Fender up! Full-coverage fenders will keep that dirty, gritty water and slush on the ground from getting on you, but they also prevent it from making its way into your bike where it will slowly grind away at your drivetrain.
Clean your chain. Wiping your chain clean and applying lube more often throughout the winter will keep your bike running smoothly. Also wipe accumulated snow off your chain as it builds up.
Shield your glasses. Get a visor for your helmet to keep rain and snow off your glasses. Or you can make one: remove the button from the top of a baseball cap and it will fit nicely under a helmet.
Wool is warm! Wool keeps you warm even if it gets wet. There’s no great vegan alternative to wool so whether or not you’re wearing wool:
Layer up. Wear base layers under jeans, jeans under rain pants, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks.
Re-waterproof gear. Check your soggy rain gear’s tag or online to see howto reactivate it–many items just need a spray-on or wash-in coating andthey’re like new.
Bring extras. If you’ve got room to stow extra gloves, socks, or even shoes, do it! You’ll use these extras to replace wet items or to add as extra layers.
Avoid wet metal. Metal plates and grates can be slippery in the rain so go around them whenever you can.
Long stops. Give yourself extra stopping space when the ground is wet–especially if you have rim brakes rather than disc brakes.
Light up! You’re required to have a front light visible from 500 feet away, but a stronger light that illuminates potholes and other hazards is great for riding in the dark.
Join us with your lunch on Wednesday, January 26th to learn even more about biking in winter. Email [email protected] if you haven’t received your invite yet or to check the status of your membership. Not a member yet? Join for $5 a month or $40 a year 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.
We are a membership advocacy organization and couldn’t do our work without the support of our terrific members! We’ve recently brought back monthly meetings for our members–virtual for now, but returning to in person soon.
We’re especially excited about December’s meeting and hope you’ll join us:
Burnside Bridge Community Conversation + Q&A
Monday, December 6, 5:00–6:00pm
We’ll welcome special guests from Multnomah County who will brief us on the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project. Then members of the Human Access Project will share their Burnside Bridge Pedestrian Access Ramp concept. We’ll have plenty of time for Q&A for both groups after the presentations.
Registration is required so please find the invite in your Member Alert email. Missing the registration link or need to check the status of your membership? Email TST Membership Services at [email protected].
Not a member yet? Join us! Individual membership dues are $5 monthly, or a $40 one-time contribution.
On top of their unwavering support of pedestrian and bike clinics, TCNF has also been involved in The Street Trust’s legislative advocacy efforts over the years. A recent example is Ray Thomas’s testimony in Salem in favor of legislation clarifying that bicycle lanes exist within intersections, even when painted markings are interrupted. Jim Coon has also recently helped draft proposed legislation updating Oregon’s bicycle bill, and spoke at last year’s Active Transportation Summit on that topic.
When asked why safe streets are so important to them, TCNF said, “As injury lawyers we have an intimate view of the impact traffic collisions can have on the lives of our clients, from the acute stages of treatment to the long-term mental and physical repercussions. Unfortunately, fear of another collision often discourages our clients from riding the way they did before, and we know many other would-be cyclists avoid riding out of concern for their safety. We need safer streets to welcome those who want to get around without a car, but don’t currently feel safe doing so.”
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 differences, issue areas, and geographic focus. The Street Trust appreciates and values the relationship the organization has with Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost, working together for safe streets for us all.
The Street Trust is always looking to partner with organizations and businesses. Become a business member/partner here.
B-line is passionate about our community and the planet! As a certified B-Corporation, they work every day by working with their customers to reduce freight congestion, CO2 emissions, provide local green-collar jobs, streamlined recycling services, and helping feed those in need via their B-shares program.
Since 2008, B-line Urban Logistics has done this by offering advertising, warehousing, logistics, fulfillment, and zero-emission delivery services to an ever-growing group of businesses in Portland, Oregon. B-Line customers value the delivery time they save, the cost savings of a centrally managed warehouse with dedicated staff, and their ability to help scale quickly with delivery, fulfillment, warehousing, and advertising services in a centrally located solar-powered warehouse on SE 7th and Salmon street.
