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Transportation -- Social aspects -- United States, Transportation and state -- United States, Transportation -- Environmental aspects, Sustainable development, Transportation surveys -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area


US household transportation surveys typically have limited coverage of and responses from people of color (POC), which may lead to inaccurate estimation of POC transportation access and behavior. We recast this technocratic understanding of representativeness as a problem of “racial misrecognition” in which racial group difference is obscured yet foundational for distributive transportation inequities and unsustainability. We linked 2008–2012 population and housing data to an apparent stratified random sample of 6107 household responses to the 2011 Oregon Household Activity Survey (OHAS) in a “sustainability capital”: the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. We detailed how the 2011 OHAS consistently overrepresented White households and underrepresented Latinx/Nonwhite households in aggregate and at the tract-level. We conducted tract-level spatial pattern and bivariate correlation analyses of our key variables of interest. As expected, our subsequent tract-level spatial error regression analysis demonstrated that the percent of Latinx/Nonwhite householders had a significant negative association with 2011 OHAS household response rates, net of other statistical controls. Further analyses revealed that the majority of the ten “typical” tracts that best represented the spatial error regression results and racial misrecognition in the OHAS exhibited historical and contemporary patterns of racial exclusion and socially unsustainable development in our study area.


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