Showers Pass Warehouse Sale

People’s DOT issues call to action for 82nd Avenue event

Posted by on February 24th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

People’s DOT logo.
– Watch video below –

As a follow-up to their video and reporting on a new wall erected by the Oregon Department of Transportation on 82nd Avenue in Northeast Portland, fledgling activist group The People’s Department of Transportation has issued a “call to action” and recruitment video (watch it below) to garner attendees for a follow-up event.

According to a statement just released by the People’s DOT, this Friday during the evening rush hour teams of volunteers will help citizens cross 82nd Avenue at crosswalks at and near the transit center adjacent to the new wall. PDOT is encouraging people to show up dressed in costumes. An email recruiting volunteers to help with the action said, “suggested attire is an orange jumpsuit, formal dress, or a chicken suit.”

PDOT says they’re doing this follow-up action because the new wall, which replaced a median island, has made an “unsafe situation” for users of the transit center “worse.” Here’s more from their media advisory:

“An unsafe situation for the 10,000 daily users of the city’s third busiest transit center has been made worse by the replacement of a pedestrian crossing median with an 8 and a half foot tall wall down the middle of the street. The wall, billed as “public safety art” reduces sight lines, makes the street look and feel more like a high-speed freeway, and forces people to cross the street at unsafe crosswalks with limited time for crossing and cars turning at high speed.”

PDOT maintains that the wall was built “over the strong objections” of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association and in opposition to the neighborhood and business associations’ long term plans for the 82nd Avenue corridor.

For more background on this issue, including quotes from ODOT Region 1 Director Jason Tell and Portland Mayor Sam Adams, read my story, A view from other side of the “rogue wall” on 82nd.

Watch the PDOT recruitment video below:

PDOT Communique #2: PDOT Needs You! from Peoples DOT on Vimeo.

    People’s DOT 82nd Avenue Crossing Action
    When: Friday, February 26th, 4:30pm – 6:00pm
    Where: 82nd Ave Transit Center
    Who: The People’s Department of Transportation; local residents and transit users will be available for interviews; participants encouraged to show up in costume

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

43
Leave a Reply

avatar
42 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
AaronFAaronElly Blue (Contributor)Jason of Transit Riders UnionNoah Genda Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
cyclist
Guest
cyclist

I’m sure Elly appreciates you doing PR for her new website. I on the other hand don’t appreciate it much at all. This is the third time you’ve posted on the topic and it’s getting really old.

Have you noticed that the word “bike” or “bicycle” doesn’t appear anywhere on their website? Let me put it another way, if you Elly wasn’t running this thing do you really think you would have run three stories (with more surely to come) on it over the course of less than a week?

Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief)
Guest

Cyclist,

Thanks for your input. I value having other perspectives on editorial decisions. I remember your criticism about this last time… but I make the final decisions about what gets published here. My feeling is that this is news many readers will like to know about. Nowhere is it written and never have I ever made a promise that every single story I publish will have the words “bike” or “bicycle” in them.

Thanks.

The People's Department of Artistic License
Guest

Cyclist, The People do not appreciate your dismissal of the involvement of the other members of this DOT.

Don’t worry, The People will certainly be focusing on transportation infrastructure that relates to bicycling. In the meantime, The People suggest more bike riding for reducing your apparent high level of stress.

Elly Blue (Columnist)
Member

On a side note, I’m far from running the show here, though I did happen to be handiest the last two times an on-screen reporter was needed. Don’t worry, we’ll soon have an exciting new face for the organization — and she has a bit more on-air experience.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

Cyclist,

BikePortland, IMHO is more than a cycling blog (community?). It’s about alternative transportation issues (walking, cycling, mass transit, etc). All of us as non-cagers are in this together, be you on wheels, foot, segway, razor scooter, skateboard, or whatever.

I for one am extremely upset about this wall, and wouldn’t have known about it as soon as I have if BP hadn’t done a story on it.

The People's Department of Artistic License
Guest

Because ODOT has made this intersection even less safe to cross, PDOT has been forced to address pedestrian safety concerns.

Through our studies we have decided that the best way to address this problem in the short term is through volunteer crossing guard services.

Try riding your bike through the same area. If, against all odds, you survive, you may understand the relevance here.

Come out and help keep people safe with us cyclist, and you may discover a secret smile you didn’t know you had!

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

Elly: I wish you’d post under one name, posting under both Elly and “The People’s Department [etc]” makes it seem as if there are more people in the conversation than there actually are.

