Jim Elliott, Janet Barlow, and Dan Goodman
In October 2017 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) unveiled a groundbreaking new resource on planning and designing shared streets to accommodate people with vision disabilities. The first report of its kind, Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities (learn more and download the report) / (access the 508 version here) introduces accessible design principles for shared streets based on detailed research and extensive outreach, equipping communities to pursue new designs that are accessible for people with vision disabilities. Drawing from notable practices, public outreach, and field analysis from multiple US cities, this resource pushes the practice of shared street design towards accessibility for all users.
Toole Design Group and Accessible Design for the Blind were part of the team that helped FHWA bring this innovative resource to the public. Join us in hearing from these organizations on how to implement this new resource on your streets.
Hau Hagedorn and Sirisha Kothuri
This project builds on the success of NITC’s first Pooled Fund project that created the first national bicycle and pedestrian traffic count archive, named BikePed Portal. The next step for BikePed Portal is to improve its usability for both data providers and data users, specifically transportation professionals. To improve usability, area transportation planners will be invited to participate in an idea gathering session to help design an “Explore Data Page.” The purpose of this page is to allow transportation planners (data users) ready access to the non-motorized count data available in BikePed Portal in a way that is useful and attractive to them. The page may include graphical displays (maps, graphs, etc.) and/or summary statistics. The work also includes other usability improvements including data quality communication improvements, user interface improvements for data providers, maintenance, adding data to the archive, software testing, spreading the word to potential data users, and inclusion of National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project (NBPDP) data.
Information session on the Pooled Fund Research Grant
One champion identifies a problem that is common to other agencies, cities, or MPOs and then recruits other partners who are willing to collaborate and contribute financially to the project. At this point, NITC steps in and matches the funds that the partners pooled – making it possible to pursue a question that is greater in scope than any one agency or city could pursue on its own. Simple process, right? Maybe not! Yet, this process can be exciting, empowering and, most importantly, lead to the implementation of a project that produces immediate and impactful outcomes.
Webinar: Tools and Techniques for Teaching Collaborative Regional Planning and Enhancing Livability and Sustainable Transportation in Gateway & Natural Amenity Regions
Small towns and cities outside of national parks and other major natural amenities throughout the western United States are becoming increasingly popular places to visit and live. As a result, many of these gateway and natural amenity region (GNAR) communities—including places such as Jackson, Wyoming, and Moab, Utah—are facing a variety of “big city” issues, such as severe congestion, lack of affordable workforce housing, and concerns about sprawl and density. This webinar will introduce the planning and transportation concerns being experienced by GNAR communities throughout the west. It will then share the tools and resources developed by the University of Utah to train planners to work in these unique communities and to help these communities enhance livability and sustainable transportation options. The webinar will also introduce the University of Utah’s new Gateway and Natural Amenity Region Initiative and ongoing research aimed at better understanding and addressing the planning and transportation issues in GNAR communities.
- Many small western communities near major natural amenities, such as national parks, are experiencing “big city” planning and transportation challenges.
- Professional and academic planners need to pay far greater attention to these GNAR communities and to helping them effectively plan for and respond to the planning and transportation challenges they face.
- The University of Utah has developed a range of tools and resources aimed at training planners to work in these communities and assisting these communities in tackling the challenges and opportunities they face. We hope other will use and build on these tools and resources.
- There are considerable opportunities for further research, education, and capacity building efforts aimed at understanding and addressing the transportation and planning needs of GNAR communities.
Webinar: Land Use Mix and Pedestrian Travel Behavior: Advancements in Conceptualization and Measurement
Steven R. Gehrke
Smart growth policies have often emphasized the importance of land use mix as an intervention beholding of lasting urban planning and public health benefits. Past transportation-land use research has identified potential efficiency gains achieved by mixed-use neighborhoods and the subsequent shortening of trip lengths; whereas, public health research has accredited increased land use mixing as an effective policy for facilitating greater physical activity.
