Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 28th, 2010 at 4:21 pm
The Transportation Options Division of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), has released the final report on its SmartTrips Green Line target area.
The SmartTrips program (in its eighth year) aims to educate Portlanders about their travel options with a goal to encourage more biking, walking, and transit trips. The latest target area was along the Green Line MAX corridor in East Portland, on both sides of I-205 from NE Sandy Blvd in the north to south of SE Foster Road and between NE 72nd Ave and NE 122nd Ave. About 8,200 households in the target area (about 25 percent of total households) took part in the program and PBOT spent $213,270 to carry it out.
SmartTrips Green Line began with a “before” survey in September 2009 and ran through October 2010. PBOT’s final report shows that residents in the target area reduced their drive-alone trips by 18.4 percent and increased their “environmentally-friendly modes” (biking, walking, transit and carpooling) by 30.4 percent.
To encourage participation, Options staff got out into the neighborhood by tabling at events, leading bike rides and walking tours (95 events were held over the course of one year), passing out free maps and much more. There is also a large direct mail component that allows people to custom order a number of items and have them personally delivered. 189 local businesses also joined forces with PBOT to promote transportation options to their employees and customers.
PBOT estimates the program helped save over 48 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in 2010, which is equivalent to shifting over two trips per week, per person in the target area from driving alone to a more environmentally-friendly mode.
Here are some other interesting tidbits from the report:
During the SmartTrips program…
- PBOT’s annual bicycle counts showed a 9.5% increase in the number of cyclists at 17 locations in east Portland
- Carpooling nearly doubled in the target area.
- Transit use increased nearly 15%.
- Approximately 75% of survey respondents said safety concerns did not limit the amount they walk, bike, or take transit. This suggests that other factors are limiting their transportation choices or they are not interested.
And here’s a stat from the program that shows one of the major intangible benefits of the work Options does:
About 900 unsolicited positive comments by area residents showed that the program not only garnered the desired mode-shift changes but fostered a positive attitude toward the work that the City of Portland is doing to make their communities a better place to live.