The Street Trust had an unprecedented year in 2021. Even as the pandemic continued to disrupt our society, our organization dug into an intensive rebuild with an eye to the future and took action to ensure we’re making an impact across the Portland metro region and beyond. Despite unique challenges, TST pushed the region closer to a complete, safe, low-carbon, multimodal transportation system that contributes to equity in access, opportunity, health, and prosperity for all.

In 2021, the organization hired an Executive Director; forwarded state legislation to get more funding for people walking, biking, and rolling; recruited 18 new esteemed and diverse board members across both the 501c3 and 501c4 boards; published our 2021-23 Strategic Action Plan; and kicked off the #OurStreets campaign – an intensive effort to build tools and community power for better transportation outcomes across the Portland metro region

But don’t take our word for it! We went straight to our team on the ground for their wins from 2021 and their aspirations for 2022 …

2021 was a breakaway year for our advocacy work. Over the past year, we revived and rebuilt The Street Trust Action Fund, our 501c4 political arm. The Action Fund board members represent diverse experiences and perspectives, who aspire to work together for greater credibility and influence in the politics of the greater Portland region. Working in complement to the efforts of our 501c3 arm, they are going to focus on the politics of elevating multimodal transportation as a priority issue at all levels of government and in all parts of the region. Building in greater power will help hold leadership accountable for making real progress in improving transportation options for people in their communities.

TST managers André Lightsey-Walker and Anouksha Gardner at the 2021 Alice Awards.

Policy Transformation Manager André Lightsey-Walker worked intensively in 2021,  writing letters to agencies and officials calling for more equitable, climate-smart mobility options, and serving on committees at every level of government to shape better outcomes. He is most excited with how the organization built up our “capacity and presence at a diverse variety of tables,” adding, “We’ve been impressing folks everywhere we go and building healthy relationships.” André is optimistic that 2022 will bring more opportunities, “to come together in person for walks, rolls, and gathering in Our Streets!” 

 

Partnerships are critical to our work, and this year our Strategic Partnerships Manager Anouksha Gardner made connections that emphasize our commitment to building alliances across many sectors and throughout the entire Portland metro region.

She worked hard in 2021 refreshing existing relationships and building new ones, including signing reciprocal memberships with members of the freight, technology, and business sectors, including Forth Mobility, B-line, and Business for a Better Portland. By adding Killer Queen Cyclery and Icicle Tricycles as new business members, Anouksha kept TST true to our biking roots.

Anouksha also connected with large institutions whose commuters and political influence can work with us to shape the future of Portland, such as Kaiser Community Health and Portland State University. When it comes to community-based organizations, Anouksha kicked off collaborations with Historic Parkrose, Unite Oregon, and the Rosewood Initiative as part of the #OurStreets campaign.

 

Supporting the next generation of walkers and rollers continues to be central to our programming. Education Director Lindsay Huber is proud that, despite school closures and distancing, TST helped schools and students host multiple successful Walk+Roll events in 2021. “We were also very proud to add 123 Oregon schools to the list of schools across the United States celebrating Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day with support from Ruby Bridges herself! This event encouraged students to learn about racial justice and apply it to active transportation.”

Walking and rolling to school isn’t possible without a safe way to get there, which is why TST is thrilled with Safe Routes To School Coordinator Nicole Perry’s hard won successes in 2021, including new safe routes for students attending Linwood Elementary and Sojourner Schools in Milwaukie. 

In 2022, TST will work hard expanding our offering of Walk+Roll programs, including a Winter Walk+Roll event to encourage students to get to school safely in cold, rainy, or snowy weather with active transportation; and an Earth Month event in April to help students think about the impact of how they travel on the environment.

 

Despite the pandemic, The Street Trust also continued our critical work in the streets. Community Engagement Manager Madi Carlson, “loved that the 2021 Move More Challenge expanded beyond biking and included walking, scooting, transit, and more in a bigger effort to reduce car usage.”

In addition to the Move More Challenge, Madi hosted inclusive WeBike rides and supported or led other bike rides throughout the year. This included two community rides hosted by Teatro Milagro in SE Portland: Día de la Madre in May and Día de los Muertos in October. She also worked with the City of Portland over the Summer to host an event at Gateway Discovery Park and an events action table in Old Town for the ‘Here for Portland’ weekend. To help fill the void so many of us felt with no formal Sunday Parkways, Madi led our efforts to activate the street outside Teatro Milagro every Sunday in August to create “mini Sunday Parkways.” In 2022, Madi is hoping to return to “more in-person programming for the Oregon Active Transportation SummitBike Commute Clinics, and The Street Trust member events!”

 

Community Engagement Manager Madi Carlson hosting the parklet TST hosted in Oregon City for Parking Day.

