A new Portland-based transportation activism group, the People’s Department of Transportation (as in PDOT, not to be confused with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, PBOT), has released their first video and press release.
I’ve heard murmurs about this group coming together but now it’s official (read their introductory blog post at PDOT.org). The video released today features Elly Blue (former managing editor of BikePortland) talking with Portlanders about a new wall erected by an “activist organization calling itself the Oregon Department of Transportation” along 82nd Avenue.
Here’s more from a statement released with the video:
“The wall was completed shortly before the People’s Department of Transportation (PDOT) was scheduled to begin work on the mid-block crosswalk and pedestrian signal preferred by local residents and transit users in a lengthy public process…
The wall runs down the middle of East 82nd Ave, dividing the street neatly down its length between the two major intersections of Jonesmere and Wasco Streets, where the street crosses the I-84 freeway. The wall is about four feet high and resembles the barrier on a divided highway.”
If you’re confused, you’re not the only one. This is an interesting mix of satire, activism and digital journalism. It might help to recall the anti-CRC project infomercials that surfaced in March 2009. Some of the same folks behind those videos helped make this one happen.
This video highlights a very interesting situation out on 82nd. The interviews with locals, combined with facts from Ms. Blue definitely warrant attention. Interestingly, ODOT’s Region 1 Director Jason Tell featured this “wall” in a slide at the Transportation Safety Summit last night and I think I heard at least one “boo” from the crowd (
I’ve got an email into Tell for more information I have heard from ODOT and will post a follow-up story soon).
Download the press release (37kb PDF) and watch the video below.