PDX Transformation

PDX Transformation is an anonymous group that places unauthorized traffic control devices like cones and speed limit signs on streets to promote safety. This form of activism is also known as “tactical urbanism.” They’ve been in existence since December 2015.

Browse the stories below to learn more.

I helped sweep bike lanes this weekend (and it felt great)

Avatar by on January 30th, 2017 at 10:36 am

Volunteers sweeping a bike path on SE Division near 87th.
(Photos: Ted Timmons)

Earlier this week the PDX Transformation Twitter account put out a call for volunteers for a public service project

I inquired what was going on and found out the project was to do some winter gravel cleanup. I thought that sounded like fun!

Ultimately five of us showed up. PDX Transformation loaned some safety equipment, and we each brought brooms. We rode out to the raised bikeway at 85th and Division and went to work. The raised bikeway was a good choice, because I assume it’s one of the harder places for PBOT to run a sweeper, and it also doesn’t get any vehicle traffic to help push the debris away.

See more photos below the jump…
[Read more…]

PBOT removes Hawthorne memorial, responds to Clinton crosswalk controversy

Avatar by on October 6th, 2016 at 9:29 am

The center turn lane on Hawthorne at 43rd is now available for driving on after PBOT removed a makeshift memorial last night.(Photo: PDX Transformation/Twitter)

The center turn lane on Hawthorne at 43rd is now available for driving on after PBOT removed a makeshift memorial last night.
(Photo: Paul Jeffery)

Last night under the cover of darkness City of Portland transportation bureau crews cleared out the cones, signs, candles, photos and flowers that had created a traffic calming memorial to Fallon Smart on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.

The makeshift memorial in the center turn lane at the intersection of 43rd Avenue had grown from a few flowers on August 19th to a memorial so large that it closed Hawthorne’s center turn lane. In fact, closing the lane was a secondary and symbolic goal of the memorial — since it was that center lane that allowed Abdulrahman Noorah* to speed recklessly past another driver (who had stopped) just before he hit and killed the 15-year-old Smart.[Read more…]

Activists and PBOT spar over unsanctioned crosswalk in southeast Portland

Avatar by on October 4th, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Photo on left taken September 20th by @howrad via Twitter. Photo on the right is from this morning (taken by J. Maus/BikePortland).

Looking south across Clinton at 19th. Photo on left taken September 20th by @howrad via Twitter. Photo on the right is from this morning (taken by J. Maus/BikePortland).

An inner southeast Portland intersection is the latest front of a battle between transportation reform activists and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

This time it’s about a crosswalk. The activists (and many nearby residents) think one’s needed, and PBOT thinks it isn’t.[Read more…]

City restripes 3rd Avenue bike lanes one day after activists’ cones appear

Avatar by on March 30th, 2016 at 10:12 am


Bright fresh striping on SW 3rd this morning.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s good news and bad news about the unauthorized cones on SW 3rd Avenue that have made that street’s bike lane much safer and comfortable to ride in. The bad news is most of them are gone as of this morning: Only four of the original 14 are still standing. The good news is that the bike lane stripes have magically become much more visible even without the cones.

Compare the photo above from this morning with the one below I snapped on Monday:
[Read more…]

What are all these unauthorized orange traffic cones telling us?

Avatar by on March 28th, 2016 at 1:53 pm

PDX Transformation does SW 3rd-1.jpg

Cones placed on 3rd by anonymous street activists.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

PDX Transformation has struck again.

The upstart and anonymous group of tactical urbanists that’s taking street safety into their own hands has deployed 14 large orange traffic cones on Southwest 3rd Avenue between Burnside and Stark. The cones have been placed inside the buffer zones of the bike lanes that were just striped back in October. It’s the largest single deployment of cones since the group began four months ago.
[Read more…]

Portland ‘Transformation’ bureau unveils a new trick: ’20 is Plenty’ signs

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 24th, 2016 at 3:49 pm

The anonymous street-safety activists at PDX Transformation are following the lead of successful campaigns in New York City and the United Kingdom to spread the idea of driving at nonlethal speeds.

The group took responsibility last weekend for hanging a set of signs that look like legal speed-limit signs but aren’t.

KATU-TV’s Reed Andrews reported Wednesday that the signs were “donated by someone who works for a sign-making company.”

[Read more…]

‘Agents of transformation’ help spread traffic cone activism in Portland

Avatar by on March 3rd, 2016 at 8:53 am


These cones placed by PDX Transformation agents on NE 21st just after it crosses I-84 help prevent people from encroaching into the bike lane through the “s” curve. See more photos of it below.
(Photo: @PedalPortland on Twitter)

Portland’s traffic coning revolution is spreading.
[Read more…]

Bike lane in danger? Cone power to the rescue!

Avatar by on February 17th, 2016 at 12:51 pm


The corner of North Rosa Parks and Willamette.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s unofficial defenders of transportation safety have once again come to the aid of a bikeway in need.
[Read more…]

Activists (temporarily) take the swing out of TriMet’s swing gates

Avatar by on February 2nd, 2016 at 11:54 am


TriMet’s swing gates at SE 11th are working as intended again as of this morning.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The latest chapter in swing gate-gate wasn’t open for long.
[Read more…]

Activists use traffic cones to improve safety of bike lane along new Orange Line MAX

Avatar by on December 30th, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Fed up with standard bike lanes that offer only paint as separation between bicycle and car operators, an anonymous group of activists has placed traffic cones on the bike lane at the intersection of Southeast Powell at Pershing.
[Read more…]