While some Portlanders ride bikes and walk around their neighborhoods with relative ease, that ostensibly simple act isn’t so easy for many others. Local nonprofit leaders who work with immigrants, people of color, and families that rely on social services, paint a much different picture of neighborhood mobility.
In the case of Oregon Walks, Executive Director Jess Thompson said in a recent member newsletter that many people they serve, “Are not feeling safe leaving home during the pandemic.” “Too many folks do not have enough (or any) access to face coverings or reliable information about how to walk ‘Covid-aware’ and more safely when they walk out the door.”[Read more…]
While Portland basks in the glow of finally launching a transportation-related response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Seattle has taken theirs up a notch. The city announced yesterday that 20 miles of their pilot network of traffic-calmed streets with reduced access for drivers will become permanent.
“We are in a marathon and not a sprint in our fight against COVID-19,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a blog post from her department of transportation. “As we assess how to make the changes that have kept us safe and healthy sustainable for the long term, we must ensure Seattle is rebuilding better than before. Stay Healthy Streets are an important tool for families in our neighborhoods to get outside, get some exercise and enjoy the nice weather. Over the long term, these streets will become treasured assets in our neighborhoods.”[Read more…]
(Slides shared by a PBOT planner at the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting last night.)[Read more…]
If Sarah Iannarone gets elected to be Portland’s next mayor our streets will probably look and feel a lot different.
A strong transportation reform activist who gets around via e-bike and sits on the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s bicycle and budget advisory committees, Iannarone would very likely oversee PBOT if given the opportunity.
That might be why many of Portland’s grassroots transportation activists support her campaign. That might also be why her recently released Recovery and Resiliency Plan calls for things like more investments in bikeways, free transit, and an e-bike ownership incentive program. She’d also created “zero emissions thrive zones” and “pedestrian streets”.
I recently asked Iannarone to weigh in on the open streets debate. That is, what (if anything) should Portland do to take advantage of major changes in how people are getting around during the Covid-19 outbreak?[Read more…]