Back to school for a transportation class

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!
Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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18 years ago

I can’t believe you’re bashing the OptionsMobile…man, that hurts. But I hear that all the time.

We (Options) got the OptionsMobile a few years ago. Each summer we table about 70 events and we were having to get a cargo van to carry all the materials, tables, chairs..etc. It just made sense to turn a hybrid car into our display. Perhaps if we didn’t produce so many great biking and walking maps and materials for the people we could ditch the car and start biking to events…

Thanks for stickers, they’re a big hit.


Adams Carroll (News Intern)
18 years ago


Don’t mean to hurt your feelings. The OptionsMobile is cool, it’s just that I think a modified cargo bike could be even cooler and just as effective in hauling stuff and getting attention. There are plenty of local cargo bike experts that I’m sure would be glad to collaborate on the project.

I mean, if locals aremoving by bike, than I don’t see why Options couldn’t haul around maps and materials the same way.

If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right folks.

Peter W
18 years ago

I wanted to sign up for the class but didn’t… do you know if people can go to it as a drop in thing? Or maybe you can just post the important notes. Thanks!

18 years ago

we’re a bit short on room this year, but you’re welcome to join us for a class if you’re intersted. This week we’ll have Roger Geller, bike coordinator, at the class so that might be interesting. let me know if you plan on coming though,