TST also deployed grants to support activations that transformed streets across the region into people-oriented spaces. In September, Grants & Impact Manager Henry Latourette Miller obtained a grant from SPIN and worked with the local business community to set up a parklet in a parking space in Oregon City as a part of International Parking Day. He was thrilled to organize the Oregon City event, which, “proves our commitment to serving the entire Portland metro, while featuring a partnership with the local business association, demonstrating our ambition to create innovative alliances across many sectors.”

In a perfect harmony of furthering our mission while building up our community, our biggest street activation of the year was our annual Alice Awards, which we transformed into a lively, intercultural block party at the Friends of the Green Loop’s Ankeny West space. Along with allowing our supporters and allies to gather in celebration of transportation leaders for the first time in over a year, the block party was also an opportunity to take over a full lane of West Burnside Street, one of Portland’s most notorious arterials. 

White Lotus and Dragon Dancers performing at TST’s 2021 Alice Awards

Looking to the future, In 2022, we’re going fight for you from the literal intersections of a public health crisis in which unsafe and incomplete public streets threaten our lives and livelihoods. We’re going to refuse to settle for an autocentric transportation system that worsens disparities and sacrifices our future. We going to stand firm in the belief that we can stop preventable death resulting from inequality, lax safety, and climate change. And we are going to do everything we can to win policy transformation and major investments that save lives, reduce barriers, and expand opportunities to the people and neighborhoods our current system neglects.

In 2022, our work will be defined by a continued commitment to investing in advocacy, education, community, partnerships, and impact. The #OurStreets Community Mobilization Campaign is now underway, with planned collaborations with Rosewood Initiative, Historic Parkrose, and Unite Oregon set to take place this spring. We are supercharged with new faces and new energy ready to take the work of The Street Trust to new heights. 2021 was a year of big changes and bold moves. 2022 is the year those seeds we planted will bear fruit.  

But we can’t do any of this without you. Together, we can have greater impact advocating for public investments that make our region more livable, equitable, and healthy. As a new year begins, please make sure your membership is up to date, gift a membership to street users you love, and sign up to volunteer. In 2022, we’re going to reclaim our streets, and our future – but we can’t do it without you.

 

Support The Street Trust

 

 

Last week The Street Trust’s Policy Transformation Manager sent the letter below to the Oregon Tolling Program about the Regional Mobility Pricing Project. TST will continue to keep the pressure on leadership to use congestion pricing for what it is for–reducing congestion–not for paying for more highway lanes and car infrastructure at the expense of bike, pedestrian, and transit investments..


“The Street Trust is a membership advocacy organization amplifying the voice of street users from across Greater Portland. We work at the intersections of an ongoing transportation crisis. Every day, our unsafe and incomplete public streets threaten our lives and livelihoods. Together, we can stop preventable death resulting from racial and social inequality, inadequate safety, and the climate crisis. For that reason, we are working hard to overcome the political gridlock that ignores these most urgent needs.

Given these priorities, The Street Trust is focused on advancing a regional system that manages demand and prioritizes multimodal infrastructure. We are strong proponents of the emerging use of pricing as a tool to help manage traffic demand, address urgent climate concerns, and improve equitable access to other modes in our transportation system. However, The Street Trust supports using pricing as a tool to manage transportation demand, not as a revenue generator for expanding capacity for drive-alone trips.

 

The language in your draft document states that the purpose of the Regional Mobility Pricing Project is “to implement congestion pricing to manage traffic congestion and to generate revenue for priority transportation projects.” This is unacceptably vague and as such, we ask that you please clearly describe the characteristics of a priority transportation project, especially as it relates to the stated goals of “support[ing] multimodal transportation choices to provide travel options and reduce congestion” and “provid[ing] benefits for historically and currently excluded and underserved communities” and “reducing contributions to climate change effects” (p. 7).


We are gravely concerned that every project listed on the Urban Mobility Office’s website is centered on freeways or freeway expansion.The Street Trust believes the future of Urban Mobility is multimodal, not auto-centric. Oregonians deserve more than a “pave now, pay later” investment in the midst of a long-overdue climate justice reckoning and recalibration.

Throughout the draft document, there is not a single mention of induced demand. A
clear explanation of this principle and its consequence is a critical element of transportation planning discussions; thus, the final purpose and need statement document must include an explanation of induced demand.

