This project was funded by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), Grant No. 2008-16.
Urban transportation policy, Cycling -- Safety measures, Pedestrians, Cycling -- In education -- Evaluation, Transportation -- Planning
Since the 1990s, the amount of attention and funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure has increased significantly. This, combined with the role of transportation in public health and environmental concerns, has raised expectations for engineering and planning practitioners to possess more knowledge and skills related to pedestrian and bicycle planning and design. This demand requires more education around these topics but university curriculum doesn?t reflect these important shifts in the field. This project was intended to begin addressing the need for more bicycle and pedestrian curriculum in two ways: (1) Determine the existence of and need for courses and curriculum modules on bicycle and pedestrian design and planning by conducting a national survey of planning and transportation faculty; and (2) Expand the range of opportunities for university students to learn about the value and needs of bicycle and pedestrian transportation by designing and testing two new curriculum modules, one for transportation planning and one for transportation engineering. The survey provides a comprehensive source of information on the amount and type of coverage given to bicycle and pedestrian topics in transportation planning and engineering courses at the graduate and undergraduate level. It also provides useful insight into faculty and student interest in these topics, and a rich data source which IBPI can use to identify areas for future module and curriculum development. The process of developing and piloting the two curriculum modules demonstrated how bicycle and pedestrian topics can be successfully integrated into existing courses that may have a broader transportation scope. In addition, the feedback on the student evaluations illustrated the low level of student knowledge about some of the basic elements of bicycle and pedestrian facilities design and analysis. This supports the need for more integration of these topics into transportation planning and engineering courses.
Jennifer Dill, Lynn Weigand and Karen Dixon, IBPI: Bicycle and pedestrian education program. OTREC-ED-10-05 for the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), December 2010