Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

First look at ‘Eye to Eye’ banner; campaign will launch tomorrow

Posted by on August 12th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

A coalition of organizations in Portland, Eugene, and Springfield will launch the “Eye to Eye campaign” with a press conference and events tomorrow morning.

Here’s a first look at the ad banner that will be appearing on TriMet buses and in print ads for the next few months:

According to a statement released by the BTA this afternoon, the Eye to Eye campaign is a:

“…multi-city campaign aimed at all road users to foster a culture of awareness and respect on our shared paths and roadways and to make the streets of our communities safer for everyone. Along with conveying greater awareness and respect, the Eye to Eye message will serve as a banner over information about specific actions road users can take to be safer.”

The statement also details that “Seeing Eye to Eye means,”:

— Looking for, seeing, making eye contact with, and communicating with other road users;
— Seeing each pedestrian, cyclist, and driver as the individuals they are: our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and fellow community members;
— Having empathy for other road users, trying to understand the experience of being in someone else’s shoes/bike saddle/driver’s seat.
— Recognizing what we as individual road users can do to keep our streets and paths safe for everyone.

The Eye to Eye campaign will consist of events, print and transit ads, Public Service Announcements (PSA), and information posted to a new website at SeeingEyetoEye.org (right now it forwards to the BTA’s website).

Among the events mentioned in the statement include Kidical Mass family rides, a crosswalk awareness action at Ladd Circle in Southeast Portland, a “bike light giveaway and education with the Portland Police Bureau”, safe biking workshops, and a commercial truck awareness event in coordination with the Portland Water Bureau.

Partners in the campaign in Eugene and Portland include The Brett Jarolimek Fund, The City of Eugene, The City of Portland, TriMet, Commuter Solutions, GEARS (Greater Eugene Area Riders), Portland Police, ODOT, and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition.

Representatives from those groups will hold simultaneous press conferences in both cities tomorrow morning at 8:30am. Stay tuned for coverage from that event.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • a.O August 12, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Beautiful. Walking a mile in another man\’s [sic] shoes definitely gives you some perspective. Now if only we could get enforcement of the laws designed to protect the vulnerable roadway users…

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  • Steve (not steve) August 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Way to go PDOT!!!

    Commence graphic bashing…

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  • Eileen August 12, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    I love the theme of this campaign on many levels. I crossed a busy street walking with both kids and a friend the other day. I kind of had to go between cars because most of the cars had pulled through the intersection (instead of stopping before it like they should) and it was an unmarked crosswalk. I did it quickly and safely by making eye contact with each driver before stepping in front of their car (and holding onto each kid by their arm so they were close and couldn\’t get away). My friend was hugely impressed by my street crossing prowess. =) The eye contact I think is huge for safety. No one will run over or hit someone they see and if you make eye contact, you know they\’ve seen you.

    I also like the idea of re-personalizing it. That is the lovely thing about walking or being on bikes – the hellos and good mornings that are exchanged between strangers.

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  • Kt August 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Eileen, I agree with you.

    Making eye contact reinforces the idea that we are individuals, connected.

    And +1 to re-personalizing the commute! I enjoy greeting people and being greeted… what a great way to start the day, connecting with people.

    I\’m excited about this new campaign; how do we get other cities, such as Tigard, Beaverton, Tualatin, etc to join in?

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  • Ethan August 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    What is GEARs? And why does their logo look like Shift\’s

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  • Joe August 12, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    How can i get this going in Wilsonville? wife and kids and I almost got run down this evening after a very nice park visit.
    * flagged down a wilsonville cop * all he said is its 35 mph thought here.. This is a great move i feel, but lets get all of Oregon rolling out this message!

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  • Crash N. Burns August 12, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I like it, but actual \”eye to eye\”?
    This time of year I almost always have on sunglasses, as do most motorists. In the winter I wear clear lenses that are usually wet with rain…

    I\’d like to see a campaign like:

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  • heather andrews August 12, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    GEARs=Greater Eugene Area Riders

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  • Tweety August 12, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Yessindeedee, Joe – #6 post! I agree whole-heartedly that we should get ALL of Oregon involved in this great campaign. I really like the \”we are all people\” message.

    TJ in Beaverton

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  • Daniel F. August 12, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    GEARs = Greater Eugene Area Riders (www.eugenegears.org).

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  • Hillsons August 13, 2008 at 1:11 am


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  • Hillsons August 13, 2008 at 1:12 am

    (positive cheer)

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  • Dave August 13, 2008 at 7:39 am

    What about darkly tinted car windows?
    What are Oregon or city of Portland laws regarding those? They make eye to eye contact impossible regardless of whether I\’m cycling, walking or driving.

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  • bahueh August 13, 2008 at 9:30 am

    putting them on Tri-met busses..now that\’s ironic…

    make it part of the driver licensing process or secondary public education and I\’ll be impressed…until then, sorry folks, just another band-aid in lieu of actual laws that stiffly penalize drivers for killing cyclists or not yielding right-of-way…

    the message is a good one..its the effectiveness I strongly doubt…

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  • Steve Hoyt-McBeth August 13, 2008 at 9:58 am

    #2 Steve. This is BTA\’s campaign, though PDOT warmly embraces it.

