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Portland Police now making Vision Zero part of standard procedure

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
ppbsign

Just two days after the Chief of the Police Bureau spoke at the kickoff of Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force, we just noticed one small — yet important — change in how they operate.

Early this morning there was a fatal traffic incident in northeast Portland. Someone driving a car crashed into a garbage truck at 49th and Prescott and did not survive the collision. As they always do following one of these tragic episodes, the Police Bureau’s public information officer broadcasted a press release with the details.

I always scan these releases whether they include a bicycle operator or not. This morning as I read I noticed something new at the end of the release: (more…)

Portland’s Vision Zero kickoff brings new faces to the table

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
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Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force and partners.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Usually when we talk about preventing road injuries and deaths we have the usual suspects around the table — biking and walking advocates and transportation agency staffers. The power of Vision Zero lies in its ability to broaden the circle of concern about traffic safety. (more…)

Mayor Hales will kick off ‘Vision Zero Safety Task Force’ today

Monday, August 17th, 2015
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Mayor Hales at a bike safety press conference in June.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Today in East Portland we’ll get our first look at how serious Mayor Charlie Hales is about Vision Zero. He’s set to announce the Vision Zero Task Force as well as strategies and actions he and other leaders will work on to put weight on the bones of his promises to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

As we reported last month, Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan will be a city-wide approach to traffic safety that will go far and beyond work already being done by the Bureau of Transportation.

Today’s announcement will take place at the headquarters of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) at SE 82nd and Division. PBOT says the event will the, “Announcement of a major step forward in the community-wide effort to achieve Vision Zero.” (more…)

Vision Bear-o in Yosemite National Park

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
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Slowed me down.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Traffic violence in America knows no boundaries.

Even in our national parks, which are set aside as sanctuaries for wildlife, road authorities are forced to address this issue. In Yosemite National Park, where I spent eight days earlier this month on a family vacation, the National Parks Service estimates that over a dozen black bears are killed each year after as a result of park visitors who run into them with their cars. In 2010, the NPS reported 28 “vehicle-bear collisions.”

To “increase visitor awareness of the high frequency of vehicle-animal collisions” and encourage people to drive more carefully, the NPS started an awareness campaign in 2007. It consists of roadside signs and posters throughout the park that feature a red bear and the simple phrase, “Speeding Kills Bears.” The signs are placed in locations where the animals have been hit. They’re like ghost bikes for bears. (more…)

Across Oregon, traffic fatalities abruptly return almost to pre-recession levels

Friday, July 31st, 2015

For Oregon’s roads, the first seven months of 2015 have been the deadliest since 2008.

(more…)

Portland aims to finish ‘Vision Zero Action Plan’ by October 2016

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
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PBOT’s Vision Zero logo.

At the same time 1,000 people were rallying for Vision Zero in the streets of New York City last night, Portland’s active transportation advocates and influencers were in a meeting learning about how our city plans to move forward on the issue.

Last month we shared what steps Mayor Charlie Hales and the Bureau of Transportation are taking to make good on their commitments to Vision Zero. And last night, PBOT’s Operations & Safety Manager Gabriel Graff, shared a presentation about Vision Zero with members of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. (more…)

New York City sparks a movement with Vision Zero vigil

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Vision Zero Vigil with Families for Safe Streets (Union Square) by Streetfilms

(more…)

After 90 years, American cities are again redefining independence

Friday, July 3rd, 2015
Sunday Parkways: Just a slice of alternative history.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Sometime in the 1920s, the American auto industry worked very hard and very consciously to achieve a great victory: they successfully associated their product with freedom.

A machine that had been developed to power farm implements and long-distance travel became a way for the wealthy, and gradually for the less wealthy, to zoom and roar right through the middle of cities.

As documented by history professor Peter Norton’s 2008 book Fighting Traffic (and many links over the years in BikePortland’s Monday Roundup), many Americans — maybe most of them — didn’t see this as a blow in favor of freedom; just the opposite. They saw it as a takeover of city streets. Even in a world where many more people died of disease and violence than they do today, the public was shocked by the notion that a person’s freedom to zoom down a street could be more important than a child’s freedom to play in it.

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At City Hall rally, demonstrators demand action for safer streets

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
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City Council members heard calls for safer streets loud and clear this morning.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Brittany Gratreak

If the 75 or so Portlanders who came to City Hall this morning to kick off a full day of protests could be said to be speaking for any single person, it might as well have been one of the people there: Brittany Gratreak.

On April 8, the 22-year-old Portland State University student was riding her bike to school in Northeast Broadway’s bike lane when a man driving to work accelerated across Broadway from the south, seizing a gap in auto traffic but not considering the fact that he might run into something more fragile than metal. He did.

Gratreak was hit at a 90-degree angle, thrown from her bicycle and knocked unconscious. Once she woke up and received insurance information from the man who’d hit her, she decided to save money by calling a friend, rather than an ambulance, for a ride to the hospital.

She didn’t know at the time that by not paying for an ambulance ride, she was avoiding Portland’s little-known trigger for a police investigation. Two months later, Gratreak remains in physical therapy.

(more…)

All talk? Here are the actions the City of Portland is taking toward Vision Zero

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
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Mayor Hales just asked his 8,000 employees to sign it.

The Vision Zero ball is officially rolling in Portland.
(more…)