There’s a lot of talk about equity in the transportation planning world these days.
Here’s an example of how the City of Portland is handling geographic equity in the roll-out of a major initiative:
Vision Zero is one of the largest efforts the Portland Bureau of Transportation is currently involved in. In fact, along with bike share, Vision Zero is probably the highest priority project for PBOT Director Leah Treat. She is throwing a lot (relatively) of her agency’s capacity and resources toward the planning and policies it will take to make Vision Zero a real thing and not just another buzzword.
Will the Vision Zero campaign be successful in Portland? Will we really eliminate serious injuries and deaths by 2025? That remains to be seen. There’s a long way to go. But so far PBOT is at least talking to the right people. And by that I mean people who don’t have easy access to the central city or City Hall itself. And people who bear an undue amount of those injuries and deaths.
On Monday the city is bringing Vision Zero to the Cully neighborhood in outer northeast Portland. They’re hosting a Safe Streets Fair at the Living Cully Plaza on the corner of NE Killingsworth and Cully. The event welcomes everyone in the community with free food, a Spanish interpreter (and other languages if needed), childcare and prizes.
The goal? To hear what safe streets mean to people who live in Cully.
This is from the event invite:
– Engage in transportation safety activities
– Share your vision for safe streets in Portland
– Provide feedback on problem areas
– Learn about Portland’s Vision Zero plans
And here’s the impressive list of partner organizations (note that many of them aren’t the ones we usually see on transportation initiatives):
We’re nearly one year into Portland’s Vision Zero effort and this isn’t the first time PBOT has left the comfy confines of downtown. You might recall that the kickoff event was held at a community space on SE Division at 82nd that’s run by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon.
Equity has played a central role in PBOT’s Vision Zero efforts not because it’s a buzzword, but because the places in our city where people are most negatively impacted by traffic violence are also the places where people tend to have lower incomes, fewer English speakers, and less access to the institutional power that often leads directly to safer streets many Portlanders take for granted.
If you live, ride, or work in the Cully neighborhood, stop by the Living Cully Plaza (6723 NE Killingsworth) on Monday (June 6th) between 6:00 and 7:30 pm and tell PBOT what safe streets look like to you. More info at PortlandOregon.gov.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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