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Metro, county team up to host regional forum on transportation safety


An empty bike lane on a multi-lane street full of drivers and cars.

Bike lane on SE Foster Road.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a lot going on in the Portland transportation safety scene these days. As we grapple with crash trends headed in the wrong direction we are coming to grips with how our policies and projects have a disproportionate impact on people of color and low-income earners.

In the past few months we’ve reported on reports from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and local nonprofit Oregon Walks that have hammered home an uncomfortable truth: The less money you have and the darker your skin color is, the more likely you are to be impacted, injured or killed by traffic violence.

Now the division of Metro that publishes the Regional Transportation Safety Strategy wants to bring advocates, agency staff, and other community leaders together to talk about this urgent problem. The agency has announced a Regional Transportation Safety Forum for May 26th. Titled, “Envisioning Safety, Health and Justice” the event is a collaboration with Multnomah County Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH).

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Here’s more from a save-the-date announcement sent out this week:

Why: Traffic deaths and serious injuries are increasing and Black, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latinx and Asian people are disproportionately impacted, especially while walking. At the same time these populations also experience more harassment and violence when using the transportation system.

What to expect: Opportunities to understand the problems and challenges; focus on solutions that are working; elevate experiences of Black community members; generate new ideas and approaches; understand how transportation safety goes beyond crashes; learn what actions partners are committed to taking; create connections for future collaboration.

Who: Staff in public, private and non-governmental organizations and community members working in transportation, public health and justice. Registration is free and open to anyone that is interested in working towards a safer, healthier and more just transportation system.

The event will be held online via Zoom from 9:00 am to 12 noon on May 26th. More details and registration info will be released in the coming days. Stay tuned.

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