However, despite the celebrated transportation, land use, and health benefits of improved land use mixing and the extent of topical attention, no consensus has been reached regarding the conceptualization and measurement of this key smart growth principle or the magnitude of its link to walking. This research, comprising three empirical studies, explores this topic in detail.
This webinar will provide attendees with greater specificity in the measurement of land use mix and its connection to pedestrian travel behavior.
Webinar: Integrating Explicit and Implicit Methods in Travel Behavior Research: A Study of Driver Attitudes and Bias
Car crashes are still a leading cause of death in the United States, with vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians being injured or killed at rates that outpace their mode share.
Planners, engineers, and advocates are increasingly adopting Vision Zero and Tactical Urbanism approaches and trying to better understand the underlying causes of dangerous roadway interactions. However, existing research into crash causation has focused on instrumental factors (e.g. intersection type, vehicle speed) while little research has probed the role of attitudes or socio-cognitive mechanisms in interactions between roadway users.
Social psychology suggests that attitudes and social cognitions can play a role in conflict. Drivers’ attitudes toward bicyclists, and how those attitudes may affect drivers’ behavior, are a largely unexplored area of research, particularly in the United States.
This study is the first use of an implicit method to examine transportation biases between drivers and bicyclists. The research used an Implicit Association Test as well as an attitudinal survey to measure drivers' attitudes toward their own driving behavior, other drivers, and bicyclists.
The results yielded information about the dimensions of drivers’ attitudes toward bicyclists, including lack of legitimacy as a fellow roadway user, stereotypes about different sub-types of bicyclists, normative beliefs about roadway behavior, and sub-conscious preferences for drivers versus bicyclists.
Results demonstrated that the implicit method captured bias that was overlapping with, but distinct from, the explicit measures.
This research demonstrates the potential value of measuring implicit attitudes to complement traditional transportation survey self-report measures. Understanding these subconsciously-held attitudes and their relationship with self-reported safety-related behaviors can improve potential educational, legal, programmatic, and infrastructural interventions to improve road safety.
Webinar: Transportation Benefits of Parking Cash-Out, Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits, and Parking Surtaxes
Allen Greenberg, James Choe, Sonika Sethi, and Colleen Stoll
The vast majority of employers provide their employees free parking at work, which encourages employees to drive alone. Multiple strategies exist to level the playing field between travel modes and allow employees to select the travel option most beneficial to them without suffering a financial penalty. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration sponsored a study to understand the effect parking cash out, pre-tax commuter benefits, and parking surtaxes can have on congestion, emissions, and other driving-related externalities. The study is part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to increase awareness of solutions to address the transportation issues affecting communities in the United States. The research was conducted in coordination with a peer review group made up of representatives from academic institutions and the public sector who provided guidance throughout the study process.
Cash-out programs have the potential to substantially reduce the rate at which people drive alone to work. But, they have not been implemented broadly. California and Rhode Island have parking cash-out laws, but they apply only to a small percentage of parking, and no city (outside of California) has a parking cash-out requirement. Recently, however, several cities, including Washington, DC, New York, and San Francisco have implemented ordinances requiring employers over a specific size to offer pre-tax transit benefits, and similar city-level ordinances related to parking cash out could be considered. This study conducts a city-level analysis to assess the potential impacts of six ordinances:
- a requirement for employers that offer free parking to offer parking cash-out;
- a requirement for employers that offer free parking to offer a tax-exempt commuter benefit (e.g., a transit, vanpool, or bicycle benefit);
- an incentive to offer cash out on a daily basis;
- a requirement for all employers to offer their employees the option to pay for transit and bicycle costs with pre-tax dollars;
- a tax credit incentive for employers to drop the free parking benefit entirely and to offer an alternative tax-exempt commuter benefit; and
- a tax on parking fees for peak-hour commuters.
