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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Hey Portland – let’s celebrate Walk+Bike to School Day!

Students and Commissioner Novick walk to school(October 5, 2015)  On October 7, students across Portland and across the globe will be participating in International Walk and Bike to School Day. Is your child’s school registered?

International Walk+Bike to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. Started in 1997, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate.

Students at Vestal School offer prizes for walking/bikingPortland’s nationally recognized Safe Routes to School program works to make walking, biking and rolling to and from school safer and easier for Portland students and families. A partnership of the City of Portland, schools, neighborhoods, community organizations and agencies, the Safe Routes program continues to make a significant difference for students and families’ safety and health.

Since its inception in 2005, the Portland Safe Routes program has made impressive gains in increasing the number of students walking and biking to school. Starting with eight elementary partner schools in its first year, the program has expanded year after year and now serves over 100 elementary, K-8 and middle schools across five school districts and reaches over 40,000 students. Portland Safe Routes will pilot its first high school program this year. These efforts have yielded impressive returns. Today, 43.6% of trips to school in Portland are on foot or by bike, an increase of 35% from when the program began. Thanks to the Safe Routes program, trips to school in Portland are on foot 33% and on bike 9%, compared to 12% walking and 1% biking rates nationally.

Celebrate Walktober!

Enjoy a walk this month - or lead a walk for others to enjoy

Walktober logo(October 2, 2015)  Walktober is three weeks of walking fun in October! Oregon Walks developed Walktober to help people in the Portland region find new ways to walk, new places and to walk and new people to enjoy walking with. Walktober is an open calendar which means that anyone can join a walk or create, post and lead a walk. Walks are put on by people like you!

Do you have an idea for a walk, but not sure how to make it happen? Walktober provides a Walk Guide to help you out. The guide lists some ideas or themes to get you started as well as guidance on the more practical considerations. Once you have your idea and plan your walk, just provide the information on their Add Event page and the calendar will automatically update.r to help people in the Portland region find new ways to walk, new places and to walk and new people to enjoy walking with. Walktober is an open calendar which means that anyone can join a walk or create, post and lead a walk. Walks are put on by people like you!

Oregon Walks is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting walking and making the conditions for walking safe, convenient and attractive throughout the Portland metropolitan region. The organization advocates for better laws, enhanced enforcement, more sidewalks and signed crosswalks, education programs, community improvements designed for pedestrians, and increased funding to support these activities.

Idling Gets You Nowhere

10 seconds of idling your car wastes more gas than restarting

Kids walk to school next to cars at curb(September 28, 2015) Now that school is back in session, we’d like to bring you this reminder to reduce unnecessary idling, especially around schools and where children live and play.

Vehicle exhaust is hazardous to human health, especially for children. It’s linked to increased rates of cancer, heart and lung disease and asthma. Children, whose lungs are still developing, breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants per pound of body mass than adults.

Vehicle exhaust is the leading source of toxic air pollution in Oregon. Nearly half of toxic air pollutants in Oregon come from vehicles releasing sulfur dioxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other toxins that contribute to carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

Idling is also expensive and hard on your engine. Ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine and just one hour of idling burns about one gallon of gas with zero miles per gallon. Finally, an idling engine is not working at peak temperature so fuel doesn’t fully combust, causing damage to engine parts.

What can you do?
Turn it off – if you are going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds (especially around schools and where children live and play)
Reduce warm up idling – modern engines don’t need more than 30 seconds of idling to warm up
Spread the word – talk to family, friends and neighbors about the benefits of reduced idling and encourage them to join you in contributing to a healthier community and in saving money

Sunday Parkways, salmon, and a shiny new bridge

Final Sunday Parkways event of the season happens on September 27th!

A child on a climbing wall at Sunday Parkways(Updated 9/29/2015 with link to post on final attendance numbers, see below)

(September 21, 2015)  What do Sunday Parkways, salmon and the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People have in common? They will all be on display and available for all to enjoy on Sunday, September 27th, from 11am-4pm. This new 8-mile Sunday Parkways route will include the Tilikum Crossing and circle the Sellwood area, introducing participants to the Westmoreland, Sellwood and Brooklyn School Parks where music, food and fun await. View the Tilikum Crossing event brochure here.

Bikes decorated like salmon

Westmoreland Park will feature the 2nd annual Salmon Celebration to highlight the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek and the return of wild salmon to the city. There will be tours, a Native American blessing, music, games, crafts, inter-tribal cultural activities, samplings of Native American food, and more.

The Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People is the largest car-free bridge in the United States and the latest addition to our cityscape here in Bridgetown. The Tilikum Crossing carries the Portland Streetcar, the MAX Orange Line, TriMet busses and cyclists and pedestrians, and officially opened to the public on September 12, 2015. 

Update:  Thanks to all 28,000 people who came out for the last Sunday Parkways of the year. Read all about the day and the year's record-breaking attendance by clicking here.

Tilikum Crossing

Summer memories - Safe Routes to School bike camps

Students learned how to get around their neighborhood while learning to ride safely.

Happy bike camp riders on the trail(September 16, 2015)  Every summer for the past seven years the City of Portland Safe Routes to School program has partnered with SUN school programs to lead bike camps. This summer staff led camps in the David Douglas School District. Thirty-eight 3rd-5th grade students from Gilbert Heights, Gilbert Park and Mill Park schools learned safe bike handling skills, laws of the road, signals, and map reading. Then the students ventured out on the roads in outer east Portland to practice their riding skills and explore their neighborhoods.

The Safe Routes to School bike camps also provide summer internships to high school students through the SummerWorks program. This year two interns assisted with the bike camps. The main goal of the Safe Routes internship is to provide leadership skills and job skills to high school youth. During the six weeks the interns learned classroom management, lesson development and how to keep kids safe while riding bikes on the road.

Learning map reading skills at Bike CampAs you can see from the smiles – bike camp was a success!