B-line’s founding premise, that business can be a catalyst for positive change, is quantified in their 2019 and 2020 impact reports.
The Street Trust has a new business membershipstructure for organizations who support investments in safe and accessible streets. We have revised and remodeled our business membership to be accessible, equitable, and beneficial for organizations from all the different sectors.
The Street Trust’s work is done in partnership with a wide range of organizations from non-profit, labor, business, health, education, and other sectors. The support from our business members makes our advocacy more powerful, by bridging communities across differences, issue-areas, and geographic focus.
You can choose to be a Friend of The Street Trust, with getting access to our network and your information on our website, to choosing to be a Champion where you can partake in training and education from experts in the field of transportation and sponsorship opportunities. Partner with us by being either a Friend, Builder, Sustainer or Champion. For more information please email [email protected]
Our welcome to new business partners Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC and Florin Roebig for joining The Street Trust Family.
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.
When I joined The Street Trust this January, our member-elected board gave me a very specific task: lead a strategic planning process to clarify how we serve the community and how we can have the greatest influence transforming transportation across the Greater Portland Region. Today, I’m proud to show you what #TST has accomplished these last few months.
First up: the plan. Together, we accomplished more than a strategic plan – ours is a measurable action plan on a tight timeline to achieve four top priorities: intensifying our advocacy, building partnerships, growing our membership, and increasing our impact. It is full of concrete steps that #TST is committed to taking this year and next (many we’ve already started) that will set us up for success. The plan says that by the end of 2022, The Street Trust will train candidates, build new and more inclusive coalitions, involve more -and more diverse- members in our work, and serve as a resource for the kind of data and information that drives transformation. All while maintaining the programs and partnerships you already know us for. But that’s not all it says – take a look for yourself!
With a renewed vision, mission and values, we’re taking on advocacy for the streets of our future. To make our plan happen, we needed to create some new positions, and I’m so thrilled we got such an incredible pool of applicants from across the country and across Greater Portland. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming André, Anouksha, Henry, and Zeyaad to the team.
These four join an incredible staff already in place – our Education Director Lindsay, Events & Engagement Assistant Madi, and Clackamas County Safe Routes to School Coordinator Nicole are a force for the streets, plus they’re three incredible women I’d trust to lead me on a walk, bike, or transit ride anywhere in our region.
If you’re reading this, you’re seeing it on our brand new website. We’ve restructured to make it easier to find the information you’re looking for, and aligned the branding with the new Strategic Action Plan. You can learn a bit about the new and existing staff on this site as well. Look around, explore, and let us know if anything isn’t working by sending us an email to [email protected]
Along with the new website, we have new database, marketing, and payment systems, among others. This means we will be reaching out to many of you to confirm you want to stay on our email list, or to move your monthly donation to a platform that saves time and money and works better for our members and our future.
Finally, I want to make an announcement I’ve been keeping under my bike helmet for a little while: The Street Trust Board has invited me to stay on with the organization as the Executive Director and lead our organization in executing this plan. No more “Interim” uncertainty – I plan on leading with grit and determination, and using the platform this position provides to advance the vision laid out in the plan. I’ll steer the ship based on what our team hears from the members, partners, funders, decision-makers, and street users who make up our community.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of #TST, and we can’t do it without your support. Right now would be an excellent opportunity to show your support for our new direction: please ensure your membership is up to date and renew your commitment to the streets of the future with a generous sustaining gift.
Eighty crosswalks and 45 light-rail stations made safer. That’s how Darla Sturdy sums up her proudest accomplishment to date. Sturdy, a Gresham mother and career bookkeeper, never imagined a second life as a transportation engineer, much less as a lobbyist. But this is the work she threw herself into after her boy was run over and killed by a MAX train.
Families for Safe Streets
On the evening of June 23, 2003, she got a knock on her door from a uniformed stranger asking if Darla was the mother of a boy named Aaron. “There were police there, and Aaron just didn’t get into trouble,” she recalled.
Darla told them yes she was Aaron’s mom and invited them in. One of them pulled out an ID card that showed a younger, hardly recognizable version Aaron, then a 16-year-old student at Gresham High. “It was completely out of date,” Darla remembers. But there was no question it was him.
