PBOT Safe Routes to School October 2023 Newsletter

Safe Routes to School in white text against an orange background with icons depicting a shoe, a scooter, a skateboard, a wheelchair, a bike and a bus.

Dear parents, caregivers, educators, and community,

As we roll into another new school year with new people and new faces, we're taking a moment to pause and reflect on our core mission and remind ourselves why we do what we do. On some days we're filled with desperation and want to shout, "because the earth is burning!" And other days our smiles spread from ear to ear and we say, "because community connections are all that matter in the end of the day." Formally, there are three answers that are written down on page 32 of the Portland Bureau of Transportation Safe Routes to School 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. Our "high level outcomes" correlate to our bureau's goals for a more efficient and sustainable city. We do this work so that: 

  • No child is involved in a serious traffic crash accessing school or school programs
  • Every child who wants to walk, roll, or take transit to school knows how to do so safely
  • Community members understand how Safe Routes to School programs are connected to congestion relief and climate change mitigation

With these goals in mind, remember we're here to help you walk, bike, and roll. So please reach out if you need anything.

And remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tag us in your photos and videos!

With gratitude,
Safe Routes to School Team | Abra, Brittany, Dana, Gui, Janis, Josh, Lale, and Meaghan 

In this email:

  • International Walk + Roll to School Day is Wednesday, Oct. 4. Let's go!
  • Introducing Josh and Shane — new additions to our Safe Routes to School team!
  • Get ready to pedal your way to fun at the Parkrose Pedal on Saturday, Oct. 7!
  • White Cane Awareness Day is Sunday, Oct. 15
  • Submit your entries to Safe Routes to School art contest by Oct. 31
  • Daylight savings time is Sunday, Nov. 5
  • Celebrate Ruby's courage by walking to school on Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day on Tuesday, Nov. 14
  • World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is Sunday, Nov. 19
  • Apply now for a Metro Safe Routes to School micro-grant
  • Fixing Our Streets: Filling in sidewalk connections in Lents
  • Cleveland High School BIKETOWN installation
  • Personal safety on our streets
  • What we're reading
  • Job and volunteer postings

International Walk + Roll to School Day is Wednesday, Oct. 4. Let's go!

Bilingual International Walk + Roll to School Day collage promotion with kids walking, biking, and rolling in fall weather.

International Walk + Roll to School Day is happening Wednesday, Oct. 4, but we encourage schools to plan events to encourage walking and rolling during the whole month of October!

If you haven't already, join this Facebook group to share successes with other school champions from across Oregon.

Introducing Josh and Shane — new additions to our Safe Routes to School team!

Josh, left, is wearing all black in a lush green park. Shane, right, is wearing hiking gear atop a mountain.

Josh Wrigglesworth joined the Safe Routes to School team this fall as a Portland Bureau of Transportation Community Service Aid

Josh is a recent graduate of Portland State University where he studied urban and public affairs. While at PSU, he focused his studies on sustainable urban development and how green infrastructure can improve health outcomes and encourage physical activity for historically marginalized communities. Josh is passionate about place-making and community-development. Using his education and his previous experience as an intern at the U.S. Senate and as an English tutor, Josh will be assisting the Safe Routes to School team through community outreach, youth education, and a variety of other supportive tasks.

As an uncle to a kindergartener and a proud “bicycling-for-fun” enthusiast, Josh is ecstatic to be a part of a team that promotes the joys of active transportation for our youth. Josh is honored to be a part of a team of determined individuals passionately working to keep Portland streets safe.

If you’re interested in welcoming or connecting with Josh, you may send him an email

Shane Nevius started as Portland Public Schools' first Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the spring

Since he started in the spring, Shane has been loving every minute of it! At Portland Public Schools, Shane works with schools to put on walk and roll events, tackle traffic circulation problems, coordinate walking and biking buses with school staff and volunteer Safe Routes champions, and engage with students and families at school events. He also oversees the Portland Public Schools Safety Patrol program — a role he loves as a former Safety Patrol member himself.

Shane has been a cyclist, trail runner, hiker, backpacker, and lover of public transportation throughout his six years living in Portland, which all started as passions growing up in Nebraska. Shane also enjoys reading, journaling, shopping at thrift stores, exploring Portland, and going to the beach. Shane has worked in a variety of settings supporting his community, including disability care management, foster care coordination, classroom support, and school transportation planning. He enjoys the spectrum of people this has allowed him to learn from and see the world from different perspectives.

If you're interested in connecting with Shane, you can reach him by email

Get ready to pedal your way to fun at the Parkrose Pedal on Saturday, Oct. 7!