If you actually are two different people my apologies. The proximity of the first two posts and the content of the second led me to conclude that it was the same person.

skyc
Guest
skyc

While I’m not going to quit reading bikeportland over it, I do agree with #1 that these stories are getting old fast.

KJ
Guest
KJ

I’ll chime in on the other side and say I enjoy coverage of ped and other transit issues in addition to bike ones.
They are often entwined. I mean, for a simple example, sometimes I hop off my bike and walk it, becoming a ped. And sometimes I take my bike on transit.
It’s all connected, from my perspective.

At 82nd, if I needed to exit the MAX with my Bike, I would have to walk it up some stairs and walk it to a crosswalk and somehow found a safe street to ride on, making the ped infrastructure here just as valuable to me as a cyclist. I surely would not ride 82nd on my bike.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

I appreciate and support this organizations goals.

I’m wondering if I’ve missed the joke on the name People’s DOT. Maybe it’s just a generational thing but when I hear people’s anything the first thing that comes to mind is Communism.
I’m not here to argue against an economic framework, Communism, but to suggest that the people in power; representatives, senators and ODOT decision makers; are on the whole are probably older people that are going to have a knee-jerk reaction to the name “People’s Department of Transportation”. This subconscious reaction will most likely make the older set think of the Red Menace and have a negative reaction at the outset of any proposal. We were all trained to hate those commies that’d nuke us at any time.
Hopefully I’m the only one making this connection and that the marketing textbook that I read through was just blowing smoke. I’d like this People’s Department of Transportation to be successful.

RyNO Dan
Guest
RyNO Dan

I totally support 100% the coverage of pedestrian issues. (No one is forcing you to read the article – duh !) Linking the pedestrians cause to the other non-motorized issues can only strengthen the arguments and the movement.
Wanna get non-motorized mode share counted (and funded) correctly ? then start with the way-under-counted pedestrian split.
I still have a beef that bike users did not come out more forcefully in support of the hand-up-at-the-crosswalk bill.
Happy walking/cycling !!

Memo
Guest
Memo

I will just say that the logo reminds me of Rotary International

kitten
Guest
kitten

This is really interesting. I was going to comment on the content of the story but now the side story is just as comment-worthy!

I read BikePortland.org for all things related to alternative forms of transit, primarily cycling. I do NOT find this sudden interest in pedestrian advocacy an annoyance in the least! It is this narrow-minded one mode thinking which got us into the mess we are in today. It will take all of them to get us out.

While I do undertand the inclusion of these matters useful, I do not find the 82nd matter worthy of much discussion. It is safer than before. Barring a massive re-structuring of the entire TC @ 82nd (which I believe is necessary/inevitable in the future) How is this such a problem in light of the overall horribleness of 82nd ave? P-DoT would be better serving their own interest to focus on more pressing conditions which abound on the rest of the street, and throughout our city.

skyc
Guest
skyc

Just to clarify, I enjoy coverage of pedestrian and alternative transportation issues, I just specifically find the “PBOT” to be irritating and nonconstructive.

skyc
Guest
skyc

That was, of course, supposed to be “PDOT” rather than “PBOT”.

are
Guest

re comment 1. i never read any of the sports stuff on this site, but would not presume to tell jonathan not to run it.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

I personally don’t care for this issue much, but it’s not hard to skip the article if I don’t want to read it. If you want EXACT news content to your specifications, it’s easy to set up an RSS reader to skim for stories with keywords.

I’m glad the editor makes the decision to post these stories, as all transit types are interconnected and influenced by one another, driving, mass-transit, cycling, and pedestrian alike, and most of us are multi-modal as well.

Lazy Spinner
Guest
Lazy Spinner

Awwwww! Aren’t Elly and her little band of PoliSci 101 classmates just the cutest little things? My gosh! This brings back fond memories of all those campus radicals that I matriculated with carrying the Little Red Book and stating Marxism was a social inevitability only to find themselves selling insurance or staffing a call center for “The Man” less than a decade later. Back then, they had to start underground newspapers and put flyers on cars and telephone poles but you youngsters and that Internet…good for you.

You go, PDOT! Keep making these awesome videos with your rebellious friends that at least a few dozen people will see on YouTube. By golly, that will teach those dastardly Freemasons, The Illuminati, and all other crypto-facists to stop forcing liberty loving free spirits to use the safer controlled crosswalks at either end of the block. Mr. Kulongoski, tear down this wall!

