Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Street Trust (formerly the BTA) is planning a rally tomorrow to “End unsafe streets”

Posted by on August 31st, 2016 at 3:18 pm

“It is all of our responsibility to drive, bike, and walk as if it is our own child, grandchild, or grandparent who will be crossing the road at the next intersection. Simply put, we must slow down and we must be vigilant.”
— Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the Street Trust

The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) has made a public statement about the death of young Fallon Smart and the serious collision yesterday that left 15-year-old Bradley Fortner with a brain injury.

“We need action now,” says Street Trust Executive Director Rob Sadowsky. “I am deeply saddened each time I hear about another road death. It is all of our responsibility to drive, bike, and walk as if it is our own child, grandchild, or grandparent who will be crossing the road at the next intersection. Simply put, we must slow down and we must be vigilant.”

The statement comes with an announcement of a rally that will be held tomorrow (Thursday, September 1st) at the north end of the North Park Blocks. The rally is being coordinated with — and will include representatives from — Oregon Walks, Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Here’s more about the rally from the Street Trust:

“… Outraged residents will rally together to express sorrow about recent road fatalities and to showcase what can be done collaboratively today by road users to save lives now. A group of speakers will speak for a short 30 minutes and be available to answer questions.”

And here’s more from their statement about the recent collisions:

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is incredibly saddened to learn about the most recent tragedy after Bradley Fortner, a freshman at Roosevelt High School, was hit early Tuesday morning on his way to his first day of school. The teen was hit on North Columbia Boulevard at a location with a 40mph speed limit.

But this is not an isolated incident. Less than two weeks has passed since 15 year old Fallon Smart was hit and killed trying to cross Hawthorne Blvd. Fallon was the 30th person killed on Portland streets this year. Our unsafe streets have reached crisis level.

Tuesday’s crash was entirely preventable. In fact, we believe that crashes are preventable. We have called upon the state, our cities, and our counties to embrace this same belief and embrace Vision Zero now as a new way of approaching transportation. It is time to move from injuring, maiming, and killing people on the road to a place where traffic fatalities are no longer an assumed consequence.

The Portland region needs to be safe for kids, families, pets, people walking, people using wheelchairs, people bicycling, and people driving. And safe means you don’t take your life in your hands when you cross the street. It is time for Vision Zero today! Real change now starts with people on the road and in the driver’s seat, slowing down, being alert, and traveling with care.

Earlier today Noel Mickelberry, executive director of Oregon Walks also published a statement, saying, “Each crash reminds us that a true change to the status quo on our streets is required to provide solutions… We need innovation, we need political leadership, we need money on the ground to make needed street safety fixes, and we need meaningful community input and support. We are talking about hate crimes, about devastated families, about historic underinvestment, about kids not knowing if they will get to school safely. This is not easy work, and we don’t have all of the answers.”

Tomorrow’s rally will start at 10:30 am at NW Glisan between 8th and Park. More information on their website.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

  • Spiffy August 31, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I was excited to go…

    then I saw it’s at 10:30 AM on a Thursday…


    next time schedule a rally that most people can actually attend…

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. August 31, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      I wonder what “radical” changes to fix our streets they will be proposing to PBOT…

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    • Go By Bike
      Go By Bike August 31, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      By doing it at 10:30 hopefully they will catch the eye of city council who works during the day

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      • Paula F August 31, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        1 member is a speaker.

        “Date & Time: Thursday, September 1 from 10:30 – 11:00 a.m
        Place: North end of the North Park Blocks, at NW Glisan between 8th & Park Ave
        Confirmed guests include: Steve Novick, Portland City Commissioner; Rian Windsheimer, ODOT; Rob Sadowsky, BTA; Noel Mickelberry, Oregon Walks; Kim Stone, Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets.”

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        • Go By Bike
          Go By Bike August 31, 2016 at 6:10 pm

          that is quite the guest list!

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          • wd September 6, 2016 at 7:15 am

            Sure is. It even includes a politician who’s currently seeking re-election in a contested race. Sure was nice of him to take a few minutes out of his day for this press conference…er…I mean “rally”.

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        • B. Carfree August 31, 2016 at 7:40 pm

          I don’t see anyone from PPB, the state police or the legislature. No matter what is built on the ground, a continued lack of traffic law enforcement will lead to the same results: CARnage.

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        • Spiffy September 1, 2016 at 7:50 am

          so… more lip service?

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    • JeffS August 31, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      The 10:30am scheduled time says everything about who they want to attend.

      It’s a press event.

