Celebrating our community and partnerships are at the core of The Street Trust’s work, and this week we are proud to celebrate our longstanding relationship with Filmed by Bike, Portland’s own bike-themed festival that celebrated its 20th anniversary over the weekend with help from The Street Trust.
This year saw the return of the annual The Street Trust Opening Night Ride and we tried something new and led the ride through the East Side instead of downtown. We made the event extra cinematic by kicking off at Clinton Street Theater and swinging by Bollywood Theater and Movie Madness on our way to the Hollywood Theatre.
The ride had a star-studded cast from places near and far, including visitors from Seattle, Olympia, Sacramento, and even Rochester, MN! Sadly, heavy rain meant there were fewer costumes than we’d normally see on this bike ride, but we were thrilled to see so many folks join us in their rain gear!
Did you know we had two separate social media contests to give away free tickets to Filmed by Bike? Winners were selected via Instagram and Twitter so be sure to follow us for future giveaways! We’d also love to connect with you on Facebook, LinkedIn, and our new TikTok!
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On May 31st, in partnership with Washington County and 1000 Friends of Oregon, The Street Trust hosted a half-day study tour of Farmington Road and nearby streets in Washington County. We decided to explore Farmington Road in person after analyzing Metro’s 2020 focus corridors and a conversation with Washington County Commissioner Nafisa Fai, both of which pointed to Farmington as one of the most critical streets in need of improvement in the region.
We invited diverse participants, including staff from community-based organizations, Commisioner Fai’s office, an Oregon House Representative (and Senate candidate), as well as agency staff from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington County’s Planning Division.
The Street Trust believes that by directing the attention of our members and energizing them with ideas for how Farmington Rd. could be improved, this event could lead to infrastructural transformation on the ground.
Why is taking our mission to the streets important?
In the age of COVID-19, many of us have grown accustomed to the luxury of remote work. We’ve seen our morning commute to offices and other locations transform into the simple wiggle of a mouse and adjustments of our cameras. As a result, many of us have become disconnected from the experiences that many members of our communities still live daily – including the requirement to show up to all the places they need to be regardless of whether or not they have access to their own car. It is also often the case that communities that rely on transit, walking, and rolling for mobility have limited capacity to shape in policy discussions without support from organizations like The Street Trust.
We conducted our study tour on foot and by TriMet MAX and bus so all of us could experience together the challenges – and serious danger – that people who don’t drive across our region face when trying to get from place to place throughout their day.
Key Transportation Knowledge: The Urban Road Maintenance District
Washington County has a funding mechanism called the Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD) with which you may not be familiar. The URMD provides preventive road maintenance services for public roads within its boundaries, except roads that are designated as arterials or collectors on the Washington County Transportation Plan. About 430 miles of neighborhood streets have designated URMD maintenance funds.
The Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD) was created by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and approved by voters in urban unincorporated Washington County in 1987. It is a county service district, formed under ORS Chapter 451. URMD Ordinance No. 4.
Voters in the urban unincorporated area approved an ad valorem property tax levy of $0.365 in 1994, which became a permanent rate of $0.2456 upon approval of Ballot Measure 50 in 1997. Property owners in the URMD pay $0.2456 per $1,000 assessed value. The owner of a home with an assessed value of $200,000 pays less than $50 per year for URMD.
While originally created for road maintenance, in 2011 URMD funds have since been allocated to improve pedestrian and bicycling safety, some of which we were able to observe during our tour.
ODOT Fails Street Users… Again.
There was a noticeable difference between ODOT-managed and Washington County-managed facilities. As we’ve seen across the region the lower emphasis on safety for pedestrians and cyclists leaves many wanting more from ODOT.
In the larger context, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight for you the immense difference in the safety and accessibility of the right-of-way for people walking, rolling, biking, and accessing transit along Farmington Road. There are major decisions about regional transportation funding currently underway, including the choice to spend billions of dollars expanding highways around our region. These choices come at a great cost to current and future Oregonians – not only in in terms of the debt they’ll be saddled with but in terms of opportunity costs as dangerous roadways like Farmington Road (where people live, work, play, and pray) remain deadly and go unimproved.
Next Steps for Washington County
Washington County’s Major Street Improvement Program (MSTIP) is heading toward a decision point where it will be voted on by county commissioners. Currently there is a request for funding a complete streets project between 173rd and 209th along Farmington. The Street Trust is highly supportive of this project (among others) and highly encourage you to offer feedback once the public comment period for the MSTIP opens up in July.