As leaders in the discussion of congestion pricing, it is important that ODOT embraces its responsibility for driving an essential cultural shift towards the elevation and prioritization alternatives to the carbon-intensive, drive-alone trip. This project is an extraordinary opportunity to help Oregonians understand that the things they’ve perceived as free have actually been quite costly, causing harm to our most vulnerable communities for decades and that without urgent, strategic, and innovative intervention, they will continue to do so.
Finally, we ask that you move forward with a commitment to equity by ensuring you spend sufficient time and resources engaging and taking direction from the multiple generations of communities that have suffered negatively from your previous freeway projects, with a specific focus on Portland’s Black community members displaced during the original Interstate 5 construction.
We remain appreciative of the work you’ve done and are excited about the potential for our state to emerge as a national leader on innovative, equitable, and impactful transportation policy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to The Street Trust if we can support you in this important work.”

Many thanks,
André Lightsey-Walker
Policy Transformation Manager
The Street Trust

Advocacy work is painstaking and thankless. #TST staff attend hours of public hearings, write letters, and show up to testify week in and week out so your voices are represented in these discussions. But we need your support to make sure that pricing is implemented to reduce congestion and not to pay for more highway lanes at the expense of bike, pedestrian, and transit investments.

Donate today to support TST’s advocacy work ensuring fair and effective pricing in the Portland metro region.

Last month, The Street Trust’s Policy Transformation Manager sent the letter bellow to City Council to support Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in developing an implementation plan for a suite of equitable mobility fees and investments based on principles recommended by the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility Task Force.

Dear Mayor and City Council Members:
My name is André Lightsey-Walker and I am the Policy Transformation Manager at The Street Trust, a multimodal advocacy organization and registered lobbying entity with the City of Portland.
Today is a day to celebrate! I’m happy to share both my excitement and appreciation of the work the Taskforce has brought forward and I want to commend not only their outcomes but also – and perhaps more importantly – the groundwork and processes that have led to their final recommendations.
The Street Trust supports the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility (POEM) Taskforce recommendations and encourages City Council to formally adopt these recommendations and to move quickly towards an implementation plan.
We are here today to support you as you navigate potential points of contention surrounding these recommendations and align your bureaus to ensure that they are implemented equitably, directed to do so with requisite urgency, and from a position of leadership both regionally and nationally.

As a regional advocacy organization, The Street Trust has identified equitable pricing as a strategic priority (and opportunity) to achieve greater mobility, equity and climate goals across the greater Portland metro area. We ask that The City of Portland not only support but lead implementation demand management of our transportation system by forwarding the POEM Task Force’s recommendations from your seat at the table in ODOT tolling discussions. You have the opportunity to set precedent at a pivotal point in the region’s history, where conversations of pricing are coming up at the local, regional, and state levels. Let’s work collectively to reestablish Portland as a global transportation leader and use our influence and successes as a model for how urban areas can do pricing right.

These are highly uncertain times in which you’re leading, and when discussing pricing options it may be tempting to center your priorities on revenue generation. It’s going to be important in this pivotal moment that you remember to prioritize changing travel behavior as opposed to generating revenue. The decisions you are making surrounding the POEM recommendations have the potential to positively transform our city and establish a tangible dedication to achieving the safety and climate outcomes we hope to achieve.

I encourage you all to remember that the primary goal of these recommendations is to reduce traffic demand and support congestion relief. Potential revenue should be looked at as an opportunity and tool to double down on your impact, by using the generated funds to continue to help reduce said demand and improve equitable outcomes in our transportation system.
When facing pushback to POEM recommendations, we must understand that the bulk of opposition stems from a perspective of Portland residents, old and new, who have traveled along and experienced city streets where policies and investments have prioritized the movement of automobiles over people… often, quite literally right over them. As long as we continue to prioritize drive-alone trips in our policies and investments, we will continue to see the creeping pollution, traffic violence, climate deterioration, and preventable death in our streets associated with those choices.
Many people, not unsurprisingly, are angered by the prospect of paying for something they’ve cognitively established as free. Whether it’s plastic bags, parking in their neighborhood, or crossing a bridge, and response to this change is natural. As leaders in our community, you have the opportunity to play a key role in helping people better understand that the things they’ve perceived as free have actually been quite costly, causing harm to our most vulnerable communities for decades.
And they will continue to do so without urgent, strategic and innovative intervention.

 

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

shows there is a national trend in traffic fatalities EVEN amidst the decrease in VMT associated with the pandemic. The City of Portland is no different: our streets are deadly, and we’ve already lost at least 51 lives to traffic violence in 2021. The Street Trust echoes PBOT’s proclamation that one death in our streets is too many, so we must collectively upend our auto-centric paradigm and prioritize the mobility of our most vulnerable street users first. We still have a unique opportunity to implement changes before returning to normal travel patterns. The Street Trust believes quick action on these recommendations will lead to more significant impacts and better outcomes for our community.

