The first volley from new carfree activist group the People's Department of Transportation is a video spoofing the ludicrousness of the recently-erected "safety fence" across 82nd Avenue.
The People's Department of Transportation, headed up by BikePortland managing editor and Carfree Cities activist Elly Blue, has jumped on the former acronym for Portland's official city transportation bureau (PDOT transformed into PBOT under Mayor Adams), claiming PDOT.org for its still-in-the-works website.
I think it's a smart little video: it captures how transit users think the 10-foot-tall cement fence is a terrible idea. There are reportedly 79 traffic accidents a year at that site on 82nd Ave, in part because 10,000 Portlanders who depart daily from the bus and MAX at that location have to scamper across the road to reach their transit stop. Yes, the new fence forces transit riders to walk down the long block to the stoplight and crosswalk, but that solution inconveniences pedestrians while allowing cars to keep whipping swiftly down the street. Plus, it's ugly. Montavilla neighbors even considered filing a legal appeal against ODOT in hopes of tying the project up in litigation.
Though initial estimates placed the price of the fence at $80,000, the final pricetag, split between TriMet, the City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation, was $382,000. That's $130,000 more than the standard cost of installing a crosswalk and stoplight at the site, which is what many neighbors wanted to being with.