Suburban Black Poverty in East Portland: The Role of Transportation in Making Ends Meet

Steven Howland, Portland State University


Transportation choices among the poor are often monetarily and geographically determined (Krizek & El-Geneidy, 2007). Low-income households must weigh the costs and benefits of modes and the tradeoffs they make by choosing one mode over another (Blumenberg & Pierce, 2012). Non-driving transportation alternatives are often much more limited in suburban neighborhoods thus limiting options to the suburban poor (Kneebone & Berube, 2013). Additionally, as gentrification takes hold in low-income minority neighborhoods, the dispersal of population can also segment social networks further limiting transportation choices. Portland’s gentrifying Albina neighborhood and the low-income Black population in East Portland are the focus of study concerning how these populations make transportation choices, what tradeoffs they make in the process, and how gentrification has impacted their choices as well as their social network. By interviewing 30 total residents from low-income Black households split between Albina, defined by historical geographic boundaries (Gibson, 2007), and East Portland, defined as east of 82nd Ave to the Gresham border, this dissertation will investigate how those populations use transportation to make ends meet with the goal of influencing city land-use, housing, and transportation policy and the direction of non-profit and advocacy agency resources.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
November 30,2017
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC Natl Dissertation Fellowship Fall '16
UTC Funding: