New transit service often spurs new development. As transit makes an area more accessible, it becomes a more attractive place for investors to build.
This new investment, however, can create serious housing problems for the very residents who depend most on transit: lower-income households and people of color.
The latest report from the NITC program, from a research effort led by Lisa Bates and Aaron Golub of Portland State University, studies the intended and unintended costs and benefits of a new transit investment on the diverse communities of East Portland, Oregon; many already under stress from existing development and gentrification pressures.
The report, Planning Ahead for Livable Communities Along the Powell-Division BRT: Neighborhood Conditions and Change, offers an analysis of the planning of a new transit infrastructure project in Portland, crossing several neighborhoods in different stages of gentrification along the Powell-Division corridor. Public transit use for commuting is higher in the study corridor than in surrounding areas, and car ownership in the...Read more
Evidence has shown that higher-income and white populations use bike share systems more than people of color, lower-income, female, older, and less-educated groups.
In an ongoing study, Breaking Barriers to Bike Share, researchers are attempting to identify the reasons behind this disparity and possible solutions to make bike share work better for everyone. The newest report to come out of the study is a survey of residents of underserved communities.
Researchers Nathan McNeil, Jennifer Dill, John MacArthur and Joseph Broach of Portland State University surveyed residents living near bike share stations placed in select neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Chicago and Brooklyn.
A summary report provides an overview of the findings from the resident survey.
Efforts on the part of the cities to locate bike share stations in low-income neighborhoods has largely removed one of the most significant barriers to equitable bike share: station siting. Nearly all—95 percent—of the residents surveyed had noticed a bike share station in...Read more
A NITC study took a look at how metropolitan planning organizations, or MPOs, can better serve transportation-disadvantaged and historically marginalized populations when creating regional transportation plans.
The transportation disadvantaged are those unable to drive or who lack access to an automobile, and may include the elderly, low income, young people, persons with disabilities, and those with permanent or temporary health conditions. Historically marginalized communities are often left out of the planning process and include many of the same groups but also ethnic and racial minorities.
A new freeway, with all its attendant air and noise pollution, might cut through a part of town where low-income and minority populations are concentrated. Bike lanes sometimes wait to make an appearance until a neighborhood has begun to gentrify. People over the age of 60, as well as people of color, are at greater risk of being killed by a car while walking. Low-income neighborhoods often have poor access to regional transportation networks, making getting to and from work and other destinations a challenge for residents. English language proficiency is a barrier to participating in the transportation planning process and is also recognized as a dimension of transportation disadvantage.
To address problems like this, equity needs to be a priority in every regional transportation planning process.
The report,...Read more
While bike-sharing systems become increasingly common in American cities, questions about the equity of such systems are making their way to the forefront of the conversation.
Bike share can provide a cheap and healthy means of transportation, but many systems are not serving the lower-income and minority populations who, arguably, could benefit most from having the additional travel option.
A survey of 56 bike share system operators in the United States offers an overview of how these equity concerns are being addressed.
The survey is part of a larger research effort, Evaluating Efforts to Improve the Equity of Bike Share Systems. To gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved in providing more equitable bike share, TREC and NITC teamed up with the Better Bike Share Partnership: a collaboration between PeopleForBikes, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and other local partners.
The researchers surveyed...Read more
Stay tuned for more information.
This research explores social identity-related factors that influence drivers’ behaviors in interactions with pedestrians at crosswalks. One dangerous potential point of conflict in our transportation system to pedestrians is interactions with drivers at crosswalks (NHTS, 2003). In 2010, there was one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours and an injury every eight minutes (CDC, 2013). Racial minorities are disproportionately represented in pedestrian fatalities: From 2000 to 2010, pedestrian fatality rates for Black and Hispanic men (3.93 and 3.73 per 100,000) were more than twice the rate of 1.78 for White men (CDC, 2013). If drivers yield differently to Black and White pedestrians at crosswalks, this may lead to disparate crossing experiences and disproportionate safety outcomes. We hypothesize that, similar to other forms of racial discrimination that minorities experience across various domains in society, drivers will exhibit racial bias when making decisions about whether or not to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the street at a marked crosswalk.