Cyclists ride along a bicycle boulevard in Portland, Oregon

A Connected Bike Network Offers More Than the Sum of Its Parts

posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Wei Shi, Portland State University

In active transportation research, plenty of attention has been given to how different types of bike infrastructure affect people's likelihood of biking. Research has demonstrated that protected bike lanes encourage more people to bike than simple painted lanes, and that most cyclists feel safer riding through a protected intersection as opposed to navigating shared space with cars. However, relatively few empirical studies have investigated how holistically connected an entire bike network is, and how different populations can be positively or negatively impacted in their decision to bike by that level of connectivity.

Wei Shi, a recent Portland State University graduate with a PhD in urban planning, wrote her doctoral thesis on...

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Gabby Abou-Zeid, Katherine Keeling, and Kelly Rodgers

Three Portland State University students, all women, will receive Eisenhower Fellowships presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation at the 2021 virtual annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Kelly Rodgers, Gabby Abou-Zeid, and Katherine Keeling have all been awarded Eisenhower fellowships before; Abou-Zeid and Keeling won the prestigious fellowship in 2020 and Rodgers in 2019

2021 Eisenhower Fellows of PSU

Gabby Abou-Zeid, Civil Engineering

Gabby Abou-Zeid holds a B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments from the University of Arizona and is currently a second-year Civil Engineering MSc student with transportation emphasis. Working...

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Orange e-scooters on the road in Portland, Oregon
Michael McQueen, Portland State University

Is shared micromobility the ideal first/last mile supplement to transit? Can electric scooters make it easier for historically disadvantaged populations to get around? In just three years, brand-new fleets of e-scooters have substantially disrupted and altered the urban mobility landscape. For proponents, it's tempting to view them as a new answer to old problems. A just-released study finds however, that while there is potential for improved mobility if they are paired with other interventions, the shiny rows of e-scooters parked around cities aren't a catchall solution for our longstanding issues.

Portland State University (PSU) graduate Michael McQueen surveyed nearly 2,000 PSU students in his masters thesis, "Comparing the Promise and Reality of E-Scooters: A...

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Hau Hagedorn riding a bicycle

We're proud to announce that our associate director, Hau Hagedorn, has been named the new Chair of Oregon's governor-appointed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

OBPAC serves as a liaison between the public and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The eight-member committee advises ODOT in the regulation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the establishment of bikeways and walkways, and other statewide bicycle and pedestrian issues.

The committee meets six times a year in various locations around the state to support implementation of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and listen to the views and concerns of interested citizens, local officials and ODOT staff.

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.

Screenshot from a Zoom session of the 2020 summer camp, showing the faces of participating students in a grid layout.

On March 23, 2020, Oregon — like many other U.S. states — was placed under a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At Portland State, we were faced with a decision: What to do about our 2020 transportation summer camps for Oregon high schoolers

Our camps, up to this year, have been defined by the in-person, on-campus experience. Previous cohorts toured Portland's bikeways, saw the inside of Multnomah County's bridges, and sat down with professional engineers and planners to talk about tricky traffic problems. Would the program survive the transition to a virtual format?

We had already received 52 applications from promising Oregon high schoolers, and decided the camp was too important to cancel. With the financial support of the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, we were able to shift to a virtual camp and still fulfill our objectives:

  • Introduce high school students to professionals in transportation 

  • Teach them about the broad range of transportation careers and sectors 

  • Present the social justice and equity issues within transportation and how they relate to students, their families and their neighborhoods 

  • Introduce students to transportation systems in Portland 

    ...
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Orange BIKETOWN electric bikes docked at a BIKETOWN station in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Cait McCusker

In our previous posts about Portland, Oregon bike travel and the pandemic from April and May, we observed bridge crossing stagnation and decline across the Hawthorne and Tilikum Crossing bridges during normal commute hours. To expand on these findings, we took a look at how Portland’s bike share system – BIKETOWN – has been impacted by the global pandemic.

Claims of a worldwide boom in bike share usage were reported during the early days of COVID-related closures. However, a few months have gone by and it’s now apparent that these findings were misleading due to limited sample selection. For example, some of the reported US bike share ridership outlooks were based on data collected over a very short period, just a week and a half in early March for Chicago and NYC. In the same article, Seattle and San Francisco were actually shown to have...