The People’s D.O.T – so precious!

Sigma
Guest
Sigma

Most sites discourage or ban sockpuppets – glad to see it is alive and well here on BP.

Sigma. For your information, those comments are from different people. I do not tolerate sock puppeting. — Jonathan

W.T.F. Chang's
Guest
W.T.F. Chang's

How adorable! Elly’s started a new club. They’ve got a video camera, a website, and cute little “commie chic” moniker. I bet “The Man” is shaking in his boots right about now.

Let me guess, is Michelle P. joining this merry little band of faux Marxist crossing guards? Wow! I can’t wait for the next “communique” to find out. I feel like I’m on campus again watching the “radicals” fresh out of Poli Sci 101 changing the world with poorly produced underground newspapers and stapling manifestos to phone poles.

Joe R.
Guest
Joe R.

The wall is a highway engineering solution and it’s inappropriate for a high-pedestrian activity area. ODOT once again disappoints. At the very least, they could’ve done something with the signalized crosswalks to provide more green time and eliminate the need to press the button to get a “walk” phase. It sucks to walk up to the street level, see a connecting bus approach and realize that you weren’t able to press the button at the intersection in time, and therefore have to wait another minute to cross the street and miss your bus. I should note that TriMet is proposing to cut service on Line 72 significantly next fall meaning longer time to wait in between buses.

AaronF
Guest
AaronF

What’s the justification for calling ODOT a “rogue out of town organization?”

I hope the next video is y’all at the Region 1 building (that’s in town, btw!) demanding the wall be taken down. That might be entertaining at least…

Poli Sci 101 indeed.

Zaphod
Guest

Wow… feel the surliness build.

The mean spirited comments go against what I thought cyclists are about.

Do we not care about fellow citizens and march to a different drummer? The negative comments here remind me of the negativity one often hears from motorists against cyclists.

AaronF
Guest
AaronF

I care about pedestrians, but I don’t see how calling ODOT the devil and then demanding they do what “the people” want is an effective tactic at all. If The P-Bot is going to get much done I expect they’ll need to use a bit more finesse than they are currently.

I’m pro-people, anti-stupidity. I don’t think that in the long run this Berlin Wall rhetoric is going to benefit any people.

I might be wrong of course. Maybe an angry mob of hundreds will be out blocking Hwy 213 on Friday, and then ODOT will realize that their barrier is actually class warfare… time will tell!

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

Just goes to show people are jerks no matter what their mode of transportation. Riding a bike does not make you righteous or enlightened. But it does help your waistline.

L C E
Guest
L C E

Who are these WTF Chang, Lazy Spinner and Aaron F types!?! I am befuddled and quickly losing faith in humanity – particularly that sector of it that I claim to be my kindred spirits – the cycling community. Having recently taking Poli Sci 101, I don’t see the connection. And where does this ridiculously childish anger towards Elly come from!? Bizarre!! I assume you must know her personally and have some long-standing grievance. But most poignantly – what the hell have you done for the world lately? I completely value and revere anyone who tries to make a difference in their community or the world at large, while the rest of us sit on our butts and continue to complain without action. So really, WTF Chang and Lazy Spinner, is your contribution to society obstructing the attempts of others to improve the world? If you are actually productive to society, I would love to know what organizations you’re involved with, which presumably have all the perfect answers and tactics!

And for the record – all alternative transport issues are relevant and related and I appreciate that they are covered by Bike Portland.

q'Ztal
Guest
q'Ztal

If ODOT wants to maintain any pretense that they aren’t anti-pedestrian they need to finish this wall project.
By finish I mean that they need to re-establish, or exceed, the level of service to pedstrians that was removed. Optimaly, the 82nd MAX platform should be extended to the other side of the 82nd Ave overpass and a second set of stairs and an elevator should be installed.
Not one cent of this restoration, this is not an upgrade, should come from Trimet’s, Metro’s nor Portland’s budget; this is ODOT’s screw up and they need to fix it.

are
Guest

re comment 18, yeah, it turned out consumer capitalism was the social inevitability. who knew?

