1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
43.6 percent of trips to school in Portland are on foot or by bike
(Oct. 7, 2015) – On Wednesday, October 7, Commissioner Steve Novick, Portland Public Schools Board Member Mike Rosen, Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat and other local dignitaries joined students and staff from Lent K-8 School in celebration of International Walk and Bike to School Day. Participants also celebrated ten years of PBOT’s Safe Routes to School program successfully making walking and biking to school safer and easier for Portland students and families.
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 now serves over 100 elementary, K-8 and middle schools across 5 school districts and reaches over 40,000 students. The program will pilot its first high school programs this year.
Today 43.6 percent of trips to school in Portland are on foot or by bike, an increase of 35 percent from when the program began ten years ago. Thanks to the Safe Routes program, 33 percent of students walk to school, 9 percent bike and 1.6 percent roll. Nationally, the numbers are much lower with 12 percent of students walking and 1 percent biking.
“Thanks to our community partnerships, we have a created a nationally recognized Safe Routes to School Program that has inspired thousands of Portland students and families to regularly bike, walk and roll to school,” said Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick. “Though we’re exceeding national Safe Routes participation rates, we know that biking and walking to school is not a viable option in neighborhoods without sidewalks, bikeways and improved crossings. I’ll continue to work hard to secure the resources to make needed infrastructure improvements so that families can safely walk and bike throughout all Portland neighborhoods.”
“PPS loves Portland’s Safe Routes to Schools Program because it guarantees that every student that wants to walk or ride their bike to school can get there safely,” said Portland School Board Member Mike Rosen, “That makes for healthier kids and a healthier planet. We very much appreciate the Bureau of Transportation’s wise and generous investment in our kids. Lent K-8 is a school that takes the health of our students and the planet very seriously. Whether they and their community volunteers are growing food for the school and community to eat in their on campus garden or they are providing free weekly bike repairs to all students, this community gets the connection between a healthy school and a healthy neighborhood.”
“We’re here to celebrate the incredible successes of Safe Routes to School, but there is still much more we are working to accomplish,” said Transportation Bureau Director Leah Treat, “In the next ten years, we want to increase the number of Portland area students getting to school by foot, bike or bus to 75 percent. We want to engage our city’s high school students as leaders on school transportation issues affecting youth. And we want all students across Portland have the opportunity to learn to navigate safely around their neighborhoods by bike.”
Lent K-8 School has been a long-standing partner of the Portland Safe Routes to School program, joining the effort in 2007. The Safe Routes program teaches Lent 2nd graders pedestrian safety skills every winter and provides 10 hours of hands-on bike safety instruction to 4th and 5th graders each spring. The school has been the recipient of federal grant funds administered by ODOT, which have improved pedestrian crossings to the school. Lent is a Title 1 school and has a diverse student body, with the majority of students representing communities of color.
In addition to Lent K-8 School, 70 Portland area schools representing 33,000 students will be holding events today in celebration of International Walk and Bike to School Day. International Walk and 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, the event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation. To learn more about PBOT’s efforts to encourage bicycle use and make safer routes for bicycling, see the bureau’s Active Transportation web site.
(Oct. 5, 2015) On Wednesday, October 7, Commissioner Steve Novick, Portland Public Schools Board Member Mike Rosen, Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat and other local dignitaries will join students and staff from Lent K-8 School in celebration of International Walk and Bike to School Day and the success of Portland’s Safe Routes to School program.
Commissioner Steve Novick
Portland Public Schools Board Member Mike Rosen
Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat
Other local dignitaries
Students and staff from Lent K-8 School
In celebration of the progress made in getting more students to walk and bike to school, the Safe Routes to School program of the Portland Bureau of Transportation is organizing a media event at Lent K-8 School on International Walk and Bike to School Day. 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. The program now serves over 100 elementary, K-8 and middle schools across 5 school districts and reaches over 40,000 students. Today 43.6 percent of trips to school in Portland are on foot or by bike, an increase of 35 percent from when the program began.
7:45 am – Dignitaries arrive at Bloomington and Lents Parks (see list below)
7:55 am – Families arrive at Parks
8:00 am – Walking School Buses and Bike Trains leave for school
8:15 am – Ceremony in Lent School courtyard
8:30 am – Bell rings for school
Dignitaries/staff at Lents Park (playground on corner of SE 92nd and Steele):
Commissioner Steve Novick
Director Leah Treat
Mike Rosen (PPS School Board)
Dignitaries/staff at Bloomington Park (on corner of SE 100th and Steele):
Dr. Jeff Stanley (Kaiser)
Elizabeth Engberg (Kaiser Thriving Schools)
Capt. Kelli Sheffer (Portland Police)
Steph Noll (Bicycle Transportation Alliance)
Margaux Mennesson (SRTS National Partnership)
Cory Poole (NW Skate Coalition)
Lent K-8 School, 5105 SE 97th Ave
News media can join dignitaries, students and staff at either Lents or Bloomington Park and walk with them to Lent K-8 School. Dignitaries and students will participate in Walking School Buses and Bike Trains as they walk or bike to Lent School. Lent is a Title 1 school and has a diverse student body, with the majority of students representing communities of color. Dignitaries will give short remarks at a special program in the Lent School courtyard prior to the 8:30 a.m. school bell.
