TriMet and Mayor Sam Adams announced a new deal on Friday, July 20, to preserve free bus and rail trips for Portland Public Schools (PPS) high school students. Adams—after threatening TriMet with steep fee hikes—essentially wrung the deal out of TriMet's reluctant leadership. The agency, which closed a $12 million budget gap, in part by cutting another one of Adams' priorities, the Free Rail Zone, now will have to find an additional $1.8 million in savings. It's another case of Adams, at the end of his term, shedding any niceties in the interest of getting a victory on an issue dear to his heart. DENIS C. THERIAULT
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Southeast Portland residents staged a fake funeral on SE Foster last Tuesday, July 17, as the latest attempt to get the city to put money into making the street substantially safer. "Although plans have been drafted and redrafted for over a decade, little has been done on the ground to rectify the dangerous conditions," wrote the neighbors' Foster Road Action committee in their call-out for protesters.
Police staged a crosswalk enforcement action on SE Foster and 68th in May, ticketing drivers who failed to stop for pedestrians crossing the busy street. But that didn't stop the most recent major crash, on June 29, when a 56-year-old man was hit and put into critical condition—he was crossing SE Foster at 71st, in almost exactly the same spot where a 26-year-old was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street this past winter. Neighbors want better lighting, more crosswalks, and more visible signage. SARAH MIRK
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Who's walking to work? Seattleites more than Portlanders, according to number crunching of US Census stats by environmental research nonprofit Sightline Institute. About 8.7 percent of Seattle residents walk to work, while only about 5.4 percent of Portland residents do. They also take public transit to work way more often—about 20 percent of Seattle commuters get to work via transit versus 12 percent of Portlanders. SM