Content Type: News Item

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,...

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Content Type: News Item

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.

Nathan McNeil, a Portland State University research associate, is leading the research team in evaluating efforts to improve bike share equity with co-investigators John MacArthur and Jennifer Dill.

The researchers surveyed...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

Date may change: This webinar will be held in August 2017; the day is still TBD.

As bike-sharing systems become increasingly common in American cities, questions about the equity of such systems must be addressed. Bike share has the potential to provide residents a cost effective and healthy means of transportation, but many systems are not serving lower-income and minority populations, possibly due to lower station density in less affluent neighborhoods (Ogilvie & Goodman, 2012), low participation among non-white populations (Virginia Tech, 2012), or other factors. As a means to address these challenges to equity, the Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP), a collaboration of PeopleForBikes, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), and local partners, is making $900,000 in grant funding available for bike share operators, cities, and local non-profits to increase bike share participation among underserved populations. This research seeks to understand the impacts of these efforts to site bike share stations in low-income and/or communities of color and promote participation through outreach efforts.

More information about this webinar will become available soon. Check back here for more details, or sign up for our newsletter and opt for "online events" to receive webinar announcements.

Content Type: Professional Development Event

This webinar is hosted by the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR). A video recording may be available through CUTR.

This presentation will explore methods used by MPOs to understand the equity effects of regional transportation plans and investments, based on research conducted for the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). The webinar will examine how MPOs are identifying communities of concern with regard to transportation equity, along with techniques used in evaluating accessibility to jobs and services, modal options, distributional equity of investments, and other equity considerations.

The webinar includes case studies of equity methods being applied in two distinctly different regions that participated in the research effort: 1) Hillsborough County, (Tampa) Florida: a lower density, sprawling, auto dependent area with limited public transportation; and 2) Portland, Oregon: a higher density, compact urban area with a variety of travel options and a strong urban growth management system. The two MPOs are at different stages of addressing transportation equity in their planning and public engagement activities. Transportation planners from each of these MPOs will discuss the development and application of their equity analysis methods and how attention to equity is being integrated into...

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Content Type: News Item

Gentrification is a common, and deeply controversial, outcome of urban development.

It's usually the same story: investments in new infrastructure draw the affluent, causing market forces to displace lower-income residents. Neighborhoods become renovated, and the people who once defined the neighborhood can no longer afford to live there.

NITC researcher Gerardo Sandoval shows in his latest project that it doesn’t have to be that way.

With the right level of community input, transit-oriented development has the potential to bring needed services to low-income residents while revitalizing their neighborhoods.

Sandoval, an associate professor of planning, public policy and management at the University of Oregon, demonstrates in numerous case studies how transit-oriented development, or TOD, can modernize and improve neighborhoods without driving residents out. His research focuses on Latino immigrant communities in California.

Through the examination of these case studies, Sandoval hopes to provide a model for planners and agencies to create equitable TODs.

Beginning in 2012 with a NITC project called Latino Immigrant Communities and Equity in Transit Oriented Development, Sandoval first conducted qualitative studies of TODs in two California...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Gentrification and development are changing the face of many Portland neighborhoods. This talk will draw on data from focus groups and participatory mapping research with residents in SE and North Portland neighborhoods. The presentation will share findings on the patterns of movement reported by residents in gentrifying neighborhoods and will offer ideas and perspectives on how to plan for a sustainable future for all Portlanders.

Amy Lubitow is an assistant professor of sociology at Portland State University. Her research interests are environmental sociology, sustainability, environmental justice, social movements, gender and environmental health. Her current projects include critical analyses of urban sustainability, particularly as they relate to bicycle infrastructure; an examination of the transit-dependent population in Portland, including the gendered implications of transit dependency; a study of the influence of scientist-activist collaboration in environmental policy realms and the...

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Content Type: Event

The Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture series continued in 2016 with guest speaker Vanessa Garrison of GirlTrek

Each year, the Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture Endowment brings a guest speaker to Portland, Oregon. We seek people from all over the world who have made great strides in advocating for health, safety, and bicycle and pedestrian access, and bring them together with the Portland transportation community to share methods and inspiration. The annual forum furthers IBPI's mission to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among scholars, practitioners and community advocates focused on walking and biking.

Vanessa is a passionate advocate of social justice issues and has focused her work on improving health outcomes and quality of life for black women and girls. Prior to co-founding GirlTrek, a national health movement, Vanessa worked as a Program Coordinator for Our Place DC, a nonprofit organization that provides services to currently and formerly incarcerated women. Vanessa began her career working in digital media...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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The Community Cycling Center has been at the business of broadening access to bicycling for 22 years. Far before anyone was talking about "equity" in the world of bike commuting and advocacy, the Community Cycling Center was working directly with youth of color to make biking accessible. How have they been doing it? What have they learned?

Lillian Karabaic explains the secret to the Community Cycling Center's work to build bike capacity in underserved neighborhoods: bike fun. Many bike advocacy organizations look down at making bikes fun because they think it lowers the status of serious transportation to "recreation" or "toys". But the Community Cycling Center has realized that using fun is a great tool for building bridges among diverse populations. Learn about successes and challenges in this work in this presentation.

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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With rapid urbanization in China and other developing economies around the world, it has become imperative to understand household transportation behavior and expenditures in these urban areas. The objective of this study is to examine the differences in the determinants of household transportation expenditures within two very distinct populations in Chinese cities: local residents and migrant workers.

In order to craft policies or strategies promoting sustainable transportation or livability, it is essential to understand whether the drivers that push the migrant population towards spending more on transportation or owning bikes or motorbikes are similar to drivers for the rest of the population. This is further complicated by the differential treatment of households within China’s hukou (household registration) system which determines eligibility to receive public benefits in housing or education. Because nearly 40% of the population in...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Transportation costs are typically a household’s second largest expense after housing. Low income households are especially burdened by transportation costs, with low income households spending up to two times as much of their income on transportation than higher income households (Litman, 2013).

Thus, access to location efficient housing is especially important to low income households, including those who use a housing voucher to help pay for housing costs.

This seminar presents the results of a two-year project supported by the Portland region's four public housing authorities to design and test tools to help people with housing vouchers find location efficient housing. We examine the challenges that residents faced and discuss policy implications.

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