Oregon Walks

Inspiring speeches from Oregon Walks award winners

by on November 6th, 2017 at 1:54 pm

View from the stage.
(Photo: Steph Routh)

As I alluded to last week, volunteer activism is at the foundation of Portland’s livable streets movement. At Oregon Walks‘ annual Weston Awards fundraising party on Friday night, two of the award winners epitomized that fact: citizen activist Steve Bozzone and the Brentwood Darlington Neighborhood represented by Meesa Long, Lesley McKinley and Chelsea Powers.

With an impressive crowd of advocates, electeds, city staffers, and fellow citizen activists looking on, Bozzone and McKinley shared memorable acceptance speeches that are worth sharing.

Long, McKinley and Powers were up first. This amazing trio led an effort that garnered over $5 million in grants to improve streets in their southeast Portland neighborhood. That’s a big number for a grassroots campaign! And in the process they set records for highest public participation Metro had ever seen by rallying their fellow residents to send in hundreds of postcards, fill in online comment forms, and sign petitions (over 1,000 signatures total).
[Read more…]

Oregon Walks to screen new Jane Jacobs doc at annual meeting

by on April 25th, 2017 at 3:48 pm

On May 4th, urban planning giant Jane Jacobs would have been 101 years old. To mark her birthday, Portland-based Oregon Walks will host a screening of a new documentary about her life. The event is also the organization’s annual membership meeting and will also include a panel discussion with three women who are “following in Jane Jacobs’ footsteps.”
[Read more…]

Pleas to drive more safely echo at ‘Rally to end unsafe streets’

by on September 1st, 2016 at 12:12 pm

BTA Rally to End Unsafe Streets-3.jpg

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry pushed back tears as she said the recent spate of deaths and injuries have been “debilitating” for her organization.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

No matter what Portland does to address the fatalities and injuries on our roads, in the end safety comes down to one major factor: personal behavior. That was the predominant opinion of the speakers at a rally “To end unsafe streets” held in downtown Portland this morning.

The event was organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (soon to be called the Street Trust). That organization’s Executive Director Rob Sadowsky reminded the few dozen people and handful of media crews that showed up that Portland has had 30 road deaths so far this year. An “enormous amount,” he said.
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#WorkzoneFTW? City may require walking and biking routes around building sites

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 28th, 2016 at 9:48 am

brian rod

A proposed city policy would require builders to look for a way around.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A proposed policy before the city council Wednesday would withhold city permits from builders that block sidewalks or bike lanes around their work sites without first considering reuse of parking and travel lanes.

The action comes after a months-long social media campaign from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which evolved out of a years-long behind-the-scenes effort by the BTA.

The city’s draft policy stops short of saying that walking, biking or traveling by mobility device are always higher priorities in work zones than traveling by car. Instead, it says that walking and biking routes should only be blocked if no other option is “practicable.” Here’s some other relevant language:

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‘Cully Camina’ event on Sept. 18 will be a Sunday Parkways just for walking

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 15th, 2016 at 10:35 am

Cully Blvd cycle track-15

The route will include mostly residential stretches of Cully Boulevard and Alberta Street.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This fall, Northeast Portland will host a new experiment in humanizing streets: the city will open a one-day route from 42nd Avenue and Alberta to NE Cully Boulevard and Killingsworth just for walking.

“We want to give Portlanders a chance to see and experience their streets in a new way,” said Inna Levin, volunteer and outreach coordinator for the nonprofit advocacy group Oregon Walks, in a news release Tuesday. “We hope Cully Camina will be the start of something bigger, inspiring more people to walk and engage in their community.”

The free event is Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since there’s no Sunday Parkways scheduled in September this year (the fifth and final open streets event, Sellwood-Milwaukie Sunday Parkways, is set for Oct. 2) the new Cully event will in a sense be a sixth Sunday Parkways.

[Read more…]

#WorkZoneWTF: Advocates want city ordinance to ensure safe passage through work zones

by on March 18th, 2016 at 1:22 pm

workzonelead

This work zone on North Williams Avenue forced bicycle traffic into the adjacent lane.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance have had enough. The two Portland-based nonprofits are calling on the City of Portland to pass a new ordinance that would require all city bureaus, contractors and private parties to maintain work zones that do not interrupt cycling and walking routes. And if they do, an adequate detour must be created.
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Five ways Vision Zero should address race and income injustice

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 25th, 2016 at 11:29 am

noel 320

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel
Mickelberry.
(Photo courtesy Oregon Walks)

This is a guest post by Noel Mickelberry, executive director of Oregon Walks and a member of the City of Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force.

Transportation advocacy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Our city’s new goal to eliminate traffic fatalities doesn’t, either.

It’s something that shouldn’t need saying, but I feel it needs constant reiteration. It is entirely too easy, and too common, for us to look at our streets as a series of connections, people divided by mode, unattached to the other issues surrounding us or how our lives are inherently impacted by transportation decisions on a daily basis. The ease by which many of us working in transportation advocacy are able to view our streets — of course a bike lane should go here, of course a crosswalk is the answer there — is in itself a privilege.

As we develop Portland’s Vision Zero policies, I’m asking us to go further. And I’ve got five specific suggestions for how to do so.

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‘Sidewalk closed’: Portlanders fend for themselves amid building boom

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 23rd, 2015 at 8:46 am

brian rod

Rod Yoder, left, and Brian Davis are both looking for long-term solutions.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s official policy is that when push comes to shove, making it safe and efficient to walk is a higher priority than making it safe and efficient to bike, which is a higher priority than making it safe and efficient to drive.

So why is it that when construction closes part of a street, sidewalks are so often the first to go?

On Thursday, a local engineering consultant led a walk through downtown Portland to show that it doesn’t have to work this way.

[Read more…]

Local traffic victims’ families will band together to form new voice for safety

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 6th, 2015 at 10:00 am

kristi finney families for safe streets

Kristi Finney talks to fellow safety advocates Monday to plan the launch of Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A group of people who’ve lost family members on Portland-area streets has seen the success of their peers in New York City and is preparing to launch a similar organization here.

“I really am interested in behavior change, cultural change.”
— Kristi Finney

If you know anyone who has lost loved ones to traffic — whether the victim was walking, biking or driving — Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets is building its network in advance of a planned Nov. 15 launch.

Families for Safe Streets has been a key force behind New York’s rapid adoption of a Vision Zero policy that prioritizes traffic safety over traffic speed. This spring, NYC transportation advocate Paul Steely White told us he’d “never seen a campaign have so much influence over elected officials in such a sort time.”

[Read more…]

After two deaths this month, advocates want stronger Vision Zero commitment from City Hall

by on June 16th, 2015 at 11:59 am

oregonwalks

Portland based walking advocacy group Oregon Walks has just released a statement following the death of two innocent people in the past two weeks — Thomas Gazzola and George Carlson — who were killed while walking on local streets.

Their statement, which is co-signed by 10 partner organizations and one individual (see full list below*), directly calls out Portland Mayor Charlie Hales saying, “We need action now… we must take bold steps immediately to protect those who walk on our street.”[Read more…]