We can’t fix what we don’t know: Why access to information is key to Vision Zero

*Watch how many people drive in front of this man while he waits for a chance to cross.

This post was written by our Adventures in Activism column co-editor Catie Gould.

On the evening of April 7th, Alex Hubert was crossing to the MAX platform to catch a northbound Yellow Line train back home when he was struck by a car. There was no police alert on Twitter. There were no news reports. But I was there.

This post is about my attempt to learn more about the safety issues at the intersection and find out why they haven’t been fixed.

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City of Portland’s 823-SAFE hotline now offered online

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
traffic safety form

The new web form.

There’s now a keyboard-ready alternative to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s excellent 823-SAFE hotline.

The city’s hotline has a great reputation among those in the know, who use it for things as diverse as a poorly timed traffic signal or a low-hanging branch. Even on issues that can’t be fixed immediately, a history of reports about a given location can alert city staffers to a bigger project worth tackling.

The phone hotline has been around for over a decade (at least), and many people also use the safe@portlandoregon.gov email version. Now the City of Portland offers a web-based version.

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Hotline helps maintain better bikeways

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
bad spot for a sign-2.jpg

This sign placed in the bike lane
forced bikes into motor vehicle traffic.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Back in June, I was biking my normal route to the office (southbound on N. Interstate near the Rose Quarter), when I came across something appalling.

It was right out of a horror movie.

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