PSU research makes connection between bike-friendly and bottom line

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Researcher Kelly Clifton at a presentation at City Hall today.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland State University researcher Kelly Clifton has shared more detailed data on her research into how mode choice impacts spending behaviors. After talking to Clifton at the outset of her research and then sharing some initial findings back in July, I learned more about her findings at the Bureau of Transportation’s monthly Bicycle Brown Bag discussion series held at City Hall today.

According to data from 1,884 surveys taken outside various establishments, non-driving customers — those who show up by bike, on foot, or via transit — are often more valuable in terms of dollars spent than customers who arrive in a car. This data flies in the face of the often heard perspective that automobile access should be the highest priority to ensure business success.

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4th annual Oregon Transportation Summit details released

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Check out the info below on the 4th annual summit, which takes place on September 10th:

The Oregon Transportation Summit is back for a fourth year! This unique conference, produced in partnership by OTREC, WTS, ITE and APA, brings together academic and practicing transportation professionals from throughout Oregon. The twin goals of the Summit are to disseminate new knowledge and to help shape OTREC’s research agenda. Register Now!

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Study shows biking customers spend more

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Survey results suggest that patrons who arrive by automobile do not necessarily convey greater monetary benefits to businesses than bicyclists, transit users, or pedestrians.
— From TR News article

Does your mode of transportation have any relationship to how much you spend at restaurants and bars? That’s the question researchers at Portland State University set out to answer when they embarked on a study last year. I spoke with lead researcher Kelly Clifton at the outset of this project and now she’s had some preliminary data published in the most recent issue of TR News (the magazine of the Transportation Research Board).

The impetus for this research came from the common perception among business owners that auto access equals business and anything that impedes auto parking or auto capacity on roads near their business will hurt their bottom line. We all know how this plays out: A city announces plans for a new bikeway and immediately there is push-back from business organizations and/or business owners. We’ve seen examples of this play out all over Portland, most recently on SW 12th Ave.

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Research shows biking, walking can thrive in suburbia

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As long as connections exist, riding
in suburbia can happen.
(Photo © J. Maus)

It’s a somewhat generally accepted concept in urban planning circles that there’s no hope for suburbia. Cinder block walls, cul-de-sacs, and wide arterials all make for a car-centric lifestyle. But new reseach shows that among suburban multifamily housing — the fastest growing housing type in the U.S. — biking and walking can thrive.

In Overlooked Density: Re-Thinking Transportation Options in Suburbia, Nico Larco, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Oregon, focuses on suburban multifamily housing, which he calls a “widespread and overlooked example of density.”

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Noted PSU professor picked for federal transportation research post

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Robert Bertini

Portland State University professor Robert Bertini has been selected by the Obama administration to be the deputy administrator of the federal Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

According to The Oregonian, Bertini starts his new job on August 17th. At PSU he was a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the director of the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC).

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