PBOT Safe Routes to School April 2024 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, 

Earth Month is here and so are events to fill your calendar! Keep scrolling to learn how to participate in a bike bus park crawl double-feature, attend a basic bike maintenance workshop, go to a neighborhood bike fair, sign-up for a youth personal safety and self-defense workshop series, and more!

We also have information about how city bureaus are teaming up to help students get to school and an improved park (with a first-of-its-kind Myanmar ball game court!) more easily—as well as a webinar about how to change behaviors and attitudes around walking, biking, and rolling in school communities. 

At the end of this newsletter, you will find links to two different surveys—one for parents of bike bus participants and the other for anyone who has something to say about transportation safety in Oregon... ahem, everyone!

Finally, check out the new Safe Routes to School YouTube playlist for videos on how to fit a helmet, how to put your bike on a TriMet bus rack, and more! And remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and tag us in your posts and stories so we can easily re-share them.

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

In this email

  • Get creative and celebrate Earth Month all April
  • Community-led bike bus "park crawls" in Creston-Kenilworth and Woodstock
  • Get ready for East Portland Sunday Parkways with these April bike events
  • Connecting pedestrian gaps in Mill Park
  • Rose City Self-Defense youth personal safety workshop series
  • Webinar: Building community, culture through Safe Routes to School
  • Survey: Bike bus parent? Share your experience!
  • Survey: Help shape traffic safety in Oregon
  • What we're reading
  • Job and volunteer postings

Get creative and celebrate Earth Month all April

A colorful illustration of a robot in front of a school with text, "Celebrate Earth Month Walk + Roll to School."

Earth Day is Monday, April 22—but we can celebrate our planet all month long by walking and rolling to school!

In the spirit of reducing waste, Oregon Safe Routes to School will not provide physical material incentives; instead, we're encouraged to get creative about how we celebrate walking and rolling for the earth—whether it’s all month or just on Earth Day.

Below are a few resources and ideas about how to celebrate Earth Month:

  • Use this Earth Month toolkit to help spread the word and plan activities. 
  • Plant seeds at your school or around your community.
  • Write a thank you card to the Earth.
  • Create a collaborative mural at your school about walking and rolling to school.
  • Have students make posters about why they love the Earth.

If you have questions about how to organize a walk and roll event, check out this webpage or send us an email

Learn more!

Community-led bike bus "park crawls" in Creston-Kenilworth and Woodstock

Colorful illustration of a lion and eagle riding bikes in a playground, "Woodstock & Creston Park Crawl Bike Bus!"

Bike bus captains from Creston Elementary School and Woodstock Elementary School are hosting kid-ride bike-loop "park crawls" between the two schools and adjacent, namesake parks on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 20. These rides will be very short and slow-paced—with breaks to hit the playgrounds.

Creston to Woodstock loop, April 5

When: Friday, April 5 leaving at 1 p.m.
Where: Creston Park (near SE Francis Street entrance)

Woodstock to Creston loop, April 20

When: Saturday, April 20 leaving at 10 a.m.
Where: Woodstock Park (near playground at SE 48th Avenue entrance)

Questions? Email organizers.

Learn more!

Get ready for East Portland Sunday Parkways with these April bike events

Get ready to dust off your bikes, lace up your sneakers, and join Portland Bureau of Transportation for the much-awaited return of the Portland Sunday Parkways 2024 season! This year Portland Sunday Parkways, presented by Kaiser Permanente, will re-visit East Portland on May 19NE Cully on June 16, and SW Portland on Sept. 22.  

Portland Sunday Parkways features community-focused events that transform neighborhoods into vibrant car-free zones, promoting active lifestyles, community engagement, and sustainable transportation.

Two elementary school-aged youth on bikes wearing helmets stand in front of a table at a community event.

East Portland Basic Bike Maintenance Workshop, April 17

Are you interested in learning how to do basic maintenance on your bike? Join this free workshop in partnership with bike works by p:ear. No prior bike maintenance experience required!

When: Wednesday, April 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
Where: The Rosewood Initiative (14127 SE Stark St.)

Learn more!

Spring Flowers on the 70's ride, April 20

Pedal with PBOT to see the petals along the new 70's Neighborhood Greenway. Ride starts at the Roseway Earth Day event, travels about 8 miles on low-stress streets, and returns to the start. Easy pace and no one left behind!

When: Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Where: Roseway Parkway (NE 72nd Avenue and Mason Street)

Learn more!

East Portland Neighborhood Bike Fair, April 26

Get yourself ready to ride! Join PBOT for free activities including learn-to-ride for children and adults, bike repair, and safety education. This event is hosted in partnership with David Douglas School District and Community Cycling Center.

When: Friday, April 26 from 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. 
Where: Ventura Park Elementary (145 SE 117th Ave.

Learn more!

New to Portland Ride: East Neighborhoods, April 30

Are you new to Portland or new to riding a bike? Join PBOT on a 7.5-mile, mellow group ride to explore ways to get around by bike in East Portland neighborhoods via low-traffic streets and new bike paths! Free and open to everyone.

When: Tuesday, April 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
Where: Lincoln Park (SE 135th Avenue and Mill Street)

Learn more!

Connecting pedestrian gaps in Mill Park

Two images of a residential street showing before (top) and after (bottom) a new sidewalk was constructed.

Portland Bureau of Transportation is partnering with Portland Parks & Recreation to construct new sidewalk segments on SE Mill Court between Mill Park and 122nd Avenue, which will improve access to Mill Park Elementary School and enhance routes to Parks' Mill Park improvement project.

