Bus stop with trees and buildings
Principal Investigators: Autumn Shafer and Deborah Morrison, University of Oregon

The success of public transportation depends upon public understanding of, and support for, livability. In response to new Oregon state requirements to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light-duty vehicles, a team of University of Oregon (UO) researchers reviewed public communication strategies around transit investments. The overarching conclusion? The most effective framing of public transportation benefits is not around climate change, but rather on livability. Communication should focus on the benefits to people's pocketbooks, choices, health, and community. While this shift in approach has been marginally applied in Portland, a large gap in connecting...

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Principal Investigator: Rebecca Lewis, University of Oregon
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary, related presentations, and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Tune in Friday, May 4 to hear from the lead researcher at the Portland State University Friday Transportation Seminar (recording made available online).

livability

noun  liv·abil·i·ty  \ ˌli-və-ˈbi-lə-tē \

"Livability" is a broadly used term encompassing all the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life. It’s a key goal in many land use and transportation plans, but it's not always clear how to reach that goal. What makes people feel that their neighborhoods are livable? 

Researchers Rebecca Lewis and Robert Parker of the University of Oregon surveyed over three thousand...

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Principal Investigator: Rob Zako, University of Oregon
Project Overview: Effectiveness of Transportation Funding Mechanisms for Achieving National, State, and Metropolitan Economic, Health, and Other Livability Goals
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief; download the toolkit co-published with T4A, related presentations and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the PI by watching the post-webinar recording here.

FEBRUARY 2018 UPDATE

The full final report on this project is now published. The final report offers a comprehensive look at six case study states' strategies to ensure they are delivering value to taxpayers in a transparent process.


SEPTEMBER 2017

What do Americans get in return for their transportation investments? It’s a simple enough question on the surface, but digging for an answer yields a gnarled knot of...

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NITC researchers have created a design manual to aid traffic engineers, transportation planners, elected officials, businesses and community stakeholders in re-envisioning their streets.
 
Traditionally, road design in the U.S. has been based on the simple principle of moving as many cars as possible.
 
The ...
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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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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...

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Three Portland State University graduate students in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning used GIS technology to collect and analyze residents’ thoughts about walkability needs for Portland, Oregon’s northeast Cully neighborhood.

Their report, Engaging Cully, was the final product of a ten-week course called Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS), taught by PSU professor Vivek Shandas.

In PPGIS, community input is used to create GIS-based data and diagnostics maps which can inform planners’ decision-making process. Team members Travis Driessen, Brandi Campbell and Eduardo Montejo worked with community-based organizations and residents to assess the needs of the Cully neighborhood’s pedestrian network using PPGIS methods.

Prior to this project, Driessen, who is working toward a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems at PSU, was already collaborating with David Hampsten, a board member of the Hazelwood Neighborhood Association and member of the East Portland Action Plan, to help Prioritize Portland! – a coalition consisting of multiple organizations including the Northeast Coalition...

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New research from NITC looks at Health Impact Assessment, or HIA, in transportation planning.

The leading causes of death in the United States are no longer communicable diseases. Instead, chronic conditions linked to behaviors and shaped by environments—such as obesity and diabetes—are today’s most pressing public health concerns.

HIA is a way of evaluating the effects that planning decisions will have on public health.

Researcher Nicole Iroz-Elardo studied this relatively new endeavor, analyzing and comparing three contemporary case studies in HIA.

She will share her findings in an IBPI webinar on July 16, 2014.

By engaging professionals from multiple disciplines, HIA can give planners a larger knowledge base to inform decisions. 

In a collaborative process that did not emerge in the U.S. until 1999, stakeholders and community members engage with public health professionals to identify and deliberate about health interests related to the proposed plan.

They generally focus on health equity, and use as a framework the social determinants of health: a broad range of factors developed...

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Several notable transportation projects have come out of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program this spring.

 

Each year, graduating students finish up their two-year program of study by forming into groups and carrying out a professional project. Clients work with Portland State University to identify planning needs that would be a good fit for the MURP program, and students choose projects based on their interests.

 

...

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Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program matches students with clients every year to execute professional-level planning projects.

 

This spring, InSite Planning Group, a team of six MURP students, conducted a detailed corridor study for the city of Beaverton.

 

The ...

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