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With pilot project, City will turn Naito Parkway into public space for all

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
naito-lead
It’s coming!
(Graphic: Better Block PDX)

Starting this Friday morning, the non-profit Better Block PDX, the Bureau of Transportation and its commissioner-in-charge Steve Novick will embark on perhaps the boldest experiment we’ve seen in years: the creation of public space on Naito Parkway in what are currently standard travel lanes.
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Support builds for walking and biking improvements on east side of Naito Parkway (updated)

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
busy walk path
Even where it isn’t blocked, Naito’s existing goatpath often spills over during festivals.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A week after Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s office called out Naito Parkway for failing to provide “a minimum level of safety for the traveling public” along Waterfront Park, other central-city institutions are weighing in.

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As festival season begins, Naito’s bike lanes are walkers’ only refuge

Thursday, May 7th, 2015
bike+passing+stroller
Not the best place for a stroller.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Another summer is on the way, and the story is familiar: Waterfront Park has become such a success that people on foot are spilling onto the bed of Naito Parkway, the five-lane street that runs beside it.

During festivals like the Cinco de Mayo event that wrapped up Tuesday, the park is fenced off by barriers that are typically dragged right up to the curb, forcing the many people walking to the festival to use the bike lane — and forcing the many people biking on Naito directly into car traffic.

But though the problem isn’t new, more people seem to be wondering this spring if something could be done about it.

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The Friday Profile: Steve Novick, the accidental Southwest Portlander

Friday, February 13th, 2015
novick
Portland city commissioner and Multnomah neighborhood resident Steve Novick, photographed at Baker & Spice in Hillsdale this morning.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Portland’s transportation commissioner arrived in town, he was almost a caricature of a newcomer to the Northwest.

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Comment of the Week: Commissioner Steve Novick on the virtues of taxes

Friday, January 16th, 2015
Bike Walk Vote candidate party-10
Steve Novick at a Bike Walk Vote
candidate party in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With friends like Joe Cortright, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick doesn’t need enemies.

That’s the case Novick made this morning in a sharp response in the comments beneath a widely circulated column we published by Cortright, a local urban economist.

Cortright, who like Novick comes from a generally leftish perspective, had made eight arguments about transportation revenue in the context of Portland’s effort to create a new, local street fund. In the comment below, Novick raises thoughtful objections to two of them.

I have two main problems with what my friend Joe Cortright said in his recent column. First, he’s using generic arguments against a specific proposal while largely ignoring what the proposal actually is. Second, he’s adopting the rhetoric of his political opponents to attack spending on projects that he actually isn’t opposed to.

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At Employers Bike Summit, Novick praises health benefits of bike investments

Friday, May 16th, 2014
Commissioner Steve Novick speaks Friday at
Regence headquarters.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland should be proud of its 6.1 percent bike commuting share, the highest of any large city, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick said at a summit Friday that gave local employers advice on supporting bike commuters.

“We beat Madison,” the city council member said. “We beat Minneapolis.”

The commissioner also returned to the subject he cites most frequently as a reason to support bike improvements: the local economy as a whole saves money through lower health costs when people build physical activity into their lives.

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Novick wants $1 million from general fund for beacons at 15 crosswalks

Friday, April 18th, 2014
An active warning beacon in North Portland.
(Photo: City of Portland)

The City of Portland’s general fund has a few million dollars to spare, and Commissioner Steve Novick is mounting an unusual campaign to spend some of it on safer street crossings.

In a city where you’re twice as likely to die from traffic as from homicide, Novick and other backers say making roads safer is the most cost-effective way to improve public safety.

In an interview Friday, Novick called out a few police operations in particular as having lower returns on investment.
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PBOT director says new action plan will include ‘Vision Zero’ commitment

Thursday, February 13th, 2014
PBOT Director Leah Treat
PBOT director Leah Treat.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland will follow in the steps of Chicago and New York City by setting a schedule to completely eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries no matter the cost, the city’s transportation director said in a new interview.

In a two-year action plan a city contractor is about to begin preparing, “Vision Zero will be incorporated for certain,” Portland Bureau of Transportation director Leah Treat said in an interview with the KBOO Bike Show broadcast Feb. 5.

“Vision Zero,” as the philosophy is known, was first introduced in Sweden in 1997 and has spread to several U.S. cities in recent years. In 2012 it was embraced by the man Treat describes as her mentor, former Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, and it’s the centerpiece of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transportation policy.

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Novick, Oregon Walks, and The Oregonian weigh in on transportation spending priorities

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
SE 136th Press Conference-1
Steve Novick is setting the stage
for the upcoming debate about
transportation spending.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If The Oregonian’s opinion pages are any indication, the City’s campaign to persuade Portlanders to help fund transportation investments is heating up.

On New Year’s Day, the leader of a local walking advocacy group called on Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales to step up for street safety. Then on Saturday (1/11), Novick used The Oregonian’s opinion section to publish his plea for more money to spend on “investments in sidewalks, flashing beacons and other pedestrian amenities.” One day prior to Novick’s article, the Oregonian Editorial Board shared their perspective on what our transportation spending priorities should be

Novick’s article comes as walking advocates pressure the city to step up in light of the 10 people who died while walking in 2013 and while the Portland Bureau of Transportation assembles the pieces of a major campaign to raise new revenue.

Oregon Walks president Aaron Brown also published a guest article in The Oregonian that referred to the deaths as a “public health epidemic.” Brown’s piece opened with, “In Portland, you should be able to walk your dog across the street without fear that you won’t make it to the other side.”

In his piece on Saturday, Novick said he agrees with Brown.
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Novick asks Santa for $1.3 billion for streets and talks of new fee for infrastructure

Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick took his message about the city’s need for
transportation funding inside the Lloyd Center Mall on Thursday.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Saying that “repetition, repetition, repetition” is the way to get the message to voters that Portland needs more money for street repairs and improvements, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick held a press event Thursday to formally ask Santa for help.

“We know that people are tapped out, and it’s going to be a big lift to ask people for more money,” Novick said. “So we want to demonstrate in both serious and playful ways that we’re doing everything we can to avoid having to ask people for more money.”

So Novick stopped by Lloyd Center Mall Thursday to mail a letter to Santa Claus with a wishlist of $1.3 billion in street projects, about $1 billion of it for paving and maintenance and the rest for a combination of improvements to multimodal transportation and freight mobility.

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