City of Portland will deploy ‘Be Seen Be Safe’ street teams as dark season begins

PBOT’s ‘Street Team.’
(Photo: City of Portland)

With the sun now setting well before the evening rush-hour, the City of Portland wants everyone to step-up their vigilance and visibility while using the roads.

In a statement released today the bureau of transportation (PBOT) shared tips about how to safely operate a motor vehicle and how to increase your chance of being seen if you are walking or rolling. They also announced that all this week “street teams” made up of PBOT volunteers and staff will be stationed at danger hot-spots throughout the city. These teams will pass out lights and reflective stickers to people who walk and roll by.

PR efforts like this are typical for transportation agencies this time of year, and they often put most of the onus of responsibility for being seen on vulnerable users. But PBOT is not your typical city transportation agency. They know better.

Notice the amount of space and detail PBOT devoted to motor vehicle safety in their statement:

PBOT’s statement focused mostly on things auto users should do to keep themselves and others safe. Here’s their advice:

People driving [notice they don’t use “motorists”] can increase visibility by using their headlights, leaving a safe distance between vehicles to increase your cone of vision, and continuously scanning the environment looking for people walking and bicycling. Always be alert and practice extra caution during winter’s rain and low light. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can significantly impact a driver’s vision. Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds.

People driving need to:
— Remember to practice patience and slow down
— Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
— Even though the route may be familiar, don’t go on autopilot; stay alert and ALWAYS watch for vulnerable road users such as people walking, biking and rolling
— Don’t touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting


They also mentioned how older drivers need to: drive more slowly, make sure their vision is adequate, try to drive only in the daytime, double-check prescription drug side-effects, and even take a driving course to make sure they know the latest laws.

When it comes to walking and biking, PBOT says people should wear reflective gear and use lights.

It’s refreshing to see that PBOT has targeted most of this messaging to motorized vehicle users. After all, when we drive we have the potential to do the most harm.

If you want to grab some safety swag on your way home this week, check out the Be Safe Be Seen Street Team locations, times, and days below:

Monday, Nov. 7, 4:30 – 6:00 PM – N Williams Ave/NE Morris to NE Going
Monday, Nov. 7, 4:30 – 6:00 PM – SE Foster/SE 80th
Monday, Nov. 7, 4:30 – 6:00 PM – Providence Park MAX Station at SW 18/SE Morrison
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7:00 – 8:30 AM – E Burnside/NE 16
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 4:30 – 6:00 PM – SE Division/SE 82
Thursday, Nov. 10, 4:30 – 6:00 PM – Rosa Parks/Delaware/Greeley
Friday, Nov. 11, 4:30 – 6:00 PM – Greeley/Bryant/Lombard

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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