Ted
Guest
Ted

Don’t forget; we are all pedestrians.

bobcycle
Guest
bobcycle

After reading comments about the MTB illegal trail and comments here I am surprised to see so much infighting among the bicycle community. We really are a very diverse group. Unfortunately some commenters are beginning to go the route of those often seen on KGW and the “O” website. I have given up reading those comments because of so many silly, mean spirited (and not well thought out) comments. I am hoping bikeportland comments do not degrade to this level. Of course if I was a bit paranoid I might think it was some poser trying to sow discord among cyclists.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

Post #20 is an ad hominem attack. Is this site still moderated?

Yes, the comments on this site has and always will be moderated. Thanks for pointing out that comment. I have deleted it. Comment volume on the site has been very high in recent days and I have not been able to keep things as clean as I’d like to. Criticism and snark are usually fine, but comments with words like “douchebag” etc.. are likely to be deleted. Thanks again and please let me know if any other comments seem blatantly abusive. — Jonathan Maus

matt picio
Guest

Wow, such vitriol. Sure, let’s all march to the same drummer, and accept everything the existing bureaus, departments, and organizations dish out without criticism or dissent.

Many members of this community have a real “don’t rock the boat” attitude based on fear. Fear that we’ll lose what we have, fear that we won’t be permitted to ride, fear that we won’t get funding for project X.

So what?

This is about standing up and not merely accepting the status quo. ODOT implemented a solution that the neighborhood didn’t support. They reduced access for pedestrians. They have done nothing to make the existing crossings safer. These decisions SHOULD be criticized, and I for one am glad that PDoT is doing so. (and in the interest of full disclosure, I host their website – specifically because I believe in what they’re doing)

ODOT has a track record of not accommodating cyclists and pedestrians. St. John’s Bridge, Oregon City Bridge, and now 82nd Avenue. I know quite a few ODOT staffers, and they’re great people – they want to accommodate us, and I give them credit for that – but it’s not happening. The actions are not backing up the words, and it’s time for the public to find out why – find out who or what is the problem, and solve it.

This event will raise awareness, and rally to the cause those who aren’t aware of the issue but are sympathetic. ODOT is a state agency – WE are the state, they work for us. But they’re not going to do what we want them to do until we Tell them what we want.

The People's Department of Artistic License
Guest

Where is ODOT based? Salem.

Did ODOT listen to the numerous documents and pleas from Montavilla not to build this wall? No.

Sounds pretty rogue and out of town to me. Can you tell me where they are referred to as “the devil” though? I’d like to see supporting arguments for that!

It seems like there are many folks here who require some stress relieving bicycle riding!

Well, you are in luck! AaronF, Lazy Spinner, and WTF Chang, we would love for you to join us tomorrow at the 82nd Ave Transit Center! We won’t be calling anyone the devil or doing anything communistic beyond helping people cross the street and illustrating a very unsafe area.

What if ODOT built highways through all of Portland’s transit centers?

Elliot
Guest
Elliot

Several points:

1. Jonathan, you told Cyclist that you appreciate input on editorial decisions. I want to add my vote to the tally that think “PDOT” is not newsworthy… yet. I think previous coverage was unwarranted – a video posted to the internet does not a story make. I think helping them with PR on this event is a bit suspect, but a story covering the crossing guard action this Friday would be welcome. Actions speak louder than words… or web-posted videos.

2. I’m a bit offended by PDOT’s aggressive stance, which makes me hesitate to support their efforts. This organization has no clout. Transportation activists must pick their battles, and I think it’s a poor decision that the first issue they raise is one were a decision has been made, after years of public process. I’m not a fan of walls down the center of 82nd, but there are plenty of other projects going on where a decision has yet to be made where PDOT could constructively lend their voice. It’s okay to use tactics outside of the existing process… but PDOT would get more respect if they tried exhausting the current avenues beforehand.

3. The anonymity of PDOT is suspect. Their website’s ‘About’ page says only “Helping the people cross the street since 2010.” If it’s a group of “the People”, what people is it? So far, Elly is the only publicly identified member. She says there are other people… but they should be publicly identified. This is a public advocacy group, not an underground revolutionary cell. If this group just represents five people and a camcorder… the “People’s” moniker is ridiculous.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I cannot believe that people are wasting their time complaining about this wall. Preventing jay walkers at this dangerous spot is much safer than allowing it. Crosswalks were created for a reason. Your safety! Go start a chicken suit walk or something. The wall is up and it ain’t going anywhere.

Elliot
Guest
Elliot

The People’s Department of Artistic License (#34):

Where is ODOT Region 1 based? Portland. Did ODOT have other stakeholder groups to listen to, and engineering concerns to boot? Yes. Where were you when the Montavilla neighborhood organization was engaging ODOT in public process?

