Oregon Walks

‘Wonk Walk’ on 82nd Avenue highlights challenges ahead of transfer

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 14th, 2021 at 9:39 am

Metro Councilor Christine Lewis (center with stroller), PBOT staff and advocates on 82nd Avenue Monday night.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Information access is at the heart of Portland’s Vision Zero struggle

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent) by on March 18th, 2021 at 4:42 pm

Oregon Walks reviewed thousands of pages of police reports and other sources to recreate each crash.
(Source: Oregon Walks Fatal Pedestrian Crash Report)

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Oregon Walks releases landmark report on fatal pedestrian crashes

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 17th, 2021 at 2:58 pm

A man walks across a street in east Portland.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Oregon Walks ED Ashton Simpson on Hawthorne, ‘aggressive’ bike culture, and more

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 16th, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Oregon Walks Executive Director Ashton Simpson.

Ashton Simpson took over as leader of the nonprofit Oregon Walks back in January. Before that, the Russell neighborhood resident and active volunteer for transportation issues ran for statewide office.

I reached out to him last week to get his perspective on the debate around the Hawthorne Boulevard paving project. Our chat went longer than expected.

Below is a slightly edited version of our conversation:

Any thoughts on the Hawthorne decision?

“I wasn’t involved in it at all. Outside of what was released yesterday [Tuesday, February 9th], I didn’t even know that project was happening. I’m still trying to get wrap my head around the organization and all the things that go along with it. But I did talk to someone on our Plans and Projects Committee and her and I both agree that what they proposed now is better than what is out there today. Granted, it was a big loss for a bike lane on that road, especially for those who live in that community. I wish that could have been added on. But at the same time, we had limited space requirements and they’re trying to fit a lot of stuff in there. [Read more…]

Oregon Walks picks Ashton Simpson as new executive director

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 22nd, 2020 at 9:37 am

Ashton Simpson

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Families of crash victims urge changes as Oregon Walks releases report findings

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 17th, 2020 at 9:54 am

Michelle DuBarry and her children at a Gresham intersection on Sunday. They held a photo of Seamus, their 22-month old son and brother who was killed while walking in a north Portland crosswalk in 2010.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

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With departure of executive director, Oregon Walks will push even harder for racial justice

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 8th, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Jess Thompson at an event in April 2019.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Walks Executive Director Jess Thompson announced Wednesday morning she’s leaving to take a job as leader of a nonprofit in Hawaii. The move will further hasten the organization’s shift away from traditional walking advocacy and toward anti-racism work that centers racial and social justice.

Thompson was hired in October 2018 to lead Oregon Walks, a group founded in 1991 that was formerly known as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition.

“It is a bittersweet transition,” Thompson said in her announcement, “because I have learned so much from each of you as we have engaged in the work to center walking as climate, health, transportation, and social justice solution.”[Read more…]

Walking advocacy group honors Don’t Shoot PDX with ‘Walkstar’ award

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 11th, 2020 at 11:49 am

Walkers for racial justice on the Burnside Bridge on June 1st.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

In the latest sign of evolution in the transportation advocacy world, Portland-based nonprofit Oregon Walks has named Don’t Shoot PDX as a winner of one of their ‘2020 Oregon Walkstar’ awards.

Don’t Shoot PDX formed in 2014 in response to the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The group has been on the frontlines of Portland’s protests against racial justice. In June they filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland over the use of tear gas against people protesting in the street*. [Read more…]

Oregon Walks releases ‘Sidewalk Obstruction Bingo’ advocacy tool

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 18th, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Sidewalk Obstruction Bingo game board.

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Nonprofit leaders say Portland streets aren’t ‘open’ for all

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 19th, 2020 at 10:30 am

Seen in north Portland.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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…]