Over the Summer, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes To School program unveiled the pilot of the new Jump Start Train-the-Trainer program. This program helps school districts, staff, and other safe routes advocates learn the skills to teach bicycle and pedestrian safety to students across Oregon through onsite training.
Street Trust staff lead the pedestrian safety part of this program. In August, these staff members visited Baker City along with other members of the ODOT SRTS team and worked with advocates to help them prepare for bicycle and pedestrian safety lessons this Fall. Recently, Baker County received funds from a grant to purchase a fleet of bicycles for schools to encourage safe biking practices.
The team provided the participants lessons in bicycle and pedestrian safety, along with resources so they can easily implement the lessons in their own programming.
“The hands-on portion of the training gave a very informative example of what we will have to do”, said Jessie Wilson, SRTS Coordinator in La Grande, of her time at the training. “I really appreciated this experience”.
Thank you to the great team in Baker City for inviting us to do this training! We are excited to continue to bring Jump Start to more communities throughout the state.
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?
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]
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.
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.
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.
Adaptive BIKETOWN is a great start for making cycling more accessible to disabled people – Cassie Wilson, Community Engagement Assistant at The Street Trust.
As a disabled person, I’d never gotten to ride a bike as an adult until I found one that works for me at Adaptive BIKETOWN.
During the 2022 Oregon Active Transportation Summit I connected with Roshin Kurian from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, who manages Adaptive BIKETOWN, BIKETOWN for All, and the Transportation Wallet. Roshin encouraged me to check out Adaptive BIKETOWN and see if one of the bikes they have would meet my needs.
Shop manager Kristin Miller helped me try out several different adaptive cycles. I have a form of dwarfism which resulted in mobility related disabilities. Despite not being able to walk long distances, my legs work fine, so I hoped to find a foot-powered trike of some kind that could work for me. Unfortunately none of the current adaptive foot-powered cycles available were a match for my short and disproportionate skeleton. Instead, I found a small adaptive handcycle and took it for a spin!
Adaptive BIKETOWN is located just to the west of OMSI’s north parking lot along the Eastbank Esplanade. It’s a great location for anyone trying out cycling for the first time since you don’t have to ride alongside car traffic. That being said, I did get to ride on the road in a bike lane very briefly between the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Trail, which was a new and exciting experience!
Overall, the handcycle worked great for me. Going up inclines proved difficult as the handcycle required me to use muscles that don’t get worked much, but I was lucky to have a friend (because riding bikes with friends is fun!) who could push me up tough inclines.
I ended up riding about 5 miles, which was the farthest I’ve ever manually moved my body in my whole life(!) and I had a blast doing it. I’m excited that I now have way to ride bikes with my friends, and look forward to enjoying it even more when it’s a bit cooler outside.
Adaptive BIKETOWN is a great start for making cycling more accessible to disabled people. I hope to see their fleet expand to include more variation in electric assist adaptive cycles (to make hills less daunting). I also hope to see more bikes tailored for specific types of disabilities such as those recently released by UK bike company Islabikes for people with disproportionate dwarfism.
Adaptive BIKETOWN is a great way to try out a bunch of different adaptive cycles in one place to find one that works for you before going out and buying your own.
Learn more about Adaptive BIKETOWN on their website or join us Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 10am for our Harry Styles themed adaptive bike ride! RSVP to the event or sign up to volunteer.
The Street Trust and BIKETOWN have just announced a creative partnership to bring BIKETOWN for All to BIPOC and underserved communities across the City of Portland. The program will include community education, group rides led by compensated ride ambassadors, and engaging partners across the city.
The Street Trust has worked with BIKETOWN for years to encourage Portlanders to embrace this healthy, low-carbon and fun mode of transportation. But this Summer we are taking our partnership with with Lyft and BIKETOWN to the next level to advance transportation justice.
BIKETOWN offers reliable, affordable, car-free mobility for Portland residents with lower incomes through its BIKETOWN For All program. Bike sharing supports cleaner air in frontline communities by reducing the number of cars on the road. To further advance the bike sharing’s positive impact on our priority communities,
Partnerships power our advocacy efforts at The Street Trust. We work with everyone to achieve our vision and together we are dedicated to winning safe, clean, accessible transportation of the future.
Want to to be considered for one of this year’s BIKETOWN Community Ambassadors? Please complete this brief intake form and someone from our team will follow-up with you.
Think a strategic partnership between your company and The Street Trust could further our shared goals for better transportation? Schedule a conversation with Strategic Partnerships Manager Anouksha Gardner .
