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PBOT Safe Routes to School January 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter
Published
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, 

Big changes often start small. And new travel habits follow that same logic. Whether you're interested in walking, biking, or rolling more, consider these tips for forming a habit:

  • Start with one super small, simple change.
  • Remove choice from the equation. Decide ahead of time to do it and don't think about it.
  • Add an accountability aspect. This could look like organizing a walking school bus or bike bus with your friends, family, or neighbors.
  • Make it fun—whether that means adding a bubble-machine to your bike, tracking your walks, or something else.
  • Be committed. Consider what motivates you. This will give you strength to push past the difficult moments. 

In the new year, 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 | Brittany, Dana, Gui, Janis, Jeri, Josh, and Meaghan 


In this email:

  • Welcome, Jeri, our new Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Coordinator!
  • Improved access to schools and parks coming to Brentwood-Darlington
  • Join the National Youth Listening Session on Roadway Safety: Amplifying the Voices of Hispanic Youth virtual forum on Jan. 17
  • Order incentives for Winter Walk + Roll to School Day by Jan. 31
  • Apply for PBOT Play Streets event sponsorship by Jan. 31
  • Apply to the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee by Feb. 5
  • Fall education traffic safety recap!
  • What we're reading
  • Job and volunteer postings

Welcome, Jeri, our new Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Coordinator!

Jeri (wearing a yellow sweater) and a fellow adult standing behind their bikes in front of Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry.

We're overjoyed to welcome the stupendous Jeri Stroupe to Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) Safe Routes to School team! Jeri will coordinate traffic safety infrastructure projects to completion to help make walking, biking, and rolling to school safer and more comfortable for students and families.

Jeri spent the last six years as a consultant at Nelson\Nygaard, a multimodal transportation planning consulting firm, where she led a variety of projects including Safe Routes to School pop-up safety demonstrations, student transit pass programs, and travel options policy development for communities across the West Coast and in Michigan. Before moving to Portland in 2017, Jeri worked in community and economic development in Detroit, MI where she was a Wayne State University Detroit Revitalization Fellow. She earned an advanced degree in public health management and policy from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

When she’s not at work, you can find her running a trail in Forest Park with her partner and dog, knitting something for a niece or nephew, or working out at her favorite community gym, Village Fit.

Jeri looks forward to collaborating with schools, neighbors, and city staff to advance programs and safer street design to support the next generation of active travelers in her adoptive home community.

If you're interested in welcoming or connecting with Jeri, you may send her an email.


Improved access to schools and parks coming to Brentwood-Darlington

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will bring new sidewalks and crosswalks, a neighborhood greenway, and a new signalized crossing to the Woodmere Elementary School, Whitman Elementary School, and Lane Middle School communities with construction starting early this year.

The Brentwood-Darlington Multimodal Improvements project will enhance comfort and accessibility, increase pedestrian visibility, and improve wayfinding. Specifically, the project will:

  • fill sidewalk gaps on SE Duke and Flavel streets between 52nd and 82nd avenues
  • add crosswalks along SE Duke and Flavel streets between 52nd and 82nd avenues
  • install a neighborhood greenway on portions of SE Knapp and Ogden streets between 52nd and 87th avenues
  • add a new signalized crossing at SE 82nd Avenue and Knapp Street and an enhanced crossing at 72nd Avenue at Ogden Street

This project is made possible by funding through Metro and has been supported by more than 1,000 neighborhood signatories, the Brentwood Darlington Neighborhood Association, ROSE Community Development, 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition, PBOT's Pedestrian and Bicycle advisory committees, and state representatives.

Learn more about this project, review a project map, and sign up for email updates online.


Join the National Youth Listening Session on Roadway Safety: Amplifying the Voices of Hispanic Youth virtual forum on Jan. 17

The National Transportation Safety Board will host the National Youth Listening Session on Roadway Safety: Amplifying the Voices of Hispanic Youth virtual forum on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 9 a.m.

This moderated conversation will share the perspective of Hispanic youth from across the U.S. about their concerns and ideas for improving roadway safety. Youth participants will discuss distracted driving, impaired driving, seatbelt use, speeding, and pedestrian safety as well as the effectiveness of the roadway safety messaging they are exposed to. This conversation will provide invaluable information to improve your communication, advocacy, and engagement with youth in Hispanic communities. 

Learn more and register to attend online.


Order incentives for Winter Walk + Roll to School Day by Jan. 31

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."

Put on your snow boots (or rain boots, let's be honest) and walk or roll to school while enjoying wintertime in Portland! On Wednesday, Feb. 7, schools across Portland and the state are celebrating Winter Walk + Roll to School Day.