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  • KT August 13, 2008 at 10:02 am

    +1 on seeing it in the rest of at least the metropolitan area….

    Or is BTA only Portland?

    C\’mon, Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton, Wilsonville, Lake Oswego, West Linn….

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  • tonyt August 13, 2008 at 10:08 am


    Here\’s my question though.

    Will that \”crosswalk awareness action\” take place at marked crosswalks?? Seems like that\’s where they always take place.

    If so, it only further reinforces the notion that drivers only have to yield at marked crosswalks. How about some \”actions\” at unmarked crosswalks to drive the point (no pun intended) that Oregon law REQUIRES drivers, bikers too, to yield to peds at ALL public intersections. (ORS 801.220)

    Essentially, crosswalks exist at any public intersection. Of course if there are traffic control lights, then those have priority, but if there are not lights, peds have right of way.

    Awareness of the rights of pedestrians will increase general awareness, and we will all benefit from that.

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  • brian August 13, 2008 at 10:11 am

    This is so fluffy and lovely…

    We need significant and broad improvement in law enforcement. We need laws that that will protect vulnerable road users meaningful enforcement.

    The folks who need drivers-re-education don\’t read signs on buses. The don\’t even read speed limit signs or stop signs.

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  • FredLf August 13, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Great message/program, I really hope it reaches a lot of people. I\’ve said this before, but in my daily riding/driving/walking I\’ve found the greatest impediment to making eye-contact is when the driver is talking on a cell phone. They\’ll look right at you and just not \”see\” you. It\’s kind of like looking into the eyes of a zombie… (I\’m guessing)

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  • Elisabeth August 13, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Great campaign!

    Although it\’s great people are taking this campaign literally, i think it means less \”look at the other person right in their eyes\”, and more \”see things on the same page as them, and understand where they\’re coming from\”. Am I correct?

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  • Dante August 13, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Crashy #7:

    I\’ll fight you tooth-and-nail to keep my PowerBars! 😉

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  • El Biciclero August 13, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Inasmuch as education is good, this is a great start to getting everyone \”on the same page\” (\”in the same lane\”?) as far as responsible, attentive behavior on the roads. FredLf has a point that some vehicle operators are so much on auto-pilot/auto-targeting that anything other than another 4-or-more-wheeled vehicle does not fit the radar profile and will not be recognized/acknowledged regardless of visual contact.

    BUT, if this campaign gets people to even start training themselves to be on the lookout for dissimilar/more vulnerable road users, it will be a giant step forward.

    I hope there will be some sort of rights-and-responsibilities facet to the campaign just to clear up misconceptions that road users have about who has the right-of-way (or right to BE) where.

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  • BURR August 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    It seems like they still need a major motor vehicle oriented sponsor like AAA or the local Better World Club.

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  • bahueh August 13, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    BURR (#23) = smart man

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  • Blair August 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    They should make lawn signs. We could really spread the word that way.

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  • Eileen August 13, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Elisabeth – look up, it says what the campaign is about in italics above. I think it\’s that AND eye contact. It works on many levels which is what makes it so appealingly clever.=)

    And for all the cynics, I don\’t think anyone is suggesting that this campaign is going to solve all our problems, but getting people to pay attention and notice each other is one of our biggest problems right now.

    To Brian\’s comments (#18) – Of course you are right in some ways, but it\’s a start. Maybe the girlfriend or 8 year old son of the guy who doesn\’t read the signs will read the signs. I don\’t know where else to start. I don\’t think stronger law enforcement is the answer either. The latest research about behavior modification suggests that punishments (and even rewards) don\’t really work because they extinguish intrinsic motivation. Someone will respond to punishments and rewards, and even change behavior for a time (when they think you are looking) but they are doing it to avoid punishment or get a reward, not because they see the importance of it. Getting people to do the right thing for the right reasons is a tricky business.

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  • BURR August 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    switching to Ethan\’s logo would\’ve been a good start.


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  • Kristie August 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks to everyone for the really great feedback!

    I am especially moved by the requests for this campaign to be implemented everywhere in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

    The BTA, like non-profits everywhere, struggles with finding the resources (financial and people power) necessary to meet its goals and respond to requests for its services and advocacy.

    If you want to see this campaign expanded to more communities or sustained for the long haul (like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, for instance . . . social change takes time . . .), please consider joining the BTA (bta4bikes.org) or making a special contribution to the Eye to Eye campaign.

    If you have time to volunteer to help implement or expand this campaign, please send your ideas to the BTA at info[at]bta4bikes.org.

    There are a lot of people we need to reach and educate in order to improve safety conditions for those who choose to get around on a bike.

    You can be part of the solution by supporting this campaign with your ideas, time, or financial support.

    In the meantime, peaceful travels to you!

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  • jimbo August 16, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Where does Critical mass fit into this? Is it only the first 2 riders that have to make eye contact?

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