Nothing Beats a Heat Island Like a Cool River Swim
This weekend, in partnership with BIKETOWN and TriMet, The Street Trust led its friends and members on a guided bike and transit ride from the Lents town center to The Big Float in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Lents was the deadliest heat island during last summer’s heat dome disaster and the dangerous conditions persisted during this year’s record-breaking heat wave. The Street Trust understands that our climate crisis affects frontline and low-income communites disproportionately. We also know that an estimated 30% of Oregonians don’t drive. That’s why, we chose to support Lents’ residents with affordable, safe options to access the cool waters of the Willamette River without having to drive.
While most participants rode their own bikes or used Biketown to take advantage of the beautiful sunny day, The Street Trust also distributed transit passes to anyone who didn’t feel comfortable cycling. Despite being known as a multimodal leader, many Portlanders feel uncomfortable cycling and/or accessing public transportation. Our focus on providing multiple mobility options to The Big Float is indicative of our efforts to be more inclusive while also promoting a critical mobility service.
This multimodal event was the first of its kind for The Street Trust, and based on initial feedback we hope to continue offering transit tickets, BIKETOWN access, and mobility guides for future events.
“Heat Island to River Relief” bike ride participants met their guides at 10AM at the Lents Town Center, where the local farmer’s market takes place. Several passersby approached The Street Trust to ask us what we were up to (probably something to do the giant pile of lifejackets strapped to a bike trailer). These encounters demonstrated to us that there is interest in BIKETOWN and bike events in the Lents neighborhood, which is also home to many of our priority communities.
Some participants took TriMet’s #14 bus, which has frequent service and stops directly in front of Lents Town Center. The bus dropped us off only a few blocks away from the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, making the journey very convenient while also offering a refuge from the heat. Taking in that stellar view of the Willamette as the bus crossed the Hawthorne bridge was also a reminder of how lucky this city is to have such an incredible public resource… and how important it is to ensure that everyone feels like they can access it. The journey also allowed us to connect with each other and talk about the impression that folks had about Portland’s transit system.
Overall, the Heat Island to River Relief was yet another successful community-oriented summer event from The Street Trust. Not only did it serve the important mission of reminding participants of the seriousness of the heat island effect and the different ways you can access one of the most important cooling amenities in the city; it also brought together the TST community for a little fun in the sun. And it doesn’t get any better than that.
Thanks for being so welcoming to The Street Trust, Lents neighbors — we look forward to partnering and enjoying future events with you! Check out more pictures in BikePortland.
Although it’s not recognized federally, the disabled community recognizes July as Disability Pride Month in honor of July 26th being the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
At The Street Trust, we champion safe, accessible, equitable, and low-carbon streets. We also acknowledge that transportation justice and disability justice go hand in hand. Whether something is accessible or not means different things depending on the context, but it should always include access for disabled people because we overlap with all other groups.
As someone with a mobility disability, accessibility to me means having the freedom to move through life with as much ease as someone who is not disabled. This includes anything from accessing housing, school, and work (in-person or online), to navigating our communities. Accessibility also emphasizes how mobility devices are freedom and independence for many disabled people, making it easier for us to move our bodies, as opposed to being ‘confined’ to them as is often how they’re described.
Something feels accessible to me when I don’t have to think much about it or go through extra steps to get my needs met. It removes the added labor of figuring out how to navigate life in a way that works for me. For that reason, it’s a lot easier to notice when things are not accessible such as buildings with one step to get inside or crosswalks without accessible (or any) curb cuts.
Speaking of curb cuts, everyone benefits from accessibility! The ‘curb cut effect’ demonstrates how increasing accessibility for disabled people accessing sidewalks by adding curb cuts also improves conditions for people pushing strollers, bicycles, skates, carts, etc.
As a disabled person living in a rural area without public transit, I am forced to drive. Driving is already expensive, and the cost only increases when you factor in accessible vehicle upgrades and added insurance for those features. When I was reliant on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), transportation accounted for over half of my below-poverty-level income. Increasing access to public transit, bike lanes, and sidewalks state wide would hugely benefit people who can’t drive due to disabilities, and it would also benefit the estimated 1 in 3 Oregonians who can’t or don’t drive as well as those who would choose not to if given feasible alternatives.
– Cassie Wilson, Community Engagement Assistant @ The Street Trust
Celebrate Disability Pride Month with The Street Trust at our Pedalpalooza ride at 4:00pm on July 28th which starts and ends at Adaptive Biketown.
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.
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!
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.