Portland Teachers Endorse Gas Tax for Safer Routes to School

Right now in Portland, many neighborhoods are lacking even the most basic sidewalks, crosswalks, and safe streets to allow Portland students to walk and bike to school. Lack of safe routes to school burdens parents with unnecessary car trips and endangers many young students who lack alternative ways to get to class. That’s why today, the Portland Association of Teachers officially joined the growing coalition of Portland-based organizations who believe that a YES vote on Measure 26-173 is an appropriate and long-needed investment in the health, safety, and well-being of Portland’s children.

"Portland teachers strongly believe that safer routes to school makes for healthier children, and healthier communities. The Portland Association of Teachers is excited to vote YES on Measure 26-173 to Fix Our Streets, including over $8 million to make walking and biking to school safer for all Portland students” stated Gwen Sullivan, President of the Portland Association of Teachers. 

Joining the Portland Association of Teachers in endorsing a yes vote on Measure 26-173 are other local education advocates including Safe Routes to School - Pacific Northwest Chapter and the PTAs of Beverly Cleary School and Chief Joseph / Ockley Green School.

Fix Our Streets Portland includes over $8 million to build crosswalks, sidewalks, and safer streets near elementary, middle and K-8 schools in Portland Public, David Douglas, Reynolds and Parkrose School Districts. This money would be spent on safety projects all over the city including sidewalks near NE Portland’s Sacramento Elementary, crosswalks to SE Portland’s Buckman Elementary, traffic calming on SW 35th Avenue near Jackson Middle School, and new crosswalks near North Portland’s George Middle School.

To see the full list of proposed projects and read about the Citizen Oversight Committee who will monitor and audit gas tax’s revenues and expenditures, check out our Projects page.

“When children can't walk or bike to school, it increases neighborhood traffic, diminishes local air quality, and deprives students of opportunities for physical activity,” stated Kari Schlosshauer, SE Portland parent of two and co-chair of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign. “Neighborhood schools are an integral part of Portland’s cherished walkable communities. We’re honored that education advocates see the connection between education and Safe Routes to School, and are joining us in encouraging Portland to vote YES for investment in our public right of way.”

Fix Our Streets Portland encourages a Yes Vote on Measure 26-173. The campaign for the temporary gas tax has been endorsed by forty community organizations including City Club of Portland, Upstream Public Health, Disability Rights Oregon, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Community Alliance of Tenants and the Portland Business Alliance.

Portlanders’ ballots are due by 8pm on May 17.