Interagency team led by Portland Fire & Rescue to evacuate seven people
(Oct. 1 2015) – The annual evacuation exercise for the Portland Aerial Tram is set for Sunday morning, Oct. 4, 2015. The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and should be concluded by noon.
Members of the Portland Fire & Rescue Technical Rescue Team will lead the exercise. They will be assisted by representatives from both the City of Portland, whose Bureau of Transportation owns the tram, and Oregon Health & Science University, which operates the tram in conjunction with Doppelmayr USA.
Using ropes and harnesses, the team will lower seven volunteers playing the role of passengers 100 feet to the top floor of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s parking garage.
The training allows crews to practice an aerial rescue in the event the tram is stopped for an extended period of time with passengers on board. If members of the public contact you with questions about the training, please inform them that this is a scheduled training exercise and not a real emergency.
The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened on Jan. 27, 2007 and is designed to provide personnel with experience in executing a last resort safety measure. There has never been a real emergency.
More than 7,000 daily commuters and tourists ride the Portland Aerial Tram; the tram is one of only two used for urban transit in the U.S.
WHEN: 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct.4, 2015 - The exercise should be completed by noon.
WHERE: The training will take place above the OHSU Casey Eye Institute parking garage. At that location a small number of exercise participants will be evacuated from the tram and lowered via ropes and harnesses down to the top of the parking structure. Local news crews are encouraged to cover the training, but we ask that you do so from the ground and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot so as not to interfere with the exercise.
SPECTATORS: The Portland Aerial Tram is closed on Sundays during the fall and winter. As a result, the training exercise will not interfere with regular operations. For those interested in observing, please do so from nearby locations and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot.
ABOUT THE PORTLAND AERIAL TRAM
The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and operated by OHSU. It opened to the public on Jan. 27, 2007. The cabins, named Walt and Jean, travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway. Visit http://gobytram.com . Find the tram on Twitter @PortlandTram and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/portlandaerialtram.
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Editors: Please consider this post for republication.
By Dylan Rivera, PBOT staff
(Sept. 28, 2015) An estimated 28,000 people participated in the Tilikum Crossing-Sellwood Sunday Parkways on Sunday, helping lift the event to an annual record turnout of 119,000 for 2015.
Great weather and the landmark opening of the Tilikum Crossing: Bridge of the People provided a huge draw for the event Sunday Sept. 27.
Sunday Parkways introduces Portlanders to biking as a transportation option by opening miles of streets to biking, walking and rolling. The routes are designed to introduce new bicyclists to neighborhood greenways, the low-traffic residential streets where the Portland Bureau of Transportation has prioritized safe, comfortable access for people riding bicycles. The events also offer an opportunity for residents to connect with each other, by volunteering their time to help with traffic, distribute refreshments and spread the word about community organizations.
Sunday’s 28,000 participants marked among the largest Sunday Parkways events. Only five of the 33 events held since 2008 have had a higher turnout. The highest was 31,500 at the North Portland Parkways event in 2011.
Growth in Sunday Parkways attendance in East Portland helped produce the record turnout this year, said Linda Ginenthal, who leads Sunday Parkways for the Active Transportation Division of PBOT. Attendance there has grown from 12,000 in 2010 to more than 16,000 this year.
“As we have done more community outreach in East Portland, there are more people who are riding and coming out to enjoy it,” she said. “It has built on the investments we’re making.”
Volunteers and sponsors make Sunday Parkways possible. About a third of the budget for the event, which takes place five times a year, comes from the City of Portland. The balance is funded by sponsorships, led by presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente, as well as fees for participating organizations and businesses and donations from individuals.
About 300 to 400 people volunteer their time for each event. Wearing pink shirts, some direct traffic, helping neighbors access driveways along the route. Others talk with the public about community organizations. A handful of “Superhero Coordinators” ride up and down the route, passing out snacks and water to volunteers and giving them pointers as needed.
“The only way we can do this is with our strong volunteer program,” Ginenthal said.
Sunday Parkways routes are designed to introduce people to comfortable routes for people new to biking. So they focus on neighborhood greenways rather than wider, busy streets.
“You won’t take your 8-year-old on Burnside or Sandy but you might take him on Northeast Going Street, or Southeast Ankeny or Bush Street in East Portland,” she said. “They are like Sunday Parkways every day.”
Planning for 2016 has already begun. Look for news about routes, sponsors and more in February.
