Sunday, January 16, 2022
HomeCycling'Faculty streets': Portland versus Paris

‘Faculty streets’: Portland versus Paris

Tweets by Sam Balto (@coachbalto) and Henry Grabar (@HenryGrabar).

The 2 tweets above had been shared three weeks aside. They present how Portland and Paris have tried to scale back driving round colleges to enhance security, air high quality, and livability generally. I believed it’d be enjoyable to check them.

Let’s begin with Portland…


A PBOT Faculty Road set up.
(Photograph: Sam Balto)

When Sam Balto revealed his photographs again in November, neither of us knew the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) even had a Faculty Streets program. There was no public assertion both of us may recall (and we each observe this stuff very intently). Seems it was a pilot program and the one of us in on it had been PBOT and the collaborating colleges. So I requested the town to inform us extra about it.

In line with PBOT Communications Director John Brady, Portland’s pilot lasted from October sixth by way of November nineteenth and concerned six colleges: Astor, Peninsula, Martin Luther King Jr and Seaside elementary colleges; and Kellogg and Sellwood center colleges.

A flyer despatched to every faculty and its neighbors outlined the Faculty Road idea in quite simple phrases as, “a neighborhood access-only block or two beside a faculty that reduces the variety of automobiles throughout arrival and dismissal.” Individuals who stay on the blocks concerned had been nonetheless allowed to entry their properties, and so may faculty bus operators, supply companies and guests. “When attainable, attempt to keep away from driving across the faculty throughout choose up and drop off instances,” the flyer said.

Brady mentioned the thought for the pilot got here after conversations with PBOT Protected Routes to Faculty program staffers who fielded security considerations from dad and mom and faculty workers. Remember, faculty visitors had been nonexistent for over a yr resulting from Covid, so these considerations had been increased than ordinary this previous fall. These considerations, PBOT feared (and heard), would lead to much more caregivers driving their college students to highschool.

As you possibly can see within the photographs, PBOT used comparable signage and barricades as for his or her different Covid-era “Protected Streets” applications (a few of which have since been critically upgraded). You can too see how straightforward it could be for individuals to “not see” or willfully ignore PBOT’s indicators given how small they’re and the place they’re positioned within the streets.

Even so, PBOT says they’ve acquired suggestions from all the colleges that they need Faculty Streets to proceed by way of the tip of this yr. “They imagine circulation and pupil security have benefited from the installations,” Brady shared in an electronic mail with us at the moment.


(Pictures: Christophe Belin / Metropolis of Paris)

Past calling them by a barely totally different “Streets to Faculties” moniker, this system in Paris is basically the identical in spirit to what Portland is doing.

In line with the town’s official web site Paris introduced their program again in July and has rolled it out to 59 streets citywide. (Paris has successfully prohibited driving on about 150 streets since summer time 2020.)

Right here’s how they outline this system (translated from French, so blame Google for errors):

The “streets to varsities” include whole or partial pedestrianization round nursery and first colleges. They’re supposed to safe the home-to-school path for kids, but additionally to combat in opposition to air pollution by eliminating the passage of motorized automobiles when attainable. When visitors can’t be fully reduce off, the road is now a pedestrian space, which signifies that solely sure automobiles can flow into at strolling pace, with pedestrians having precedence on the roadway.The passage of emergency automobiles, transport of disabled individuals and supply stays assured.

As you possibly can see within the photographs, the Paris method is far more strong than Portland’s. They’ve extra aggressively reclaimed the street house through the use of extra everlasting diverters and extra strong supplies and signage.

Given the course of PBOT over the previous yr, the success of their plazas and patio program, and the sturdy precedence on carfree house from our commissioner-in-charge, I’d wish to suppose Portland will observe Paris’s lead.

Keep tuned.