Sharrows, sparrows and a roadway revolution


St. Johns resident Walker Leiser (and his daughter) have
seen their neighborhood transform in part because
of the tree-lined, traffic-calmed street that runs through it.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

What the Bureau of Transportation has done in the past few years to develop a low-stress residential street network has revolutionized Portland neighborhoods. The changes aren’t always noticed, but their impact is beginning to emerge. For relative pennies, PBOT has created a (mostly) connected, family-friendly network of streets that are comfortable to bike on and easy to navigate. It’s still not perfect (never will be), but the maturity of this network is worth noticing. And at the ‘Sharrows to Sparrows’ ride held on April 27th, it was hard to miss.

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PBOT staffer off to Europe to study ‘livable’, residential streets

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Sunday Parkways Northeast 2009-15

PBOT planner Denver Igarta and the
reasons he cares about livable streets.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As a transportation planner at the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Denver Igarta has had a front-row seat to the development of Portland’s burgeoning network of low-stress, “neighborhood greenway” streets. Now Igarta will head to Europe to “uncover the secrets of residential streets that were built to first serve people rather than cars.”

Igarta has been selected as an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow by the German Marshall Fund. His research will include a one-month, four city tour with stops in Munich, Germany; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Malmö, Sweden.

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NE neighborhood coalition to host “sharing the road” roundtable

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Riding on NE Alberta.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN, one of several umbrella groups for Portland’s 95 neighborhood associations) will host an event on January 31st billed as, “Sharing the Road: People on the Move.”

The event, which will include speakers from the BTA, the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, and the City’s Bureau of Transportation, looks to be sort of a town hall on traffic safety. Here’s a snip from the event announcement:

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Presentation on residential street safety next Monday

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BTA New Year's Day Ride-14

New traffic calming device
on SE Spokane St.
(Photo © J. Maus)

With their extensive plans for bike boulevards in the coming years (they’ve got 60 miles of them coming by 2013), it’s clear that the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has made residential street safety a high priority.

Residential streets don’t garner the media attention that projects in commercials areas do, but according to PBOT they deserve priority because most trips start at home and 70% of Portland’s streets are residential.

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Mayor Adams headed to Brussels for Velo-city Conference

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That’s a cool logo. I hope someone
brings me back a T-shirt.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, his Chief of Staff Tom Miller, and Bureau of Transportation traffic safety specialist Greg Raisman will visit Brussels, Belgium next week for the 29th annual Velo-city Conference.

Widely regarded as the premier bicycle transportation conference in the world (the 2007 edition in Munich had 950 participants from 50 countries), this year’s Velo-city will take on added significance. The four-day conference will be held in the European Parliament building and on the final day, several cities — including Portland — will sign the Charter of Brussels.

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PBOT confirms last year’s record low traffic crash, fatality numbers

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Mayor Adams credits bike boxes
as one reason for record numbers
(Photo © J. Maus)

Back in January, we reported that Portland had potentially had a record low number of traffic fatalities in 2008.

PBOT has now made it official — we have never had fewer traffic fatalities in any year since they began keeping track in 1925.

In 2008, 20 people died in traffic crashes. Fifteen were in cars and five were on foot. For the fifth time in the past ten years, there were no bicycle-related fatalities.

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A closer look at bike boulevards in Mayor’s “First 100 Days” list

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BTA Bike Boulevard Ride

15 miles of Portland streets will
get calmer, safer, and more
enjoyable for bikes in the
coming months.
(Photo © J. Maus)

At a subcommittee meeting before the monthly Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting in City Hall last night, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Program Manager Mark Lear and Traffic Safety Specialist Greg Raisman outlined details on the bike boulevard portion of Mayor Adams’ “First 100 Day Action Plan”.

In that list, Mayor Adams promised to,

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