PBOT gets council support for Vision Zero, except from Commissioner Hardesty

Cover of PBOT’s Vision Zero 2-Year Update.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is making steady progress on their march toward safer streets. They’ve queued up an impressive slate of capital projects, worked the legislature to gain authority for speed limits and enforcement cameras, and have passed important plans with the policy backbone that enables them to do things like remove auto parking from corners (a.k.a. “intersection daylighting”), install crossing treatments in more places, and so on.

Last week PBOT brought their annual Vision Zero 2-Year Update (PDF) to city council. They don’t have to get council’s official blessing for reports like this, but PBOT often takes this step to burnish council relationships, lay political groundwork for funding requests, and get explicit support for what might be controversial Vision Zero-related moves down the road.

Things like this usually get unanimous support because PBOT doesn’t bring half-baked ideas to council and they brief each commissioner beforehand to make sure they are up-to-speed with the issues and information. So it was a big surprise when Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no.

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Amid spate of collisions, Portland Police Chief calls for more enforcement

With 14 fatal traffic crashes so far this year and six in the past four days, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw couldn’t stay quiet any longer.

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Portland’s new commissioner-elect sees a carfree future with fareless and fast transit

One of the biggest local consequences of last night’s election is that Jo Ann Hardesty will be sworn-in as a Portland city commissioner in January.

Her presence on the five-member council could have far-reaching implications as we debate and consider major transportation-related issues in the coming years. Hardesty and her new colleagues on Portland City Council will have a say on key issues ranging from mega-projects to micromobility. Since we haven’t sat down with her for an extended conversation yet, I thought I’d share what she’s said on the record thus far.

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In Oregon, election night was great for Democrats and progressive policies

Parking reform activist Tony Jordan at a campaign event for Jo Ann Hardesty (center).
(Photo: Tony Jordan)

In the first national election since Donald Trump assumed the presidency — and despite gerrymandered districts, voter suppressions efforts, and racist campaigning by some Republicans — America tilted to the left last night. Here in the Portland region, the swing toward Democrats and progressive policies was even more pronounced.

In the race to replace longtime Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Jo Ann Hardesty cruised to an easy win over Loretta Smith. Hardesty becomes the first black woman to hold a council seat. Hardesty was endorsed by The Street Trust and nearly every transportation reformer in the BikePortland orbit was a major supporter.

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The Street Trust makes first ever political endorsements

Hardesty (left) via Twitter bio image; Harrington image by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland.

Since their start in 1990, the local nonprofit advocacy group The Street Trust (formerly known as The Bicycle Transportation Alliance) was prohibited by law from endorsing candidates for elected office. That changed earlier this year when they announced the formation of a spin-off 501(c)4 entity known as the Street Trust Action Fund.

Now the group has released its first-ever endorsements in two local races: Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council and Kathryn Harrington for Washington County Chair.

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Guest Opinion: I’m Tony Jordan and I endorse Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council

Cynthia Fisher, Jo Ann Hardesty (center), and Tony Jordan.
(Photos courtesy Tony Jordan)

Tony Jordan is a long-time BikePortland reader and founder of Portlanders for Parking Reform.

I’m Tony Jordan and I support Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council Position 3.

I’ve been active in the housing and transportation political scene for many years and I think Jo Ann has the integrity, resolve, and lived experience to help Portland earn its celebrated position at the vanguard of progressive and sustainable cities.

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City Council candidates talk transportation at packed forum

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last night proved that while transportation might not be a top issue in Portland politics these days, it still brings out the largest crowds.

There was barely even standing room at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall last night for the City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation — an event co-hosted by Young Professionals in Transportation, Community Cycling Center, The Street Trust, Oregon Walks, and OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon. The crowd impressed Commissioner Nick Fish, who said in his opening remarks: “This is the largest turnout we’ve had for an event.”

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Your City Council Candidate Transportation Forum primer

Tonight.

Tonight is when many of us will hear what a new crop of Portland City candidates think about transportation for the very first time.

Before we all head over to the Forum on Transportation co-hosted by Community Cycling Center, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Oregon Walks, The Street Trust, and YPT Portland (Young Professionals in Transportation), I wanted to at least give you a hint of where each candidate is coming from.

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