Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

‘SmartTrips’ leads to fewer car trips in Southeast

Posted by on February 12th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Behind the scenes at SmartTrips

SmartTrips materials are
delivered by bike.
(Photo © J. Maus)

PDOT’s Transportation Options Division has announced that their “SmartTrips Southeast” program led to a 9.4% reduction in drive-alone trips in the target area.

The program — which uses individualized marketing techniques to encourage participants to walk, bike, and take transit — was focused on over 20,000 Southeast Portland (and Milwaukie) households.

Participating residents were subjected to an all-out blitz of outreach events, access to resources, and free gifts (including the wonky-yet-fashionable bicycle map bandanna!) to help inspire them to make more sensible transportation choices.

In addition to reducing drive-alone trips, SmartTrips also led to increased bicycle use. PDOT reported an increase in bicycle mode share among those over 55 years-old from 1% – 4% and, for the first time ever, a majority of the bicycle trips (58%) were made by women.

The SmartTrips program (formerly known at TravelSmart) is in its fifth year and the current focus area is Southwest Portland. Learn more about this year’s program at the SmartTrips Southwest website.

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  • Mark February 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Great works options — making the city fit and happy

    keep it up!!!

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  • Liz February 12, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Fantastic results!

    Any news on the possibility of those snazzy bandanas being available to the general public?

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  • Ashley February 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    zOMG! Bike map bandana?! Genius, genius I say. Thank you SmartTrips, you\’re vunderful darling, simply vunderful.

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  • 9watts February 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    that would be \’…leads to *fewer* car trips,\’ actually. Though all too common, whether in the express lane at the grocery store: \’12 items or less\’ or among us bikey folk: \’one less car\’ the rules of English grammar tell us that whenever the object is countable–as in all of these cases–the correct word is *fewer.*
    Sorry to be so picky.

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  • Matthew February 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Southwest will be a interesting one. A lot of the other targeted area were areas where you could walk, (there are sidewalks,) bike (cause it was flat, and most of the side streets went through,) and had great transit…

    Not so much for Southwest.

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  • Mark February 12, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Interesting. I think the goal of SmartTrips is laudable. However, I\’d really like to see their methodology on how they arrived at these results. I can\’t seem to locate in on their website. Any ideas?

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  • Jessica Roberts February 12, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Mark, try that first link in Jonathan\’s story. It leads you to an entire page about the SmartTrips Southeast program, including the project plan, the final report, and detailed information on all the sub-projects (such as Women on Bikes, Senior Strolls, and Portland by Cycle).

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  • KT February 13, 2008 at 9:02 am


    The map on their website is tiny and hard to read.

    Exactly what area does this SmartTrips Southwest cover?

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  • Options Guy February 13, 2008 at 11:09 am

    KT – you speak, we listen.
    I\’ve posted a PDF of the STSW neighborhood map on the page for your viewing pleasure.


    Matthew – you are correct, Southwest will be challenging for some of our programs (like Portland By Cycle rides, which I lead). But I think we\’ll have interesting rides for cyclists of a variety of experience levels. And we\’ll be revisiting our previous Eastside neighborhoods with rides also.
    Stay tuned to the http://www.GettingAroundPortland.org website for the full schedule of rides – to be posted soon!

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  • Linda Ginenthal February 13, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Love that Options Guy!
    Linda Ginenthal

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  • Bill Stites February 13, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Love that Linda!

    Nice job getting people out of their cars. This clearly is a lot of upstream work … perhaps inspired by salmon?! 😉

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