PBOT Safe Routes to School June 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,

Congrats to everyone who helped our students finish the school year strong! We couldn't do the work we do without the relentless effort you put in to collectively raise our children. Whether you showed up by making sure your kid was out of bed in the morning, teaching traffic safety in the classroom, or volunteering at one of the many #WalkBikeRoll events — thank you!

Now that we're officially in summer (hello solstice!), we encourage you to enjoy the season while also prompting the kiddos around you to think about their transportation choices and planning for safety. One of the most fun ways we can think of to do that is by organizing and leading a family-friendly Pedalpalooza ride in your neighborhood. Add your event to the online calendar, share it on social media (tag us @PBOTSafeRoutes on Facebook and @saferoutesPDX on Instagram!), and find a few adult volunteers to ensure everyone feels safe. Don't forget to bring a portable speaker to blast some Safe Routes to School-curated tunes!    

And please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything along way. 

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

In this email:

SmartTrips to School: How are you getting around this summer?

Safe Routes to School staff member smiling and holding SmartTrips to School kits about to be mailed out.

Now that school's out, are you ready to have some fun in the sun? We sure are! Mobility is key to taking safe adventures and making lasting summer memories.

Our SmartTrips to School program is here to help students transition to the next grade level by encouraging them to think about their transportation choices, planning for safety, and sharing resources to help them move around the city.

Find your next adventure

Browse our free summer events calendar. We compiled a long list of free summer events all over Portland perfect for finding safe, convenient, and fun activities for children and families. It's complete with a range of events from water play and Bluey-themed bike rides to movies, concerts, and festivals in parks. Make sure to save it and share with your networks!

Getting there

Decide how you’ll get there. Driving may not always be the easiest. Sometimes adults aren't available to drive, and parking and traffic can add a lot of time. Summer is a great time to try walking and rolling somewhere instead. For reference, it takes the average child about 20 minutes to walk a mile.

Walking and biking


Tips and more resources

Learn more on our SmartTrips to Kindergarten and SmartTrips to Middle School webpages.

Fixing Our Streets: Delivering essential connections in Portsmouth

Rendering of complete N Willis Sidewalk Project improvements with adult and child on scooter using crosswalk.

N Willis Sidewalk Project: Newman to Chautauqua Blvd

This Fixing Our Streets Safe Routes to School project will consist of new sidewalk and ADA curb ramps on the south side of N Willis Boulevard between Newman Avenue and Chautauqua Boulevard — an essential connection for students, families, and neighbors in the Portsmouth neighborhood.

This project is currently in design with construction expected to begin during late summer/early fall 2023.

In a 2017 Safe Routes to School outreach process, students and families attending César Chávez School identified this segment of N Willis Boulevard as an important connection for walking routes. Nearby schools that will also benefit from these improvements include Rosa Parks ElementaryRosemary Anderson High, and Peninsula Elementary.

Fixing Our Streets is the voter-approved program that is funding $13 million worth of engineering projects to improve how Portland families access schools. Visit the website to learn more about how we collaboratively selected projects with the community and view a map of funded locations. 

Learn more about the N Willis Sidewalk Project on the project website.

Upcoming events

Three children of various ages huddle around an info booth with an adult and traffic road signs.

SW Capitol Highway: Multnomah to West Portland Ribbon Cutting

Join us Saturday, July 1 from 11 a.m. to noon for speeches, snacks, music, and merriment in celebration of a decades-long effort that is finally complete! Meet at the corner of SW Capitol Highway and Garden Home Road, just south of the SW Multnomah Boulevard Viaduct. There will be free SW Portland bandana maps for all attendees! 

Start the celebrations early by joining the July 1 SW Strolls walk at 9 a.m. at Little Gabriel Park or join the City of Portland's Bicycle Advisory Committee for a bike ride to the ribbon cutting with stops at Salmon Springs Fountain downtown (departing at 9 a.m.) and in Hillsdale (departing at 10:30 a.m.)!

Portland Parks and Recreation Summer Free For All

Summer Free For All builds community through free, inclusive, and family-friendly activities that celebrate Portland's diverse cultures and local artists.

Cultural Events

  • Summer Free For All Free Lunch + Play Kickoff Celebration at K ͪunamokwst Park on Thursday, June 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Get summer started with meals for youth, free arts, and music activities, games, and an exciting musical performance by Triple Rainbow. 
  • East Portland Summer Arts Festival at Ventura Park on Saturday July 8 and Sunday, July 9 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. The theme of this year's arts festival is Celebrating Black Excellence. Attractions include multicultural music and dance performances, free drop-in mini music lessons, arts and craft activities, and more all provided by Portland Parks & Recreation's very own Community Music Center and Multnomah Arts Center.  
  • Washington Park Summer Festival at the Rose Garden Amphitheater August 11-13. This beloved Portland summer tradition returns, featuring world-class performances by the NW Dance Project, Portland Cello Project presenting "Purple Reign: The Music of Prince," and Opera in the Park Portland.  

