sam balto

How to make the most of your carfree Healthy Block this summer

Sam Balto (Contributor) by on June 8th, 2021 at 7:48 am

What will you do on your Healthy Block this summer?
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The saying better late than never definitely applies to PBOT’s new Healthy Blocks program.

During the pandemic, PBOT prioritized business permits for outdoor dining and paused popular programs like block parties, street paintings, Sunday Parkways and Play Streets.

Now PBOT has reimagined their permit process for street closures and has made it easier for Portlanders to open up streets to support active and social neighborhoods. As a physical education teacher who’s worked on many open streets projects over the years, I’m very excited for this and hope many of you take advantage of these permits.

Here are some ideas to jumpstart your Healthy Block.[Read more…]

7 ways to transform traffic safety around your school for under $500

Sam Balto (Contributor) by on March 31st, 2021 at 1:48 pm

Kids parking bicycles at racks in front of a school.

If you’re not looking forward to school traffic stress, consider some of these ideas.

[Read more…]

‘Traffic gardens’ bloom in Portland

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 14th, 2020 at 9:54 am

Traffic playground at Sacramento Elementary School.
(Photo: PBOT)

[Read more…]

Guest article: Consider a practice bike ride to school on calmer streets

Sam Balto (Contributor) by on March 31st, 2020 at 2:30 pm

A family leaves for a ride in Sellwood.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The coronavirus has changed our lives forever. From here on out, we will think of life before coronavirus, and after. While these are very scary times, we are seeing some positive things appear. With calmer streets and less people driving, there’s been a surge of children and families riding bikes together.

If you’re one of them, it might be a good time to do a practice run to school (if you don’t bike there already).

As a Physical Education teacher at a K-8 school in north Portland I see daily the impacts physical activity — or lack thereof — has on my students’ well-being. In PE class we work to give children the skills they need to be a physically literate person. We are building students’ competence and confidence so they can live a healthy life.

I tell my students that doctors have studied why being physically active is important for children. The closer children are to the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the Center for Disease Control, I tell them, the better health outcomes they’ll see. Children who are more active do better in school, get in less trouble, have better relationships with friends, get sick less and live longer lives.
[Read more…]

Guest opinion: We should open up neighborhood streets for social distancing

Sam Balto (Contributor) by on March 16th, 2020 at 10:40 am

Many people have open spaces right in front of their homes, what if we discouraged driving on them and opened them up to safely-distanced play?
(Photo: Sam Balto)

[Read more…]

Project updates: Red lanes, separation on Rosa Parks Way, N Vancouver goes green, NW Front and more

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 5th, 2019 at 10:12 am

New bike lanes and transit islands on NW Front Ave are just one of many street updates citywide.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Portlanders set out red cups to push for more protection while cycling

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 26th, 2019 at 10:10 am

People are so desperate for protection they’ve placed red plastic cups between the lanes on Willamette Boulevard.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Paint is not protection.

That’s the message from people across America today who are taking part in the Red Cup Project. Inspired by the tragic death of Washington D.C. cycling advocate Dave Salovesh (@darsal), the red cups are a quick and cheap way to define space and show how relatively little effort it takes to create safer conditions for cycling.[Read more…]