Crews are nearing construction competition and are expected to wrap up very soon.

PBOT identified this segment of SE Mill Court as an important connection during a 2017 Safe Routes to School outreach process. Students and families attending this David Douglas School District elementary school cited challenges to walking and biking.

Parks and PBOT collaborating to fill the gaps

In August 2023, after years of planning and community input, Parks began construction on the 5.7-acre undeveloped park. Around the same time, Parks reached out to PBOT's Safe Routes to School leverage an already on-site contractor and help fill the sidewalk gaps on SE Mill Court—a Primary Investment Route to the elementary school. 

This partnership highlights a collaborative, strategic, and low-cost way to build complete, connected networks for students to access school.

Improving access to Parks' first official chinlone court

The Mill Park improvement project will transform an open area with virtually no amenities into a vibrant community hub featuring a state-of-the-art playground, splash pad, community garden, picnic shelter and tables, chinlone/volleyball court, Portland Loo, fitness area, walking path and central promenade, public art, 74 new trees, and other park amenities.

Chinlone is a game popular in Southeast Asian communities, particularly Myanmar. It uses a volleyball net and wicker ball. Players may only use their head or feet—no hands—to move the ball back and forth over the net. This will be the first official chinlone court in the Parks system.

Learn more!

Rose City Self-Defense youth personal safety workshop series

The backs of a youth and an elderly individual walking hand-in-hand on a city sidewalk.

Free and open to girls ages 11 to 14

Rose City Self-Defense welcomes all cis and trans girls, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of girls, to participate in this youth (ages 11 to 14) personal safety and self-defense workshop series. Women-identifying adults may accompany their child to both sessions. All programming is free.

When: Wednesdays, April 10 and April 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Foster/Powell neighborhood (exact location provided after registration).

For more information, send Rose City Self-Defense an email.

Register now!

Webinar: Building community, culture through Safe Routes to School

More than 12 youth and adults walk to school on a neighborhood street and holding a Safe Routes to School banner.

How do you change the culture of active transportation in schools?

Join Safe Routes Partnership to explore community engagement strategies aimed at changing behaviors and attitudes around walking, biking, and rolling.

When: Wednesday, April 17 from 10 to 11 a.m. 
Where: Online

Learn how Denver’s "Advancing a Culture of Active Transportation in Schools" program became a model for community engagement—and how they leveraged this success to secure Safe Routes to School funding.

Register now!

Survey: Bike bus parent? Share your experience!

More than 10 youth and adults bike on a neighborhood street together.

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is conducting a study on bike buses. They are looking for parents of bike bus participants to take a short survey about their experience with bike buses. Information collected will be used to analyze trends about bike bus participation and promote further bike bus research.

Take the survey!

Survey: Help shape traffic safety in Oregon

A young elementary school-aged child standing in front of several adult bikes leaning against a railing in a park.

The Oregon Department of Transportation's Transportation Safety Office currently has a traffic safety survey open. They are asking for your thoughts about traffic safety. Feedback will directly contribute to improving safety measures in Oregon. 

Take the survey!

What we're reading

  • Texas crossing guard helps students get to school with a little fun (WQAD News 8)
  • Houston street conditions contribute to fatalities as well as health problems among children, study finds (Houston Public Media)
  • To hit Vision Zero traffic safety goals, Richmond needs a "cultural shift" (Virginia Public Media)
  • New York City just had its safest-ever year for pedestrians. What went right? (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • Bicycle use soars following installation of separated bike lanes, according to new study (Momentum Mag)
  • How ‘daylighting’ helped Hoboken make its streets safer—and how other cities can follow its lead (Fast Company)
  • Why do our traffic laws prioritize speed over safety? (Route Fifty)
  • A vote for safer streets from the heart of car culture (Governing)
  • Drowsy driving deaths may be 10x more frequent than official stats show (Streetsblog)
  • Coastal U.S. cities top ranking of climate-friendly transportation (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • You can start applying for the American Climate Corps next month (Yale Climate Connections)

Job and volunteer postings

  • Financial Analyst I: This Portland Bureau of Transportation position provides support to the bureau so that transportation services can be effectively and efficiently delivered to Portlanders. Recruiters are looking for a highly motivated individual to provide financial analysis, coordination, and accounting oversight to a variety of critical bureau finance and accounting areas. Closing Monday, April 8. Job posting here.
  • Surveying Aide II: This Portland Bureau of Transportation position assists a survey crew leader working on mapping, construction, monitoring, and boundary/right-of-way projects for various city bureaus. This position, and crew members, often work in high-traffic areas and projects crossing rough terrain and help ensure the safety of themselves and their crew. Closing Monday, April 15. Job posting here.
  • Traffic Engineer: Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking two traffic engineers. One position will play a crucial role in designing, implementing, and managing initiatives aimed at achieving the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries. Another position is responsible for performing complex traffic engineering analysis, concept design, and detailed design work to support the delivery of multimodal capital projects. Closing Monday, April 15. Job posting here.
  • Portland Freight Committee: The Portland Freight Committee advises city council and all city departments on matters relating to the multi-modal freight network. The committee shares in a vision for a low-carbon future which advances safe, equitable, and efficient urban freight movement for enhanced health, prosperity, and quality of life for all Portlanders. Committee members must live, play, worship, go to school, work, or do business in Portland. Closing Monday, April 15. Volunteer posting here.

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