Podcast: Portland’s Carfree Plaza Moment

This week we delve into the topic of carfree streets, plazas and great public spaces in Portland.

You might have read our story on Monday about the big announcement from the City of Portland that they want to double down on their outdoor dining patios, plazas and carfree public space programs. In this episode, I share clips from remarks made at that press conference (which was held on Pride Plaza, a two block section of carfree SW Harvey Milk Street) as well as interviews with people at the event. You’ll hear from PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, PBOT Director Chris Warner, Portland restaurant co-owner Eli Johnson, and others.

But wait, there’s more! I also caught up with Friends of Green Loop Executive Director Keith Jones, someone who has worked in the trenches as an advocate for more carfree spaces in Portland for many years. In addition to his excellent work on the Green Loop, Jones was instrumental in the development of PBOT’s Healthy Business permit program and also spearheaded the effort to create the Ankeny West food cart pod at the Park Blocks.

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(Hear from them in this episode. L to R: PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, PBOT Director Chris Warner, Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association President Neil Mattson, Restaurant Co-owner Eli Johnson. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As I say in the episode (and Jones and I talk about in our conversation), this feels like a major moment for carfree-related policies and projects in Portland. We’d be smart to pay close attention and seize every opportunity to make the most of it.

If you care about Portland and want to see us create more carfree spaces in our city, I think you’ll love this episode. Thanks for listening! And if you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review so more people can find it.

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