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PBOT hopes ‘Thank You Crew’ cheerleaders will slow drivers down


PBOT Thank You (for not speeding) Crew.
(Photo: PBOT)

“PBOT needs your help to begin shifting cultural attitudes around speeding – it should not be the norm.”

Speed bumps, speed reader boards, lower speed limits, yard signs, photo radar cameras, enforcement missions — the City of Portland has used many tactics to get people to slow down while driving. But still, too many people speed. And still, too many people die.

Desperate for anything that will shake drivers out of their speeding stupor, the City of Portland’s latest initiative will take the message directly to them with a new marketing campaign and the power of peer pressure. Two events this week aim to create teams of “Thank You Crew” cheerleaders that will hold signs and encourage people to slow down on high-speed corridors.

“These events are designed to provide community members with an opportunity to change driver behavior by cheering on safe driving – literally!,” PBOT says.

The first two events will happen this Thursday (9/26) and Friday (9/27). PBOT plans to erect bleachers adjacent to two streets in their High Crash Network — Southeast Stark and Division — and install a speed reader board to let drivers know how fast they’re going.

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Examples of new slogans and marketing graphics for the campaign.

As added enticement to show up and cheer for 20-30 minutes, PBOT will give all volunteers who pre-register the opportunity to take home one of their new anti-speeding yard signs. The new marketing slogans and graphics will also be put to use on billboards PBOT plans to purchase overlooking high-speed streets.

Here’s more from PBOT:

“2019 has been a very deadly year on Portland’s streets – we have lost 38 people to fatal crashes in the first nine months of this year alone [our tracker has the total at 40]. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is delivering safety projects around the city, but we know that infrastructure is not the only piece of the puzzle. Unsafe speeds are a factor in 47% of the deadly crashes in Portland. As people drive faster, the chance of survival for those involved in a crash decreases dramatically. PBOT needs your help to begin shifting cultural attitudes around speeding – it should not be the “norm.” It is a preventable dangerous behavior that contributes to death and serious injury.”

Event details:

September 26, 10 AM to noon at Ventura Park near corner of SE 113th Avenue and Stark Street.
September 27, 10 AM to noon – 15004 SE Division Street *This event has been cancelled and has yet to be rescheduled.*
RSVP here

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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