A close-up view of the motor mounted on the back of an e-bike, behind the rider's seat.

Authored by Mike McQueen and John MacArthur, Portland State University

Read the 2020 research paper in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment with updated model & findings.

Electric bikes (e-bikes) are quickly becoming common in U.S. cities and suburbs, but we still have a ways to go compared to our neighbors across the Atlantic.  In recent years, e-bike sales have steadily increased with unprecedented growth in Europe, especially in the Netherlands. Can the U.S. catch up? E-bikes offer a cheaper alternative to car travel and also provide physical activity. Riders with limited physical ability find that e-bikes extend their overall mobility. Beyond the practical, e-bikes are also just fun to ride. In fact, e-bikes encourage users to cycle farther and more often than conventional bicycles. More...

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Kate Wihtol is a 2019 graduate of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at PSU. As of 2020 she is an associate planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Kate worked with fellow MURP students of the Living Streets project team to develop a pathway toward inclusive, equitable, and accessible pedestrian streets for the Portland Bureau of Transportation. In this video she talks about their work to identify best practices and recommendations tailored to Portland’s urban context: a city built for cars, but aspiring and progressing toward a more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly future.

Watch the interview with Kate.

TREC awards for 2017, 2018 and 2019 bike to work month

Authored by Tammy Lee, Transportation Data Manager, Portland State University

Traditionally, the month of May is Bike to Work Month. Last year this time, Oregon logged 179,177 trips for a total of 1,374,835 miles by 10,397 riders. And last year this time TREC was winning the PSU bike to work month department challenge. So what are we seeing in the data now?

For continuity from the last time we posted some bike volume observations, we’re again showing data from the Hawthorne Bridge and Tilikum Crossing (Figure 1) in Portland, Oregon. At the moment, daily volume across the Hawthorne Bridge remains relatively low. Typically we’d expect bike volumes across the Hawthorne would be higher in May, especially because if this were “normal” times we’d be competing in the Bike to Work Month challenge. Bike volumes across the Tilikum show higher volumes beginning in April, especially on the weekends since the March 23, stay-at-home order was issued.

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In the 2-30 days after a major earthquake, neighborhoods might look very different. Walking and rolling are more dependable ways for people to get around because they do not require fuel. This project examined how a resilient neighborhood-level transportation network could help neighborhoods recover after a major disaster. Hear more in this interview with Sabina Roan, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning graduate of PSU.

Watch the interview with Sabina.

a TOD in Portland
Photo by Nathan McNeil
Nathan McNeil and Jennifer Dill, Portland State University

Does living in a transit-oriented development (TOD) actually change the way people travel? That's the fundamental question that 15 years of research in Portland, Oregon seeks...

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Scholars

Each year, through our Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) program, TREC offers a range of scholarships to assist students pursuing equitable, sustainable, and multimodal transportation. Four Portland State University students were awarded TREC scholarships for the 2020/2021 academic year: Darshan Chauhan of civil & environmental engineering, and Robert Hemphill, Philip Longenecker and Briana Orr of urban studies & planning.


Darshan Chauhan (Walter H. Kramer Fellowship)

Darshan Chauhan (see his NITC student spotlight here) is a graduate research assistant in civil engineering at Portland State University. He has served as the treasurer of STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning), PSU's transportation student group, and generously volunteers his time at a variety of transportation-related events via PSU's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). He defended his masters thesis on network flow problems in fall 2019, and is now a PhD student in the civil engineering...

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Bikes near transit
Photo by Cait McCusker
Chris Cherry and Candace Brakewood, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
John MacArthur, Portland State University

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has changed the way most of the world moves through daily life, with many businesses having to temporarily close and students of all levels forced to transition to online courses.

Even so, grocery stores, medical facilities, and takeout restaurants remain open, requiring workers to commute to and from work. In metro areas, that can often mean taking some form of transit, potentially exposing workers in these vital areas to the disease. 

In a collaborative project between University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Portland State University, researchers Chris Cherry (UT), Candace Brakewood (UT) and John MacArthur (PSU) are studying the impacts of people’s travel decisions on transit, shared bikes and e-scooters, and it comes with backing from a National Science Foundation RAPID Award

These awards are granted for research with "a severe...

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In 2018, Vision Zero was adopted as part of Portland’s Regional Transportation Plan for the first time. This content analysis explored how concerns about safety were expressed in the planning process—did they adhere to a Vision Zero perspective or did they express a conventional mobility paradigm? What were the top concerns? Furthermore, did different stakeholder groups subscribe to Vision Zero more than others? Kelly Rodgers, a PhD student in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, explores paradigm conflicts around implementing vision zero in Portland.

Watch the interview with Kelly.

Kelly Rodgers is a PhD student in Urban Studies who is studying the use and influence of health indicators in transportation decision-making. She has been twice awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship and twice named a NITC Student Scholar. Kelly is also the Executive Director of Streetsmart, a non-profit organization developing an evidence-based platform that helps civic leaders integrate health, climate, and equity concerns into transportation. Kelly is the vice-chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineers' Health and Transportation Standing Committee, a member of the Transportation Research Board's...

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