Oregon Walks

Bike/walk advocates unveil plan for Oregon to zero out road deaths

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 31st, 2015 at 2:54 pm

vz cover

The cover of the new report.

Two Portland-based advocacy organizations have released Oregon’s first detailed proposal for a “Vision Zero” policy that they say could completely eliminate road deaths and serious injuries.

The plan from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance describes itself as “A Unifying Vision for Street Safety for Oregon.”

The two groups assembled the report with input from officials at various government agencies, including the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation. It’s the first big component of a coordinated campaign by the two organizations, part of a national effort to spread the Vision Zero concept.

What’s inside? Maybe the most significant ingredient here is the five-page list of specific recommendations at the end. Here are nine particularly interesting selections from that list.

[Read more…]

Oregon Walks celebrates Vision Zero plan and honors livable-streets visionaries

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 24th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

lake crowd

Metro active transportation planner Lake McTighe, center, at Oregon Walks’ annual fundraising dinner and awards.
(Photos: Nina Johnson for Oregon Walks)

After a significant grant victory that’ll see the group partnering with biking advocates to advance street safety plans across the state, Oregon’s largest walking advocacy group had plenty to celebrate Saturday.

As it heads into the first year with a new executive director, Oregon Walks toasted its supporters, members and other advocates for ambling at the group’s annual Weston Awards.

[Read more…]

Five Walktober ambles worth checking out

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 8th, 2014 at 9:58 am


In the 2012 Situationist Walk, attendees concocted
bizarre rules to govern their own behavior as they
strolled through Southeast Portland.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

Portland’s annual three-week festival of fun on foot, inspired by PedalPalooza, has its first big burst of action this Saturday.

Walktober is run by advocacy group Oregon Walks. Like PedalPalooza, anyone can create an event online; the most interesting will survive.

With lots of good contenders for people interested in exploring, learning more about the city or just sampling many kinds of beer without worrying about the bike home, we thought we’d pull a few highlights from this month’s calendar of walking events.

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Biking and walking groups endorse ‘driver cards’ for undocumented immigrants

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 1st, 2014 at 9:08 am


A student driver in Washington, where citizenship status
isn’t required for state driving tests.
(Photo: Joint Base Lewis McChord)

Nonprofits that support road safety are backing a November ballot issue that would allow people who came to Oregon illegally to once again take driving tests and buy car insurance.

A public “yes” vote on Measure 88 would let undocumented Oregon residents get “driver’s cards” that let them drive legally, essentially restoring the system that was in place before 2007.

It’s not clear how many Oregon residents are now driving despite not having legal immigration status or licenses, but the number is almost certainly in the many thousands.

[Read more…]

Leading the march: 10 questions for Noel Mickelberry of Oregon Walks

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 7th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

noel 320

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

Few local nonprofits have changed more in the last few years than Oregon’s main walking advocacy group.

Since 2010, Oregon Walks has renamed itself, relocated its tiny office, passed most of its board seats to new volunteers and shifted its strategy away from direct oversight of local government and toward grant-funded partnerships with other community organizations.

When Executive Director Noel Mickelberry took the reins Monday morning, the group’s transition was complete. We caught up with Mickelberry, 26, as she prepared to start the 24-hour-a-week job to talk about the differences between walking and biking advocacy and the new vision she’s been hired to execute.

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Novick wants $1 million from general fund for beacons at 15 crosswalks

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 18th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

An active warning beacon in North Portland.
(Photo: City of Portland)

The City of Portland’s general fund has a few million dollars to spare, and Commissioner Steve Novick is mounting an unusual campaign to spend some of it on safer street crossings.

In a city where you’re twice as likely to die from traffic as from homicide, Novick and other backers say making roads safer is the most cost-effective way to improve public safety.

In an interview Friday, Novick called out a few police operations in particular as having lower returns on investment.
[Read more…]

Oregon Walks’ annual party celebrates an organization at a crossroads

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 17th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Good times at the 2012 Weston Awards.
(Photo: Lillian Karabaic)

Energized by a dynamic young leader with deep ties to local bike advocates, the Portland area’s lead walking advocacy group has changed dramatically in the last four years. It’s about to find out where those changes will take it.

Oregon Walks, known until last year as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, has seen rapid changes to its board of directors and just said goodbye to its first-ever full-time executive director, Steph Routh. With its annual party and fundraiser Oct. 26, Oregon Walks will be rallying the supporters who ultimately drive its decisions — and, no doubt, feeling out its new direction.

Saturday is the last day when “early bird” tickets ($37.91 per person) will be available online.
[Read more…]

Steph Routh announces resignation from Oregon Walks

Avatar by on August 21st, 2013 at 9:20 am

Steph at Oregon Walks benefit-2-2

Steph Routh in November 2012.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Walks, a non-profit advocacy group that works to improve walking conditions around the state, has announced that Executive Director Steph Routh will resign in October.

Routh became the organization’s first full-time staffer when she was named to the position in May 2009. In the ensuing years, Routh helped transform Oregon Walks (formerly known as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition) by making what was traditionally a quiet, behind-the-scenes organization into a public force to be reckoned with. Just months after taking the job, she asked the community to think hard about the state of walking advocacy in Oregon — a movement that has lacked the spark of and cultural identity evident in the local bicycle scene.

Routh’s personal dedication to the task, professional creativity, and natural charisma drew people to her organization and her cause.
[Read more…]

Willamette Pedestrian Coalition changes name to Oregon Walks

Avatar by on November 12th, 2012 at 11:27 am

Steph at Oregon Walks benefit-2-2

Leader of Oregon Walks, Steph Routh, is
stepping boldly into the future.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As I hinted back on Friday, Portland’s walking advocates unveiled a new name and logo over the weekend. The group that was formed 21 years ago as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition is now known as Oregon Walks.

The tagline, which was emblazoned on new t-shirts handed out at their Weston Awards fundraiser event Saturday night, is “Protecting your right to roam.”

See the new logo below the jump…[Read more…]

Advocacy group unveils ‘Action Plan’ for a more walkable region

Avatar by on November 18th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Willamette Pedestrian Coalition
Executive Director Stephanie Routh
speaking at a 2009 event.
(Photo © J. Maus)

On the heels of recent media attention on the need for safer streets and news of an 80% increase in walking-involved fatalities and injury crashes in Oregon this year, the non-profit Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (WPC) unveiled their Getting Around on Foot Action Plan at a press conference in Beaverton today.

The plan presents an overview of challenges our transportation planners face in creating a more walkable (and rollable, in the case of wheelchair and other mobility device users) region. From the Executive Summary (which you can read in its entirety below):[Read more…]