One-third of biking injuries in Toronto involve streetcar tracks, study finds

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 27th, 2016 at 1:54 pm

streetcar turn

Left turns from NW 9th Avenue onto Lovejoy Street toward the Broadway Bridge.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In the city with North America’s largest streetcar system, on-street rails almost rival automobiles as a factor in collisions that injure people on bikes.

That’s one major finding in the first academic study in North America dedicated specifically to the danger of streetcar tracks to people biking.

Among bike-related injuries in Toronto that resulted in emergency-room trips, the study found, 32 percent directly involved streetcar tracks and more than half happened on streets with streetcar tracks. And in what lead author Kay Teschke described as “a surprise to us,” 67 percent of track-related injuries happen away from intersections.

[Read more…]

Want to breathe as little pollution as possible? Pedal at exactly 11 mph

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 23rd, 2014 at 9:40 am


A woman being exposed to more pollutants than she’d like.
(Photos J.Maus/BikePortland)

With a homebuilt $300 pollution monitor strapped to his bicycle and seven years of Portland State University education in his brain, Alex Bigazzi has been leading a deep exploration into your lungs.

[Read more…]

Talking while driving doesn’t boost crash rates, surprising new study finds

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 9th, 2013 at 10:03 pm


Not really a risk?
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

What if talking on a cell phone behind the wheel isn’t so dangerous after all?

What if people who are on the phone naturally tend to drive more carefully, essentially canceling out any danger?

That’s the startling implication of a cleverly designed study released Thursday that hasn’t yet gotten much attention in the media. Its authors, a professor of social and decision sciences and an economist, readily admit that their findings seem contrary to some (though not all) previous work in the area.

[Read more…]

Study: Health benefits outweigh costs of ciclovia events

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 20th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Worth every penny.
(Photo © J. Maus/

Ciclovias, the global term for what we call Sunday Parkways here in Portland, are nothing short of a revolution. Started in Latin America in the 1960s and made widely known by Bogota, Colombia, the events have spread like wildfire across North America in the last decade.

But with city budgets being very tight these days, programs like Sunday Parkways aren’t likely to survive the axe. Now, a new study, Do Health Benefits Outweigh the Costs of Mass Recreational Programs? An Economic Analysis of Four Ciclovía Programs, published in the Journal of Urban Health will help make the case that they’re worth the investment.[Read more…]

New study compares bicycling’s CO2 emissions to other modes

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 12th, 2011 at 9:34 am

Cover of ECF study

A new study by the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) offers an in-depth comparison between the CO2 emissions of bicycling versus other modes of transportation. The new study is aimed at encouraging policy makers to make bicycle promotion a larger part of their greenhouse gas emission reduction toolkit.

What makes the study interesting (and useful for settling debates) is that it took into account not just the emissions from the vehicles themselves, but from the entire life cycle of the mode including production, maintenance and fuel — which in the case of bicycling includes caloric intake.[Read more…]

OHSU bike commuter injury study released

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 11th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Eastbank esplanade ramp-4

(Photo © J. Maus)

Back in February we shared a sneak peek at a study done by Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) that tracked bike commuters and monitored the types and severity of injuries they received during a one-year period. That study has now been published and is embedded at the end of this post.
[Read more…]

Noted economist says “flawed” metric leads to highway spending, sprawl

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 29th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

CRC Rally-128

Economist Joe Cortright.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Joe Cortright, an economist with Impresa Inc. and the senior policy advisor for urban planning think tank CEO for Cities, says engineers and planners have dumped billions of dollars into sprawl-inducing roads and highways in part based on a “deeply flawed metric” that’s been an industry standard for 25 years.

Released today, Cortright’s report, Driven Apart: How Sprawl Is Lengthening Our Commutes and Why Misleading Mobility Measures Are Making Things Worse, takes aim at the Urban Mobility Report (UMR) a metric created by the Texas Transportation Institute 25 years ago. Cortright says the UMR is a flawed tool because it only looks at travel times and does not take into account trip distances.[Read more…]

OHSU study looks at how “environmental factors” impact bike safety

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 10th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Gravel, leaves in bike lane-4

New study implies that bikeway conditions
play a key role in injury rates.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A new paper to be published later this year by a team of doctors and nurses from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) has found that roadway conditions and “the commuting environment” play an important factor in the incidence rate of injuries sustained while riding.

The paper, Bike commuter injury prevention: it’s time to focus on the environment, is the result of a study launched back in September 2007. It tracked 962 people who ride their bikes to work and it monitored them through monthly surveys.
[Read more…]

New study: Less driving would make Oregon healthier

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 14th, 2009 at 8:29 am

Download the study here.

Portland-based Upstream Public Health has just released an important new statewide study that draws a clear connection between transportation policy decisions and people’s health.

The study — Oregon’s first-ever statewide Health Impact Assessment (HIA) — was commissioned by Upstream and funded by the Northwest Health Foundation. Upstream collaborated with Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and an advisory committee made up of a diverse range of experts from the planning, health, transportation engineering, and advocacy fields. [Read more…]