The study suggests that these policies could result in notable reductions in employee vehicle travel, traffic congestion, and emissions. The webinar will include resources for individuals interested in determining the impact these strategies could have in their own cities/communities.
Kimberly Barsamian Kahn
This webinar discusses research exploring how social identity factors (race and gender) influence drivers’ behavior in interactions with pedestrians at crosswalks. One dangerous potential point of conflict for pedestrians within the transportation system is interactions with drivers at crosswalks (NHTSA, 2009), and racial minorities are disproportionately represented in pedestrian fatalities (CDC, 2013). This project examines whether racial discrimination occurs at crosswalks, which may lead to disparate crossing experiences and disproportionate safety outcomes.
Our initial research on this topic revealed predicted racial bias in drivers’ yielding behavior at crosswalks: Black male pedestrians were passed by twice as many cars as, and waited 32% longer than, White male pedestrians (Goddard, Kahn and Adkins, 2015). A new set of studies expands on these prior findings. A controlled field experiment in which Black and White male and female pedestrians crossed the street at two different types of crosswalks (unmarked vs. marked) was conducted, while trained coders marked drivers’ yielding behavior. Results indicated that overall stopping rates were very low at the unmarked crosswalk, and few differences emerged based on pedestrian race and gender. When the crosswalk became marked, stopping rates greatly increased; however, treatment was less equitable. Drivers were less likely to stop for Black and male pedestrians, and when they did stop, they were more likely to stop closer to Black male and Black female pedestrians. These effects occurred regardless of drivers’ race and gender. In order to better understand African American and Black people’s experiences as pedestrians, three focus groups were conducted. Overall, African American and Black focus group participants perceived that drivers treated them differently based on their race by not stopping or infringing on their space in crosswalks. These negative experiences lead to increased stress and harms their walking trips.
Understanding what impacts drivers’ stopping behavior with pedestrians is an important step toward developing policies that promote safe transportation experiences. Although marking the crosswalk increased drivers’ stopping behavior for pedestrians, it also increased the likelihood of discrimination based on pedestrians’ race and gender. To reduce this disparity in treatment, it is recommended that marked crosswalks include additional markings and/or design to reduce the sense that yielding is discretionary and to increase driver yielding compliance.
- Drivers’ yielding behavior at crosswalks is influenced by pedestrians’ race and gender.
- At unmarked crosswalks, stopping rates were very low and few differences emerged based on pedestrian race and gender.
- At marked crosswalks, drivers were less likely to stop for Black and male pedestrians, and when they did stop, they were more likely to stop closer to Black male and Black female pedestrians at a marked crosswalk.
- African American and Black pedestrians discussed how these are stressful interactions that harm their walking trips.
The final report that the presentation is derived from is available: http://dx.doi.org/10.15760/trec.130
Jenny H. Liu
As many cities are investing in street improvements to provide better biking and walking experiences, the economic value and impacts of these active transportation facilities remain areas where many practitioners, planners and policy makers are seeking more conclusive evidence. With various modes competing for scarce resources, planners and transportation agencies often struggle with how to justify infrastructure investments for non-motorized modes, particularly when driving is still the predominant mode of transportation in most cities.
In this project we assess property value impacts of Portland’s “Green Loop” signature bike infrastructure concept, illustrating the importance of considering both accessibility and extensiveness of bike facility networks. The Green Loop is a proposed 6-mile linear open space running through the heart of Portland, connecting existing and new open spaces, parks, gathering areas, and walking and biking pathways. As envisioned, the Green Loop concept requires significant infrastructure investments, and would result in both short-term and long-term impacts on transportation (for all travel modes), economic development and the environment.
In collaboration with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), the Portland State University Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS), and in partnership with PeopleForBikes and the Summit Foundation, the goal of this research is to characterize, quantify and analyze these costs, benefits and impacts, particularly focusing on case studies of similar infrastructure investments in active transportation.
