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.
The Street Trust is proud to announce that Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation has committed a major gift to fund, in part, the #OurStreets regional community mobilization campaign. This award is among a suite of funding requests The Street Trust submitted to foundations this year in an effort to grow community power to fight for and win transportation policy and investments that prioritize safety, accessibility, equity, and climate justice in our region.
Their generous $45,000 contribution will support critical work engaging diverse and underserved communities across the greater Portland metro. It includes building out a data visualization tool, the #OurStreets Scorecard, which is designed to empower communities to advocate for investments such as street lighting, sidewalks, and transit service where they live, work, and play. It will also support other regional advocacy work underway at The Street Trust, including the implementation of equitable congestion pricing, e-bike lending libraries, and ensuring the multi-billion dollar Interstate Bridge Replacement Project has a positive impact on multimodal transportation in the region.
This gift is a significant investment in Portland-area mobility at a time when the region is facing numerous challenges and experiencing a changing-of-the-guard in leadership. An agenda-setting funder of climate action for a quarter-century in the Pacific Northwest, in 2019 the Bullitt Foundation funded The Street Trust to found what is now known as the Getting There Together Coalition (GTT), an effort to lead development with Metro regional government on a multi-billion dollar transportation measure. GTT continues to advocate for transportation justice in our region today.
Bullitt Foundation is giving away most of what’s left of its endowment during the next couple of years, so this is likely to be one of their last investments in helping Portlanders achieve equitable, climate-smart transportation in our region.
“We see this as an important opportunity to elevate multimodal transportation as a priority issue at all levels of government and in all parts of the region,” says Henry Miller, Grants & Impact Manager at The Street Trust. “It will help us empower communities to advocate for themselves and hold their leaders accountable for making real progress in improving transportation options at a time when they’re desperately needed.”
We still have $30,000 more to raise to reach our goal. Please join us in thanking the Bullitt Foundation for their investment in our future, and consider joining them by giving to The Street Trust today.
Trust means different things to different people. Here at The Street Trust, we’re working hard to understand and improve trust within our organization, out in the community, and across our programs and efforts.
Building trust is time consuming and often thankless work that can entail stepping back and supporting another’s leadership. It can entail sacrifice in the short term for greater movement building in the long. Sometimes, building trust means giving without strings attached. Maintaining that trust is more artform than science and measuring it can prove challenging. We feel empowered when trust is present and weakened when it is absent.
Regardless how you understand the word, we’re working hard to be worthy of the ‘trust’ in our name.
Here are a few recent examples of trust-building investments that we’ve made recently that wouldn’t have been possible without you trusting us to do the right things with your financial support:
Developing the #OurStreets Scorecard, a free-to-the public online, data-democratizing tool that will empower communities regionwide to advocate for projects that meet their needs where they live
Fighting for better policy. Forging strategic partnerships. Founding and staffing coalitions. Educating people from the youngest students to gubernatorial candidates…. the list goes on. At the end of the day, trust is our bottom line and none of it would be possible without you.
Thanks for your interest, this position has been filled.
Are you that person at the potluck who wants to meet everyone at the table? Feel as comfortable behind a database as in front of a roomful of people? Do you think building community power for better transportation options is practically magic? Is translating complicated ideas in easy to understand ways across communities and cultures your superpower?
The Community Engagement Assistant will focus on two primary work areas: 1) Supporting the Community Engagement Manager in executing the organization’s programs and events (60-75% of the time) and 2) supporting the The Street Trust staff in developing, increasing, and sustaining grassroots community capacity to realize substantial gains in transportation justice (40-25% of the time).
Given the current global COVID-19 pandemic, this person will need to remain flexible, staying abreast of and implementing their duties in alignment with up-to-date COVID-19 protocols as issued by The State of Oregon and Multnomah County. We’re looking for a creative self-starter who can innovate to maintain the relevance of public events and engagement in a highly dynamic context. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to influence how the position evolves and to impact whether or not this becomes a permanent position at The Street Trust in the future.
During the past year, The Street Trust has renewed its focus on regional transportation advocacy but we still show up at the municipal level to shape better outcomes.
Recently, we showed up for street users in the City of Portland in four key efforts:
SupportedPBOT’s proposed Parking Climate and Equitable Mobility Transaction Fee alongside our colleagues at Verde, Parking Reform Network, Oregon Environmental Council, and Getting There Together coalition. The resolution to apply a parking surcharge to fund services like the transportation wallet and Biketown passed City Council unanimously this week.
