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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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Teaching safety to kids most at risk

Safe Routes to School Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education - Our work with Title IA schools

 Thanks to William Francis, BTA Bike and Pedestrian Safety Educator, for this guest article.

student on bike practicing turn signal(February 5, 2016) The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) teaches Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education to roughly 5,000 Portland school children each year though a contract with the Portland Bureau of Transportation Safe Routes to School program. These students learn the keys to safe walking and biking as a fundamental part of their academic curriculum.

Many of these children are from Title IA schools. Title IA schools receive additional federal funding for serving a significant number of students facing risk factors such as poverty and unstable housing. The BTA teaches Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education in 21 out of the 24 Portland Public Schools that fit this classification.

A high number of students at these schools do not have access to bicycles, and live in neighborhoods where there are limited sidewalks and signage. Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education is an essential component of keeping these students and their families' safe as they travel to and from their local schools.

students on community bike rideTeachers and administrators agree these programs are important. Fifth grade teacher from Marysville School, Kelly Joy says "[Bike safety] is a skill they will take with them for a lifetime. I saw such a sense of confidence develop once they learned the rules of the road." Fifth grade Spanish immersion teacher at Rigler School, Risa Nabielski adds, "Bike safety is such and fun and meaningful activity for our students. For some, it is their first time on a bike; they are the ones that really benefit!"

Safe Routes to School and the BTA are always looking for volunteers to assist on school community rides and other efforts. It can be difficult to find enough parent volunteers, at these schools in particular, who are available during school hours due to a variety of challenges. If you are interested in volunteering with these programs, or know of a Title IA school that would like to participate, please contact William Francis at

Start your New Year at the Fix-It Fair on 1/23

Get a healthy and economical start to the New Year with the Fix-It Fair this weekend!

Bikes for Humanity volunteers at a Fix-It Fair(January 21, 2016)  Fix-It Fairs are FREE City of Portland events where you can learn simple ways to save money and connect with local resources. Join your neighbors and talk with experts on topics such as health, food and nutrition, water and energy conservation, gardening and yard care, recycling and even active transportation. Take advantage of one or more of the many workshops offered every hour, free professional on-site childcare and free lunch provided at each fair.

Bikes for Humanity will host a workshop on Bike Flat Tire and Chain Repairs at 10:00 am and will also be on hand to provide free bike repair during the fair.

Saturday, January 23 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Ron Russell Middle School

3955 SE 112th Ave, Portland OR 97266

For more information on the Fix-It Fairs, check out BPS’s website or download the brochure (pdf) for the upcoming event. 

Resources for women on bikes

Women on bikes at Sunday Parkways(January 5, 2016)  By current bike count estimates, women make up about a third of Portland peak hour bike commuters. In 2014, women accounted for 32.2% of riders tallied, a record high in Portland.

Portland has a strong community for women who ride or want to begin riding. Whether you’re searching for your first bike, gear to keep you riding through the winter, support for riding with kids, or even if you want to get into racing, there are resources and communities to inspire you. Here are just a few examples:

  • Gladys Bikes is a women-focused bike shop in NE Portland specializing in commuting, touring and recreational bike sales for women. They aim to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable in their bike shop experience.
  • Women on Wheels is a meet up group with a mission to empower women to travel by bicycle and other active transportation. They offer rides, workshops and social events on bicycling.
  • Kidical Mass offers family-friendly bike rides through a community that supports parents riding with kids.

Other groups you might want to check out include: Let’s Race Bikes!, Ride Like A Girl and Portland Society, which is a group of professional women who are passionate about bicycling in Portland. You can find more information and links to resources here

3 ways to travel safe on New Year's Eve

Be carfree and carefree while ringing in 2016!

(December 30, 2015) TriMet continues its tradition of free fares to encourage New Year's Eve revelers to make safe choices on the big night out. After 8:00 pm, TriMet MAX and bus trips will be free throughout the TriMet service area. If transit doesn't suit your needs or serve your destinations, there are plenty of other options for being carfee and carefree for New Year's Eve.

  1. Celebrate safely with TriMet - all TriMet service is free after 8:00 pm on New Year's Eve, Thursday, December 31. MAX will have extended late-night service until about 3:00 am. Get the details at
  2. Taxis and other private for-hire vehicles - Portland has plenty of taxi companies to choose from, as well as limousine services if you want to travel in style for the big night out. Find a complete listing at Uber and Lyft also operate in Portland. If you are still out celebrating after TriMet service ends, Uber is offering new customers $25 off their ride home with the code “PDXNYE”.
  3. Carpool with a designated driver - in a pinch, check out which is a designated driver service in Portland, or the new SaferRide App available for Android and Apple users.

How ever you travel, have a safe and happy New Year!

Let TriMet Night Stop program get you closer to your destination

(December 16, 2015)  As the nights get longer, TriMet’s Night Stop program aims to make wintertime travel more safe and convenient for bus riders.

Love note to TriMet on bus stop scheduleDuring the winter months, TriMet bus operators can stop to let you off anywhere along the route, if it’s safe to do so. This service is only available outside of Downtown and the Lloyd District and for drop-offs only.

Between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am, you can ask your bus operator a block or two ahead of your destination whether she or he can let you off at a non-designated stop location. If the operator believes it can be done safely, they will stop at your requested location.

Whether its morning or night, winter makes it difficult to be seen. When waiting at the bus stop, TriMet offers these additional tips:

  • Stand up at the bus stop and wave to the operator as the bus approaches.
  • Use a reflector, safety strobe light, small flashlight or cell phone display light to alert the operator as the bus approaches. Some mobile devices and apps have a strobe or light feature for this purpose.
  • Please, DO NOT shine lights in operators’ eyes.


(photo by Flickr user SoulRider.222)