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Left: A view from behind of Jennifer Dill biking down a bike boulevard. Right: Jennifer Dill, wearing glasses and a red dress, stands in front of a patch of yellow flowers holding her APBP award plaque.

We're proud to announce that Dr. Jennifer Dill, director of TREC at Portland State University, has been awarded the 2020 Research Professional of the Year award by the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals (APBP). Given the need for ongoing quarantine, we had to get creative with her acceptance speech - Watch the video to see the award delivered to her by TREC staffers, handed off in a multimodal relay, before Dill accepts the award on a neighborhood greenway/bike boulevard.

Dill received the 2020 APBP Research Professional of the Year award for her contributions advancing the state of practice in bicycle and pedestrian research with a high degree of professional integrity. Dr. Dill addresses important research questions related to walking and bicycling, points out limitations, and suggests lines of future research. Her teaching and advice to students at Portland State University, her leadership through the Transportation Research Board and APBP, and her insightful thoughts related to equity inspire practitioners and researchers working in bicycle and pedestrian transportation.

Watch her accept the award:

Text reads: TREC student spotlight, Nora Stoelting. Image is of Nora (right) with an aquamarine sleeveless shirt, and a photo (left) of summer camp students touring a bridge.

Nora Stoelting is pursuing a dual master's degree in Leadership for Sustainability Education and Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University. She is excited about the ways these two programs intersect in building a more dynamic, connected, and sustainable world. Nora's background is in garden education and environmental advocacy, and she most recently worked in waste minimization with airport businesses at PDX. Nora is thrilled to join TREC to work on education programming through integrating tactical urbanism projects into PSU classes and designing TREC's free summer camp for high school students (read a recap of the 2020 camp here). She believes strongly in the power of collaborative, holistic, experiential teaching and learning to transform ourselves and the world.

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Tell us about yourself?

I am a cis, female, white, 27 year old graduate student living in NE Portland. I am currently pursuing a double masters in Leadership for Sustainability Education and Urban and Regional Planning. I am passionate about such a wide, interconnected array of topics that it was impossible to pick one program! Lately I have been really interested in envisioning a libertory future (within myself and the world). I have been feeling really inspired by Black...

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Text: NITC Student Spotlight, Frank Boateng Appiah, Portland State University. Images: Frank Boateng Appiah in a grey hoodie next to an image of a rectangular rapid flash beacon at a crosswalk.
Frank Boateng Appiah is a graduate student and research assistant in civil engineering at Portland State University, working with Chris Monsere and Sirisha Kothuri on best practices for the installation of Rapid Rectangular Flash Beacons with or without Median Refuge. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with Bsc. Civil Engineering in 2013. Frank is interested in how transportation improves life by increasing productivity, efficiency and other aspects of mobility.
 

Tell us about yourself?

I come from a small town in Ghana called Adamsu but spent most of my formative years in Accra, the capital city. Living in Accra, a city where road transport has been the primary mode for several decades, I came to appreciate how a disintegrated transportation system affects a nation’s economic growth and therefore requires effective and efficient planning and design to increase productivity. This informed my decision to read civil engineering during my 4-year undergraduate study at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology. At Tech I was much involved in student groups such as CESA (Civil Engineering Students Association), where I held some leadership positions. In PSU I am an active member of...

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It’s nearly time to jump back into the academic year, and at Portland State University we have quite a few Fall 2020 transportation graduate courses that will all be offered online. If you are not a current PSU graduate student, you can still take these courses through the non-degree application process or as a post-baccalaureate student. Taking a course is one way to see if one of our PSU graduate degree programs is right for you!

Civil and Environmental Engineering

CE 4/514 Transportation Seminar; Chris Monsere

This weekly seminar features a different speaker each week covering various topics in transportation... Read more

We'd like to congratulate two Portland State University individuals who received 2020 awards from the Western District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).

Dr. Christopher Monsere of Portland State University was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Educator Award from ITE. Monsere is Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State. His primary research interests are in design and operation of multimodal transportation facilities including user behavior, comprehension, preferences, and the overall safety effectiveness of transportation improvements.

The Outstanding Transportation Educator Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates...

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