1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204
I was delighted to see that in a column on the Chris Christie / Fort Lee traffic jam story, Gail Collins observed that it’s the first time most Americans have thought about Fort Lee since Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Roseannadana used to get letters from “a Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey.”Then I saw that a random blogger had picked up on the same thought last month, borrowing from one of the actual “Richard Feder letters”:
A Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey writes in and says: "Dear Chris Christie, last Thursday I was in the massive traffic jam you caused. Now, I'm depressed, I gained weight, my face broke out, I'm nauseous, I'm constipated, my feet swelled, my gums are bleedin', my sinuses are clogged, I got heartburn, I'm cranky and I have gas. ... What should I do?"
I still miss Gilda Radner desperately …
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Wolfe, BOEC PIO
Media Feed at 9-1-1 Improves Efficiency of City’s Emergency First Response
The City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) fully launched a new, real-time media feed as of January 1, 2014. The feed provides media partners with access to information about emergency incidents as they occur in real-time. BOEC relies on media partners to assist in disseminating information to the public. The feed automates this relay of information, ensuring that the Bureau focuses its resources on its core mission of responding to 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls and dispatching appropriately.
In 2013 alone, BOEC received over 12,000 calls to its media line, or an average of more than 1,000 calls per month. Before the real-time feed was launched, media calls were handled by BOEC supervisors, which diverted supervisors from their primary responsibility of managing the call center floor and answering overflow 9-1-1 calls. (And with an average 1,000 calls per month, it was not a trivial amount of diversion.)
“I applaud BOEC for its innovative approach to improving the efficiency of our emergency call center,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “The live media feed is an example of the kind of win-win solution that meets the needs of both the City and our community partners.”
BOEC developed the live media feed in collaboration with its partner agencies and members of the media. The online feed allows subscribers to log on to the City’s website to view a map and an active listing of police, fire, and EMS calls. The feed includes standard information authorized for release by the Bureau’s partner fire, police, and ambulance agencies. Media requests for more detailed information will still need to be directed to the investigating agency. The monthly cost for a subscription is $50, which allows the Bureau to recover the cost of developing the program. Any member of the media who is interested in subscribing should e-mail BOECPIO@portlandoregon.gov and request an account.
by Commissioner Novick | January 11, 2014
Aaron Brown (“Pedestrian deaths should be a wakeup call for Portland leaders,” Jan. 1) is right: Pedestrian fatalities are terrible tragedies, some of which could be avoided by making investments in sidewalks, flashing beacons and other pedestrian amenities. Brown is also right that East Portland has a disproportionate share of pedestrian collisions, in part because it has a disproportionate share of dangerous intersections and streets without sidewalks. The city has been investing in pedestrian improvements across Portland, especially in East Portland, and has secured funding for additional investments. But it is not nearly enough. The need for additional investments in safety improvements is one of the reasons Mayor Charlie Hales and I have made it clear that we think it will be necessary to raise additional revenue for transportation in Portland.
steve novick mugshot.jpg
Over the past three years, Portland has secured $47 million in funding for transportation investments in East Portland. Thus far we have actually spent $17 million; another $30 million worth of projects are on the way. Some of the projects that have received the most enthusiastic responses from local residents include:
In September, when we sent Metro a request for $24 million in transportation funding, our largest request was for the $9 million East Portland in Motion–Access to Employment and Education Project. This project will pay for:
Many of these projects were identified through the East Portland in Motion (“EPIM”) Strategy process, in which East Portland residents worked with city officials to identify the area’s highest priorities.
We are well aware that all of this is not enough. There are at least $20 million in EPIM priority projects that have not been funded. There are countless other projects that are needed, but did not make it onto the EPIM priority list. The estimated cost to complete safety improvements along Outer Powell (identified in another community process) is at least $58 million, and the Oregon Department of Transportation has not identified funding. (Powell is a state highway, controlled by ODOT.)
