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New volunteer program aims to recruit ‘Slow Streets Superheros’

Posted by on July 9th, 2020 at 4:51 pm

(Photo: Axiom Event Productions)

After launching with a bang in early May, we haven’t heard much about the “Slow Streets” portion of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Streets Initiative. These are the 120 intersections where PBOT has installed “Local Access Only” and “Go Slow” signs along with barricades in a bid to reduce driving and improve conditions for people who need more space to walk and roll while maintaining a safe distance from each other.

Today a new volunteer program launched that wants to raise the profile of these streets and strengthen the impact of the program.

PBOT has partnered up with locally-based Axiom Event Productions (the same company they use for Sunday Parkways) on a new program that aims to recruit volunteers to give this program a boost. According to Axiom owner Neal Armstrong who spearheaded the effort, the goal is to find people who will step up to help maintain the signs and barricades, adopt specific locations, hand out yard signs, and decorate neighborhood greenways so everyone knows to drive slow and safe.

Specifically, they’re looking for four types of volunteers:

Slow Streets Superhero
Borrowing a title from our Sunday Parkways friends, the Slow Streets Superheroes are key to the upkeep of Greenways installations. Superheroes will regularly visit and report on the status of barricades and signs. When issues are found and reported, the Greenways Response Team will deploy and resolve the problem. The goal is to provide a near-immediate deployment of the response team to fix any issues with Greenways installations.

Adopt an Installation
We invite those who live near Greenways barricade locations to “adopt the installation.” This is an informal, non-binding support of a site. The request is for neighbors of installations to make daily checks and agree to report issues to the Greenways Response Team. Additionally, if interested, there are opportunities to lead projects that decorate and activate your neighborhood Greenways.

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Yard Sign Delivery
Help PBOT spread the message across the city to promote slow streets and safe streets in our neighborhoods. The Greenways Volunteer program has signed up to help deliver nearly 1,500 yard signs to our neighbors. We’re looking for volunteers in each Greenways Zone who agree to store and deliver signs when requested.

Decorate Your Greenways
A goal of the Slow Streets | Safe Streets initiative is to build awareness and support of our Neighborhood Greenways. No better way to do so than making our Greenways inviting, festive and visible to everyone who uses them.

The Greenways Volunteer Program is calling for all ideas on how we should enliven our streets. With your ideas and our supplies, resources and volunteers, together we can create beautiful, fun and inspiring movements across the Greenways network. Efforts now will include restrictions and safety measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. As we gradually open up as a city, opportunities to involve the public will grow.

Bike Loud PDX is also getting into the act with a very cool interactive “brainstorm” map where you can add suggestions on how to improve the Safe Streets initiative.

To sign up as a volunteer and learn more, visit PDXGreenways.com.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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FDUP
Guest
FDUP

good luck with that!!!?!

Jason
Guest
Jason

Thanks for giving contact info for reporting issues. I will definitely volunteer for the ones near me / that I use regularly. I wish I’d known this sooner!

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

Great! I can’t wait to see the fist shaking “Karen’s” and vigilante anarchists harassing legal road users. OR, self proclaimed “street artists” spray painting public and private property as if their vandalism were welcome enhancements.

NOthankyou
Guest
NOthankyou

the war on cars won’t be won with just electoralism and weak platitudes

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The “war on cars” is essentially over. The SUVs have won.

Nothankyou
Guest
Nothankyou

That ideology definitely explains your bad posting

***Hi. Please don’t make personal insults like this. Disagree all you want, but I really don’t like when people are mean to each other on here. Thank you. — Jonathan

Nothankyou
Guest
Nothankyou

@Jonathan I’m deeply sorry but when someone logs on only to equivocate in support of the status quo I’m going to call it out

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

any time there is a “war on” human behavior, the idealists tend to lose.

