‘When you have it, it’s priceless’: Nine questions for Seleta Reynolds

by on September 24th, 2015 at 9:16 am

Seleta Reynolds
Los Angeles transportation director Seleta Reynolds.
(Photo via TREC at PSU)

Seleta Reynolds gets results.

As we reported last week, the city whose livable streets program she led for three years, San Francisco, has subsequently delivered the nation’s most consistent string of boosts in bike commuting.

She’s now one year into a vastly larger gig: transportation director for the City of Los Angeles, which turned millions of heads last month when it rolled out a citywide plan to gradually reallocate numerous auto lanes to create dedicated bus lanes and 300 miles of protected bike lanes.

She’s also one of the most reflective transportation leaders in the country, as the interview below makes clear. Ahead of her free Oct. 6 talk at Ecotrust, we caught up with Reynolds to discuss her advice for Portland’s advocates and bureaucrats, the arguments for biking that work best and whether Portland is still cool.


Event will spotlight “fearless” transportation ideas

by on October 8th, 2014 at 12:39 pm


Stagnation got you down?

Tired of over-compromised projects that don’t move the needle?

Looking for exciting transportation projects you can really sink your teeth into?

Than we’ve got an event for you!

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) is hosting Let’s be Fearless: Big Ideas for our Transportation Future on October 27th.


Q&A: How Minnesota saves lives by spreading safety money thinly

by on August 26th, 2014 at 10:43 am

Sue Groth, director of traffic, safety and technology
for the Minnesota Department of Transportation,
has been nationally recognized for overseeing rapid
drops in traffic fatalities.
(Photos: MnDOT)

Sue Groth’s job: use math and millions of dollars to stop injuries before they happen.

The team Groth leads at the Minnesota Department of Transportation has probably saved a few hundred lives over the last 10 years. In that time they’ve reinvented “highway safety” spending and seen traffic fatalities fall almost twice as fast as they have in Oregon and the rest of the country.

Groth is the plenary speaker at the Sept. 15 Oregon Transportation Summit hosted by OTREC at Portland State University. I caught her by phone last week to talk about MnDOT’s daring decision to give up some of the “gobs of money” it gets for highway safety and hand it to local agencies instead.


‘Transit on Tap’ event will highlight Kaiser’s folding e-bike loan program

by on July 17th, 2014 at 2:33 pm


A few employers own bicycles that they can loan to their workers as an introduction to bike commuting, but a Kaiser Permanente Northwest pilot program this year is taking that to the next level.

The health company is loaning folding e-bikes to 180 of its employees.

The goal is, in part, to increase active commutes by introducing more commuters to the transit-friendly vehicles that can address one of the biggest reasons workers neither bike or bus to work: they live too far away to bike, and too far from a bus stop to take transit.


Researchers launch online survey for feedback on NE Multnomah cycle path

by on November 21st, 2013 at 9:42 am

Screenshot from the web survey.

Last month, we reported that local academics were polling people in Portland’s newest protected bike lane to learn who likes it, who doesn’t, and if or how it’s changing people’s behavior.

Now, it’s the Internet’s turn. You, too, can now take the 20-minute online survey about NE Multnomah Street between Wheeler and 16th avenues.

“After conducting targeted ‘intercepts’ of bicyclists on NE Multnomah (you may have received a postcard invitation from us already), we are now opening the survey up to get as much feedback as possible,” Portland State University’s Chris Monsere writes on the survey page. “Hearing from bicyclists like yourself is a very important part of this study, and we hope you will participate. We will share our findings with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and hope that the results will help in future plans for improving bicycling in cities around the United States.”

Is the new Multnomah Street working? Research could resonate nationally

by on October 7th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

The new NE Multnomah -7
A few feet and a few objects to separate the traffic.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Local academics hit the curbs of the Lloyd District Friday to gather data that’ll examine Portlanders’ attitudes toward the neighborhood’s newest protected bike lane.

Separated from autos by a wide strip of beeswax yellow paint, a few parking spots, some plastic bollards and a set of concrete planters, Multnomah Street’s protected bikeway was the signature bike project from former Sam Adams staffer Tom Miller’s brief stint running the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It’s now part of a six-city study of how protected bike lanes are working.


With $2.8 million grant, PSU now a national center for ‘livable communities’ research

by on September 26th, 2013 at 11:56 am

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) at Portland State University continued to raise its national profile with today’s announcement of a $2.83 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This grant comes on the heels of a $3.5 million federal grant awarded in January 2012 that solidified PSU’s role as one of the premier university transportation centers (UTCs) in the country. The competition for this grant was very stiff with 142 universities vying for just 32 grants.

With this latest grant, OTREC at PSU is now the USDOT’s go-to institution when it comes to “livable communities” research. For this round of grants, the USDOT awarded just five national university transportation centers. Each center was pegged to focus its research on one of the agency’s five categories: economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, safety, state of good repair, and livable communities.

Pilot project will push potential of e-bikes as commute vehicles

by on April 12th, 2013 at 11:36 am

Image taken from Metro Regional Travel Options grant application.


Bike commuters are happiest (and other PSU research tidbits)

by on January 30th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Graph of “commute well-being” from a presentation poster by Oliver Smith.


PSU research makes connection between bike-friendly and bottom line

by on September 20th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Researcher Kelly Clifton at a presentation at City Hall today.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland State University researcher Kelly Clifton has shared more detailed data on her research into how mode choice impacts spending behaviors. After talking to Clifton at the outset of her research and then sharing some initial findings back in July, I learned more about her findings at the Bureau of Transportation’s monthly Bicycle Brown Bag discussion series held at City Hall today.

According to data from 1,884 surveys taken outside various establishments, non-driving customers — those who show up by bike, on foot, or via transit — are often more valuable in terms of dollars spent than customers who arrive in a car. This data flies in the face of the often heard perspective that automobile access should be the highest priority to ensure business success. (more…)