In this webinar, we will further focus on the residential property value impacts associated with advanced bike facilities. We find that proximity to advanced bike facilities has significant and positive effects on all property values, highlighting household preferences for high quality bike infrastructure. The lessons and research gaps identified in this work led to the development of two ongoing NITC-funded studies: "Understanding Economic and Business Impacts of Street Improvements for Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility - A Multi-City Multi-Approach Exploration" and "Understanding the economic impacts of urban greenway infrastructure." We will share some updates on these ongoing projects as well.
Key learning outcomes include:
- A framework for understanding the economic results of bicycle and pedestrian investments, with data to show:
- Evidence of impacts on residential property values
- Evidence of impacts on on business and retail activity
- Insight into potential short-term and long-term impacts of the Portland Green Loop
- A method for estimating economic impacts of similar proposed active transportation projects
- A framework for understanding the economic results of bicycle and pedestrian investments, with data to show:
Nathan McNeil, Jennifer Dill, and John MacArthur
While the number of public bike share systems in the United States grew considerably in recent years, early evidence indicated that many systems were not serving the diverse populations of cities, particularly lower-income residents and people of color. Lack of bike share stations in neighborhoods with people of color and/or lower incomes is one factor; however, considerable disparities appear to persist even when stations are placed in these communities.
Efforts to overcome access and use barriers (such as cost, payment options, and familiarity with the system) to bike share for underserved communities have been initiated in a number of cities. The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) has been working with cities around the country to launch and test potentially replicable approaches to improve the equity outcomes. These have included focused outreach efforts and bike share investments in low-income and underserved communities in several cities.
This webinar discusses findings from a survey of people living in lower-income communities of color in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Brooklyn, including many people who are not currently using bike share. These neighborhoods were targeted for outreach related to BBSP programs, and all have bike share stations. The research sought to better understand perceptions and attitudes toward bicycling and bike share, along with the barriers to and opportunities for expanding the use of bike share in traditionally underserved neighborhoods. Findings provide insight into what strategies can be effective in attracting new and diverse users, and what benefits bike share can offer these potential participants.
Webinar: The Effects of Demand-Responsive Parking on Transit Usage and Congestion: Evidence from SFpark
Parking is a serious issue in many urban areas, especially those experiencing rapid population growth. To address this problem, some cities have implemented demand-responsive pricing programs, where parking prices vary depending on the occupancy rate in a previous period. Yet, few empirical studies have rigorously evaluated these programs. In this study, we investigate the impacts of SFpark, a demand-responsive pricing parking program in San Francisco that began in 2011. We observe effects on three important aspects of urban transportation: parking availability, transit bus ridership and congestion. The timing of this program is plausibly exogenous to factors that affect these outcomes of interest since it is based on bureaucratic decision-making, so endogeneity is less of a concern.
We use data from the SFpark pilot evaluation for on-street parking, which includes hourly data on parking occupancy, metered rates and measures of daily traffic congestion. Additionally, we generate a novel panel data set using micro-level Muni bus transit data at the bus shift-stop level to observe possible effects on modal transportation choice.
Results show that SFpark achieved its primary goal of increasing parking availability, with more on-street parking meeting the target occupancy range of 60-80%. We also make a novel contribution to the literature by addressing the effect of SFPark on transit usage, and find heterogeneous effects on ridership depending on changes in meter rates. A core component of SFpark is allowing metered rates to fluctuate after a few weeks in response to changes in occupancy rates. We leverage these changes in rates and find a positive relationship between rate changes and bus ridership, where a modest increase (decrease) in meter rates is associated with higher (lower) ridership. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess this relationship using micro-level transit and detailed parking data. Finally, we find SFpark reduced congestion, specifically decreasing traffic density and increasing vehicle speed. These results have important implications for transportation policy as cities continue to expand and implement demand-responsive pricing programs globally.
