I’m currently taking the Traffic and Transportation class at PSU. Each week we get to hear various transportation bigwigs talk about their piece of the puzzle. So far we’ve had presentations from key people at Metro, TriMet, and PDOT. I’m looking forward to upcoming talks by Roger Geller and Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams.
The coolest part of the class is that we all get to choose a transportation project (like getting speed bumps on your street) and learn how to go through the necessary steps to make it a reality. Then, at the end of the class, they’ll pick three of them to be reviewed by a panel of transportation experts. I’ve got a very specific project in mind (more info to come) and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can make some headway on it.
Here’s a few things that caught my ear from tonight’s class:
- We’ve got over 5,000 bike racks in the city of Portland.
- Buses are equipped with special sensors that make the traffic lights change quicker for them (I’ve got to get one of those!).
- City of Portland employees get $25/month in “Bike Bucks” if they commute by bike over 80% of the time.
- The Transportation Options department has a customized “OptionsMobile” they bring to community events. I think it’s sort of lame that it’s a car when the main goal of the department is to not drive. I think it’d way cooler if they tricked out an Xtracycle with a power assist (made locally) and a boom box.
- In a comprehensive neighborhood survey done in 2001 almost 30% of the respondents said bike safety was a major concern.
- 25 years ago, then TriMet executive Rick Gustafson OK’d a $150,000 grant to promote bike use in the city. I’d say he was way ahead of the game but the Oregonian jumped all over him in an editorial. My how times have changed!