A Sunday Parkways attendee on roller skates stops by The Street Trust corner

 

With August coming to a close, we say goodbye to another epic Sunday Parkways season after a fun finish with East Portland Sunday Parkways. We rocked the day away at an intersection near Gateway Discovery Park with DJ Doc Rock and, thanks to the out-and-back route, were able to interact with tons of event participants–some twice!

Our volunteers polled hundreds of walkers and rollers to find out how they arrived at the event and the results were enlightening.

Bikes for the win!

Feedback from Sunday Parkways attendees
‘What would make it easier for you to drive less?’ feedback from Sunday Parkways attendees

A solid 33% of the participants we polled arrived by bike or ebike. A small portion of these came multimodally– by combining their ride to East Portland with MAX, bus, or car- but for the most part people used a single mode of transportation.

A lot of folks drove to Sunday Parkways, but 24% of the people we polled were part of a carpool rather than driving alone.

Anecdotally, a great many of the people we spoke to lived very close to the route and walked or biked over. It’s wonderful when open streets events pull crowds from both near and far.

As The Street Trust looks to reevaluate and evolve some of our programs to adapt to a post-pandemic world, we were eager to ask everyone one question: What would make it easier for you to drive less?

More car-free streets” is always a popular answer to this question during an open streets event, as well as one of the next best things in many respondents’ opinions: “Protected bike lanes.” With ebikes gaining in popularity, it was nice to see a lot of ebike-related responses, like:

  • Ebike incentives
  • Plugins for ebikes
  • Cheaper ebikes

In transit-related answers a few we got were:

  • A third slot on bus bike racks like in Seattle and Vancouver
  • Transit to nature
  • Willamette ferry

For the first time ever we had a clear fan favorite of an answer: moving sidewalks. While this inspired a lot of people to consider more fanciful responses, the 10-year old who made the suggestion had recently visited Hong Kong’s Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system and experienced a moving sidewalk firsthand.

A group of people on bikes visit TST's booth at Sunday Parkways

How do you get around? And what would make it easier and/or more likely for you to go places more often without driving? Help shape The Street Trust of the future by taking our survey!

 

Take Our Survey!

 

Group ride attendees smiling for photo on adaptive cycles and standing in background.

 

Harry Styles fans, adaptive bike riders, and Pedalpalooza regulars alike gathered on Saturday morning for The Street Trust and Adaptive BIKETOWN’s accessible group ride. It was my first time participating in and leading a group bike ride, along with Jenna Phillips (aka @jennabikes), my co-lead. 

Since getting involved in the world of transportation justice, I’ve seen my friends post every year about fun group rides, especially during Pedalpalooza. It wasn’t until I tried out an adaptive cycle at Adaptive BIKETOWN that I could see myself being able to participate in a group ride.

We set the gathering time as 10am and left the departure time up to when the group was ready. Getting fitted to an adaptive bike can take a few tries and adjustments, and it was important to us to make sure everyone’s needs were met. Some rode their own bikes, some rode traditional BIKETOWN e-bikes, one person rolled along in their electric wheelchair, and myself and a handful of others rode adaptive bikes.

To make the event as accessible as possible, the 2.5 mile route started and ended at Adaptive BIKETOWN. We rode along the Eastbank Esplanade, briefly rode in the streets that connected us over to the Springwater Trail, and rode until a grassy opening where we pulled off onto the gravel trail for a water break before connecting back onto the paved trail and heading back.

 

Along the way we listened to the tunes of Harry Styles as they played out of an impressive, portable sound system pulled via bike trailer. Some riders dressed up in Harry Styles inspired outfits or donned feather boas and heart shaped sunglasses. While rides don’t require a theme, adding one gave myself and other disabled attendees, who can’t usually participate in group rides, the full experience. 

If you’ve come across a BIKETOWN booth recently, you’ve likely seen their backdrop that says: YES, YOU ARE A BIKE PERSON. Riding together alongside other disabled people as we led the group truly allowed me to feel that sentiment for the first time. Seeing oneself represented and able to participate in the cycling community makes a world of difference in imagining how we can move through the world together.

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Support TST’s Work To Make Biking Inclusive!

 

 

Back in February, Willamette Week created a “25 Reasons to Love Portland” Valentine to this place we call home. Number seventeen was,“Because Portland Is Building Bridges for People, Not Cars.” In it, The Street Trust explained why we’re smitten with carfree public infrastructure investments like Flanders Crossing and the Blumenauer Bridge. They’re important from a transportation perspective for sure, creating safe, comfortable connections for people walking, rolling, and biking across parts of town that were previously noisy, stressful, and dangerous. But they’re also important for cultural and socioeconomic reasons. 

