PSU research delves deeper into ‘Four types of cyclists’

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Roger Geller’s chart that started it all.

It’s been six-and-a-half years since Portland Bureau of Transportation bicycle coordinator Roger Geller first defined the “Four types of cyclists”. Geller’s insights proved to be groundbreaking and his definitions have stood the test of time. I frequently hear references about the need to attract more “Interested but concerned” riders at conferences all over the country and I read about them in articles in media large and small.

Now a noted bicycle researcher at Portland State University, Jennifer Dill, is working to learn more about the various types of riders. At the recent Velo-City conference in Vancouver B.C., she shared her research, Categorizing Cyclists: What Do We Know? Insights from Portland, OR (PDF). Now her work has been made public.

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Ride an e-bike? PSU researchers want to hear from you

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The Ohm electric-assist bicycle-1.jpg

If you ride an e-bike, PSU wants to hear from you.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Researchers at Portland State University are looking for interview subjects for a project on e-bikes. Jennifer Dill, an associate professor at the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, got in touch with us with the news.

Dill says it’s a small, exploratory research project intended to further their understanding of the e-bike market and e-bike users. “This may lead to a larger study of the role e-bikes play in bicycle transportation.”

Here’s some text from a flyer to recruit interview subjects:

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The quest for Oregon’s “Next Top (Transportation) Model”

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New models could help level the
playing field between modes.
(Photo © J. Maus)

High quality models are essential to making the right decisions about how we build our transportation systems. What do beautiful people have to do with transportation? Nothing! I’m talking about transportation models.

For instance, if your model includes motorized vehicle “traffic flow” as a fundamental component and barely includes bicycles or other modes, what do you think the outcomes from that model will be? Yep, you guessed it, more highways to accomodate more cars, and a tiny scrap or two left for bicycles. Unfortunately, that situation is one of the major problems in transportation planning today.

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Geller, Dill talk bikes on ‘Green Science Oregon’

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Still of PBOT’s Roger Geller on Green
Science Oregon show.

CIty of Portland Bike Coordinator Roger Geller and noted PSU transportation researcher Jennifer Dill star in the latest episode of Green Science Oregon.

The 10-minute segment (watch it below) is a good primer on the current state of Portland’s bike network. It’s also a window into where Portland is heading in the future and how the city plans to reach their goal of 25% bike mode share by 2030.

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PSU evaluation finds that bike boxes work

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A year-long evaluation by researchers at Portland State University’s Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation has found that Portland’s bike boxes improve the safety of roads users on a number of levels. The research — funded through the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium — complements another study from the University of Texas published last month that also found bike boxes to have a positive impact on traffic safety. City of Portland Bureau of Transportation officials say these studies confirm their own observations about the bike boxes and they are in the process of identifying new locations to add more of them.

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At TRB, wonks are celebrities (and they wear funny ties)

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Spotted at TRB 2010.
(Photo: Robert Rescot/Twitter)

The Transportation Research Board is wrapping up their Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. this week. For the uninitiated, the TRB’s mission is to “promote innovation and progress in transportation through research.” Our own Elly Blue attended (along with about 11,000 others) last year and dubbed it the Great Transportation Convergence.

Not surprisingly, there was a big contingent from Portland at this year’s conference. The Portland State University based Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) sent a team of staffers to present their latest research and network with others in the field.

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Scholarship helps PSU become hub of bike/ped research

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BTA New Year's Day Ride

Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder and
his partner Lydia Rich have established
a scholarship to promote bike/ped research.
(Photo J. Maus)

BTA co-founder and Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder and his partner Lydia Rich (a public school teacher in North Portland) have made a commitment to Portland State University’s growing reputation as a hub for livable cities research.

In 2007, the couple established the The Rex Burkholder and Lydia Rich Scholarship. The $5,000 prize is awarded to a graduate student who “intends to be active in developing a future where bicyclists and pedestrians play a major role in the livability of urban areas.”

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What did you learn from Pro Walk/Pro Bike?

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PDOT’s Timo Forsberg (L) and
Jeff Smith (R) at last weekend’s Pro
Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle.
(Photos © J. Maus)

I’ve still got a few notes and stories I’d like to share from my trip to the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle over the weekend.

On the last day of the conference, I asked a few members of the Portland delegation to share their most memorable new insights from the conference. Here are their responses:

Lynn Mutrie is the statewide youth education and outreach manager for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA):

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PSU Prof shares results of bicycling behavior research

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Bike to Work Day

Does infrastructure — like this
bike lane — influence people’s
bicycling behavior?
(Photo © J. Maus)

How does the the built environment influence bicycling behavior? What routes do cyclists take? Will cyclists go out of their way to use bike lanes and other bike-specific infrastructure?

Those are the questions Portland State University professor Jennifer Dill has set out to answer. Dill — who teaches at PSU’s Center for Transportation Studiesembarked on a bicycling behavior research study back in January and last week she began to share some of her initial findings.

To learn more about where (and why) people ride, Dill attached at GPS unit on the bikes of 164 Portlanders for seven days. The participants logged over 1500 total bike trips. The GPS device recorded the purpose of each trip and Dill followed-up with an online survey to fill in missing gaps of information.

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PSU Seminar: Where Do People Bicycle? Infrastructure and Bicycle Behavior

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PSU Center for Transportation Studies Transportation Seminar

Location: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204

Speaker: Jennifer Dill, Associate Professor, School of Urban Studies and Planning, PSU

Topic: Where Do People Bicycle? The Role of Infrastructure in Determining Bicycling Behavior

This seminar will present results from the BikeGPS study that collected data from Portland area bicyclists using GPS technology. The study collected data from over 150 cyclists for seven days each during 2007, resulting in detailed information for over 1,500 bicycle trips throughout the urban area. The GPS data provides detailed information on the amount, location, and speed of bicycle travel and allows us to answer questions about route choice. For example, how much to people ride on roads with bike lanes, on bike boulevards, or paths? Do these patterns vary by gender, age, or other factors?

More info here

PSU study to track cyclists with GPS

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[PSU Professor Jennifer Dill]
Photo: PSU

Oregonian reporter Jeff Mapes has the scoop on an interesting Portland State University study:

Jennifer Dill, an urban studies professor, wants to recruit a wide range of cyclists — and lots of them — to tote global positioning system units on their bikes for a 10-day period. She said researchers hope to learn whether cyclists go out of their way to use bike lanes and bicycle-friendly streets and to see how travel habits are affected by such factors as the weather.

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