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Portland parents launch national Vision Zero PAC to push ‘traffic violence apologists’ out of office

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
CA01
Chris Anderson and Amy Subach, with their two children.
(Photo: Megan Gray via Subach)

A Northeast Portland couple launched a political action committee this week that aims to push politicians out of office if they support the status quo on American streets.

Chris Anderson and Amy Subach say they were inspired by a local electoral win last year and empowered by, among other things, participating in this month’s die-in demonstration outside the Oregon Department of Transportation.

“I think that there absolutely needs to be the kind of advocacy organization for Vision Zero that’s not-modally-specific and nonconfrontational,” said Anderson. “Sort of like the BTA, but for drivers too.”

“I’m not interested in being that organization,” added Anderson, an entrepreneur who co-founded the software company Couchbase. “The way to get people that need to change their tone to change their tone is to be a takedown organization.”

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New bill in Salem would create legislative Vision Zero task force

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
buczek walking
SW Barbur Boulevard, a state-run street.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Under a bill due for its first reading in Salem this afternoon, the state of Oregon would create a new task force to “examine strategies to reduce and eliminate traffic crashes … by a specific target date.”

House Bill 2736 would be “kind of the first step in the conversation” about a statewide Vision Zero policy, Bicycle Transportation Alliance Director Rob Sadowsky said in an interview Wednesday.

In addition to the Oregon Department of Transportation, the task force will include representatives of the Oregon Health Authority and State Police.

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Portland has mapped every reported traffic injury from 2004-13

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
portland all modes map
Ten years of traffic injuries by car, foot and bike, mapped on the city’s Vision Zero site. Black-rimmed circles represent fatalities; larger circles represent multiple injuries or fatalities at the same spot.
(Click for interactive site)

Various organizations have tried their hand over the years at mapping Portland’s traffic-safety hot spots. Now, the city has created a map of its own.

It might be the best one yet.

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In 1934, The Oregonian’s ‘Let’s Quit Killing’ campaign declared a war on traffic deaths

Friday, April 17th, 2015
drive safely
The citywide campaign, which asked residents to pledge to drive safely and recruited citizens to report illegal driving behavior to the police, was created by The Oregonian and the Oregon State Motor association.
(Newspaper images: Oregonian archives at Multnomah County Library)

Slow-moving, prosperous and desirable arterial streets are nothing new; they’re just a return to the traditional ideas of our great-grandparents.

And here in Portland, a citywide goal to take public responsibility for traffic fatalities isn’t new, either. In the 1930s, as they felt their city changing fast, our great-grandparents’ generation responded with what became a nationally-known campaign that was strikingly similar to Vision Zero or the Dutch Stop de Kindermoord movement of the 1970s.

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Comment of the Week: Does Vision Zero require gravel freeways?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
speed of light
A freeway outside Delft, Netherlands.
(Photo: Edwin van Buuringen)

The most important concept in American streets advocacy right now seems to suggest that all rapid car travel should be abolished.

That’s the perspective of BikePortland reader Tait, who argued semi-satirically this week that if preventing one person’s death is truly more important than fulfilling everyone else’s desires, maybe we should cut freeway speeds to 35 mph, or even lower.

In a comment beneath our post Tuesday about some Oregon legislators’ effort to raise cars’ freeway speed limit from 65 to 75 mph, Tait had this to say:

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Bike/walk advocates unveil plan for Oregon to zero out road deaths

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
vz cover
The cover of the new report.

Two Portland-based advocacy organizations have released Oregon’s first detailed proposal for a “Vision Zero” policy that they say could completely eliminate road deaths and serious injuries.

The plan from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance describes itself as “A Unifying Vision for Street Safety for Oregon.”

The two groups assembled the report with input from officials at various government agencies, including the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation. It’s the first big component of a coordinated campaign by the two organizations, part of a national effort to spread the Vision Zero concept.

What’s inside? Maybe the most significant ingredient here is the five-page list of specific recommendations at the end. Here are nine particularly interesting selections from that list.

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Q&A: NYC’s top biking advocate wants you to talk more about death

Friday, March 27th, 2015
paulswhite
Paul Steely White at the 2010
National Bike Summit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Talking about “livable streets” is out; talking about “safe streets” is in.

That’s the advice from Paul Steely White, executive director of the country’s largest local transportation advocacy group. The executive director of New York City-based Transportation Alternatives since 2004, White was a major force behind the city’s emergence as a national leader in reimagining streets as pleasant public spaces.

But as he heads to Portland for a keynote address Monday to the Oregon Active Transportation Summit, White is urging his fellow believers in livable streets to readjust their message when talking to politicians and the public. We spoke by phone on Thursday about why and how his organization has put Vision Zero, the campaign to completely eliminate road deaths, at the middle of their message.

Are you on a national Vision Zero tour, or is this a one-off thing?

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Two perfect examples of the attitude Vision Zero is supposed to change

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
jon cox
AASHTO President Jon Cox before a congressional
committee Tuesday.
(Screen capture via Rep. Rick Larsen)

Vision Zero is maybe the hottest subject in American street advocacy right now, but there’s still quite a lot of disagreement about what exactly it means.

As Portland adopts an official policy to prevent all road deaths and safety advocates begin a push for state and other local governments to follow that lead, we’ve just gotten a couple very clear examples of what Vision Zero doesn’t mean.

One comes from a hearing Tuesday in Washington D.C. The other comes from a state engineer quoted yesterday in The Oregonian.

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Congressmen Blumenauer and Buchanan introduce $30 million ‘vision zero’ grant programs

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
My ride with Earl Blumenauer-1.jpg
Blumenauer would like to be safer on the road.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the same week that the nation’s bike advocates roll onto Capitol Hill for the National Bike Summit, U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) have introduced the Vision Zero Act of 2015 (H.R. 1274).

The bill would set aside grants worth $30 million for cities to plan and implement road safety projects.

In a statement, Blumenauer’s office said the bill is a recognition that “communities across the country are recognizing that there is only one number of acceptable deaths on our streets: zero.” The goal of the legislation is ambitious: “eliminating all transportation-related fatalities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists and passengers.”

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City’s new 2-year transportation ‘workplan’ steps up to Vision Zero

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
pbot-planVZdetail
This is PBOT’s biggest Vision Zero commitment to date.
(Detail from PBOT’s Portland Progress: A 2-Year Workplan.

The City of Portland has released a new plan aimed at re-energizing their Bureau of Transportation.
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