This was TST’s first policy tour since launching the #OurStreets community mobilization campaign. Our goal is to reach, connect with, and mobilize people from all walks of life and across sectors and spheres of influence for better outcomes. We think it’s a great model and our hope is to do similar tours along other key corridors in our region. But we can’t do it without you!
Last Friday, The Street Trust kicked off Pride Month and celebrated World Bicycle Day at the same time by hosting a family-friendly, rolling parade withDowntown Portland and hosted by celebrated Portland drag queen Poison Waters.
Participants gathered in Shemanski Park, which is conveniently located near Biketown stations a block in either direction – in front of the Portland Art Museum and at Director Park. Several attendees checked out a Biketown bike for the parade, including celebrity guests the Gay Beards.
The parade was also joined by everyone’s favorite one-wheeled hero, the Unipiper, and the Multnomah County Library book trike. Our two-mile parade route bounced between points of interest from Portland’s LGBTQIA2S+ past and present, including the office and residence of famed 1900’s lesbian Doc Marie Equi; Vera Katz Park, named for former mayor and gay ally; and Pride Plaza, one of our new street plazas filled with street art, public seating, and community activities.
The Street Trust offers a special thanks to our ride ambassadors from BikePOC PNW, an organization that actively creates space for BIPOC folks to ride bikes, build community, forge life-long friendships, and challenge the status quo.
This ride would not have been possible without the generosity of Icicle Tricycles, who provided a pedicab in which we conveyed our host Poison Waters, not to mention the pedicab training sessions and assistive pushes uphill from Icicle Tricycle owner (and Better Block PDX Principal) Ryan Hashagen. Additional thanks to longboard skateboard advocate Cory Poole, who also pushed the pedicab and took many of the photos shared in this post.
We stopped for mini dance parties in three Portland Public Street Plazas and ended our parade with a big dance party at the Cart Blocks Food Cart Pod at Ankeny West, which featured a surprise appearance from Darcelle, the Guinness World Record holding “Oldest Working Drag Queen”. Umpqua Bank greeted our arrival with tricycles filled with ice cream and ice pops.
Bikes, trikes, unicycles, skateboards, and longboards– this year’s Pride parade had all manner of environmentally-friendly wheeled vehicles (we love our multimodal life) and The Street Trust can’t wait to do this again for next World Bicycle Day 2023!
TST staff Anouksha Gardner, Madi Carlson and Board member Jackie Yerby, with Darcelle
For over a year, young people around Clackamas County have been meeting every month to learn about and provide input on the county’s Climate Action Plan via the Youth Advisory Task Force. The county working to ensure that by 2023, “a Climate Action Plan is adopted for our community with specific recommendations to reach the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.” (Learn more). The Task Force has engaged stakeholders from around the county in a variety of ways while prioritizing youth engagement- as today’s young people are the frontlines of the climate crisis.
Over the past year the Task Force has learned about and engaged on issues relating to climate justice, including equity, energy, consumption, housing, land use, transportation, public health, and resilience. When asked to narrow down which actions would have the most immediate positive impact for youth, the top three were tied to transportation and land use. Those actions are: improving public transit options, encouraging destinations near homes, and improving biking and walking transportation options.
Clackamas County now has a Climate Action Plan survey open through the end of June for folks who live in the county to respond to initial ideas on how to achieve carbon neutrality.
With transportation contributing to 40% of Oregon’s emissions and a large portion of Clackamas County’s emissions, this survey is a great opportunity to weigh in on what the future of getting around Clackamas County can look like. Creating safe, accessible, equitable, zero carbon streets is good for both people and the planet.
The Street Trust has developed robust e-bike and e-scooter training program in partnership with Forth Mobility with funding from Metro . Together we run workshops to put the training in action with Community Cycling Center and ABC or “Andando en Bicicletas y Caminando” (Riding your Bike and Walking Around). ABC is a group of community organizers who host bike rides, advocate for safe routes to school, and provide basic bicycle maintenance and training to friends and neighbors.
Recently, a group of ABC members with BIKETOWN for All memberships have been joining The Street Trust for e-bike and e-scooter clinics. Last weekend’s workshop was an e-bike clinic that went beyond the typical safety skills and group ride to include troubleshooting and problem-solving elements of Biketown that would allow participants to assist others interested in trying out Portland’s bike-share.
We did a lot of locking and unlocking Biketown bikes, located a lone bike to practice a mid-ride bike swap, flagged a bike as damaged, and identified the East Portland Super Hub Zone. We also intentionally experienced the power drop upon entering a slow zone in Kʰunamokwst Park (the best part was hearing the laughter when we left the park as the bike motors boosted back to full speed!)
