Portland State University

Better Block’s ‘Project Pathway’ program now formally integrated into PSU curriculum

Guest Contributor by on May 31st, 2019 at 6:54 am

The plaza on SW 3rd (left) and Better Naito are Better Block’s biggest successes. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This story was written by Malia Knapp-Rossi, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate at Portland State University and intern with Better Block PDX.

Better Block PDX is excited to announce that Portland State University’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) has adopted the Project Pathway program.
[Read more…]

PSU will make block of SW Montgomery a carfree plaza in May

Avatar by on April 3rd, 2019 at 10:13 am

This block of SW Montgomery is one of only three between the river and I-405 that isn’t already carfree.
(Photo: Tim Davis)

Portland State University will create a carfree plaza on the block of Southwest Montgomery Street between Broadway and 6th avenues. The plaza will be installed for the month of May and if all goes well, school officials hope it becomes permanent.[Read more…]

How activists and students collaborate with PBOT to get real projects on the ground

Avatar by on February 28th, 2019 at 1:42 pm

The crosswalk, bike lanes and plaza that exist today on SW 3rd Avenue at Burnside started as astroturf and tape laid down by Better Block PDX.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Most close watchers of the Portland transportation world have heard of Better Block PDX. They’re the scrappy group of tactical urbanism activists who burst onto the scene by creating a public plaza in auto parking spaces along a block of SW Harvey Milk Street in 2013. They went on to lead successful projects on SW 3rd Avenue and Naito Parkway that led to permanent changes in our streetscape.

What you might not realize is the reason they’ve been quiet for the past few years isn’t because they’ve gone away. It’s because, instead of classic tactical urbanism that often involves rogue actions like human-protected bike lanes and the unsanctioned deployment of traffic cones to slow drivers down, they’ve been working behind-the-scenes.
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New sculpture in downtown Portland will celebrate Oregon’s ‘Bike Bill’

Avatar by on November 29th, 2018 at 11:20 am

The silhouette comes into focus as you shift views.
(Drawings by PSU School of Architecture)

50 years after a Portland State University professor helped spark a statewide cycling movement, a new sculpture will be erected to celebrate his work.
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PSU announces free Biketown memberships for students

Avatar by on July 11th, 2018 at 4:16 pm

(Photo: Portland State University)

Starting this Thursday, Portland State University students can use Biketown for free.

The partnership is part of a new agreement to cement the downtown campus as the cycling epicenter of Portland. PSU says the program will be paid for via auto parking revenue.

It’s a natural step for the campus that serves nearly 30,000 students and is one of only five colleges in the county that has earned a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University award from the League of American Bicyclists.

Last May, Biketown expanded service at PSU by making it a “super hub zone” where people can park bikes on any available rack without incurring a fee. At a meeting of the City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee last night, Bureau of Transporation Bike Share Program Manager Steve Hoyt-McBeth said usage rates at PSU have been “bezonkers” ever since. PSU is also
Under the new agreement, students can take unlimited trips and get up to 90 minutes of Biketown usage at no charge. The offer is available to any current student with a valid @pdx.edu email address. PSU staff and faculty can already get a discounted Biketown membership for $7 a month (with an annual commitment). [Read more…]

Portlanders move from grief and shock, to activism following horrific hit-and-run

Avatar by on May 30th, 2018 at 7:46 am

Looking east toward PSU Urban Plaza from SW Montgomery.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Portlanders are still coming to grips with the traffic violence experienced downtown on Friday. While details about 61-year-old Greg Porter continue to trickle out and the women he hit still recover at an area hospital, leaders in the transportation reform community are moving from grief and shock into action.

Kiel Johnson and Sarah Iannarone (both familiar names to BikePortland readers) are organizing an event next Tuesday (June 5th) that aims to promote an inclusive Portland. Here’s the event description:[Read more…]

Portland State wins $75,000 grant to study bike share equity programs

Avatar by on March 1st, 2018 at 4:56 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

You can add another bike-related topic that researchers at Portland State University have gained national notoriety for: equity in bike share systems.

PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Consortium (TREC) just won a grant worth nearly $75,000 from the Better Bike Share Partnership. The award, announced today by People for Bikes, is part of $410,000 split between eight projects across the country.

The money will go toward a “national assessment of bike share equity programs.” Here’s more about the project:

Portland State’s research team will document the programs and strategies developed to address equity in bike share across the U.S., and identify the definitions and measures of success for each of these efforts. The result will be a catalog of equity approaches employed, an aggregated summary of key elements of each approach or strategy, and a record of which metrics agencies used to assess if they are meeting their equity goals, along with the various ways agencies are assessing their programs.

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A carfree opportunity for SW Montgomery near PSU

Avatar by on September 13th, 2017 at 12:59 pm

SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yellow square is the block in question.

Next week Portland State University will officially re-open their business school after a major renovation of the Karl Miller Center on SW Montgomery between Broadway and 6th. The small street adjacent to it has been closed for nearly a year during construction and there’s an idea swirling around to keep it that way. Forever.

The blocks of Montgomery on both ends of this section adjacent to PSU’s business school are already carfree. To the west is the PSU Park Blocks — a designated “Clean air corridor” and “Pedestrian zone” that PSU proudly proclaims (via signs attached to bollards) as a “Space free of smoke, pollution, and emissions.” To the east is the PSU Urban Plaza, a legendary petri-dish of carfree urbanism bisected by the streetcar.

To Tim Davis, a Portland civic booster (his Facebook page is “PDXFan”) and author behind PlacesforEveryone.com, this is a golden opportunity to create more carfree space downtown. Last week he posted the idea to the Bike Loud PDX Facebook page.[Read more…]

Why did you buy an e-bike? PSU (and the bike industry) wants to know

Avatar by on May 5th, 2017 at 10:27 am

Family Bicycle Transportation Day - Oregon Manifest-15

E-bikes help regular people do amazing things.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

E-bikes are everywhere in Portland. Dealers report strong sales, they scored great press in the Willamette Week’s latest bike issue, and I have a feeling that in a few years we won’t remember what our bikeways looked like without them.

Like many trends in the U.S. bike scene, Portland is leading the way. We have a cottage industry of sellers, makers, and tinkerers who are pushing e-bikes into the mainstream. We also have an academic brain trust at Portland State University that has become one of the nations leading places for e-bike research. Portland State University has been researching e-bikes since at least 2011.

Now they’ve inked a partnership with national nonprofits People for Bikes (an advocacy group funded by the bicycle industry) and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association to learn even more about the e-bike market and push it further along into the American mainstream.
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Reform school: PSU will host a free ‘Summer Transportation Institute’ for girls

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 25th, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Sunday-Parkways-SE-2012-3

It’ll be an introduction to transportation careers.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re a female high schooler with a yen for understanding how cities work and how to help them evolve, Portland State Unviersity has a deal for you.

PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center is offering its first-ever Summer Transportation Institute, a two-week course designed to introduce young women (rising into grades 9-12) to the possibilities of a career in shaping streets. It’ll be divided between (a) guest lectures from prominent women in Portland’s transportation world and (b) “field tours of Portland’s transportation infrastructure and public spaces.”

Here’s how the course description puts it:

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