Portland State University

Big ideas from future transpo leaders will get spotlight tonight

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Screenshot of proposed diverters on SE Clinton from a
presentation by PSU Traffic and Transportation Class
participant Taylor Gibson.

One of Portland's most remarkable public-policy traditions takes place tonight: A handpicked handful of citizen transportation wonks will present their ideas for how to improve the local streets to a panel of city leaders.

Among the concepts to be presented in the Portland Building tonight: a plan that would dramatically reduce "cut-through" traffic on Clinton Street by adding traffic diverters at 17th, 27th and 37th Avenues; and a proposal for a regionwide, multi-jurisdiction mobile app to let people report simple road problems like clogged grates or loose leaves.


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

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

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.

PSU traffic engineer adds new criticism of ODOT's Barbur analysis

Friday, September 13th, 2013
PSU transpo researcher Chris Monsere
PSU's Chris Monsere in 2010.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two days after a Metro engineer publicly called out the Oregon Department of Transportation for allegedly misrepresenting traffic data in a memo that sidelined a bike safety proposal for Southwest Barbur, another expert is adding new skepticism.

The latest critic is Chris Monsere, a Portland State University associate professor and nationally recognized expert in the effects of restriping roads to reduce auto travel lanes. In addition to questioning ODOT's conclusions, Monsere questioned the agency's priorities and said he was "disappointed in the way the analysis is framed."

"Vehicle speeds are way too high on Barbur, safety is poor, and bicycle / ped accommodation is substandard," Monsere writes. "Road diets have generally been shown to improve safety for all users. Motor vehicle delay at the peak hour shouldn't be only decision variable."


Downtown Portland bike theft reports plummeted 60% last year

Monday, June 24th, 2013
Locking up is looking safer.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here's some great news for downtown Portland: it seems to be getting safer for parked bikes. Much safer.

You might have seen recent media reports that Portland bike theft reports dipped 13 percent citywide last year, according to a new Portland Police Bureau report. But what you didn't read was that fully half of the drop came from a single neighborhood: downtown.

In 2011, one in 10 bikes reported stolen in the city was lifted from downtown Portland. Last year, the ratio fell to one in 20.

It comes out to 150 fewer bikes swiped from the city's densest neighborhood, down from about 280 in 2011 to 107 in 2012. Authorities say they don't know what caused such a sharp and localized drop.

"Of course we’d love to say that it’s because of the increased awareness we have provided on securing bikes," police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson wrote in an email. "But very hard to quantify." (more...)

PSU now among top four most bike-friendly universities in America

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Montgomery St Bike Garage at PSU
PSU's Ian Stude inside a bike parking garage
that serves the campus.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland State University is in some very elite company atop the national Bike Friendly University rankings announced last month by the League of American Bicyclists. PSU has improved from their "silver" award in 2011 and is now one of only three schools in the "gold" category (Stanford is the only university to have received Platinum.)

Cycling at PSU has skyrocketed in recent years and the university has responded with bike-friendly policies, programs, and infrastructure. As of 2012, a survey (taken by 960 employees and 1,109 students) showed that 12% of the of the entire campus population arrived by bicycle. In 2005, just 6% of students rode bikes to campus. While bike use has gone up, the amount of people who drive alone to campus (23%) has dropped by half.

PSU researcher delving into "multimodal road rage"

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Traffic observations- NE Alberta St-8
Could road rage tell us something
about the gender gap in bicycling?
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tara Goddard, a PhD candidate in Urban Studies at Portland State University (PSU), is devoting her thesis to a subject that gets a lot of traction in the media but so far has received scant attention in academia: road rage between people who drive and people who bike.

According to Goddard, her research will focus on the "interactions between drivers and bicyclists," an aspect of "transportation psychology" research that is largely untapped (most major studies have focused on driver-to-driver rage). Goddard plans to delve into the mechanisms and predictors of driver-rider road rage. "For example, as drivers, we experience (and sometimes perpetrate) law-bending/breaking all the time," she shared via email. "It is socially acceptable, in many ways. But any scofflaw behavior on the part of a bicyclist suddenly condemns the entire bicycling world."

Why does that happen? Goddard has a few hunches: (more...)

PSU students plan bike theft workshop, visual campaign

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Flyer for bike theft workshop on April 30th.

Bike theft is a major issue in Portland. So far this year we've had 259 bikes posted to our Stolen Bike Listings and the numbers are on the upswing. Now a pair of graduate students at Portland State University want to raise public awareness about bike theft and they've got a novel idea how to do it.

Erin Charpentier is a student working on her Master of Fine Arts degree in PSU's Art and Social Practice program. "This means," wrote Charpentier in an email today, "that my creative practice involves social engagement in some form. This can look like a lot of different things; education, activism, participatory performance, creative interventions."

PSU Cycling Team poised for first-ever conference title

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Portland State University Cycling Team is rolling toward their best year ever. With a potent mix of talent, sheer numbers, and team chemistry, they sit atop the rankings of the Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference — ahead of such powerhouse programs like University of Oregon, University of Washington, and Oregon State.

I caught up with the team last Friday as they loaded their team trailer and vans to head to North Bend, Washington for a trio of races hosted by the University of Washington.

BTA now offers bike education courses at two local colleges

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Fall scene in South Park Blocks-1
A student rides on the South Park
Blocks on the PSU campus.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has a new front in their effort to teach people about bicycling: They now offer college-level bike training courses in partnership with Portland State University (PSU) and Portland Community College (PCC).

The PSU class, Bike PDX: How to Commute by Bicycle, will be offered in two different sessions during PSU's spring term which begins April 1st and runs through June 18th. Students can accrue one course credit for completion of the class.

Here's the course description: (more...)

PSU e-bike research project launches online survey

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Jeff Bernards new e-bike-7
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Researchers at Portland State University are looking for e-bike riders to fill out an online survey. The survey is part of an ongoing study that began last fall with an aim to "provide valuable insight into the potential market, user characteristics and barriers to adoption" of e-bikes.

Here's more about the survey from principal investigator on the project John MacArthur: (more...)

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