A dark green bicycle with a smile between black text that reads, "Parkrose Pedal 2023"

Join the Parkrose School District in partnership with Portland Bureau of Transportation, Community Cycling Center, and Oregon Walks at Parkrose Middle School (11800 NE Shaver Street) for a youth-inspired cycling and walking event that's sure to bring smiles to everyone's faces! The Parkrose Pedal starts Saturday, Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. and runs through 1 p.m., after which the ride and walk will begin.

For more information, visit the event webpage.

White Cane Awareness Day is Sunday, Oct. 15

An older woman wearing a reflective safety vest holding a black and white 8.5x11 sign that reads "State law stop for the blind."

Since 1964, people across the country recognize White Cane Day on Oct. 15 to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired — as well as the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane.

When you see someone using a white cane, remember that the cane is a tool for people who are blind to navigate the environment safely and independently. There's no need to shout warnings or try to physically steer so that canes don't bump into things. Remember that people are using their canes to explore what is around them. If they need any help or direction, they will ask. If you are driving or cycling and see someone using a white cane, you must follow the law and stop to give that person the right of way. Take this opportunity to review Oregon crosswalk laws as they relate to the visually impaired.

Submit your entries to Safe Routes to School art contest by Oct. 31

An elementary-aged child in pigtails help paint a colorful mural.

Our friends at Oregon Safe Routes to School are encouraging students to use their creativity to "walk and roll" for transportation and exercise in their Fall 2023 Art Contest!

The contest is open to students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Art may be hand or computer drawn. Email entries to walkrolloregon@gmail.com by Oct. 31 to qualify. Remember to include the student’s first name, grade, school, and city in submissions.

Learn more about the art contest online

Daylight savings time is Sunday, Nov. 5

A blue "Slow the Flock Down" billboard sign above a Portland street at sunset.

In about one month, many Portlanders will be heading home after sunset during the evening commute. As we prepare for these changes ahead, it is important that people driving slow down, use caution, and look out for people walking, biking, and rolling on the street. 

We all have a responsibility to help make our streets safe

  • Slow down and travel at or below the speed limit
  • Take care when making turns and approaching crosswalks
  • Always turn on headlights
  • Maintain a safe distance between vehicles 
  • Keep windshields clean
  • Stay alert and avoid distractions — no eating, drinking, or using your phone
  • Dress as visibly as possible when traveling outside of a motor vehicle — pedestrians wearing reflective clothing are visible from 500 feet away to people driving compared to just 55 feet away when wearing dark colors with no reflective gear or lights

Drivers kill more pedestrians in darker conditions

As reported in the annual deadly traffic crash report, 74% of traffic deaths last year occurred in darker conditions (which includes dusk, nighttime, and dawn). Of all pedestrian deaths last year, 93% occurred in darker conditions. These trends are consistent with traffic safety research

When possible, avoid travel at night — especially if you're older

As we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. Research indicates that people over age 60 may have a hard time driving safely at night, and may want to consider limiting themselves to daytime driving. 

Street lighting investments save lives

Our lighting guidelines call for consistent illumination across and along major streets. Infill lighting combined with tweaks to existing lights support safety while conserving energy. As we work to improve lighting on Portland streets, please take extra care when traveling in dark conditions.

Learn more about how to stay safe during changing weather conditions online.

Celebrate Ruby's courage by walking to school on Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day on Tuesday, Nov. 14

White text, "Ruby Brides Walk to School Day November 14" on a purple background with an icon of a young girl in a white dress and shoes holding a book and ruler.

Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day, which takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, is an opportunity to teach children about the civil rights movement and make connections to today's collective efforts for change.

Oregon Safe Routes to School provides resources for to help make this event fun for your community. You may order incentives here. Be sure to place your order by Tuesday, Nov. 7 to receive your items in time for the event!

Visit the Ruby Bridges Foundation websites to learn more about this important day.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is Sunday, Nov. 19

A floral memorial for a fatal traffic victim in the medium of a two-way street in front of a crosswalk.

Each year, the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims honors those who have been killed and injured on roads around the globe – 1.35 million people each year worldwide. 

On Sunday, Nov. 19, join with crash victims, street safety organizations, community members, faith leaders, elected officials, and dignitaries from across the country and globe to remember, support, and act.

To learn more and get involved, please follow this link

Apply now for a Metro Safe Routes to School micro-grant

Parents and educators can lead group rides that get kids biking to school, usually with adult supervision, a group ride called a "bike bus." In this photo, dozens of people of all ages ride down a 20-mph street on a sunny day with large evergreen trees in the background. Photo by Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).

Metro is distributing 25 Safe Routes to School $500 micro-grants to individual schools and nonprofit school parent teacher organizations in the Portland metropolitan area. Metro will award micro-grants on a rolling basis. Applicants may submit their application at any time throughout the grant cycle (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024).  

