On May 15, 2008, Jennifer Dill, Associate Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and Director of the Center for Transportation Studies at Portland State University, participated in a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The briefing was sponsored by the Congressional Bike Caucus and the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Biking Your Way to a Healthier Community. The Congressional Bike Caucus is chaired by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Congressman Tom Petri (WI). Dr. Dill described her ongoing research of regional bike trips, tracked by GPS-equipped bicyclists. She notes that preliminary analysis shows that half of the bicycle riding happened on roads with bike lanes, off-street paths, or bicycle boulevards. She also briefly discussed policy implications and further research needs. Read Dr. Dill’s briefing here: Briefing.
Professor John Pucher, a car-less commuter from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, was the first fall OTREC Visiting Scholar and CTS Seminar guest on September 28, 2007. His presentation, "Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from Europe," was standing room only, and the audience enjoyed his photos of bike-friendly features in cities across Europe. Pucher examined a range of public health impacts of our urban transport systems and argued that the current car dependence of American cities is responsible for enormous environmental harm, social isolation, lack of physical activity, and traffic dangers. He described how improving the convenience, safety, and attractiveness of walking and cycling in crucial to overcoming these negative impacts. Pucher discussed specific policies and programs used in Europe, and advocates their widespread adoption in American cities. A lively discussion with faculty, students and members of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan Committee followed the seminar.