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Public Information Officer
Right on cue, January has arrived in emphatic fashion. When bitter cold is joined by snow or ice TriMet provides us Essential Winter Weather Tips for Riders:
If you’re traveling from the north side of the Columbia, see C-Tran’s Snow and Ice Detours page.
Hear about Seattle’s efforts to build greenways on January 17
Seattle’s Path to Neighborhood Greenways
Bicycle Brown Bag
Thursday, January 17, Noon – 1:00 p.m.
City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue
2nd Floor, Lovejoy Room
“Imagine your neighborhood, knitted together with quiet residential streets where children and adults safely walk, ride bicycles, play and run. Imagine these streets are close to where you live and connect you to the places you want to go.”
If you think this vision sounds like it’s from Portland, you’d be wrong. This is the vision of our JetCity neighbors to the north who sparked a grassroots effort to bring world class Neighborhood Greenways to Seattle.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways started in August 2011, with three distinct neighborhood groups, by people eager to reclaim local streets as safe and healthy community places. Cathy Tuttle and Eli Goldberg began and lead the effort with an ever-growing team. The movement now includes 19 neighborhood groups all advocating for greenways. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways groups meet regularly, for educational meet-ups, walks, bike rides and more. In November, 2012 Seattle Neighborhood Greenways received the 2012 Sustainable Seattle Award for Livable Urban Communities.
You can hear Cathy and Eli, as well as Bob Edmiston, discuss a uniquely grassroots model for bringing a connected network of safe, healthy residential streets to communities everywhere, at the January 17 Bicycle Brown Bag.
New morning routine includes walking school buses.
Three years after a fire engulfed their school, Marysville K-8 School families and staff greeted the New Year with a newly remodeled building and the challenge of a new morning routine.
The 2009 fire not only took the community’s beloved school building, it also robbed students of the opportunity to walk to school. For three years, Marysville students were bused or driven to their temporary Rose City Park school. Until this week, this year’s Marysville 3rd graders had never had the opportunity to get to school under their own power.
While the new Marysville School building lies within most students’ neighborhood, it sits in the center of a triangle bordered by busy arterials at SE Holgate Blvd, SE Foster Rd and SE 82nd Ave., creating challenges for students and families that want to walk or bike to school.
Families can drive their students, however Portland Public Schools (PPS) Security Services staff is especially concerned about drop-off traffic in front of the school on SE Raymond, a very narrow street. With these challenges in mind, PPS staff contacted PBOT’s Safe Routes to School for help.
On January 4, Safe Routes staff attended the Marysville School evening open house to promote walking school buses to parents and families. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school under the supervision of one or more adults. It provides parents an opportunity for their child to get to school in a safe, healthy way even on days when the parent can’t take their child to school.
PBOT’s Safe Routes to School staff have worked with schools and families throughout Portland to organize walking school buses. There are currently more than a dozen operating in the city.
Most of the Marysville families at the open house were excited about the idea and Safe Routes moved forward with planning. Two Walking School Bus start locations were identified, including one at 84th and Ramona, and one at Essex Park, and Walking School Buses commenced on Monday morning.
To learn more about the Marysville walking school buses or creating one at your neighborhood school, contact Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez at 503-823-1189.
Portland’s first foray into street-side seating receives positive community feedback
In 2012, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) rolled out a new program called Street Seats to permit businesses to build a temporary platform in the on-street parking lane. The platform extends the sidewalk space in order to add additional outdoor seating along the street.
The goal of the program is to enhance street vitality and support local business. Street Seats installations may include seating, tables, landscaping, and other aesthetic elements. Applicants are responsible for costs associated with design, construction, installation, maintenance, and removal of Street Seats extensions.
Three businesses participated in the pilot project: Wafu, Oven and Shaker, and Mississippi Pizza. Two of the businesses dismantled their installations in November, 2012; Mississippi Pizza requested and received an extension. Its Street Seat (pictured below) is permitted until April, 2013.
As part of the pilot program, PBOT conducted on-line surveys to garner feedback from businesses, business and neighborhood associations, and community members. Nearly 100 people provided feedback about the Street Seats pilot program. 90% of businesses surveyed believed that the Street Seats program would benefit neighborhood businesses. In addition, 80% of community members surveyed felt that Street Seats positively impacted their street’s vitality.
PBOT is still accepting feedback from the community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to provide feedback.
This spring, PBOT plans to update the Street Seat guidelines based on feedback and begin accepting new permit applications from interested businesses.
Kids and parents come in from the cold to a warm welcome
This morning Safe Routes joined Roseway Heights School for their monthly Walk+Bike to School celebration. Although the thermometer read in the low 30's, superstars Mary and Michelle registered 128 self-propelled students today for their raffle. Safe Routes handed out hot chocolate, hot apple cider, shoelaces, pencils, stickers, maps, and tattoos. It was amazing to see such a great turn out – and to think this happens every month! Contact Safe Routes if you want to organize a celebration at your school.