Brentwood-Darlington Wins 2017 Weston Award!

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry, Lesley McKinley, Chelsea Powers, Meesa Long. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Congratulations to Lesley McKinley, Meesa Long, and Chelsea Powers on receiving a 2017 Weston Award on behalf of Brentwood-Darlington!  Their inspiring work secured over $5M for sidewalks in our neighborhood!

Map showing sidewalk infill and greenway additions to be implemented in 2019/2020 from the RFF grant funding.

Below is an excerpt of the amazing speech given by McKinley during the awards ceremony.  Read the full story on Bike Portland.

“We were annexed into Portland 30 years ago and we have just not gotten our due. And so we’re coming for you. And I think we’ve proven how absolutely skilled we are in this work. So be afraid…

This was driven by women. This was driven by underserved people, blue-collar people, of which I am one.

We’re very, very grateful, but we’re coming for your money. Do not forget these faces. We’re going to be at every meeting, we’re going to be at every budget, and we should no longer have to send 400 postcards from underserved children begging for their rights. Don’t make us do this again.”

 

-Lesley McKinley

Members of PBOT, BDNA, and Commissioner Vega Pederson pose for a photo at the 2017 Weston Awards.

 

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Rep. Taylor, BDNA Chair McKinley, Meesa Long testify at Metro Council for Safe Routes to Schools

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Brentwood-Darlington is in fierce competition for Regional Flexible Funding dollars for Safe Routes to Schools that would infill sidewalks from 52nd to 82nd on Duke and Flavel St. that lead to our three Title 1 schools serving 1,500 diverse, low income students as well as the Green Thumb Transitional School that serves students with disabilities.  This would also create a Greenway on Ogden and Knapp, including much needed traffic calming, crosswalk creation and infrastructure in underfunded Brentwood-Darlington, home to 13,000 Portland residents.  $3 million dollars would come from RFF funding with a matching $3 million from PBOT.

The sidewalks on Duke and Flavel are patchy, incomplete, and 8 months out the year, under water, forcing children, residents with mobility issues, and parents pushing strollers into the bike lane with oncoming traffic.  TriMet users stand in the street or ankle deep puddles to wait for the bus on the only two major transportation lines in Brentwood-Darlington.  Ogden and Knapp is another major pedestrian avenue for BD with no sidewalk from 52nd to 82nd, no safe crosswalks on 72nd or 82nd.  If it became a greenway it would be the first of it’s kind in this area, connecting to the Springwater Corridor and to major points in Lents.  Funding of both projects would improve the walkshed and bikeshed to new Lents town center and provide more pedestrian friendly paths in car dependent Brentwood-Darlington.  There is currently only one grocery store in all of BD and it is located on Flavel.

Representative Kathleen Taylor, BDNA Chair Lesley McKinley, Vice Chair Chelsea Powers, BDNA board member and project champion Meesa Long, and Lane Vice Principal Mike Rowell all testifed at Metro Council last night along with many Brentwood-Darlington residents.  They presented both written and oral testimony, visuals of the stark inequality in Brentwood-Darlington, and highlighted the extreme need in BD.

Currently, Woodmere, Whitman, Lane and the Green Thumb are activating their students and parents as well as teachers and admin support to lobby for these much needed improvements.

Public comment and input will weigh heavy in this process and your support is needed.  Here are ways to reach out to Metro and be involved in the process:

Share comment by phone 503-797-1750 or TDD 503-797-1804

Email transportation@oregonmetro.gov

Letter to Metro Planning, 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland, OR 97232

Comment on map http://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/regional-flexible-funding-transportation-projects