

“All of these kids need a safe route to school,” she said at that press conference, “And these families are not just Portlanders, they are Oregonians and we owe them as well.”

Here’s an excerpt from a statement put out by Fagan’s office today: (more…)

East Portland and cycling’s “downtown culture”

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
SE 136th Press Conference-7
Oregon State Rep. Shemia Fagan.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think out Loud radio show hosted a conversation about “the future of bicycling” yesterday. The show was set up to discuss the recent release of reports by the City Club of Portland and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Leaders from both groups were in studio and the host also welcomed Oregon State Representative Shemia Fagan onto the show via telephone. Rep. Fagan — whose district stretches east from SE 122nd Ave through Clackamas County all the way to Highway 26 — was asked how she felt upon hearing about all the talk of bicycle funding and projects.

I think Fagan’s answers deserve a wider audience so I’ve shared the entire exchange below (you can also listen to the whole show here):

Think out Loud Host David Miller:

“When you hear people like Craig [Beebe, from City Club] and Rob [Sadowsky, from the BTA] talking about increasing bicycle-friendly infrastructure as a way to have pedestrians and cars and bikers all play well together, what goes through your mind?”

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