Metro will prioritize applications that support:

Learn more and apply online today! 

Fixing Our Streets: Filling in sidewalk connections in Lents

A google streetview screenshot showing a narrow street with dirt and grass on each side. Cars are parked along the sides and the dirt is muddy. In the distance two people are walking down stairs from the pedestrian bridge over I-205 on a cloudy day.

Another voter-approved Fixing Our Streets funded project will help connect the active transportation network in Lents. Portland Bureau of Transportation is currently in the early stages of design of the SE Steele Street Sidewalk Project to build:

  • A new sidewalk between SE 92nd Avenue and the Interstate 205 multi-use path on the north side of Steele Street.
  • Two new ADA corner ramps on the northeast and southeast corners of SE 92nd Avenue and Steele Street. 

Construction is expected to begin summer 2024. 

Students and families attending Lent Elementary School identified this segment of SE Steele Street as an important connection during a Safe Routes to School outreach process in 2017. 

Fixing Our Streets is Portland's 10-cent citywide voter-approved gas tax funding $13 million worth of engineering projects to improve how Portland families access schools. Visit our website to learn more about Fixing Our Streets and Safe Routes to School, understand how we collaboratively selected projects with the community, and view a map of funded locations.

Cleveland High School BIKETOWN installation

A new BIKETOWN station on the east-facing sidewalk of Cleveland High School.

BIKETOWN recently installed a new station on the Cleveland High School campus. This bikeshare infrastructure — near one of Portland's highest crash streets — helps us grow our active transportation infrastructure, especially for youth.

High school students (ages 16 and up) and students receiving Federal Student Aid may be eligible for BIKETOWN for All. This discounted membership program costs $0 per month and offers unlimited 60-minute trips. 

Learn more about BIKETOWN for All online

Personal safety on our streets

A student is smiling mid-jump while playing double-dutch jump rope as seven of their peers watch with their backpacks on.

Often overlooked, personal safety is core to making our streets safe. It's part of our Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School programs. To realize a safe transportation system that provides all people access and mobility to where they need to go, we must proactively take care of each other.

Check out our personal safety on our streets webpage to access resources to help us all create streets that make us feel safe. 

What we're reading

  • Make way for the bike bus (New York Times)
  • The agony of the school car line (The Atlantic)
  • Public libraries can play a role in gun violence prevention (The Trace)
  • School kids are so violent coming out of the pandemic that they’re sending teachers to the hospital, but an expert says to resist ‘get tough’ approaches (Fortune)
  • Effects of crime and violence in neighborhoods and schools on the school behavior and performance of adolescents (Journal of Adolescent Research)
  • It’s Child Passenger Safety Week, but half of car seats aren’t installed correctly (Forbes)
  • The mayor who prioritized pedestrians before it was cool (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • As downtowns struggle, businesses learn to love bike lanes (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • In the U.S., bike trips increase 37% from 2019 to 2022 (Global Cycling Network)
  • Traffic deaths declined 3.3% in the first half of the year, but Fed officials see more work ahead (ABC News)
  • This Spanish city has been restricting cars for 24 years. Here’s what we can learn from it. (Fast Company)
  • What a week without driving can teach (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • How car culture funnels drivers into debt, jail, and danger (The New Republic)
  • This city removed its parking mandates by changing one word (Next City)
  • Net zero by 2050 still remains possible with rapid renewables expansion, says IEA (Bloomberg)

Job and volunteer postings

  1. Boise Parking Stakeholder Advisory Committee: Portland Bureau of Transportation wants to fully understand parking and transportation issues in Boise so we can come up with equitable and effective solutions. Members do not need parking expertise but should be familiar with their local area parking patterns and issues. Closing 10/3. Volunteer posting here
  2. Arts Education and Access Fund Oversight Committee: The purpose of the committee is to include representatives of the city’s diverse communities to ensure the Arts Education and Access Fund is being implemented as required, to review expenditures made, and to report their findings in a public record to the city council on an annual basis. Closing 10/16. Volunteer posting here
  3. Equity and Engagement Manager: This Bureau of Planning and Sustainability executive-level position will play a leadership role to ensure the city's core value of racial equity is incorporated into all bureau policies and programs, to meet and deliver equitable outcomes. Closing 10/16. Job posting here
  4. New Portlanders Policy Commission: This commission works to integrate immigrant and refugee communities’ voices into the city's policies and decision-making. Commission members are immigrants, refugees, community advocates, and live, work, play, or pray in Portland. Closing 12/31. Volunteer posting here

The City of Portland updates it's job opportunities list weekly. Make sure to check out those new positions every Monday!