Deteriorating transportation infrastructure is constantly in the news. Government agencies at all levels are pursuing methods to monitor structural health, so that they can prioritize repairs. In Oregon, the Cascadia Subduction Zone megathrust earthquake looms as a significant natural hazard for which our transportation network is ill-prepared. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) estimates that it will take around $2.6 billion over seven years to repair or replace many of the existing bridges in the state’s network to maintain lifeline routes after a Cascadia event. Funding for the scenarios envisioned by ODOT is not forthcoming, and the project described in this webinar is aimed at creating a tool to support visual inspection of bridges for determining the extent of damage.
The work presented in this webinar has evolved out of NITC-funded research and into a feasibility study of relatively simple but effective field methods for transportation structure dynamic evaluation.
The primary driver for the methods under investigation is the advent of robust mobile apps that can process data from on-board accelerometers in real time. The goal of this work is to identify an easily deployed system to evaluate the dynamic response of a structure (commonly referred to as modal testing). Assuming such a system can be developed and deployed to record baseline data prior to the Cascadia event, the same system could be used after the event, or any significant event for that matter, to assist in determining if a structure has sustained damage that would limit its safe return to service.
This webinar will describe the development and use of various tools for conducting modal testing in the field.
After viewing the webinar, attendees should be able to:
- Describe the scale of the everyday and future hazards facing Oregon bridges
- Explain the relationship of structural parameters to dynamic response
- Describe a framework for conducting dynamic evaluation of structures to determine dominant modal frequencies
- Summarize the results of preliminary field studies using ambient traffic and forced vibration in conjunction with mobile-device based data acquisition
- Use mobile devices and apps to acquire acceleration data
Edward J. Smaglik and Sirisha Murthy Kothuri
The goal of signal timing at an intersection should be to maximize efficiency for all users. In many jurisdictions, however, traffic signals are timed mostly with the goal of reducing vehicular delay.
Other road users, such as pedestrians, deserve similar focus. In legacy transportation systems, pedestrians experience delays much in excess of those that would be deemed acceptable for a motor vehicle at the same location.
Excessive delay can lead to pedestrian frustration, non-compliance and ultimately decreased safety.
In the North American context, implementation of strategies to address pedestrian service varies greatly across jurisdictions, and there has been limited research on incorporating alternative pedestrian treatments at signalized intersections.
Recent updates to the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM 2010) have included specific multimodal delay modeling techniques offering a bit more accommodation to pedestrians, but still remain heavily vehicle-centric. While strategies such as an exclusive pedestrian phase and leading pedestrian intervals can help improve the safety of pedestrian operations, legacy service of pedestrians requires that they still must wait for their turn.
This webinar will present the details of alternative pedestrian strategies, as well as the results of recent research into the impact on delay that these treatments have on all users. At the conclusion, practitioner recommendations will be presented developed from the results of a user survey, field implementations of strategies, and software-in-the-loop (SITL).
Webinar: Investigations in Transportation: Partnering Industry Professionals and Elementary Teachers in a STEM Unit of Study
Carol Biskupic Knight
Investigations in Transportation was an elementary school partnership and curriculum development project, engaging STEM professionals in school-based design projects.
Fifth-grade students in two Oregon communities teamed up with transportation professionals from ODOT to redesign their school parking lots, resulting in better traffic flow and increased capacity. The immersive learning experience received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students, teachers and administrators.
This webinar will demonstrate how the Portland Metro STEM Partnership was facilitated to bring transportation education into elementary school classrooms, offering students unparalleled access to STEM professionals working in their communities and to real-world applications of engineering principles.
Why model pedestrians?
A new predictive tool for estimating pedestrian demand has potential applications for improving walkability. By forecasting the number, location and characteristics of walking trips, this tool allows for policy-sensitive mode shifts away from automobile travel.