That night, Darla’d been up waiting for Aaron to return from a church youth group meeting. But as she learned from her visitors — who also included a coroner and a chaplain trained in grief support — he’d been struck and killed in a crosswalk at the MAX station at Gresham City Hall, just five minutes from their house. Aaron was riding his bike westbound next to the MAX tracks and turned left to get across the tracks on the pedestrian crossing. He meant to cross behind an east-bound train that was just pulling out.
However, a second west-bound train was pulling in at about 35 mph and Aaron didn’t spot it until it was too late. The driver honked, but it was too late. Aaron’s bike left a 6-8-foot skid mark, according to the police report.
For months after her son’s death, Darla was in a daze. She lost weight and had to quit her job as general manager of the Spa Outlet. She says her mind just shut down. “I lost who I was. It’s kind of like when you lose a child, you lose you, too. And your family loses you, because you went with him.”
In her grief, she started taking daily drives from her home, to the MAX station, to the cemetery where Aaron buried — trying to make sense of it. At the MAX station, she watched trains coming in and out and saw several close calls with people crossing the tracks. A friend with a radar gun confirmed that incoming speeds were 35 mph. It settled in her mind that the crossings were unsafe — and that this is what killed Aaron. “It took me about three years, but I finally realized why God put me here.”
LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER
Sturdy knew she could never bring back her own boy. But she could help other families avoid a similar fate. Having grown up in the small town of Milton-Freewater, Darla saw it as her duty. “In small towns, people look out for each other,” she said.
TriMet laid the MAX lines in Gresham in the eighties, when the Portland suburb was much less developed. Although a few newer MAX stations on Portland’s west side had gated pedestrian crossings, most didn’t, certainly not the legacy stations in Gresham, and by then Gresham had grown into a bustling suburb with schools, homes, and businesses right next to the tracks.
Sturdy began collecting data on MAX’s safety record, finding 505 crashes (including 108 with pedestrians or cyclists) between 1994 and 2006. She compiled photos of unsafe pedestrian crossings, including one in Gresham that lied just 25 feet from a public school. TriMet’s own internal guidelines called for protective gates for crossings within 600 feet of schools.
Darla took her growing folder of evidence to the Oregon State Capitol and began working there every Wednesday and Friday, meeting 12 to 15 legislators each visit to get support for a bill she dubbed Aaron’s Bridge to Safety. All the while, she pulled full shifts at the Spa Outlet on weekends.
It was no easy fight. After she’d collected the needed signatures in the House, the chairwoman of the transport committee refused to give the bill a hearing. “She was new, and she didn’t want to take on TriMet,” Darla explained. So she introduced the bill in the Senate, and “did it all over.
In 2007, the governor signed Senate Bill 829 into law, requiring TriMet to submit to an independent safety review of nearly 80 of its sidewalks. It took years of more lobbying– and the death of another pedestrian at the same Gresham City Hall crossing — but finally, the study’s recommendations were put into force. TriMet started carrying out the improvements in 2009, and they were at last finished in 2017 — 45 stations and 80 sidewalks made safer thanks to the tireless efforts of an angry mother.
TAKING IT NATIONAL
With that chapter closed, Darla has lately refocused her energy on family. But rail safety remains a huge concern, and Darla says she wants to take it national. In the meantime, she supports the local chapter of Families for Safe Streets and occasionally attends TriMet Board meetings along with another aggrieved parent, David Sale, whose daughter Danielle was hit and killed by a bus in 2010.
Looking back, Darla’s proud of her accomplishments but still struggles with the cost. “If I could go back in time, I’d want to have my son back,” Darla said. “Except for: I believe we have a purpose. God gave me this purpose, even with how hard it’s been.”
In recent years, Kristi Finney-Dunn has become a leading voice in Portland’s transportation scene. With a gripping story of personal tragedy, she’s invited to speak at public policy summits, street demonstrations and city council hearings. For local media, she’s become a go-to source for active transport and road safety.
Others who’ve been impacted by traffic violence envy her resilience. But that’s just one side of the story. “When people see me talk, they’re seeing me at my strongest,” Finney assures. “They’re not seeing me at those moments when I’m curled up and burying my head and crying about it. Those moments don’t come all that frequently, but when they do come, they’re just as bad as the first few days.”