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    • Sarah N September 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

      We are amplifying our voices rallying at a time when press coverage is more likely. Oregon Walks will be holding an event in October and we will be supporting. We will also be helping and supporting an event being planned by Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets in November for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 6, 2016 at 9:29 pm

        “amplifying our voices.. when press coverage is more likely”

        That’s why other orgs were involved with the Fallon Smart memorials. Press coverage wasn’t likely then.</sarc>

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  • endo August 31, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    You can’ trust the BTA to advocate for real change, they don’t want to piss off their corporate overlords. The day they start talking about getting killing machines off our streets is the day they start seeing donations from me.

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    • mran1984 August 31, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Killing machines? People kill people. So, time to go bust out car windows to make “your statement”. Killing machines…yeah, all cars are fascists too. My lawnmower is a caregiver at a local, non-profit home for the elderly. Of course it’s electric.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 31, 2016 at 4:07 pm

        Cars don’t kill people, people kill people. But the car certainly helps.

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      • endo August 31, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        Jonathan Maus wrote an article earlier this week that had a line that struck a chord with me. I’m quoting from that line:

        “I’m sick of covering rides like this. Our streets are dominated by killing machines and the absurdity of that fills me with rage”.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 31, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        My car told me it was voting for Trump.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. August 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm

          Make Americar great again?

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    • Go By Bike
      Go By Bike August 31, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Corporate overlords is a little over the top. Advocates have been eagerly waiting for this and for you to dismiss it without going seems a little short sighted. I’m excited to see the BTA helping organize a rally and plan to give them my full support.

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      • SD August 31, 2016 at 4:52 pm

        Agreed. My favorite approach is the multi-prong.

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  • bjorn August 31, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    That name is never going to catch on because it is so vague that no one has any idea what it means. If you hadn’t said “formerly the bta” I would already have forgotten that is their new name.

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    • wsbob September 4, 2016 at 9:04 am

      People that will come to know what TST, The Street Trust, means, are those willing to relax their firmly entrenched attachment to the former name, which had ceased to become representative of the broader area of change upon which the organization is wise to focus its efforts.

      The public doesn’t need streets that are just better for biking…people in neighborhoods across the city, need streets that are better for living and working next to, for walking, running, skateboarding, and biking.

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  • Albert Hansen August 31, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    BTA does not support the annual Ride of Silence which is done every May in hundreds of cities in the US and over 22 countries internationally to acknowledge bicycle fatalities and promote bike safety.

    I know this because I asked them to help promote one in Portland three years ago and they said that it wasn’t their type of event.

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  • buildwithjoe August 31, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Travel back in time with me 5 years. Jonathan Maus has deleted many posts where I noted factual connections between the BTA and the people who make our streets less safe for bikes and pedestrians.

    Here is one he did not delete. Jonathan, glad you finally share that feeling of “fills me with rage”

    link below


    Link above… Told you so back in 2009. Same old BTA insiders on a GOV gravy train. It was BTA founder Rex Burkholder who pulled all the strings at the BTA even after not being there. Rex is the Metro Council member who with help from Chair Tom Hughes fast-tracked the CRC freeway with a pack of lies. The LUFO fast track passed because the BTA did not lift a finger to help Bob Stacey defeat Hughes who won by 200 votes.

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  • buildwithjoe August 31, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    The IRS says the BTA can send out surveys to all candidates in a race and make those results very public in tweets and their front page.

    That is rarely done by the BTA, and when done, they burry the survey results on some page nobody reads. There is zero risk to any non profit that does this. It’s not bending the rules, not even close to risking trouble with the IRS. Call the BTA by any new name, but they are just a bunch of insiders who promote people who make our streets unsafe. I’ve seen Alice B Toeclips awarded to our oppressors.

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  • pdxhobbitmom August 31, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I’m going to try and make it. A lot of people on a previous post were wondering what they could do about the deaths. I have small kids and can’t do a lot of volunteering these days, but showing up tomorrow is one thing I can do. Maybe the Street Trust isn’t perfect, but do we really need to be bitter instead of supporting a cause we can agree with?

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  • Kristi Finney-Dunn August 31, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    As a member of the Vision Zero Task Force, a founding member of Oregon and SW Washington Families For Safe Streets, and mother to a young man sacrificed senselessly on a Portland street (and other children I don’t want to be), I appreciate your attitude and your support.

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  • Andy September 1, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Steve Novick is the Transportation Commissioner and he has done what? What is his plan? What are his initiatives? How has PBOT performed on his watch? These should be major issues in his campaign for reelection and yet I read almost nothing. If cyclists really want fundamental change they will have to hold public officials accountable in the political process.

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  • Scott Mizee September 1, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Aren’t they still technically called the BTA? All the communication I get from them is still branded BTA.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 1, 2016 at 8:50 am

      in their press release on this event they wrote: the Street Trust (formerly known as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance). But then later in that same statement they referred to themselves as the BTA. so it’s not clear.