We’re working hard to develop a citywide pipeline of projects that will reduce conflict between pedestrians and car traffic. Our request for Metro also included $2 million for safety improvements on Southwest Barbur Boulevard – like Powell, a state highway inside the city limits – and another $2 million for Southeast Foster Road, west of I-205.
We will continue to search for additional funding to address pedestrian safety needs, especially in East Portland. But at present, we don’t have nearly enough money to maintain the streets, and signals, and street lights that we already have. To make the kind of additional safety investments that are needed, we simply are going to need more money.
(January 17, 2014) - Commissioner Steve Novick opened the school day at Prescott Elementary School by serving as a crossing guard, helping students and parents arrive safely as they used a new sidewalk that spans 11 blocks and connects two schools and a park in East Portland.
Novick’s visit was part of a dedication of the new sidewalk, which runs along the south side of NE Prescott Street from 105th to 116th avenues and had been sought by parents, community members and school officials to improve safety and access for students and families in the area. It replaces a gravel shoulder. The sidewalk connects Prescott Elementary School to Parkrose High School and extends east to Senn’s Dairy City Park.
“It certainly keeps our kids safe on their way to and from school. Safety is a big concern for us because we do have a very busy high-traffic area right around Prescott,” Prescott Elementary School Principal Chris McMurray told the commissioner. He added that the new sidewalks are a welcome investment in the community. “We want to be able to provide a safe and high quality neighborhood, and we’re building that community around the school,” he said.
“I’m happy to see the Portland Bureau of Transportation providing these kinds of safety enhancements to improve areas where we have high speeds, few connections, and where transit and active transportation play a crucial role in how residents get to where they need to go,” Commissioner Novick said, “When we’re able to make it safe and convenient for our young people to walk to school, we start them on a path that results in healthier lives and a healthier city. We decrease congestion and health care costs. We get cleaner air and a more sustainable city.”
After assisting the school crossing guards, Novick joined Prescott’s second-graders for their breakfast and concluded his visit by meeting with fourth and fifth graders to discuss transportation and leadership.
Sidewalks help connect community members and increase the safety and walkability of neighborhoods. The City of Portland is working to identify funding to add this basic infrastructure throughout East Portland. The Portland Bureau of Transportation completed the sidewalk project this fall and will plant trees this winter.
This section of sidewalk was prioritized for construction via the Safe Routes to School and East Portland in Motion programs. In community meetings, residents asked the Bureau of Transportation to stretch the impact of limited dollars by building a longer stretch on the south side of the street rather than covering a shorter distance by adding sidewalks to both sides of the street. In addition, community feedback led the Bureau of Transportation to add a stop sign at Prescott Street and 115th Avenue after the sidewalk opened. The fully completed project was built for $940,000.
Prescott Elementary School was one of the first schools to partner with the Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. Since its start eight years ago, Safe Routes to School has grown from serving eight Portland schools to more than 80, representing almost every public K-8 school in the city.
The Oregonian has spent the past couple of weeks trash-talking the city council. They've written things like: "you have to wonder sometimes whether the Portland City Council actively pursues mediocrity..." They've had a "live chat" on "Does Portland deserve a better city council?" They've repeatedly crossed the line between criticism and contempt.
And so far, the members of the City Council have kept a dignified silence. But after watching Richard Sherman's post-NFC championship game explosion the other day, I've decided, the hell with that. Let’s have some fun. If the Oregonian wants to trash-talk, let's trash-talk. Let's give the fans something to talk about. Because we can do it better than they can. We can out-trash-talk the Oregonian on the field, off the field, or in an alley.
You want to talk about mediocre? A paper that only delivers four times a week, now that's mediocre. You want to question our commitment to jobs? Seriously? The paper that specializes in firing people - good people like Ryan White and Scott Learn - wants to talk about jobs?
We're the best City Council in the league. And we're not going to be bullied by some sorry Orange County right-wing publisher. We'll be here after you're gone, Mr. N. Christian Anderson III - after the Newhouse family wakes up and realizes that it's economic idiocy to try to foist a Fox News paper on a progressive readership.
And don't think for a minute that anything you write will have any influence on us at all. Lions don't concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.