There is growing support to improve the quality of the walking environment and make investments to promote pedestrian travel. Despite this interest and need, current forecasting tools, particularly regional travel demand models, often fall short. To address this gap, Oregon Metro and NITC researcher Kelly Clifton worked together to develop this pedestrian demand estimation tool which can allow planners to allocate infrastructure based on pedestrian demand in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. The tool is also designed to be replicable, so that other metropolitan areas can adapt the model to begin estimating pedestrian demand in their cities.
This webinar will provide an overview of how the tool functions as well as a framework for applying this method in other cities.
Transit signal priority (TSP) can reduce transit delay at signalized intersections by making phasing adjustments. TSP is a relatively inexpensive tool to provide faster and more reliable transit service. This webinar addresses TSP real-word performance measures as well as data integration and evaluation challenges. Results of the TSP evaluation in an arterial corridor in Portland, Oregon indicate that a timely and effective TSP system requires a high degree of sophistication, monitoring, and maintenance. TSP timing is crucial to reduce transit delay.
Key takeaways include: performance measures, methodology, analysis of early green and red extension pros and cons, novel real-world results.
Webinar: States on the Hot Seat: State Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation
Transportation accounts for approximately 33 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States. While the federal government issued notice of a proposed rule that would include a GHG reduction performance measure for the first time, over the past decade, several innovative states have offered leadership on policies aimed at reducing GHG through transportation.
A recent project examines innovative policies in four such states: California, Maryland, Oregon and Washington. This webinar will:
- Highlight policy approaches for reducing GHG from transportation,
- Offer an assessment of strengths and weaknesses of various policy approaches, and
- Provide recommendations for a broad range of practitioners including state and regional planners, federal staff, and advocates.
Key takeaways focus on how state, federal and metropolitan policy organizations can use transportation and land use plans to achieve GHG reduction goals.
Oregon, and Portland in particular, is internationally known for its love for bikes. Not only does the region have some of the highest bike ridership in the nation but the Oregon bike manufacturing industry is quickly growing as well. Oregon’s electric bike (e-bike) market is also growing, but little data are available on the potential market and e-bike user behavior and interest.
Only a limited amount of research has explored the potential new market segments for e-bikes and the economic, operational, safety, and transportation issues surrounding e-bikes in the United States. This webinar will present findings from a research project evaluating e-bike use at three Kaiser Permanente employment centers in the Portland region.
The project's primary goal was to test user acceptance of electric-assist folding bicycles as a commuting solution.
Webinar: The Association Between Light Rail Transit, Streetcars and Bus Rapid Transit on Jobs, People and Rents
Arthur C. Nelson
What are the job, residential development and market rent outcomes of Light Rail Transit (LRT), Streetcar Transit (SCT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?
LRT, SCR and BRT investments are spreading rapidly across the country but there is scant evidence of their effect on where people work and live, and effects on market rents as an indicator of value. This webinar will summarize several years of NITC-sponsored research into development outcomes associated with these transit investments. The webinar will be led by NITC researcher Arthur C. Nelson who was the principal investigator of two projects: Do TODs Make a Difference? and National Study of Bus Rapid Transit Development Outcomes. Using a common database and analytic methods applied to 11 LRT systems, 8 BRT systems, and 3 SCT systems, Nelson will summarize key findings relating to:
- The extent to which these transit systems shifted job and population patterns,
- How these systems are shaping the real estate rental market for office, retail and apartment developments,
- Their influence on job attractiveness by wage categories, and,
- The spatial interactions between transit and land use patterns.
This webinar will also raise questions for future research.
Heard of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)? Wouldn’t it be great to know the corresponding value for walking and cycling?
This webinar discusses options for estimating the miles people walk and bicycle on the state-wide level, by investigating the practical considerations of trying to compute these values for one study state.
What strategies can be used, and what data sources do these require?
How do these strategies compare?
How do PMT/BMT estimates vary based on data?
Find out what researchers found and what obstacles they encountered when they tried to estimate bicycle and pedestrian miles traveled in the State of Washington.