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      • Scott Mizee September 1, 2016 at 8:53 am

        gotcha. thanks, Jonathan. I guess that just goes to show they are in transition. They have not introduced the new logo as far as I know either. Probably happening at the delayed Alice Awards event?

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        • Sarah N September 1, 2016 at 9:48 am

          Sorry for the confusion. We are in transition. Our members approved the name the Street Trust, but we don’t have our new branding in place yet. This takes time.

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          • Scott Mizee September 1, 2016 at 11:08 am

            Thanks Sarah. Please clarify your role. Are you a BTA employee? Board Member? Member at Large? You speak with authority, but “Sarah N” does not tell me much. Thanks again!

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            • Sarah N September 1, 2016 at 11:50 am

              Communications Director.

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              • Scott Mizee September 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

                Thanks Sarah! Nice to meet you! 🙂

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              • Sarah N September 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

                Nice to e-meet you too! IRL soon I hope!

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      • OrganicBrian September 5, 2016 at 7:57 pm
  • Beth H September 1, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I’ve yet to see any bicycle event pimping “Street Trust” in their literature, including OBRA, whose materials still hype the BTA.
    Another sign of how unconnected to bicycle riders the new org really wants to be.
    Buncha suits in clown shoes, wrangling with other suits in a political system that is broken beyond repair.
    The economy is re-feudalizing, and the middle class — a one-time anomaly if you read your economic history — is fading away. This scenario will not serve an org like Street Turst any more than it served the later incarnations of the BTA. The real work is NOT happening in the legislature, but in the streets.

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    • Scott Mizee September 1, 2016 at 11:06 am

      wow. You are, of course, entitled to express it, but I find your viewpoint a little harsh. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle.

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      • Beth H September 2, 2016 at 9:47 am

        Yeah, sorry to be such a Debbie Downer about politics, but I’ve never had a good encounter with ’em. Lots of broken promises, or elected officials who represent my part of the world but refuse to see me as one of their constituents because I’m not rolling in dough.

        Portland grew up and became a Big City, with all the accessories (like less affordable housing, more traffic, and higher crime). While I recognize that the BTA had to grow up with the city (i.e., more lobbying and less grass-roots activism) it’s a symptom of a host of larger issues.
        Vision Zero is great, but IMHO we’ve got bigger fish frying on the pan right now, like four thousand people sleeping outside and no political will to create real housing, job opportunities and mental health services for any of them.
        And I don’t think my term “re-feudalization” is that much of an exaggeration. It’s not such a great leap from where many working class Portlanders are to that tent on the sidewalk.

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    • wsbob September 4, 2016 at 8:51 am

      “…Another sign of how unconnected to bicycle riders the new org really wants to be. …” beth h

      Nah-h-h. I think it’s the same, long standing organization, seeking changes that can broaden its focus. So the org can more effectively focus on bringing about changes to issues that are interfering with people…kids and adults…being able to have their streets be a functional amenity to their neighborhoods, and to the overall city.

      …rather than neighbors, and visitors to the city having to accept their streets excessively being a cacophonous minefield of fast moving motor vehicles operated by people, who’ve come to callously feel obliged to go with this relentless, destructive tide of motor vehicle travel that’s been created over decades, and continues to expand.

      People are driving too fast, too much, and I think though many people of lower and middle economic class people may readily acknowledge this, and don’t like that the streets have become plagued with this problem, they’re at a loss as to how to effectively bring about positive change to problem issues. I think bringing about changes to problem issues associated with street function, will require broader grassroots support than has been possible with groups whose focus has been limited exclusively to having street function be improved for bike travel.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 4, 2016 at 10:10 am

        They could start bringing change by slowing down themselves. Who do they think is doing the speeding?

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        • wsbob September 5, 2016 at 9:37 am

          Lots of people seem to want, and expect that there will be only simple answers. Who are you thinking ‘they’ is?

          Are you implying that everyone, or say, more than half the people operating a motor vehicle, are doing so at mph speeds that are excessive for posted, or standard speed limits for streets in neighborhoods, and on thoroughfares? Provide more details to explain your thoughts.

          I think the majority of people traveling on their neighborhood’s streets, are not exceeding speed limits for those streets, or the limits for streets outside their neighborhoods. Freeways? Different story…not prepared to say there isn’t a lot of excessive mph speed on the freeway.

          I feel, the people operating motor vehicles, and that, by excessively high speed, are creating dangerous conditions for using the street by people on foot and bike, are 30 percent and less of all people driving…maybe as low as 15 or 10 percent…or even less. In Portland, some of the collision that have occurred over the last 12 months involving people, seem to indicate that it’s a small percentage of motor vehicle operators, are a major contributor to incidence of tragic collision occurrences…those collisions in which someone is very seriously injured or dies.

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