TREC at PSU
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.
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.
When it comes to planning a city, trips matter. Estimates about the amount of trips generated by a transportation project or new development are what dictate not just what our redesigned streets will look like, but also how we pay for them.
One of the ways the City of Portland pays for infrastructure is by charging developers a fee based on the impact their new building will have on the transportation system. These fees — known as Transportation System Development Charges, or just TSDCs for short — are based on a model that estimates how many trips a new development will generate.
There’s just one small problem: The methodology is centered almost exclusively around cars. The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants to change that.
At City Council today commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance (PDF) allowing PBOT to use a methodology that uses “person trips” – meaning trips made not just by people in cars and trucks but also foot, by bike and in transit vehicles.
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:
The Portland metro area seems to have already discovered how to slow the growth of traffic congestion, the city’s bicycle planning coordinator said Friday. But it’s not investing in it very quickly.
Between 2000 and 2014, the three Oregon counties in the metro area added 122,000 new commuters. And inside the Metro urban growth boundary, less than half of that net growth came from people driving alone in cars.
As electric-assist bikes take over more and more of the global bicycle market, they’re growing in the United States and Portland too.
Last year, Portland snagged its third and fourth e-bike specialty stores. Next month, we’ll host the Electric Bike Expo for the first time. And this week, Portland State University is sharing some of the only modern academic research on the domestic e-bike market.
(Photo via TREC at PSU)
Seleta Reynolds gets results.
As we reported last week, the city whose livable streets program she led for three years, San Francisco, has subsequently delivered the nation’s most consistent string of boosts in bike commuting.
She’s now one year into a vastly larger gig: transportation director for the City of Los Angeles, which turned millions of heads last month when it rolled out a citywide plan to gradually reallocate numerous auto lanes to create dedicated bus lanes and 300 miles of protected bike lanes.
She’s also one of the most reflective transportation leaders in the country, as the interview below makes clear. Ahead of her free Oct. 6 talk at Ecotrust, we caught up with Reynolds to discuss her advice for Portland’s advocates and bureaucrats, the arguments for biking that work best and whether Portland is still cool.
Stagnation got you down?
Tired of over-compromised projects that don’t move the needle?
Looking for exciting transportation projects you can really sink your teeth into?
Than we’ve got an event for you!
The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) is hosting Let’s be Fearless: Big Ideas for our Transportation Future on October 27th.