Content Type: Professional Development Event

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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,...

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Content Type: Blog entry

By Nathan McNeil

I’ve been working through some survey data as part of a case study of the Portland Traffic and Transportation Course (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/35727), and thought I would share a few interesting differences that I’ve come across between course participants who commute via different modes.

As a bit of background, the course is a 10 week class jointly offered by Portland State University and the City of Portland that is open to the general public (not just PSU students) and provides a background in “local traffic and transportation issues, transportation options, and how to get things done in your neighborhood.” Being open to the public and providing a considerable depth of transportation-focused information, from history to engineering, the class is a relatively unique civic offering. The case study and an accompanying curriculum for other cities to implement a similar transportation-focused course will be completed in the coming months (more details are available at http://trec.pdx.edu/research/project/541/).

The data I’ve been working with came from a survey of graduates of the class (of which there are around 1200+ in Portland, from course sections going all the way back to the fall of 1991). The course includes, among other things, special...

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