Talk is cheap (just ask Portland’s 2030 Bike Plan), but what you spend your money on speaks volumes. And taking care to leverage public projects to get three or four bangs for each buck says a lot about the quality of governance in a place. Transportation wonks might think about these investments in terms of design and timeline, but what the general public sees are the promises we’re making and whether we’re making good on them.

So what are Portland’s carfree bridges promising? 

  1. We care about people. Active transportation projects which are safe and accessible tell people we care about their happiness and safety. Exercise is good for our health and low-stress connections reduce, well, stress. Have you tried chatting car-to-car while driving down the street? Didn’t think so. But you saw plenty of chatting and laughing last week while folks strolled across the bridge. (P.S. When we provide amenities such as shade trees, water fountains, and public restrooms, it tells people we care even more.) [insert picture]
  2. We care about the planet. Yup, temperatures at the Blumenauer Bridge festivities were brutal, with many folks hunkered beside walls and under pop-up tents for refuge. Year after year, we’re breaking climate records for rainiest this or hottest that. Climate change is unrelenting. Major carfree infrastructure is a high return on investment climate solution that demonstrates we’re serious about changing the status quo with urgency. Bonus? They’re going to come in handy after a major seismic event. 
  3. We care about placemaking. Since Aristotle (and probably before) humans have debated the meaning of place. But at the core, places (as opposed to spaces) are where humans interact with and make meaning in our environment. In Portland, there’s an intentionality to our placemaking through which we collectively celebrate diversity, art, community, mobility, and so many other experiences in our ever changing world. These new bridges don’t just connect great places like Lloyd District and Central Eastside, they are beautiful and engaging places in and of themselves. 
  4. We care about prosperity. Bridges that connect places thoughtfully and prioritize people over cars are good for business and the economy. They are economic drivers with a lighter footprint on local streets. But the economic benefit goes beyond helping local businesses. They also save money on healthcare costs because of reduced air pollution and fewer automobile crashes. And bottom line: they are a lot cheaper to construct than auto-centric infrastructure.

Carfree bridges such as Flanders Crossing, Blumenauer Bridge, and even Tilikum Crossing are indeed small compared to their gargantuan and overpriced car-centric counterparts (looking at you Interstate Bridge, ahem); they set the bar high for our transportation future and make good on our promise to realize a healthier, more just, and sustainable future.


On July 31st, The Street Trust and friends from Teatro Milagro, Go Lloyd and other fans of active transportation celebrated the opening of the Earl Blumenauer Bridge with the Bowtie Congressman.

Enjoy a few photos from the historic event!

 

 

Pedestrian enjoying Eastbank Esplanade in Portland B&W

 

Standing United Against Violence and Hate in Our Streets 

A visiting Asian family was attacked while cycling along the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland earlier this week. We understand that this attack was racially motivated and led to physical and verbal abuse of both the father and child. 

The attacker has been charged with a bias (aka hate) crime which has led us to do more research on what exactly triggers that classification. 

Under Oregon law, a bias crime — or hate crime — is defined as a crime in which a person “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another person because of the person’s perception of the other person’s race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.”

While the event is tragic, we were happy to hear that the family was not seriously injured and that upon seeing the confrontation multiple community members stepped up to deter the attacker which led to his arrest shortly after the attack. 

Creating safe streets for all is central to the work of our organization. Still, this event reminds us that the barriers to safe transportation are more than the built environment and speeding cars. It reminds us that bias, discrimination, and systemic oppression are all alive and well, and that the hateful people in our region are willing to lash out at any moment to reinforce this reality. 

The Street Trust stands in solidarity with the AAPI community. We will use our platform and influence to continue educating our members and partners about the explicit and implicit biases rooted in our culture and we will continue to elevate and celebrate the diverse voices of AAPI-identifying communities throughout our region. 

We’d also like to thank the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) for their continued work and leadership in the AAPI community. The Street Trust shares APANO’s vision of a just world where Asians and Pacific Islanders and communities have the power, resources, and voice to determine our own futures,  and where we can work in solidarity to drive political, social, economic, and cultural change. You can support APANO by donating here.

We recognize that we have a long way to go until we reach a place where communities no longer have to fear being targeted in the streets because of their identity but we’re confident that we can achieve this vision by working together as a caring and supportive community.

 

Racially motivated hate crimes are a challenging topic so we’ve included some resources for those of you who are interested in learning more:

https://www.aapihatecrimes.org/facts

https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/learn-about-hate-crimes

 

The Street Trust partners with a wide range of organizations from non-profit, labor, business, health, education, faith, and other sectors. These partnerships make our advocacy more powerful by bridging communities across focus issues and neighborhoods. We work in community to achieve our vision, from co-founding the Getting There Together and Just Crossing Alliance coalitions, to forming a statewide alliance to increase funding for safe routes via SB 395, and joining up with regional and statewide partners to pass HB 2017 – our state’s last major transportation infrastructure package.

