Roundup of transportation surveys ready for the taking

Metro wants to know your thoughts about school-related travel.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Because I know you love surveys, here’s a little roundup of a few that have come across my desk recently…

Metro wants to know how students around the Portland region will be traveling for daily, school-related activities. “The survey is intended for families across the Portland Metro region so please share widely so we can better understand families’ transportation needs,” they say. Hurry up because this one closes this Saturday, August 15th. Take the survey here.

Multnomah County (like every other government) is facing big revenue shortfalls due to Covid-19. With people driving less, gas tax revenue is in a nosedive and the County expects that chunk of their budget will be $2 million lower between now and summer 2021. They want your help to set “service priorities” while they look to grapple with a smaller budget. Here’s more from the County:

“The survey asks what type of County Transportation work is most important to users, what types of projects we should focus on, and what level of road and bridge maintenance is acceptable. It asks the public to identify which principles should guide the County’s budget decisions and whether the County should focus on preserving the existing transportation system or adding to the system.”

Take the survey here (stays open through end of August).

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25% of Portland metro residents say congestion could make them switch to biking

Traffic leading onto the Hawthorne Bridge into downtown Portland yesterday afternoon.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 2009, the City of Portland set a goal that many people considered fanciful: one in four trips by bike citywide by 2030.

Eight years later, that’s exactly the ratio of car-owners in the Portland metro area who claim they’d swap their car trips for bike trips “if traffic congestion gets bad enough.”

That ratio held across racial and ideological lines, and was only slightly lower in Clark County, Wash., than on the Oregon side of the metro area. But it wasn’t consistent by gender, age, income or education: women, older people, higher-income people and more educated people were less likely to say they’d switch to biking.

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Survey: Majority of Seattleites like bikes, ride bikes, want more bikes

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Scenes from the streets in Seattle-2.jpg

Seattle wants more of them.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

An ongoing “bike backlash” and “war on cars” pushed by the local media, biking as a wedge-issue in political campaigns, fear from politicians about doing “too much” for bikes — sounds like Portland right? Well, Seattle (not to mention New York City and many others) suffers from the same illusion. Now, a new survey commissioned by Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club could help tamp down this pervasive — yet false — narrative.

According to a memo (PDF) about the survey from public opinion research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, the results provide, “absolutely no evidence of widespread anti-cycling sentiment in Seattle.” The memo goes on to explain that (among other things) 78% of those surveyed ride a bike at least once a year, 45% ride monthly, and 60% say they’d like to ride more*.

While the perception of people who ride bikes has become the butt of jokes, the Seattle survey found that people, “overwhelmingly report positive feelings towards the City’s bicyclists.” 78% say they have a “favorable opinion” of people who ride bikes, including 38% who said “very favorable” (just 19% said their opinions of people who ride are “unfavorable”).

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Metro’s latest ‘Opt In’ transportation survey draws ire

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Jobs and the economy need to be our focus, even if the environment suffers.
— Choice on a Metro Opt In survey

A Metro survey aimed at the 8,000 members of their Opt In Panel drew swift and critical reaction from active transportation advocates yesterday.

The survey was introduced as “some questions about infrastructure projects and economic growth in the Portland-metropolitan area.” Despite its intentions, the questions and phrasing rubbed some Opt In members the wrong way and they went to Twitter to share their reactions.

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Metro ‘Opt-In’ survey results show big interest in bicycling

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Summer bike traffic-1

Survey says. Give us more!
(© BikePortland)

A Metro ‘Opt-In’ survey on active transportation shows that a majority of respondents from around the region feel it’s important to make greater investments in dedicated bicycle infrastructure. The survey, which was answered by 3,865 members of the Opt-In feedback panel, was to help inform in Metro’s first ever Active Transportation Plan they’ll begin to develop next year.

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Auditor’s survey: Bike safety improves, bike use at 7 percent citywide

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
A ride with the family-9

Portland residents judged bike safety
and many other livability issues
in the survey.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Auditor’s Office has released results of their 20th annual Community Survey. The survey was sent to 9,800 randomly selected households this past summer, and 3,663 valid surveys were returned.

The survey asks a range of questions about general community and livability. The purpose is to inform City Hall and city staffers about how people perceive their neighborhoods so the city can look to improve those perceptions through programs or policies. Of particular interest to us is how people rate the quality of roads and the safety of bicycling in their neighborhoods. This year, there were two new questions on the survey directly related to transportation mode.

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

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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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Central City survey says 13% commute by bike

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Graph from survey results on travel mode
into the central city.
Click to enlarge
(Kittelson & Associates, Inc.)

As part of their ongoing Central Portland Plan and the Central Portland Transportation Plan, the City’s Bureau of Transportation commissioned an analysis of parking conditions in the central city.

As part of that work, Kittlelson & Associates, Inc. (the planning firm the city hired), did a survey to find out which travel modes people use to get to the central city. [Note: The boundaries of the “central city” used in this analysis were Johnson/Naito Parkway/Burnside and 15th in the northwest and Burnside/Naito/Jackson and 18th in southwest.]

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