City’s ‘SmartTrips’ marketing program shifts focus

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linda ginenthal

SmartTrips program manager Linda Ginenthal in 2006,
surrounded by “doodads, goodies, prizes, swag.”
(Photos by J.Maus/BikePortland)

After 12 years of bike maps, blinking lights and walking tours, one of Portland’s most innovative transportation programs is shifting direction.

Starting next week, the city’s residential SmartTrips program, which gives Portlanders customized packages of free resources to help them get around by walking, biking or taking transit, will stop targeting specific neighborhoods and instead focus on reaching people who’ve recently moved.

The city’s website will continue to offer the free bike maps that adorn thousands of local refrigerators. But as it manages a 17 percent budget cut, Smart Trips is focusing its outreach and its free mail-order goodie bags on 45,000 or so households that will move to new homes in Portland this year.

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Chicago brings Portland’s bag of biking tricks to Bronzeville’s ‘Black Metropolis’

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Cargo Bike Roll Call: Bronzeville edition

A Bronzeville resident at a local bike event last fall.
(Photo: Steven Vance.)

Can a Portland-brewed program that uses free events, maps and T-shirts to get people informed and enthused about biking and walking work on the inner south side of Chicago?

With the help of two experts from Portland’s top bike planning firm and two advocates in Chicago’s Bronzeville community, the City of Chicago is trying.

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PBOT adds five new languages to its bike/walk maps

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Detail from new Russian version
of PBOT bike/walk map.

The Bureau of Transportation’s SmartTrips program just got a lot smarter. The focus of the program, which resides in PBOT’s Transportation Options division, is to encourage people to bike, walk, and take transit. Today PBOT announced that their popular series of biking and walking maps are now available in five new languages: Burmese, Nepali, Somali, Russian and Arabic.

SmartTrips employees visited the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization today to pass out the new maps. PBOT’s Marni Glick says that for people new to our city, getting around can be “a monumental task, especially if English isn’t a first language.”

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60,000 free bike maps: A look at Transportation Options’ survey results

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Behind the scenes at SmartTrips

The Options Division are
the ones who deliver the
SmartTrips packets to
your door by bike.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Transportation Options Division inside the Bureau of Transportation is a key piece of Portland’s success as a sustainable city. “Options” (as it’s known around here) is the marketing arm of the city’s transportation program and there the ones you see at street fairs and hundreds of events throughout the year. Their mission is to provide information, resources and tools to encourage Portlanders to, “make good choices about how to get around.”

One of their primary responsibilities is to send out bike maps and other bike information whenever someone requests it. When I moved to Portland in 2005 (totally unaware of the institutional support for biking in this city) I surfed the City website and found the Options page. Wanting to know how to get around by bike, I filled out a request for some free bike maps (now they have this handy online form).

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PDOT seeks bike delivery staffers

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Here’s a great opportunity to ride your bike and get paid ($15.12) for it.

Transportation Options SmartTrips Bicycle Delivery Staffers
Options is looking for three hearty bike riding individuals for 12 week positions to help us process and deliver hundreds of packages to southwest Portland homes. Yes, that is hilly southwest. Job duties include data entry, computer mapping and bike delivery. Must be motivated, able to work independently, work well in a team environment, and be good with the public. Knowledge of Portland’s bikeway network and transportation alternatives a plus. We supply the bike trailer; you provide the bike. 32 hours per week, $15.12 per hour. April 7 through July 2, 2008. To see more about Transportation Options go to Apply by March 14 with cover letter and resume to Linda Ginenthal, Transportation Options, 1120 SW 5th Ave. Suite 800, Portland, OR 97215 or email at Linda.Ginenthal [at]

‘SmartTrips’ leads to fewer car trips in Southeast

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Behind the scenes at SmartTrips

SmartTrips materials are
delivered by bike.
(Photo © J. Maus)

PDOT’s Transportation Options Division has announced that their “SmartTrips Southeast” program led to a 9.4% reduction in drive-alone trips in the target area.

The program — which uses individualized marketing techniques to encourage participants to walk, bike, and take transit — was focused on over 20,000 Southeast Portland (and Milwaukie) households.

Participating residents were subjected to an all-out blitz of outreach events, access to resources, and free gifts (including the wonky-yet-fashionable bicycle map bandanna!) to help inspire them to make more sensible transportation choices.

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Familiar faces take home national bike/ped awards

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BTA's Alice Awards and Auction

Former ODOT bike guy
Michael Ronkin won the
Lifetime Achievement Award.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Local transportation experts made their mark at a recent awards event hosted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. The APBP is a non-profit founded in 1995 that, “promotes excellence in the emerging professional discipline of pedestrian and bicycle transportation.”

The event was held in conjunction with the Walk/Bike California 2007 conference on the campus of UC Davis in Davis, California.

Of the five awards given out this year, three of the winners were names that will be familiar to regular BikePortland readers. They included:

Behind the scenes at SmartTrips Command Center

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behind the scenes: SmartTrips

PDOT’s secret SmartTrips Command Center.
File photo

Yesterday, after a brief struggle with motorized transport units in downtown Portland, I was able to gain access to PDOT’s secret Command Center for their SmartTrips Southeast Bike Delivery Operation Squad (SSBDOS).

Before being carted away by security guards, I was able to snap a few photos.

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Revealing results to SmartTrips survey

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[Survey boundary map.]

PDOT’s Transportation Options Division has just released an interesting comparison of survey results based on their SmartTrips program. SmartTrips — formerly known as the “Hub” project — is the name given to their annual marketing program that promotes biking, walking, and public transit in a selected geographic area.

In 2006 the target area was Northeast and in 2007 the target area is Southeast (see map at right).

Last September, a post-survey of Northeast residents and the pre-survey of Southeast residents was administered to 900 households; 300 in Northeast and 600 in Southeast.

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