A powerful new data collection tool has local transportation agencies salivating.
Replica by Sidewalk Labs (owned by Alphabet, the company that owns Google) bills itself as a “next-generation urban planning tool.” Using location data gleaned from cell phones and other sources, Replica creates a “synthetic population” based on aggregate U.S. Census data. The promise of this tool is that it can give planners and engineers unprecedented insights into the traffic patterns and mobility behaviors of urban residents.
From regional trends to fine-grain analysis of travel to-and-from specific destinations, this data has vast potential. But it also requires trust from a wary public fearful of privacy breaches and government/corporate overreach.
At this morning’s Portland City Council meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation urged Mayor Ted Wheeler and his colleagues to approve an intergovernmental agreement (PDF) between PBOT, Metro and TriMet that would enable the agencies to enter into a 12-month pilot with Sidewalk Labs. Here’s more from the official city ordinance under consideration:[Read more…]
The best printed bike map in the Portland region will soon be a collector’s item.
Metro announced yesterday that they will no longer sell the printed version of the vaunted Bike There! map.
The map was first published in 1983 and has gone through nine major updates. The ninth (and last) edition came out in May 2015.
In an email to shops that stocked the map, Metro’s Marne Duke said the decision was made because of, “A combination of the decline in demand of printed maps and the increase in free map offerings from local cities and counties around the region.”
The news was met with disappointment by many of our friends on Twitter:
“Bummer. Finding this map at the grocery store was what got me to start biking in Portland.” — Nick Falbo.
“No! I am definitely of the era that loves a paper map.” — Mike Mason
“I don’t use apps or Google Maps or whatever. I like good old printed maps.” — Susan R
“While this plan isn’t the best we can do, it reflects the best we can do right now.”
— from Metro’s RTP Formal Comment Period Briefing Book
When it comes to major infrastructure projects, if it’s not in Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), it’s not going to be built. And as our region faces growing population pressure, a mobility revolution, and the impacts of climate change, it’s imperative that the projects listed in this plan reflect our highest values and priorities.
For the past three years Metro and their partners have been working to update the RTP and we’re now just five months away from formal adoption. But before that happens, councilors and policymakers need to hear what you think. An official public comment period is now open and runs through August 13th.
Written by Metro Parks and Nature Department Senior Planner Robert Spurlock. Robert is also a member of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council. This post first appeared on Metro’s Outside Voice blog.
A thriving metropolis at the confluence of two major rivers.
A world class bike path in the heart of the city, built over the water to bypass a tangled mess of highways and train tracks that had historically cut off the city from its river.
This story is by Greg Spencer, a writer and editor and proud dad of two bike-commuting kids. He’s also a volunteer with the local chapter of Families for Safe Streets.
In Metro’s draft 2018 State of Safety Report, previewed last month on BikePortland, the latest regional road crash data is analyzed, and it’s done for the first time from the perspective of Vision Zero, a policy framework that aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries.
But some of the presented data do not reflect the Vision Zero ethos, which says that road safety is a shared community burden, not one that’s primarily on the backs of crash victims.
[Note from publisher: Please see the note at the end of this story for an important update. – Jonathan]
Scott F. Kocher is a lawyer and safe streets advocate with Forum Law Group in Portland. He specializes in cases involving walkers and bikers. This is his first story for BikePortland.
Metro has issued a new State of Safety Report (full PDF below) analyzing crash data for the Portland region from 2011-2015. It’s been almost six years since their last report in 2012.
Here’s what’s changed and what hasn’t…
If you want to lead the agency that oversees the entire Portland metro region, you need an intimate understanding of the cities within it. What better way to gain that knowledge than from the seat of a bicycle?
Now through Feb. 17, tell leaders what or how you would focus investments in our transportation system.
We all use our system of throughways, roads, bridges, sidewalks, bikeways, and transit and freight routes. So, we should all get a say in how we create a transportation system that is safe, healthy, reliable and affordable. Regional leaders want to know how you would prioritize the next 20 years of transportation investments.
With 500,000 more people – more than half from growing families – and 350,000 more jobs in greater Portland by 2040, we’ll see more economic activity and more people and goods traveling on the region’s transportation system than today. This means more traffic and congestion, busy buses, and more people walking and biking.
The 2018 Regional Transportation Plan will establish priorities for state, federal and regional funding and help set the stage for the new and expanded options for people and products to get where they need to go. Projects are submitted by city, county, regional and state partners and evaluated for what they will do for the people and businesses of greater Portland.
What things are most important to you?
Comment now through Feb. 17
• Take 5-7 minutes to share your thoughts through the online survey. Go to the survey at 2018rtp.metroquest.com.
• Find out more and explore an interactive map projects at oregonmetro.gov/2018projects.
• Send comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Planning and Development, 600 NE Grand Avenue, Portland, OR 97232.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County Library (with an assist from Metro) have teamed up on a novel way to promote National Bike Month: They’re hosting an art contest with a grand prize of having the winners’ design installed as a bike lane character.
Ever notice how some of the bike lane symbols around town have extra special flair? Some are subtle little twists and others are nothing short than a work of art. It’s a tradition that the Portland Bureau of Transportation started back in 1999. And now four lucky young Portlanders will get a chance to have their vision turned into a piece of infrastructure.
The “Bike to Books” program kicked off this morning at the Hillsdale Library. With the library’s book bike (more on that later) parked in the entrance, over a dozen pre-schoolers were treated to a special, bike-themed storytime. Youth Librarian Barbara Head kept the kids entertained (no easy task at that age) with bike books and bike-themed songs. It’s all part of an effort to get people of all ages to bike to the library during the month of May.
Any Multnomah County resident in kindergarten to 12th grade can grab a coloring contest flyer from a library or online and give it your best shot. The contest is open all month long and entrants must return the finished art to a library branch. Four grand prize winners (one for each age category) will get their bike lane art installed. The second place prize is four passes to The Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park and third place gets a Nutcase helmet.