Supported PBOT’s Safety Camera bill (HB 4105-1) in the Oregon Legislature to allow civilian review of automated traffic enforcement citations. (Did you know that in Portland, 100% of automated traffic enforcement violation review occurs on police over-time!?!) This legislation has passed out of the House and Senate committees. Now it’s on to a floor vote and, if that is successful, back to the House Rules Committee one more time before the session ends.
Opposed PBOT’s proposed installation of unprotected cycling infrastructure on NE Killingsworth along with with BikeLoud PDX, Andando en Bicicletas y Caminando, and Community Cycling Center. You can read about our close call with an out of control automobile on NE Killingsworth last weekend along with recommendations for reducing traffic fatalities in this Oregon Way piece: We must act now to stop traffic Fatalities in Oregon.
Opposed Mayor Wheeler’s sweeps of houseless people camping along dangerous roadways. Nowhere in any transportation study, advocacy campaign, nor community forum seeking to address our roadway safety problems has it been suggested that unhoused people and encampments should be swept or outright banned as a partial solution to this crisis. We organized with over two-dozen organizations, including Oregon Walks, Verde, Street Roots, Central City Concern, and Transition Projects, Inc. to push back on this non-solution to our traffic fatalities crisis and will continue to promote proven solutions to traffic safety. Read the Street Roots update here: Mayor’s order forbidding camping in high-traffic areas leaves unhoused Portlanders with few places to go
This is an important level of advocacy work that The Street Trust attempts to replicate locally in cities across the region. But it is labor intensive and difficult to fund. Your support makes the difference between The Street Trust having the capacity to lead on the these issues or sitting by in silence.
The Street Trust is proud to be among the ranks of grassroots transit rider groups, transportation, environmental, climate justice, civil rights, faith organizations, and transit workers unions recognizing transit equity as a civil right.
As we build back stronger and more equitably beyond the pandemic and with a focus on racial justice, transit access and justice will be critical. Access to transit means access to mobility, opportunity, and freedom. Rosa Parks’ work toward desegregation was only the beginning of the work we must do to ensure a transit system that works for all. Frequent, reliable, accessible transit service means access to jobs, education, services, housing affordability, and economic prosperity for communities.
The Street Trust fought for increased funding for transit in HB2017 and is fighting for a higher percentage committed to transit from the IIJA today. It’s important work, and we hope you will join us in it.
“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” ~Rosa Parks: My Story
In honor of Rosa Parks, Portland-area transit is fareless all day. TriMet will not collect fares for rides on the bus, MAX, WES or Lift Friday. Portland Streetcar and C-TRAN are also offering free rides.
Mark your calendars and get ready to help K-12 students Walk+Roll with Winter Walk+Roll to School Day, Earth Month, and the Walk+Roll May Challenge.
Winter Walk+Roll to School Day: Wednesday, February 23
Earth Month: All April with special celebrations on Earth Day, Friday, April 22
Walk+Roll May Challenge: All May with special celebrations encouraged on Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 4
Make sure you bookmark www.oregonsaferoutes.org/walkroll where we’ll be adding resources like event coordinator toolkits, social media images and messaging, printable event posters, activity suggestions, free incentive ordering and ideas, and more!
Want to learn how to be a safer and friendlier driver when sharing the road with people walking and biking? Sign up for FREEonline Oregon Friendly Driver training through our partnership with Washington County Library and the Westside Transportation Alliance.
You will learn rules of the road, infrastructure, along with common mistakes and how to avoid them. They’re appropriate for drivers of all levels, from new drivers to professional drivers!
Cornelius Public Library: Thurs, Feb 10, 6:30 – 7:30 PM: Register here!
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.
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.
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 rollerscontinues 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.”
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 Summit, Bike Commute Clinics, and The Street Trust member events!”
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.
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.
The City of Milwaukie has opened new Safe Routes to School for students attending Linwood Elementary and Sojourner School! Thanks to these multi-use pathways (pictured right), residents can now more comfortably walk and roll on Linwood Avenue.
Join The Street Trust as we celebrate the opening of the paths this Saturday afternoon. The City of Milwaukie will have four tent stations along the half mile stretch between Montgomery Drive and Aspen Street. The stations will be handing out treats, coffee, apple juice, stickers, and scavenger hunt prizes. Attendees can also also participate in bike decorating and sidewalk chalk art.
Arrive between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. this Saturday, November 20th.