When we created our first strategic partnerships position last year,  we knew that we would need to recruit a born networker ready to connect with a wide range of people leading in every aspect of urban policy and transportation conversations from across zip codes, sectors, and organizations. 

Enter Strategic Partnerships Manager Anouksha Gardner, who comes to The Street Trust with years of experience building relationships in the higher education sector. In her previous role at Portland State University, Anouksha was responsible for collaborating and building partnerships with schools, colleges, organizations across the West Coast as well as in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Now Anouksha is focused on building The Street Trust’s relationships with businesses and community based organizations.

Our new relationship with Rosewood Initiative is one that Anouksha and the rest of The Street Trust is especially excited about. 

Rosewood Initiative believes in building a safe, healthy and vibrant community where neighbors can thrive together. They are an organization that implements neighbor-led strategies since 2009 and their community center provides space for people to gather, connect to resources, celebrate and work on projects that improve their lives and the community.

To keep our followers informed about The Street Trust’s efforts to build partnerships that help us advance our mission of creating a more accessible, equitable, safe, and sustainable regional transportation system, we asked Anouksha how this partnership came about and what to expect from it in the future.


In her own words – Strategic Partnerships Manager Anouksha Gardner

What inspired you to reach out to Rosewood Initiative?

When I started working at The Street Trust, I was looking to connect with organizations we had done work with and those we hadn’t connected with yet. Tsering Sherpa, the programs director at Rosewood Initiative connected with me and told me that she worked at a NPO. Tsering was a friend from Portland State and so when we connected and spoke about our organizations I realized that we could work together to support the Rosewood Community, especially with their transportation needs and wants. 

What have you learned by pursuing this course of action?

I’ve learned that the community is tired of speaking about their needs and no changes happening. The Street Trust is focused on changing that. We are collaborating with Rosewood Initiative to hear about what their community needs and taking steps to provide the resources needed and bring about changes needed.

What ado you appreciate about Rosewood Initiative?

I am very grateful for Rosewood’s unwavering support of The Street Trust. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to table at events and speak to the community. We’ve had their support in signing on to grants we have been applying to. We are also grateful for Rosewood Initiative being our first partner in the Our Streets Community Mobilization Campaign. I am very impressed with how much Rosewood does for their community. Every Saturday Celebration I have attended has been supported by the community and everyone I have spoken to there has nothing but good things to say about the organization. 

What are your hopes and aspirations for this partnership in the future?

I hope to continue the relationship we have with Rosewood Initiative and work on doing more with their community. We are going to be hosting listening sessions with their community to find out what their transportation needs are and what The Street Trust can do to provide resources and support. I am very thankful for their support and hope to keep up the relationship in the future.

 

Interested in supporting The Street Trust’s partnership with Rosewood Initiative and other community based organizations? Donate or become a member below.

 

Donate To The Street Trust!

Learn More About Rosewood Initiative!

A group of people in rain gear standing under the Hollywood Theatre marquee which reads Filmed by Bike and Crimes of the Future

 

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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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.

Ryan Hashagen and Cory Poole pushed the pedicab up hills

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

WeBike participants in Beaverton

 

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.

Find WeBike events on The Street Trust events calendar and shared to the WeBike Instagram and Twitter.

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.

 

Join WeBike’s Next Ride!

 

Donate to support WeBike!

 

 

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. 

Closing event sponsor Nelson\Nygaard

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]trust.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civic Leaders on Bikes in Nashville

 

For more than thirty years, greater Portland’s civic leaders led by The 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.

John Lewis mural in Nashville 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

People in a conference panel discussion, professional setting.

In addition to walking and e-bike tours, the trip included a transportation deep dive moderated by Sarah Iannarone with Diana Alarcon, Director, Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure, Nashville  and Steve Bland, CEO, WeGo Public Transit. The group was later joined by Ashley Northington, Vice-President and Managing Director, Moving Forward Nashville. They discussed similarities between our two regions including the challenges of getting people back on transit post-COVID and ways to fund transportation in the wake of failed multi-billion dollar ballot measures. The delegation also spent an afternoon at Vanderbilt University which included a presentation on Sensing and Control of Traffic on the I-24 Smart Corridor, an innovative public-university partnership to manage congestion on highways. 

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.

Want to learn more about the trip? Read a reflection from our partners at Business for a Better Portland and coverage in the Portland Business Journal.

Civic leaders lined up side by side for group shot in sunshine

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Sponsor Logos - Greater Portland, Melvin Mark, The Street Trust, AAA, PGE, Port of Portland