PBOT Safe Routes to School May 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, 

Did you know that the first-ever National Bike + Roll to School Day took place in 2012? In May of that first year nearly 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle to school. The event builds on the popularity of October's International Walk + Roll to School Day and May's National Bike Month.

This year we're still at it! Join us all month long as we bike and roll to:

  • enhance the health of families 👩‍👩‍👦‍👦
  • improve the health of the community 🏘️
  • create permanent, safe walking and biking routes 🚲
  • improve neighborhood livability for everyone 🌳

Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram! 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

  • Walk + Roll May Challenge is here!
  • Recap of recent transportation safety education
  • New 4M Neighborhood Greenway in Centennial, Hazelwood neighborhoods
  • East Portland Sunday Parkways, May 19
  • Paid opportunity: Youth Design Forum, May 11
  • Webinar: Engaging and including students with disabilities in Safe Routes programs, May 15
  • What we're reading
  • Job and volunteer postings

Walk + Roll May Challenge is here!

A multimedia collage of youth walking, biking, and rolling with text "Walk + Roll May Challenge is here!!"

Bike + Walk to School Day is Wednesday, May 8

Oregon Safe Routes to School has event planning resources for schools that want to celebrate the Bike + Walk to School Day, including: toolkits, how-to guides, posters, social media posts, key messages, guides, and more! 

May celebrates the Walk + Roll Challenge

Keep active this spring and join schools across Oregon to celebrate the Walk + Roll May Challenge. Walking, biking, skating, scooting, and rolling to school is exhilarating and fun—give it a try this May! Here are some ideas:

  • If you can walk or roll safely to school, leave the car at home and travel to school with your friends through either a walking school bus or bike bus.
  • If you live too far to walk or roll the whole way, try a park-and-walk by parking a few blocks away from the school and walking the last leg.
  • If you take the school bus, have a walk in the school yard or do a few laps around the track at break time so you can get active too!

Learn more!

Recap of recent transportation safety education

About a dozen elementary school students play in a gym with mock streets and intersections set-up.

Pedestrian safety at Alder Elementary School

Alder Elementary School P.E. teacher Romeo Salazar introduced students to pedestrian safety skills using Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Safe Routes to School's pedestrian safety curriculum and classroom road kit. Students played games to practice skills like crossing safely, right-of-way awareness, and toy retrieval. Mr. Salazar even brought out his tricycles so students could practice navigating the road with drivers!

Transportation safety at Ron Russell Middle School

Sixth grade students in Ron Russell Middle School'sElevate Oregon program learned skills for pedestrian safety and personal safety in public spaces. Students did role-play activities to practice setting boundaries and leaving unsafe situations. They also played a game of Jeopardy! where they demonstrated their understanding of road safety and the rules of right-of-way. PBOT staff and Elevate Oregon teacher-mentor Jessica Ruiz Rodriguez led the classes. 

Learn more!

New 4M Neighborhood Greenway in Centennial, Hazelwood neighborhoods

A computer rendering of the 4M Neighborhood Greenway showing a shared, bicycle priority two-way residential street.

After finishing the 4M Neighborhood Greenway in summer 2023, Portland Bureau of Transportation's new low-traffic, low-speed street traverses Hazelwood and Centennial neighborhoods for people walking, biking, and rolling. The new neighborhood greenway runs along SE Mill Street, Millmain Drive, and Main Street between 130th and 174th avenues—parallel to high-traffic SE Stark and Division streets—improving access to Alder, Patrick Lynch, Parklane, and Lincoln Park elementary schools, Oliver Middle School, and David Douglas High School.

A two-way neighborhood street in a school zone next to a school with bike lines on either side.

Project elements in the new neighborhood greenway include: 

  • Bike lanes and pavement markings
  • Street lighting
  • Wayfinding signs
  • Speed bumps
  • Sidewalk infill
  • Tree planting 

Portland's neighborhood greenways

Neighborhood greenways are low-traffic and low-speed streets where we give priority to people walking, bicycling, and rolling. The new 4M Neighborhood Greenway is part of a larger initiative to connect neighborhoods, schools, parks, jobs, commercial centers, transit, and other destinations throughout Portland.

