Join me March 19th for a ‘Policy Talks’ panel on safe streets

Hope everyone’s having a good Tuesday and enjoying a bit of sunshine and dry skies. This is just a quick post to share a thing I’m doing on March 19th with some great folks on an important topic. I’ll be on a three-person “Policy Talks” panel hosted by local nonprofit Portland for All. The title of the panel is, “Creating streets safe in every community.”

Portland for All is an all-volunteer group that is organizing around ideas. Their website says they were, “born out of conversations folks were having with friends and neighbors concerned about the challenges facing our City, and all of the negative rhetoric about this place we call home,” and that they believe, “there is a hopeful, positive, and inclusive future that’s possible for our City.” This is the third event in their Policy Talks series. The first two were about public safety and homelessness.

Joining me on the 19th at this virtual event will be two folks you’ve read about a lot on BikePortland over the years: former Oregon Walks executive director and current Metro Councilor Ashton Simpson, and veteran community advocate and current Portland City Council (D1) candidate Steph Routh. It just so happens I’ve already had both Ashton and Steph on our podcast. I spoke with Ashton in March 2022 during his run for Metro Council and I shared an interview with Steph from Bike Happy Hour back in November.

To give you a sense of the focus of our upcoming panel, here’s the blurb from Portland for All:

Portland is known as a city with great transit, cycling, and walking – yet not every community has safe access to all these choices. Many people across the region do not own a car and rely on transit, biking, and walking to get around. Despite our reputation, our streets have become increasingly unsafe – we’ve seen record traffic deaths in recent years. These changes have occurred under new City Council leadership and as budget deficits have emerged with fewer people commuting to work generating lower gas taxes. In this webinar, we will focus on why traffic deaths have increased, and what steps we need to take to make our city streets safe for everyone.

The questions we’ll grapple with include what we see as the key problem Portland faces in our efforts to stem traffic crashes, how to get at the root of the problem, what it will take to get folks to stop driving so dang much, and how to talk about all this stuff without fighting with folks who see things differently.

It should be a spirited chat and I’m really looking forward to it. You can RSVP here and find info on past Policy Talks here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Angus Peters
Angus Peters
2 months ago

Any thought to inviting law enforcement officials such as Chief Day, DA Schmidt? In
my opinion, without some return to enforcement of our traffic laws we are doomed.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
2 months ago

Jonathan,
I always like to see who funds groups so I can tell where their biases may lay. Money talks as they say. Can you tell me who funds “Portland for All”? I’ve been seeing their paid ads on Facebook and Nextdoor a lot so they obviously have cash coming from somewhere.
Their webpage is quite vague.
https://www.portlandforall.org/about-us

Diane Goodwin
2 months ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Hi Angus. Portland for All is 100 percent volunteer run. I am one of the volunteers. We have received donations from individuals, one foundation and a labor group. We have a very modest budget. We are mostly powered by people and passion.

We host in person events monthly if you would like to meet us. Diane

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
2 months ago
Reply to  Diane Goodwin

Thanks! Can you tell me what foundation?
Cheers.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

I’m curious too.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

From their website:

Portland for All is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization.

They are a political action committee, a PAC.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
2 months ago

Was able to find they have spent > $500 on Facebook ads. Would be nice for them to disclose which foundation and union is supporting them. Just seems like there is a lot of “dark money” floating around in Portland politics in the last several years.

IMG_6217
MarkM
MarkM
1 month ago

I’m tardy on this, so it’s possible my comments won’t be read. Regardless, I watched the YouTube recording of the panel event this morning (https://youtu.be/Qiejbor7eW0?si=5etDfBspxKqa1lsR) and want to thank Jonathan, Ashton, and Steph. I thought the three of you offered many good ideas on how our streets could be made safer for all of us.

Among other ideas, I heard you mention enforcing vehicle licensing requirements, continuing to add automated vehicle speed cameras, recognizing the importance of placemaking, pressuring politicians to walk their talk, adding more Rose Lanes, being a positive role model when commuting, etc. I recognize these aren’t new ideas, but I think having a panel such as yours speak about them at the same time gives them some heft. 

I’d encourage others to watch the recording if they weren’t able to attend the live event. And if you’re pressed for time, IMO I’d recommend watching the session from the 35- to 50-minute marks.

Finally, Jonathan, I appreciated your candor throughout the event. I always appreciate the good work you do via BikePortland, but there are some days when I think you could be even more effective in influencing regional multimodal transportation if you were in a leadership position in one of our regional government agencies. I think you’ve got the chops.

P.S. Portland for All: Given the length of the panel session, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to create a synopsis (list of ideas offered) for a quick read by others, specifically the current politicians and candidates running for office.