ABC has a busy summer planned with the aim of getting more of their community onto bikes, and The Street Trust urges its followers to consider supporting them and attending the following events:
ABC will host several rides with BIKETOWN this summer- including at both Sunday Parkways– to get people signed up for BIKETOWN for All and guide them through the experience.
ABC will also host a Bike Fair at Rigler School on Sunday, June 12th, where they’ll teach community members how to ride, get them signed up for BIKETOWN for All, and take them on trial rides with BIKETOWN staff.
ABC will participate in three additional workshops with The Street Trust, Forth, Community Cycling Center, and BIKETOWN to build their knowledge of the system.
Beyond just learning to ride and use the BIKETOWN app, ABC’s collaboration with BIKETOWN addresses the very real issue of secure bike parking. PBOT installed bike lockers at Hacienda CDC, which the community appreciates and uses, but as more and more community members gain confidence on bikes, even more parking is needed. It’s a good problem to have, and using BIKETOWN solves the dilemma.
BIKETOWN for All provides Portland-area residents 16 and older living on low incomes with a reduced-cost BIKETOWN membership. Learn more here.
WeBike is The Street Trust’s program to inspire more trans people of all genders, gender non-conforming people, Two Spirit, and women (both trans and cis) to incorporate a bike into their lives and use biking as a way to meet their transportation needs and personal goals. WeBike dismantles the barriers of cycling through rides, knowledge-sharing events, meet and greets, and mentorship.
Last weekend, WeBike’s May ride ventured into new territory: Beaverton! The 10-mile loop started at the Beaverton Farmers Market and utilized many quiet greenway-type streets, the Westside Trail, several bike-friendly cut-throughs (one gravel!), and creatively utilized a shopping center parking lot, an office park parking lot, and some sidewalk to avoid a couple not-so-bike-friendly roads. The ride passed many points of interested including two entrances to Tualatin Hills Nature Park, the Aloha Mall shopping center, and BG Food Cartel food cart pod.
In June, WeBike will have a meet-up to talk about bike camping! We are always looking for new participants- no experience necessary. Learn about all the ways you can carry camping gear by bike, what you need to bring, where to go, and get all your questions answered! Camp coffee and snacks provided. Read all the details on the Shift/Pedalpalooza calendar listing and RSVP here.
The WeBike-Portland private Facebook group is a resource, hub, and a way to connect with others riding in the area. If you have any questions about biking or great biking tips you want to share, post them there!
Ways allies can support WeBike: promote events on socials, print a poster, and donate to The Street Trust.
Kids across Oregon are getting outside to move and celebrate active living with their schools for the Walk+Roll May Challenge. This month, The Street Trust is encouraging and supporting students who choose to ‘walk and roll’ outside for transportation and exercise, and asking K – 8 students to draw why they walk+roll for our May Challenge art contest.
Click here to learn more and submit art by June 15 to win cool Walk+Roll prizes. Art will be judged based on the inclusion of walking and/or rolling safety features and creativity. Drawings can include anything from students’ imaginations or experiences, so wackiness and fantasy are encouraged!
Winners will be selected in the following grade groupings: Kindergarten – 2nd grades, 3rd – 5th grades, and 6th – 8th grades.
In Oregon, we celebrate the Walk+Roll May Challenge in conjunction with National Bike to School Day. The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school.
The event builds on the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – every October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years, and National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to come together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.
We’d like to thank our long time partners Nelson\Nygaard for supporting The Street Trust and contributing to an amazing closing event at Lucky Lab NW for the 2022 Oregon Active Transportation Summit.
During the Summit’s closing party The Street Trust’s new staff were finally able to connect in person with Nelson/Nygaard’s team and talk about all the wonderful things our organizations are working on. This includes Nelson/Nygaard’s newTransportation Demand Management guide, which helps local leaders work with their communities to implement TDM measures that advance health and sustainability goals. The Street Trust is proud to support their efforts to reduce collective VMT levels.
We also want to celebrate The Street Trust’s Chair Drusilla van Hengel, a Senior Principal at Nelson/Nygaard and an esteemed and beloved professor at Portland State University. Along with being a transformational leader in her field, Dru has been instrumental in the The Street Trust’s success since she joined the board in October 2021. Through hard work and determination, Dru helped guide our organization through the many trials of the pandemic, ensuring that the Greater Portland metropolitan region would continue to have a powerful voice advocating for a safer, more accessible, more equitable, and more sustainable transportation system. In keeping with The Street Trust’s mission, Dru gets around the region using both TriMet and her Xtracycle — except when she uses carsharing to take her dog somewhere exciting.