Ride the route at the East Portland Sunday Parkways on May 19

Interested in checking out the new 4M Neighborhood Greenway? Make sure to participate in the East Portland Sunday Parkways, presented by Kaiser Permanente, on May 19!

Learn more!

East Portland Sunday Parkways, May 19

Four youth biking on a neighborhood street with pastel-colored balloons tied to their bikes.

Celebrate National Bike Month and open streets during East Portland Sunday Parkways, presented by Kaiser Permanente, on May 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! 

Features along the route 

The East Portland 3.3-mile down-and-back route will feature Gateway Discovery ParkVentura Park, and Lincoln Park. Start anywhere on the route and bike, walk, or roll as you explore the three parks. Each park will host unique entertainment, community booths, and vendors, so make sure you take the time to visit each one! 

This event route is specially designed to highlight the network of neighborhood greenways and other infrastructure projects, including: 

Mobile route map

Take the event route map with you by and save a version on your phone! You can turn on and off different layers of information by clicking on the legend. 

Text for event updates

Feeling the FOMO? Keep up to date by texting "East" to 888-520-0526 for the latest event updates and thrilling details on entertainment and activities. Standard text message rates may apply. Opt-out anytime by texting STOP.  

Learn more!

Paid opportunity: Youth Design Forum, May 11

A group of more than a dozen high school-aged youth standing in a plaza on a rainy day underneath a bare tree canopy.

Join ELSO Inc.—environmental education nonprofit that uses the natural world to connect children from underrepresented communities in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics)—and their Studio Justice Program for their annual Youth Design Forum

When: Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: DoubleTree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah Street

Journey to explore and restore Lower Albina

This paid opportunity ($100!) invites Black and Brown youth to learn about design in the built environment and elevate their perspectives for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. Over 50 students in grade 7-12 will join community leaders and business professionals to explore careers in architecture, engineering, construction, and design. 

Register now!

Webinar: Engaging and including students with disabilities in Safe Routes programs, May 15

An adult in a wheelchair faces a young elementary school-aged child.

Join this Safe Routes Partnership webinar to explore strategies and best practices for engaging and including students with disabilities in Safe Routes to School programs. Expert panelists will share how they lead and participate in inclusive programs, how they partner with local champions, and how other Safe Routes to School practitioners can make their programs more inclusive and accessible.

When: Wednesday, May 15 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Featuring speakers from Bike First!, the City of Fort Collins, and Minneapolis Public Schools.

Register now!

What we're reading

  • Tantrums and turf wars: The school car line is chaos (Wall Street Journal)
  • The biggest urban cycling trends in 2024: federal programs, local advocacy, and kids! (Momentum Mag)
  • The unlikely new bike lanes gracing the Scottish capital (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • 8 years into America’s e-scooter experiment, what have we learned? (Yale Climate Connections)
  • You can help improve road safety across the United States (People for Bikes)
  • Making our roads safer together: a heartfelt call to action (Cities Today)
  • One city's quest to rein in reckless driving (Governing)
  • Non-roadway traffic deaths on the rise (Planetizen)
  • U.S. to require automatic emergency braking on new vehicles in 5 years (NPR)
  • The reckless policies that helped fill our streets with ridiculously large cars (Vox)
  • Study: When speed limits rise on interstates, so do crash hot spots on nearby roads (Streetsblog)
  • The second best way to get safer streets (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • Swing sets aren’t just for kids anymore (Bloomberg)

Job and volunteer postings

  • Engineering Trainee: This Portland Bureau of Transportation position assists designing and operating streets within Portland. This is a great opportunity for students of a civil/transportation engineering or planning programto learn how to apply transportation engineering principles to improve the safety of City of Portland’s transportation system. Closing Monday, May 13. Job posting here.
  • Planning Commission: The Planning Commission makes recommendations to city council on the city’s long-range goals, policies, and programs for land use and planning—considering the economic, environmental, and social well-being of the city in an integrated fashion. Closing Monday, May 13. Volunteer posting here.
  • Renewable Fuel Standard Technical Advisory Committee: This committee’s objective is to advise the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability Director on implementation of Portland City Code 16.60 (motor vehicle fuels code). The committee will advise on any technical or economic issues associated with renewable fuel supply when it comes to meeting minimum fuel content requirements and carbon intensity standards. Closing Wednesday, May 22. Volunteer posting here

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