“PDOT” is late to the party on this issue. The wall is a bummer, but it is not going anywhere. Let’s move on to something else where it is possible to make a difference. Talking about the wall at this juncture is simply grandstanding.

skyc
Guest
skyc

Thanks to Elliot (#34 and #36) for expressing what I couldn’t. I want to say that I don’t appreciate the vitriol that’s being pointed towards individuals on these comments even if I’m not a fan of the new org.

spare_wheel
Guest

“that the first issue they raise is one were a decision has been made, after years of public process”

Nearly unadvertised meetings hardly make a process public. IMO, this is the kind of activism that has been missing from the BTA’s efforts.

“The wall is a bummer, but it is not going anywhere.”

Perhaps the attention to this wall will prevent other walls from being built.

“If this group just represents five people and a camcorder… the “People’s” moniker is ridiculous.”

I just had my membership approved, Elliot. So make that 6.

Noah Genda
Guest
Noah Genda

I love Portland, its advocacy and the amount of people that “fight” for our “rights” when it comes to transportation and equality. I do not however understand this battle that this new organization has chosen. The article posted on BP last week showed the years of back work put in to this to find the best solution to the “problem.” The people that put in work stem from all over, city hall, Salem, ODOT, etc. There has never been, and never will be an issue that affects lots of people that will have a solution that is A. reasonable and B. pleases everyone.

The “problem” as I has derived from the numerous articles and posts seems that people are running across the street to catch buses or MAX trains? Shocker! Anyone who chooses to cross 82nd ave is as likely to have a Darwinian moment as someone who chooses to run across Powell, or MLK, or countless other urban thoroughfares. They put up a wall to try and prevent or modify the flow of jaywalkers, correct? This is NOT the Berlin wall as it was called by PBOT, if they put a wall running the entire course of 82nd then I could see the use of the term. Frankly I am one to usually let politics be politics but I love bikePortland and its news coverage. The fact that a new in-town rogue group has came up with a clever moniker and a website does not mean they are representing the people as a whole; as they suggest. Peoples DOT seems to have a grudge against the real ODOT and will supply snacks to anyone who wants to help them.

Jason of Transit Riders Union
Guest

People’s Department of Transportation isn’t the only group to have reservations on the Great Wall of 82nd Ave.

Transit Riders Union was on this last year, opposing the ODOT wall and endorsing a plan backed by Jim Howell, featuring a mid-block full-signalized pedestrian signal similar to the one on Weidler near Lloyd Center. At an ODOT open house TRU attended, ODOT told TRU ‘we don’t care if you don’t like it, we’re going to do this anyway!’

I can understand the dissent and the ‘late to the party’ comments. The Mount Hood Freeway was also a done deal. Today, that freeway carries a grand total daily, weekly, and yearly vehicle traffic of 0, because of activists and activism. And, to boot, they had already started building that freeway.

BTW, when I try to access pdot.org this Friday AM, I get a “connection refused” error.
I should also add that I’m not a member of PDOT, I’ve only heard of this action through a TRU contact.

Elly Blue (Columnist)
Member

Looking forward to seeing folks out there in a couple hours!

Interesting dialogue. We’re definitely open to feedback—but why not see what we do first? This group is about more than making sassy videos (though our Artistic License Dept does a bang up job at that), and it definitely isn’t about personalities (though it may need to involved more snacks, good call, Noah).

The best way to find out what this is all about is to come out and join us, either at 82nd Ave today or out at 39th and Powell next Friday. Let’s continue the discussion with the thing itself in front of us.

Big thanks to everyone who’s been involved in this process for three years! We’re bummed that so much thoughtful, constructive opposition to the wall by people who actually live there and use the facilities has been glossed over. That’s why the world needs activists.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Only five people showed up to protest. Haha! I think it’s time to stop the silly. Nobody supports your cause.

AaronF
Guest
AaronF

Noah and Elliot expressed what I would have liked to, and without the negative slant of my comments. I will try to tone it down in the future. While the tone of the “Propaganda” irks me, the actual actions of the Pdot don’t bother me, although I wonder about their effectiveness.

They certainly aren’t hurting anyone, so I’ll curb my impulse to point and shout “That’s not going to work!” since that in itself isn’t going to help anything either.

I hope y’all had fun!