Streets Alive: A healthy start towards better street safety

A week after Streets Alive, Heather Staten, left, and Jodi Behr of the Streets Alive committee scrub away temporary sidewalk markings.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
A week after Streets Alive, Heather Staten, left, and Jodi Behr of the Streets Alive committee scrub away temporary sidewalk markings.



Streets Alive may be over, but the effects endure, according to organizers of the Sept. 30 wellness-oriented street event on the Heights, which was organized with the city as a partner, but without any public expense.

More than 1,000 people attended, with many participating in dance and art events, and enjoying music at private homes and other locations in “Porchfest.”

“The feeling of community was strong,” said Peter Cornelison, Hood River City Council member and part of the event planning committee. “There were many smiles and expressions of joy. This event was both a celebration and a gift to our wonderful community. It was a multifaceted event with music, art in the street, Zumba, yoga, business building and an important demonstration of how 12th and 13th Streets could be made safer with enhanced crosswalks and a dedicated bike lane. Streets Alive! got people moving and grooving.”

A week after the event, Streets Alive committee members scrubbed away temporary sidewalk markings used in “demonstration” pedestrian access points on 12th and 13th, called bulb-outs.

The sidewalk markings removed on Oct. 7 had embellished existing crosswalks, but the temporary paint had to be removed under an agreement with Oregon Department of Transportation.

Committee member Jodi Behr said the demonstration crossings have helped start a new set of conversations with ODOT about safety improvements that can be made on the Heights. The city asked community members to email their comments on the bulb-outs, information that Behr, who is a professional engineer, is compiling.

“We need events that bring people together, neighbors getting to know neighbors, instead of focusing on our divisive national politics,” Cornelison said. “We have much to celebrate living in such a beautiful place and the beauty of this event was a reflection of our community. To quote Fyodor Dostoevsky, ‘Beauty will save the world’.”



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