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!
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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!).
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!
- Visit Portland Bureau of Transportation's winter travel tips for how to plan before winter hits and how to travel in severe weather.
- Know how to go before you go by reviewing tips for walking, biking, and rolling in severe winter weather.
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.
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.
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:
- Bicycle, pedestrian, transit, freight, and ADA coordination and engagement
- Public plaza maintenance and street activation
- Community responsive Quick Build safety projects
- Large project development, grant preparation, and community engagement capacity
- Community programming, including Safe Routes to School, Portland Sunday Parkways, Transportation Wallet, BIKETOWN for All, equity partnerships, and the Portland State University Portland Traffic and Transportation Class
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)
- 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.
- 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!