 

I ask for your continued leadership as we move forward in showing Portland and beyond, that designing streets for people is justice in action.
Thank you for your time and consideration,

A. Lightsey-Walker
André Lightsey-Walker
Policy Transformation Manager, The Street Trust
[email protected]

Advocacy work is painstaking and thankless. #TST staff attend hours of public hearings, write letters, and show up to testify week in and week out so your voices are represented in these discussions. But we need your support to make sure that pricing is implemented to reduce congestion and not to pay for more highway lanes at the expense of bike, pedestrian, and transit investments.

Donate today to support TST’s advocacy work ensuring fair and effective pricing in the Portland metro region. 

Multimodal Transit Street

 

The Street Trust’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan calls for “a complete, safe, low-carbon, multimodal transportation system that contributes to equity in access, opportunity, health, and prosperity for people and communities across the Portland Metro Region and beyond.” It all sounds great, but what do we mean by multimodal?

 

For many people the concept and characteristics of a multimodal transportation system is new and sometimes unclear, which is why I, your new Street Trust Policy Transformation Manager, am here to offer some insight as to what we mean when The Strust Trust demands for a “multimodal” system and why we think it’s important. 

 

A multimodal transportation system is one that offers more than one way to move around. For example, in the Portland Metro region there’s already a diverse suite of modes people use to get around. People can drive, walk, ride the streetcar or bus, hop on a scooter or one of Biketown’s shared electric bikes. However, not everybody has equitable access to all these different modes, and the ease of use and efficiency of each mode is affected by a history of disproportionate investment in infrastructure centered on private automobiles. 

 

Having multiple modes at hand is only one small piece of the multimodal pie. Another critical (and historically underfunded) piece, is infrastructure that allows for convenient, safe and accessible use of other modes. The cost and impact of these investments vary tremendously from mode to mode, but in a complete multimodal system, a single investment or piece of infrastructure can have a positive impact on many modes. For example, look at mobility lanes, which benefit cyclists, skaters, scooterers, and people with limited mobility.

 

Street users deserve a robust and connected suite of transportation options that allow them to safely travel anywhere they need to go. After more than a century of dominating our streets we think it’s time for cars to make way for the future and share the road.

 

If you live in the Portland metro area and want to improve multimodal transportation in your neighborhood, become a member of The Street Trust or volunteer with us when we hit the streets to improve the road network.

 

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

 

 

The Street Trust won a $1,000 Park(ing) Day grant to install a temporary parklet on Oregon City’s Main Street on September 17th. To win the grant provided by SPIN Scooters and the Better Block Foundation, TST partnered with the Downtown Oregon City Association and Black Ink Coffee, a local cafe and bookstore that has become a popular pit stop for recreational cyclists.

 

A temporary parklet might not seem like much, but this project reflects the ambition of our 2021-23 Strategic Plan, which calls for working with and learning from diverse street users across the region. Over the next two years we will continue to build new partnerships beyond central Portland because we believe everyone wants to see an end to an inefficient, expensive, and deadly street system.

 

By bringing a parklet to a community often choked with car traffic despite its walk and rollable street grid, we are shifting the conversation around what it means to have a healthy Main Street in small town Oregon. By partnering with a business and a business association, we are creating new alliances with folks who can tell their community that a safe, healthy street isn’t just better for people: it’s good for business.

 

This competitive grant draws an international pool of applicants and we want to thank the folks at SPIN and the Better Block Foundation for entrusting us to carry out this important mission. We also want to celebrate fellow Oregon-based non-profit Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation (BEST) for winning the same grant and their plans to bring a parklet to Eugene in September.

 

Visit TST’s Oregon City Parklet on September 17th at 503 Main St., Oregon City. There will be games, coffee, shade, and bike parking. 

 

To volunteer, visit our website

 

Have questions? Email TST Events Coordinator Madi Carlson at [email protected]

 

Board member speaks to other board members at annual mmeeting outdoors

 

The Street Trust has embarked on an ambitious mission to advocate for multimodal transportation options that prioritize safety, accessibility, equity, and climate justice in the Portland Metro Region. Our new Strategic Plan, Executive Director, and Board will usher us into the post-pandemic age with integrity and action. 

 

We are looking for six or more new Board Members to guide this important work. The ideal members believe in our core values and our priorities of Advocacy, Community, Impact, and Partnerships.

 

> Click here to view the Strategic Plan summary [PDF]

 

Our nominees will be chosen by the current board and voted on by our members. Board members serve a two-year term and may renew. The commitment is 2-4 hours per month.

 

> Please complete this brief questionnaire to apply (10 min)

 

Application Deadline: Aug 19, 2021

Board Members Chosen: September 2021

Onboarding and Training: October 2021