When we asked Dru what an ideal transportation system would look like for her, she told us it would be on in which, “No people using our streets are required to trade personal safety or time to make up for gaps in our public space, walking, transit, or bike systems”.
Below are photos of Dru and many of our other wonderful supporters having fun at the 2022 Summit closing party. With help from generous sponsors like Nelson/Nygaard, The Street Trust hosts a wide variety ofevents like this one throughout the year. Our biggest annual events are the Oregon Active Transportation Summit and the Alice Awards, which take place in the Spring and Fall. If you are Interested in becoming a sponsor or a business member, please contact our Strategic Partnerships Manager at [email protected].
For more than thirty years, greater Portland’s civic leaders led byThe Street Trust Board of Directors Vice-Chair, Randy Miller, have been traveling together to other cities and regions seeking tools to improve outcomes here at home.
The past couple of years have been challenging for Oregonians as we came together to face the intersecting crises of the COVID pandemic, the racial justice reckoning of the Black Lives Matter movement, and unprecedented wildfires in our state made worse by the climate crisis. For Nashville, these crises were compounded by multiple natural disasters and a Christmas morning bombing that shook their downtown.
Over the decades, Portland’s leaders have worked to ensure our civic learning trips are more intentional, effective, and inclusive. Now, as our region finds itself in transition -at a crossroads, some would say- it is more important than ever that we invest as a community in increasing our capacity for addressing the various challenges we face, including population growth and housing affordability, congestion and the need for transit investments, and deepening social and economic inequality.
Prior to joining The Street Trust, our Executive Director, Sarah Iannarone, worked full-time hosting inbound and outbound delegations of urban leaders seeking tools for improving conditions in their places. An expert in educating policy makers, she led the design and execution of a transportation focused learning experience in Nashville for over 100 Portland officials and civic leaders. She and Strategic Partnerships Manager, Anouksha Gardner, worked with Walk Bike Nashville and Bike Fun Nashville to expose Portland’s leadership to a range of active transportation, Music City style.
The three-day deep-dive into policies and best practices encouraged our local leaders to explore what’s working and what’s not in another city, and to better understand what tools they should bring home to help Portland grow smarter. It also reminded many participants how fortunate we are for robust transportation tools already in place in Portland – from TriMet’s regional cooperation with Oregon Metro to local mobility solutions such as PBOT’s Biketown for All.
Other topics on the agenda? Regional economic development led by Monqiue Claiborne of Greater Portland, Inc, preserving indie culture led by Music Portland‘s Meara McLaughlin, and a thought-provoking conversation about treating mental illness as a health (not criminal) issue led by Multnomah County DA, Mike Schmidt.
Despite challenges created by the ongoing pandemic, last week The Street Trust’s 11th annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit drew 95 speakers from around the region, state, and country to talk about the needs and challenges in our transportation systems and how we can address them.
From learning about how transportation advocates can improve media coverage of traffic deaths, to exploring the new public plazas in downtown Portland, and discussing how cities can reach zero auto ownership, this year’s summit demonstrated our commitment to promoting all modes to achieve a safe, accessible, equitable, and sustainable transportation system.
Summit 2022 – by the numbers:
The Summit included 30 virtual sessions over the course of 3 fun-packed days
158 passionate transportation thinkers and doers attended to Monday’s 3-hour opening session featuring USDOT Civil Rights Office chief Irene Marion, Metro President Lynn Peterson, Youth Climate Activist Cassie Wilson, Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, Washington County Commissioner Nafisa Fai, and N. Clackamas School Board Chair Libra Forde among other community leaders
By Day 3, Summit sessions had accumulated more than 1,000 views from over 300 attendees — ta 50% increase over last year’s attendance
The experience included 10 fun and engaging in-person events across the Portland metro, including a visit to the Afrovillage MAX conversion and a closing happy hour sponsored by Nelson/Nygaard (thank you!)
The Street Trust team was thrilled to bring back some in-person programming and we were humbled by the terrific response we got from attendees and volunteers who helped out. After two completely virtual Summits, it was wonderful to see our friends getting together as a community again.
Missed the in-person events this year? Below are snapshots of just a few of the exciting adventures put together by The Street Trust and our partners. Watch for video recordings of sessions as they’re posted as well as our summary report coming soon.