Kristi’s thinking back to the early morning hours of August 12, 2011, when her oldest son Dustin was struck and killed in a drunken hit-and-run in East Portland.
That night the 28-year-old was riding on SE Division near 85th Avenue when a car came up from behind, veered into the marked bike lane and struck not only Dustin but a second cyclist riding 60 feet ahead. The second rider walked away with minor injuries, but Dustin wasn’t so lucky. On impact, he flew 175 feet and died instantly of blunt-force head trauma.
The 18-year-old driver fled the scene but got less than a mile down the road before ditching his car, which sustained massive damage in the crash. Police picked him up a few blocks away and measured his blood-alcohol level at more than double the legal limit.
Kristi found out at 5 a.m., when a chaplain knocked on her door in Vancouver. After that, Kristi set about the grim task of telling Dustin’s three siblings, two still living at home or nearby a well as Kristi’s next oldest son, who lived in Georgia. “I felt terrible for him,” Kristi says. “He’d just lost his older brother, and he was all by himself out there.”
THE FIGHT WAS ON
After the driver was convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to five years of prison, Kristi finally began to grieve Dustin’s death and process what had happened to him. She devoured every article and blog post she could find about the crash. Dustin was a nature lover who loved cycling because it was good for the environment. But many who read about his death did not appreciate that. “What really got me were the comments,” Kristi said. “Oh, why was he riding at night? Why wasn’t he wearing a helmet? And I was thinking, ‘No, he didn’t die because he wasn’t wearing a helmet, he died because a drunk 18-year-old drove into the bike lane and hit him!’”
The fight was on. Kristi started up a blog about her experience, and made a couple dead-end efforts to fight hit-and-run driving. She discovered Trauma Nurses Talk Tough, a program at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center that educates people charged with DUI or high-risk driving about the impacts of traffic violence. In the program’s “victim-impact” sessions, people who’ve suffered losses in road crashes relate their personal stories to irresponsible drivers. Panelists include surviving family members like Kristi as well as those who’ve been physically maimed in traffic crashes.
Kristi, who has a day job in social services, speaks at a half dozen panel sessions per month. Her audiences run from 40 to 300 people, depending on which of six counties she speaks in. Every audience is a mixed bag. Every one includes a few hard cases who believe their driving is fine — they just had the bad luck to get a DUI. But there are also a few people who break down crying. These tragedies could have been on their heads. Some will come come up and give Kristi a teary embrace. “Sometimes, they won’t stop hugging you!” she says.
WORKING WITH A PERPETRATOR
In this work, the person who’s left the deepest impression on Kristi is a fellow panelist who had caused a crash. In that incident, which netted him eight years in prison, he ran into a family car and killed a mother and two children. The father survived with injuries.
Although Kristi has good reason to detest such a man, she says he’s touched her heart like no other speaker. The man describes how he still thinks about the surviving father and how he must miss his wife and kids every day. As Kristi says, “What I got from his saying that was that he’s truly trying to understand our feelings. It’s not just about him, that I did this thing, I made a mistake, I killed a couple people. It’s as if he’s really trying to understand that other person and how horrible it was.”
Along with the impact panels, Kristi represents traffic violence victims as part of the City of Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force. This is an advisory body guiding implementation of a new policy to eliminate traffic road deaths in Portland by 2025. The group meets formally four times per year.
And then there’s her work for Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets, which she convened in 2015 to both advocate and care for victims of traffic violence. The group is modeled on a pioneering organization in New York City and is now one of seven in North America.
As she found with the hit-and-run victims group, it is a struggle getting people to speak out about experiences that have caused such anguish. Nevertheless, when they do speak out, decision-makers tend to listen. An emergency speed limit reduction on SE Division, the street where Dustin and many others have died in traffic violence, came about in large part because of Families for Safe Streets’ no-holds-barred activism.
One motivator for Kristi’s advocacy is to keep the memory of Dustin alive. “Dustin was an advocate for causes that he cared about,” Kristi says. “Dustin wasn’t being quiet about his life and I’m not going to be either.”