NOthankyou
Guest
NOthankyou

edit: it’s true. Direct action gets the goods. Weird how I rarely see bicycle kitty at direct action related events

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I can say with some level of confidence that I have participated in more anti-climate-change related actions, protests, conversations with elected officials and candidates, letter writings, and testimonies over, say, the last 18 months than you have. And that I do more in my personal life, however ineffectual I believe to to be, than 95% of other people here.

It’s boring, it’s a slog, and I don’t just do it as a fashion statement. Direct action is fun and all, and has its place, but it’s rarely where the long-term progress is made.

abolishbrunch
Guest

Upwardly-mobile college-educated “activist” scolds those who stock their groceries, cook their take-out, and pour their coffee.

Nothankyou
Guest
Nothankyou

Don’t project! I’ve been working class for my entire adult life. I poured your coffee and it sucked shit while paying shit.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Entire adult life? How old are you?

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

“…those who stock their groceries, cook their take-out, and pour their coffee”

AND injure/kill neighborhood pets and children; wake up babies and swing shift workers with their loud, popping, modified exhaust systems; pollute the air – significantly increasing the chances of brain cancer, type 2 diabetes, and chronic respiratory conditions; and intimidate/threaten vulnerable road users who dare to use the same PUBLIC facilities.

See, I can make sweeping generalizations too. However, mine are arguably more accurate.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

“Legal road users”…

Except for the numerous people driving without licenses, insurance, or current tags. And even the ones that have those things rarely get through a trip without breaking the law, but much of that is so common that it’s become normalized. Lax “enforcement” continues to enforce those bad behaviors as well. But no, let’s instead mock those who simply want drivers to be courteous and respectful so that their neighborhood is safer for everyone who lives there.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Side note, I really like the new up / down vote feature. You can really see how many lurker – motorists are watching.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I agree. I figure everyone who disagrees with me drives at least some of the time.

NOthankyou
Guest
NOthankyou

The downvotes nourish me. I absolutely fucking thrive in the negatives. I’ll drag the world towards bikes kicking and screaming, whistling a merry tune all the way.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

It needs two more symbols: a hitch-hiking thumb sideways for “I’ve read the comment and I’m indifferent to it”, and a middle finger symbol.

Jason
Guest
Jason

In the interest of symmetry, we also need “peace fingers” to offset the middle finger.

PS
Guest
PS

In light of drivers appreciation for stop signs and speed limits, I really thought this program would work well.

qqq
Guest
qqq

I’m a fan of this project. I talked to the staff in regard to something I thought needed improvement. Once they understood the issue, they really listened and responded. It’s a work in progress, so not perfect. I’m glad to see they’re continuing to evolve it.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

It looks like you didn’t talk about how well the Safe Streets Initiative is working. That was the right thing to do.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

This project has been neat to watch. Some fun setups have been the one on the SW Willamette trail where they literally block the path. Yes, I have tossed them into the bushes as a result. Also the ones where buses get to figure out how to go around them since they too use some greenways. To those crying about enforcement of vehicle driving I can’t help but laugh at you because do you actually think in this climate that PPB wants to be pulling over cars? I think the next best thing to do is sit outside dog your house with a self provided radar gun and collect the data that the city is unwillingly to do, although you pay them too.

Oh and i think this is the perfect Karen project. Will they provide koolaid and tshirts for the volunteers?

qqq
Guest
qqq

“Some fun setups have been the one on the SW Willamette trail where they literally block the path. Yes, I have tossed them into the bushes as a result.”

Are those the signs at each end of SW Miles Pl.? (That’s the only place I’ve seen signs on that trail.) If so, were they placed in the path? When I’ve seen them, they’ve been outside the outside bollards.

qqq
Guest
qqq

Regardless of where they were, why did you toss them into the bushes?

SJ
Guest
SJ

Just take over your street. Nothing hard about throwing up a couple of saw horses and a blinky light at night.

SJ
Guest
SJ

Oh, the down vote? No response? Lame.

EP
Guest
EP

Time to start scheduling massive chipdrops for strategic locations on greenways to bottleneck traffic and slow cars down!