Event Date:
May 30, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: This presentation is a showcase of various GIS tools developed for bicycle network analysis and planning. The showcase includes a tool for assessing community-wide bikeability, a tool for forecasting bicycle volumes based on street topology, and a tool for evaluating different bicycle improvement plans in terms of exposure to danger situations for bicyclists. The tools will be demonstrated with case study data. The presentation will include a review of the Highway Capacity Manual Bicycle Level of Service and a discussion about using bicycle and pedestrian data collected through citizen-volunteer count programs.

Bio: Dr. Michael Lowry holds a joint appointment in Civil Engineering and Bioregional Planning at the University of Idaho. He is an affiliate researcher for the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. His research focuses on capital investment decision-making and transportation planning for bicyclists and pedestrians. Dr. Lowry teaches courses related to sustainable transportation, engineering statistics, and economic analysis. He received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington and BS and MS from Brigham Young University.

Event Date:
May 02, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Cycling is on the rise across the U.S. and its popularity has grown beyond the usual leaders - Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Davis, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Boulder, CO. New York City, NY Chicago, IL and Washington, DC are among those cities making significant investments in bike infrastructure in recent years and have realized substantial growth in people taking to the streets on two wheels. This presentation will summarize some results from our comprehensive assessment of the safety, operations, economic impacts, user experience, and perceptions of new protected bikeways in 5 cities U.S. cities (Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.). To support this research, the team collected and analyzed 204 hours of video, 2,300 returned surveys of residents, and 1,111 returned surveys from people intercepted riding the new facilities.

Bios: Dr. Christopher M. Monsere is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State University. Dr. Monsere’s primary research interests are in the areas of multimodal transportation safety; management and dissemination of large transportation datasets; and...

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Event Date:
Apr 25, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Researchers from the transportation, planning and health fields share the common goal of promoting physically active lifestyle. One challenge that researchers often face is the measurement of physical activity, particularly among children. This is because the sporadic nature of children’s physical activity patterns makes it difficult to recall and quantify such activities. Additionally, children’s lower cognitive functioning compared to adults prevents them from accurately recalling their activities. This presentation will describe the design and application of a novel self-report instrument - the Graphs for Recalling Activity Time (GReAT) - for measuring children’s activity time use patterns. The instrument was applied in a study of children’s risk for obesity and diabetes in a predominately Hispanic community in Milwaukee, WI. Time-use data for two weekdays and one weekend day were collected for various physical and sedentary activities. The data was then assessed against measurements of the children’s cardiovascular fitness, weight status and insulin resistance through exploratory analysis and structured equation modeling. Findings on GReAT’s reliability and new evidence on the impacts of time-use in...

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Event Date:
Apr 05, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Joseph Broach, PhD candidate in Urban Studies, will discuss the results of his research, which models the propensity of children aged 6-16 to walk or bike to parks and school without an adult chaperone, extending existing work on children’s active travel in several ways: 1) focus on travel without an adult, 2) inclusion of school and a non-school destinations, 3) separate walk and bike models, 4) consideration of both parent and child attitudes and perceived social norms, 5) explicit inclusion of household rules limiting walking or bicycling.

Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) is teaming up with Alta Planning + Design to offer a firsthand, on-the-ground training opportunity at the end of October.

They will teach a trail design course at Portland State University, with field tours of some of Portland's biggest trail challenges and best solutions.

Course instructors are Alta associates Robin Wilcox, George Hudson, and Karen Vitkay. They will share their experience and provide examples from some of the best trails around the country.

Multi-use trails, not accessible by car but meant to be shared by pedestrians, cyclists and the occasional leashed dog, are pleasant routes by almost anyone’s standards. Often winding through wooded areas or along waterways, insulated from the noise of traffic and offering contact with nature, they present an attractive alternative to cyclists who are not as comfortable riding on busy streets.

While any segment of trail can offer a pleasant stroll, the true beauty of shared-use trails lies in being able to use them: as an alternate, off-street means of travel, a route to school or a way to get to work in the morning. A widespread switch from driving on streets to...

