Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on April 9th, 2014 at 9:51 am
surrounded by “doodads, goodies, prizes, swag.”
(Photos by J.Maus/BikePortland)
After 12 years of bike maps, blinking lights and walking tours, one of Portland’s most innovative transportation programs is shifting direction.
Starting next week, the city’s residential SmartTrips program, which gives Portlanders customized packages of free resources to help them get around by walking, biking or taking transit, will stop targeting specific neighborhoods and instead focus on reaching people who’ve recently moved.
The city’s website will continue to offer the free bike maps that adorn thousands of local refrigerators. But as it manages a 17 percent budget cut, Smart Trips is focusing its outreach and its free mail-order goodie bags on 45,000 or so households that will move to new homes in Portland this year.
“We’re trying to identify those opportunity moments. People are already changing everything about getting from place to place. So their minds are open.”
— Linda Ginenthal, SmartTrips program manager
“We’re trying to identify those opportunity moments,” program manager Linda Ginenthal said in an interview Tuesday. “People are already changing everything about getting from place to place. So their minds are open.”
The program will tap the same direct-mail database gleaned from Post Office records and utility bills that commercial companies use. But the product being marketed is low-car transportation: bike, transit and walking routes, nearby carsharing services, rideshare matches and so on.
Households can request a family biking guide that “starts with pregnancy and goes through riding with kids to school,” a carsharing brochure, coupons to local businesses, visibility lights, a book of local walks and hikes, a pedometer, and maps of all sorts.