Alexander Y. Bigazzi
Active travel such as walking and bicycling can lead to health benefits through an increase in physical activity. At the same time, more active travelers breath more and so can experience high pollution inhalation rates during travel. This webinar will review the state of knowledge about how roadway and traffic characteristics impact air pollution risks for bicyclists, including the latest PSU research quantifying bicyclists' uptake of traffic-related air pollution using on-road measurements in Portland. The PSU research team including Alex Bigazzi, Jim Pankow, and Miguel Figliozzi quantified bicyclist exposure concentrations on different types of roadways, respiration responses to exertion level, and changes in blood concentrations of pollutants. Implications for planners, engineers, and policy-makers will be discussed, including guidance for more pollution-conscious bicycle network planning and design. Additionally, ways for individual travelers to reduce their air pollution risks will be discussed.
This 60-minute webinar is eligible for one hour of training which equals 1 CM or 1 PDH. NITC applies to the AICP for Certification Maintenance credit for each webinar. We will provide an attendance certificate to those who document their professional development hours.
Originally developed by Roger Geller for the city of Portland, the "Four Types of Cyclists" typology (Strong and Fearless; Enthused and Confident; Interested but Concerned; No Way No How) has been adopted widely to help guide efforts to increase bicycling for transportation. This webinar will present findings from a new, national survey conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Realtors. We will address the following questions:
- Does the Four Types of Cyclists typology apply nationally?
- What are the characteristics of each type of cyclist?
- How does the existing environment, including bicycle infrastructure, affect the share of people in each category/type?
- What programs or infrastructure might increase bicycling for transportation among the different types of cyclists?
Jennifer Dill and Hugh Morris
The National Association of Realtors® and Portland State University conducted a nationwide survey in the 50 largest metropolitan areas, asking Americans about where they live, where they want to live, and their travel habits.
This webinar will present the key findings from that survey, including people’s preferences to live in mixed-use, walkable communities and what may help them walk, bicycle, and take transit more. The large sample (3,000) allows us to look at demographic differences, including between the generations (Millennials, Baby Boomers, etc.).
Sirisha Murthy Kothuri
The role of walking in the development of healthy, livable communities is being increasingly recognized. In urban areas, intersections are often viewed as a deterrent to walking, as their operation primarily favors automobiles, leading to large and unnecessary delays for pedestrians. There is currently very limited research on accommodating and/or prioritizing pedestrians at signalized intersections in the North American context. Pedestrians are often considered as a deterrent to efficient vehicular traffic flow and therefore active efforts to include them in operational decisions at intersections have been lagging. This research aims to fill that gap by understanding factors that influence pedestrian crossing behavior at signalized intersections and developing cost effective and easily deployable signal timing strategies that could be employed at intersections, to increase efficiency for pedestrians.
Community involvement and outreach is an important part of any planning effort, but as planners often find, many times the conversation is a difficult one to carry on. Residents may lack the technical knowledge to understand the intricacies of the system, or they may show skepticism toward the planning process in general. “Transportation Leadership Education,” a NITC education project, offers a guide for communities to stimulate the development of a more involved, educated citizenry.
The Portland Traffic and Transportation course is taught each year to 30-40 Portland residents who want to learn more about how the local transportation system developed and how it functions. The course is operated by the Portland Bureau of Transportation in conjunction with Portland State University. It helps participants understand local transportation agencies and their decision-making processes, and how to be involved. Over 1,200 Portland residents have taken the course over more than 20 years.
This webinar will present findings from a case study about the course derived from interviews with the people involved in launching the course, meetings with course instructors, administrators and teaching assistants, a review of course materials, and a survey of past course participants. The course offers a public involvement tool and model for cities to educate and engage residents as partners in improving the effectiveness of transportation agencies in meeting community needs. Providing residents with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively participate in transportation decision-making processes can help increase public participation while improving civic infrastructure.
Using the case study, a model course curriculum was developed to assist other cities in launching a similar course.