Make the most of your day with recommended activities

  • Read these Portland Bureau of Transportation winter get home safely tips and share them with your community.
  • Download this Oregon Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School toolkit to promote your event, create and share social media posts, learn about activity ideas, and more!
  • Have students play bingo with this Winter Walk + Roll to School Day bingo card (snow editionrain edition).
  • Organize a clothing/coat swap at your school.
  • Do a fashion show at your school encouraging students to dress in appropriate winter gear for their way to school.
  • Check out these winter walk activities from Ontario Active School Travel.

Order incentives by Jan. 31!

Make sure to order your school's incentives, via our friends at The Street Trust, by Wednesday, Jan. 31 to receive them by Wednesday, Feb. 7! And if you're in Portland Public Schools, please order via this Google form.

Learn more about this year's Winter Walk + Roll to School Day online.


Apply for PBOT Play Streets event sponsorship by Jan. 31

A group of children play in a sprinkler in the street on a sunny day.

A Play Street transforms neighborhood streets into recurring pop-up community hubs for intergenerational socializing, play, and physical activity by closing the street to vehicle traffic.

What are Play Streets?

  • Fun, active spaces—especially in places where recreational areas are scarce
  • Free and open to everyone
  • Have snacks, games, culturally specific performances, potlucks, and/or demonstrations for kids. The possibilities are endless!

What are the benefits?

  • $5,000 (to use for materials, staff time, truck rental, etc.)
  • Access to Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) supplies, resources, and trainings

What are the requirements?

  • Community-based non-profit located in Portland, such as your school or parent-teacher association/organization 
  • Commit to hosting three Play Street events between April and December
  • Serve populations that have limited access to green or recreational spaces 
  • Passionate about providing safe places for kids to play! 

Apply for a PBOT Play Streets event sponsorship by Wednesday, Jan. 31


Apply to the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee by Feb. 5

A GIF of a pedestrian walking across a marked, signaled crosswalk as a TriMet bus moves in the opposite, parallel direction.

Oregon Department of Transportation is seeking new members to join the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee that advises on bicycle and pedestrian issues across the state.

To apply, complete the interest form by Monday, Feb. 5

Contact Roberto Coto, roberto.coto@odot.oregon.gov or 971-428-7288, if you have any questions.


Fall education traffic safety recap!

Parkrose High School's Elevate Oregon students practice their bike safety skills on a group ride on BIKETOWN bikes.

Delivering traffic safety education via train-the-trainer

In fall 2023, Portland Bureau of Transportation Safe Routes to School worked with teachers at Parkrose School District and Portland Public Schools to provide traffic safety to students via our train-the-trainer model. We provided initial training to teachers, then offered in-class support as teachers began instructing students. Our staff were available to observe teachers in class, offer feedback, and help respond to questions. Teachers at Scott, Glencoe, Arleta, Sacramento, and Woodmere elementary schools taught students about bike and/or pedestrian safety while Parkrose and Cleveland high school students learned about transportation. 

This winter and spring we're looking forward to supporting traffic safety education program in at least 18 other schools in all five Portland school districts!

Expanding our high school programming

Our team partnered with teachers from Cleveland and McDaniel high schools to pilot Transportation Academy thanks to a grant from Metro while also partnering with Elevate Oregon at Parkrose High School though a grant from Oregon Department of Transportation

  • Lucie Sorel taught her Cleveland High School 10th-grade health students how transportation affects climate change and how they can make a difference, e.g., mitigation strategies, with help from Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff.
  • Nicole Safranek is preparing to launch Transportation Academy at McDaniel High School for students who are recent immigrants and learning English. Safranek’s students will learn new skills for navigating Portland and exercising power in their community. We're thrilled to support Safranek adapt Transportation Academy to be more accessible and inclusive!
  • We're partnering with Elevate Oregon at Parkrose High School to teach 11th- and 12th-grade students skills for safe e-bike use and how to maintain a free membership through BIKETOWN for All

Learn more about our traffic safety education programming online or by sending us an email.


What we're reading


Job and volunteer postings

  1. Signals and Street Lighting Inspector: The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking a highly motivated individual to ensure traffic signal and street light construction conforms to design requirements, evaluate existing electrical systems for continued proper operation, advise construction contractors on project requirements, prepare electronic inspection reports for materials, and more. Closing 1/15. Job posting here
  2. Boise Parking Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee: Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for diverse perspectives, interests, and lived experience with parking and transportation in Boise such as residents, employees, regular visitors to the Boise neighborhood, property and business owners. Members do not need parking expertise but should be familiar with their local area parking patterns and issues. Closing 2/11. Volunteer posting here

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