Bike share program unanimously passes City Council
Recent U.S. Census data show dramatic increase in Portland bike commuting rates
New Portland bike count report shows record number of women bicycling,
20,000 peak summer bike trips across the Willamette and record helmet use
(Sept. 24, 2015) – This afternoon, Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioners Steve Novick and Nick Fish gathered at City Hall with Metro Councilor Sam Chase, Jay Walder, President and CEO of Motivate, and Ryan Rzepecki, the CEO of Social Bicycles, to celebrate the passage of Portland’s bike share by the City Council and other major milestones in Portland bicycling. This milestones include recent US Census data showing that Portlanders set a bike commuting record in 2014 and City-compiled data demonstrating high bicycling rates among women and more persistent bike use by all bicycle commuters.
Passing unanimously, the bike share measure amends the City’s contract with Motivate, the country’s leading bike share operator. Working with Social Bicycles, Motivate will bring a next generation bike share program to Portland in summer 2016 and expand the transit options available to Portlanders.
The new system will feature 600 smart bicycles that will be available across the Central City and inner North Portland. With all of the communications and locking technology contained on the bicycles, Portland’s system will operate with fewer docking stations and kiosks and make it easier to find, reserve and park a bike. The system will also have one of the lowest price points in the country.
“Starting this summer, Portlanders will have another way to get around our great city,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, “one that is easy to use, affordable and, best of all, a lot of fun.”
“We waited a long time for the right bike share proposal, but it was worth the wait,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “We have a great, experienced partner in Motivate; and we are taking advantage of new ‘smart bike’ technology. Bicycles are great weapons against two of the biggest threats we face: climate disruption and rising health care costs. Bike share is a great addition to our arsenal - and it's also an important tourist amenity.”
“I look forward to signing up for bike share in Portland,” said Commissioner Fish. “What could be better than getting healthy while running errands?”
“Bike share is just the latest in a long list of innovations that set this region apart. Metro is proud of our role in making Portland’s vision a reality. I can’t wait to try bike share next year,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase.
“Portland is one of the best bike cities in the country, and we’re tremendously excited to be a part of expanding bicycling in a community with such a robust bike culture," said Jay Walder, President & CEO of Motivate. "We will deliver one of the most innovative bike share systems in the nation, fitting the city that has been on the cutting edge of bike innovation.”
"Social Bicycles is excited to partner with Motivate and the City of Portland to deliver bike share to one of the country's most bicycle and transit friendly communities,” said Social Bicycles CEO Ryan Rzepecki. “We believe Portland has the infrastructure, bike culture, and density to become one of the most successful programs in the world."
“This has been a great week for bicycling,” said Transportation Director Leah Treat. “Census data and our own bike count clearly show that Portlanders are biking more than ever. Now with bike share, we’re making biking an even more attractive transportation option for Portlanders.”
"Today we are thrilled to invite bike share into Portland as a new low-cost form of transit,” said Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. “In fact, it is one of the most affordable steps we can take to help us reach Portland’s stated goal of having bicycle trips represent 25 percent of all trips taken by 2030. Bike share, combined with new investments downtown to provide protected bicycle lanes, will make our streets safer for everyone regardless of how they get around.”
Also today, PBOT released the Portland Bicycle Count Report 2013-14, a compendium of locally collected bicycle data that shows how bicycling is changing and growing across Portland. While the U.S. Census Bureau reports on citywide bicycle use, the Bicycle Count report includes data for bike traffic on Willamette River bridges, bike traffic by district within Portland, helmet use by district and bicycle use by women.
All of the results from the report can be found here.
About Bike Share: A bike share system makes public bicycles available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. Bike share systems operate in over 60 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise and Austin. 500 cities worldwide also have bike share systems. These systems have proved popular, safe and successful. They provide residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option for trips around the city. Bike share systems have proven effective in introducing bicycling to new groups of riders.
About Motivate: Motivate is a global leader in bike share. A full-service bike share operator and technology innovator, Motivate works to re-envision how people experience and move around cities. Motivate currently manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Bay Area Bike Share (California Bay Area), Citi Bike (New York), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C.; Arlington and Alexandria, Va.; and Montgomery County, Md.), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, Mass.), Pronto (Seattle), Bike Chattanooga (Tenn.), Bike Share Toronto and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia. Motivate’s newest system is Citi Bike Jersey City, N.J., that will be compatible with New York City’s Citi Bike program. www.motivateco.com
About Social Bicyles (SoBi): Social Bicycles (SoBi) is a transportation technology company based in Brooklyn, NY. The company produces a bicycle with an integrated GPS-enabled locking system that users can book via mobile app, website, or RFID access card. The company has deployed over 2,500 bikes across 18 projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Social Bicycles offers one global account, and users can access bikes in their expanding network of cities which includes Santa Monica, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Boise, Topeka, Hamilton (Ontario), and Ottawa.
About PBOT: The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation. To learn more about PBOT’s efforts to encourage bicycle use and make safer routes for bicycling, see the bureau’s Active Transportation web site.