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Bike/ped institute proposed for PSU

Posted by on March 14th, 2006 at 9:35 am

An effort to establish the West Coast’s first bicycle and pedestrian research institute is gaining steam. The proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Institute would be housed at Portland State University’s Center for Transportation Studies.

According to the proposal, the goal of the institute would be to:

“enhance policies, programs and projects that promote pedestrian and bicycle travel through research, education and outreach”


Proponents hope to make this new Institute a key part of the soon-to-be founded University Transportation Center (UTC) at Portland State University. The UTC received $16 million from the federal government back in in August of 2005 to study transportation issues in the region.

The list of partners throwing their weight behind this proposal include; the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the Oregon Institute of Technology, the Bike Gallery, Alta Planning + Design, the City of Portland Office of Transportation, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition.

According to the proposal, the key programs would include; information dissemination, continuing education, community education/outreach, curriculum development, and scholarships and student awards.

Backers of the proposal are currently looking for federal money to help get the center off the ground.

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5 Comments
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    B March 14, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    I think it’s a great idea — Portland is an ideal city (since it is so bike and ped friendly) for this type of institute, plus it gives PSU some heavier clout in the academic world.

    Maybe this body can come up with a good way for cars and bike to finally share the road without all the rage we witnessed over the past year.

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    Scout March 14, 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Awesome!

    I’d like to see some *actual* facts regarding transit issues, from both sides of the spectrum. It’s easy for each side (cyclists included) to get on our high horses when we feel threatened, but I’m just optimistic enough to believe that solid facts pertaining to the future of transportation might help us understand one another a little better.

    Perhaps, in the coming years, we’ll see a rise in young people majoring in transportation studies, as it becomes more and more apparent that the current system is flawed in such a manner that it will be needing a massive worldwide overhaul. It might just be the “computer studies” of the future.

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    Peter W March 15, 2006 at 8:48 am

    Scout says: “Perhaps, in the coming years, we’ll see a rise in young people majoring in transportation studies”.

    The interesting thing is that there have been “tranportation studies” in another sense for ~ 75 years; the Institute of Traffic Engineers have been helping promote their idea of ‘mobility’ and ‘safety’ by designing roads where the Car is King. It’s nice to see PSU’s Center for Transportation Studies actually studying and educating about non-motorized transportation options.

    Now if we could just get all the traffic engineers in the state to take a few classes about good road design with pedestrians in mind…

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    jimmy March 15, 2006 at 10:40 am

    This is an incredible opportunity and a topic area that will be growing by leaps and bounds in the next decade as the “active living” movement continues to gain momentum. The issue of obesity will not be going away anytime soon, nor will the skyrocketing healthcare costs associated with it – Not to mention the problems of transportation related pollution and congestion – all of which are addressed by increasing walking and cycling.

    I would love to see some of the larger private corporations with a stake in this area contribute to the cause. Perhaps Nike and Adidas for example. This is an opportunity for them to support their local community while also furthering their own interests – A Win Win I would say.

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    Justin March 16, 2006 at 1:45 am

    Hmm… *puts one foot in front of the other, leaning forward slightly. I suppose people could document this, I muse to myself as I propel myself along the street, almost silently, bopping slightly in an up and down motion.

    Very interesting – who knew there was another use for these things stuck to the end of our legs! Not just for gas pedals anymore???

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