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PBOT Safe Routes to School December 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter
Published
Updated
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 the calendar year nears its end, we hope you take a moment to celebrate your school community's accomplishments — whether that meant you were ready for your bike bus at 7 a.m., led a successful Pedalpalooza ride, or incorporated pedestrian education in P.E. class!

Now is also the time to start thinking about your intentions for next year in these weeks before January. What are your goals regarding safety, education, congestion relief, and climate change mitigation? Please reach out if you need anything. We're here to help.

Also, last month we missed one bike/walking school bus social media account for James John Elementary School, @sustainabilityatmyschool. Be sure to give that handle a follow! And remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and tag us in your posts and stories so we can easily reshare them!

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


In this email:

  • PPS reschedules Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day to Thursday, Dec. 14
  • Best of Fixing Our Streets Safe Routes to School projects
  • Save the date: Winter Walk + Roll to School Day is Wednesday, Feb. 7
  • Get winter weather ready, now!
  • Share your budget comments to support important transportation services
  • What we're reading
  • Job and volunteer postings

PPS reschedules Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day to Thursday, Dec. 14

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

Due to district closures in November, Portland Public Schools is rescheduling Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day to Thursday, Dec. 14. Contact Shane Nevius, PPS Safe Routes to School Coordinator, for more information or if your school needs new posters.

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


Best of Fixing Our Streets Safe Routes to School projects

The Fixing Our Streets "Your Dime at Work" white project logo against a salmon pink backdrop interlaced with a full color wrench and roses.

Another year’s end marks a great time for “best of” lists and looking back on favorite things. Below are just a few of the many Safe Routes to School projects made possible over the previous five years through Fixing Our Streets, Portland's 10-cent citywide voter-approved gas tax funding $13 million worth of engineering projects to improve how Portland families access schools. 

SW Shattuck Road and 53rd Avenue crossing

Before and after of the intersection of SW Shattuck Road a pedestrian trail with an improved, marked crosswalk.

In 2019, we transformed a grassy roadside shoulder into a better space for walking, including traffic calming speed cushions on SW Shattuck Road. This marked crosswalk at SW Shattuck Road and 53rd Avenue now connects the SW Trails network and a route to Bridlemile Elementary School.  

SE 46th Avenue and Henry Street crossing

Before and after picture of the intersection of SE 46th Avenue and Henry Street and its improved crosswalk.

In 2019, we completed construction of a concrete pedestrian island and marked the crosswalk at SE 46th Avenue and Henry Street to improve pedestrian visibility on the route to Lewis Elementary School

SW Carson Street sidewalk infill

Before and after of SW Carson Street in front of Capitol Hill Elementary School showing improved sidewalk.

In 2021, we built a sidewalk to connect a key walking link for Capitol Hill Elementary School up steep SW Carson Street between 14th and 17th avenues. 

NE Ainsworth Street and 9th Avenue crossing

Before and after of intersection at NE Ainsworth Street and 9th Avenue and improved crosswalk.

In 2021, we improved visibility for pedestrians and bicyclists at this wide intersection at NE Ainsworth Street and 9th Avenue on the route to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. 

SE 130th Avenue sidewalk infill

Before and after of intersection at SE 130th Avenue and Morrison Street and improved crosswalk.

In 2022, we filled sidewalk gaps on SE 130th Avenue between Stark and Salmon streets near David Douglas High School and Menlo Park Elementary School. 

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.


Save the date: Winter Walk + Roll to School Day is Wednesday, Feb. 7

An illustrated fox and robot wearing winter clothes with blue text against a snowy sky background, "WINTER WALK+ROLL TO SCHOOL DAY is coming up in February."

Make sure to visit the Winter Walk + Roll to School Day event webpage to help you start thinking about fun and creative activities and learn more about how and when to order incentives (before Wednesday, Jan. 31!).


Get winter weather ready, now!

An orange BIKETOWN bike parked on a snowy sidewalk in the foreground as an adult couple walks towards it in the background.

Planning ahead for winter weather

We play essential roles in helping the city rebound quickly after a storm. Get winter weather ready now so that you don't need to think twice when the next weather event hits!

How to get emergency information

Check out our resource to find the latest road closures, chain advisories, and the best bookmarks and alerts to keep you up to date on winter weather.

  • Road closures: Current winter weather road closures and chain advisories. Call PBOT 24/7 Maintenance Dispatch to report road hazards, 503-823-1700.
  • Winter Weather Center: In winter weather, PBOT treats our roads with liquid anti-icing and deicing chemicals, spreads road salt and gravel, plows, and removes snow from the road. Check out this interactive map showing snow and ice routes, as well as real-time traffic, weather, road closure, and plow information. 
  • Public alerts: Sign up for emergency notifications via text, email, or phone.

How PBOT prepares and responds to winter weather

PBOT is ready to respond to weather emergencies 24/7. A single storm can produce wildly different road conditions throughout the city based on timing, weather patterns, and geography. Moisture and cold temperature combine in myriad ways to create hazardous conditions on our roads. Learn how we prepare and respond in all conditions online. 


Share your budget comments to support important transportation services

This image shows a group of adults and kids riding bicycles including some recumbent bikes at a Sunday Parkways event, where streets are car free.

Parking and state fuels tax revenues continue to come in below projections, while expenses continue to rise. Portland Bureau of Transportation's fiscal year 2024-25 budget will require up to $32 million in additional service reductions. Unless we find a solution, dramatic and visible transportation service reductions are likely. 

In September's city council work session, PBOT leadership identified projects, programs, and positions that could be cut, including: 

There are several ways to provide budget comments to city council:

Learn more about the PBOT budget online.


What we're reading

  • What is the bike bus movement and why are kids loving it so much? (Momentum Mag)
  • Commentary: "I never thought this would be my life," by Megan Ramey, Safe Routes to School program coordinator (Columbia Gorge News)
  • How Detroit roads risk the safety of the city’s youngest commuters (Outlier Media)
  • Taller cars and trucks are more dangerous for pedestrians, according to crash data (NPR)
  • Companies, researchers look to improve night driving safety, pedestrian detection (Repairer Driven News)
  • Skinny roads save lives, according to a study on the width of traffic lanes (NPR)
  • National Transportation Safety Board wants anti-speeding tech in new cars (Automotive News)
  • Living without refuge: How the housing crisis fuels traffic violence (Streetsblog)
  • Want to understand your neighbors? Go to a municipal meeting. (New York Times Magazine)
  • This cheap street fix saves lives. Why don’t more cities do it? (Bloomberg CityLab)

Job and volunteer postings

  1. 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
  2. Design Commission: The commission provides leadership and expertise on urban design and architecture and advances the purpose of the design overlay zone. It supports development that builds on context, contributes to the public realm, and provides high quality and resilient buildings and public spaces. 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!