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Content Type: News Item

In 2009, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the Copenhagen Wheel, a device that converts an ordinary bicycle into a hybrid e-bike.

An e-bike is considered a motorized bicycle under Massachusetts law. This means that once the 13-pound, 26-inch Copenhagen Wheel is attached to the rear wheel of a bicycle, the resulting vehicle requires a driver’s license to operate, must be registered with the DMV, and its rider must wear, not just a bike helmet, but a motorcycle helmet to be in compliance with the law.

Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, are well established in China and other Asian and European countries but market adoption has been slow in the United States.

Part of the reason could be that the law is often nebulous where e-bikes are concerned.

NITC researchers at Portland State University conducted a policy review revealing the current state of legislation regarding e-bikes in the United States and Canada.

The report, Regulations of E-Bikes in North America, provides a summary of legal definitions and requirements surrounding the use of electric-assist bicycles in each of the 50 states, Washington D.C. and 13 Canadian provinces.

No two jurisdictions are exactly alike in their legal treatment of this relatively new mode of...

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Event Date:
Nov 21, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: The most recent edition of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) contains analysis procedures for measuring the level-of-service (LOS), also referred to as quality of service, provided by an urban roadway to bicyclists. The method uses different design and operating features of the roadway segment (e.g. width, motor vehicle volumes and speeds) to assess an LOS grade of A (best) to F (worst). These procedures are used by planners and engineers to recommend how existing streets could be retrofitted or new streets designed to better serve people on bicycles (and other modes). However, the current HCM does not include methods that address protected bike lanes (aka “cycle tracks” or “separated bike lanes”), only conventional striped bike lanes, shoulders, and shared streets. There are other methods for predicting comfort from a bicyclist’s perspective that do consider protected bike lanes, but they are either based only on expert opinion or on surveys in Denmark.

This presentation will describe how to evaluate the level-of-service of a protected bike lane using results from surveys conducted in the United States. The model developed by this project could be used to supplement the current HCM to objectively consider a wider range...

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Event Date:
Nov 07, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Speaker: Brian Saelens, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Seattle’s Children’s Hospital & University of Washington
Topic: Links Between Public Transportation and Physical Activity (Effects of LRT on Physical Activity Based on Seattle GPS Study)

Summary: This seminar will explore the empirical evidence regarding the links between the use of public transportation and physical activity, with a specific focus on using integrated device and self-report methods to identify travel modes and physical activity.

Bio: Brian E. Saelens, Ph.D. is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Principal Investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Saelens is a clinical/health psychologist. His interest areas include obesity treatment and prevention, especially in environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity and eating behaviors in children and adults. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed original investigation and review articles.

Event Date:
Oct 31, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Speaker: Joseph Broach, Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University
Topic: Trick or Treatment? Impact of Route-Level Features on Decisions to Walk or Bike
Summary: Some travel routes attract people walking and cycling, while others may scare them away. What features of street environments are most important, and how do available routes affect decisions to bike or walk on a specific trip? 

Research to date has focused on either large-scale areal measures like "miles of bike lane nearby" or else has considered only shortest path routes. Neither method is suited to capturing the impact of targeted route-level policies like neighborhood greenways. This session will present a new technique for measuring bike and walk accessibility along the most likely route for a given trip. The method is applied to travel data, and results provide new insight into the relationship between route quality and travel mode choice.

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Content Type: News Item

A research study released Monday by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities program offers the most comprehensive evaluation of protected bicycle lanes to date. The study, “Lessons from the Green Lanes,” examines recently installed protected bike lanes in five of the six founding PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project cities and provides the scientific basis for decisions that could improve bicycling in cities across the United States.

Protected bike lanes, sometimes called cycle tracks, are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts to help organize the street and make riding a bike appealing for people of all ages and abilities. Because protected bike lanes are relatively new to the U.S., little academic research has existed to help leaders evaluate the risks and rewards of the investment in putting the facilities on the ground.

This study provides definitive evidence that people feel safe riding in protected lanes and that people traveling by car or foot also support building more protected lanes to separate bicycles and automobiles. It also provides insight on the safety, use and...

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