Free Lunch + Play

Play for days at Free Lunch + Play, where kids come to share a meal together and have fun in the sun! Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meals are provided by Portland Public Schools, Centennial School District, Parkrose School District, and David Douglas School District and adhere to the USDA Federal Lunch Program rules and regulations. 

Also available is the Mobile Lunch + Play program that travels to parks and apartment complexes in East Portland to provide free meals and recreation activities to kids two-days-a-week. 

Free Open Play Swim

Portland Parks & Recreation’s popular outdoor pools will be open for the summer starting Wednesday, June 21 through Sunday, August 27. Each outdoor pool will host a weekly free swim session in addition to regularly scheduled swim lessons, open play swims, and water fitness offerings:

  • Creston Pool – Free swim on Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Grant Pool – Free swim on Wednesdays, 1-3 p.m.
  • Ida B. Wells Pool – Free swim on Thursdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Montavilla Pool – Free swim on Tuesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Peninsula Pool – Free swim on Tuesdays, 1-3:30 p.m.
  • Pier Pool – Free swim on Thursdays, 1:45-4:30 p.m.
  • Sellwood Pool – Free swim on Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.

Southwest Neighborhood Bike Fair

Get yourself ready to ride during the Southwest Neighborhood Bike Fair! Join the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Sunday Parkways crew at Mittleman Jewish Community Center on Sunday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for free activities and resources:

  • Biking lessons for children with activities to learn about bike safety skills  
  • Learn-to-ride coaching for adults just starting out on a bike  
  • Quick-fix bike repair to make sure your bike is rolling smoothly and safely  
  • E-bike demos: come see a variety of e-bike options that are rising in popularity 

Participants are welcome to bring their own bikes or borrow one during the event. 

Southwest Portland Sunday Parkways

Celebrate community on September 10 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Southwest Portland Sunday Parkways! The Southwest Multnomah route will include a 2-mile multi-modal route along with a 1.5-mile walking route. You can hop on at any point and head in any direction you choose. 

Fear of missing out? Stay in the loop by texting "Southwest" to 888-520-0526 to receive event updates and exciting information about entertainment and activities throughout the day.

What we're reading

Job and volunteer postings

1. Safe Routes Partnership Executive Director: This position will lead the organization, build upon its track record of success in the active transportation space, and work with an engaged Board of Directors and committed team to advance its mission. The Executive Director will continue to identify, establish, cultivate, and maintain strong working relationships with a variety of different audiences and groups to advance the organization's work. Job posting here.

2. bikeworks by p:ear Safe Routes to School Coordinator: This position will work with existing partners to carry out the mission of transportation health in East Multnomah County. This position will also provide an important link between jurisdictions that will work with individual schools, after school SUN programs, community partners, and Safe Routes to School Coordinators to establish programming and plans. Job posting here.

3. bikeworks by p:ear Everybody Bikes! Coordinator: As a seasoned bike mechanic, this position will oversee and expand the Everybody Bikes! Program as well as increase capacity to partner at community events. This position will support the Safe Routes to School Coordinator and the educational bike fleet, providing quarterly maintenance. Job posting here.

4. Traffic Engineer: This position is responsible for performing complex traffic engineering work involving applying advanced technical engineering knowledge to the design and operations of the city’s transportation system in complex projects and/or development reviews. This is an exciting opportunity for someone with an engineering background in traffic operations and design who enjoys working with technical staff, design consultants, and the public on development proposals and infrastructure improvements. Closing 7/10/2023. Job posting here.

5. Compliance Program Manager: This position leads the Compliance and Coordination Section and oversees the Right of Way Use Compliance program within the Utilities, Construction and Inspection Division of the Portland Bureau of Transportation and helps to keep Portland safe and prevent delays to the traveling public. One of the many duties includes supporting the Vision Zero action plan. Closing 7/17/2023. Job posting here.

6. New Portlanders Policy Commission: This volunteer commission works to integrate immigrant and refugee communities’ voices into the city's policies and decision-making. Commission members are immigrants, refugees, community advocates who live, work, play, or pray in Portland. Closing 12/31/2023. Volunteer posting here.

The City of Portland updates its job opportunities list weekly. Check out new positions every Monday!