Streetcar_people_alphabet National Geographic recently described Portland as the City that “…gets almost everything right; it’s friendly, sustainable, accessible, and maybe a model for America’s future” (Cover story, Dec. 2009). Portland has a shared vision of a livable city, articulated in many different ways. It is seen in neighborhood self-help projects, big municipal investments, enlightened developers that build infill projects consistent with city plans, and the highest recycling participation rate in the country.  Taken together Portland is a city that is environmentally responsible, and conscious of both street level and of global impact of doing things right.

 


Early History

Arguably, Portland’s first act of ‘building green’ was in 1892, when it built a reservoir network to protect and preserve the sole source of its drinking water, the pristine . Today, this 102-square mile conservation zone provides ample fresh water to a region of half million people

Fast forward almost 100 years and the same ethic motivated Portlanders to reject a Robert Moses-style highway plan...

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DSC_0022 In the last of the livability seminar series, OTREC's visiting scholars program welcomed Shawn Turner from the Texas Transportation Institute. Shawn's research spans the gamut of intelligent transportation systems data to bicycle and pedestrian issues.  Most recently, Shawn participated in the International Scan on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility.  His presentation compared his experiences on the scan in Europe to those in China.  During his presentation, he posed three challenges to Oregon:

  • How does active transportation contribute to economic development?
  • What is the tipping point for behavior and behavioral change?
  • Can vanity play a role in social acceptance?

His presentation was followed by a discussion with local agencies, faculty, students and partners along with a 10-mile tour of innovative bike infrastructure in Portland.  Thank goodness...

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Abstract: Urban arterials often represent complex venues of transportation operations, co-mingling non-motorized users with transit services and a wide variety of land uses and traffic patterns. This presentation presents results related to the evaluation of a new Adaptive Traffic Control System (SCATS) on Powell Boulevard in southeast Portland. The presentation will discuss challenges and opportunities associated with the evaluation of new technologies and the development of comprehensive urban arterial performance measures.

Speaker Bio: Miguel Figliozzi is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. His diverse research interests include transit and traffic operations, bicycle and pedestrian modes, emissions and air quality modeling, and freight and logistics. He holds a MS from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from the University of Maryland College Park. Figliozzi is a member of the Transportation Research Board Network Modeling Committee, Freight and Logistics, and Intermodal Terminal Design Committees. Papers, reports, and more detailed information available at Figliozzi's webpage: http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~...

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Dr. Smaglik is currently working on three separate transportation research projects at Northern Arizona University. This talk will touch briefly on each of the three projects, the concepts behind them, workplans, and expected deliverables. The projects include work with the Oregon DOT on the impact of less than optimal vehicle detection on adaptive control algorithms, development of a ped priority algorithm through a NITC project (as a Portland State subcontractor), and internally funded work on a power harvesting traffic sensor.

Dr. Edward J. Smaglik, P.E. is an Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University (NAU), Flagstaff, AZ, in the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Smaglik has over 7 years of academic research and teaching experience, preceded by 2 years of experience as a post-doctoral research associate. In addition to typical academic teaching responsibilities, he has served as Principal Investigator on transportation related projects on a wide range of topics, including the development and implementation of a pedestrian priority algorithm, the implication of vehicle detection degradation on higher level traffic control algorithms, the analysis of travel time data related to special events, the development of a...

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2017 Ann Niles Lecture featuring Tamika Butler

Access the slides here.

Tamika Butler (@TamikaButler), executive director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, will deliver the Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture this year. She is an advocate and activist who works in support of LGBTQA rights, as well as fighting for social justice and healthy communities. She...

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Speaker: Brian Saelens, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Seattle’s Children’s Hospital & University of Washington
Topic: Links Between Public Transportation and Physical Activity (Effects of LRT on Physical Activity Based on Seattle GPS Study)

Summary: This seminar will explore the empirical evidence regarding the links between the use of public transportation and physical activity, with a specific focus on using integrated device and self-report methods to identify travel modes and physical activity.

Bio: Brian E. Saelens, Ph.D. is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Principal Investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Saelens is a clinical/health psychologist. His interest areas include obesity treatment and prevention, especially in environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity and eating behaviors in children and adults. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed original investigation and review articles.

The video begins at 3:47.

Abstract: Transportation planning for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games— Vancouver’s largest special event ever—was a complex challenge compounded by venue security road closures throughout the city. Through public engagement, careful planning and evaluation, and collaboration with transportation partners, the City of Vancouver developed a wide range of innovative strategies to create its Host City Olympic Transportation Plan. By almost every indicator, the transportation operations and transportation demand management (TDM) strategies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games were an unqualified success. However, the goals of the Host City transportation plan were further verified the Host City Olympic Transportation Plan Downtown Monitoring Study in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to evaluate the transportation impact of the Games by using in-the-field data collection. The transportation legacy of the Host City Olympic Transportation Plan was a proven example of a large scale travel behaviour shift to sustainable modes, in unprecedented and record numbers.  The experience of the Host City Olympic Transportation Plan demonstrated that residents and businesses can be motivated to take sustainable modes of transportation if convenient alternatives to vehicle travel are available. This presentation will discuss the detailed results of the Host City Olympic Transportation...

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In 2005, Davis, California was the first city in the U.S. to be named a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Although Davis has long been held up as a model bicycling community, where residents bike as a normal part of their daily lives, it has not been rigorously studied. Several studies underway at UC Davis are helping to fill this gap: an analysis of the history of bicycling policy in Davis; a behavioral study of factors contributing to high levels of bicycling in Davis in comparison; and an evaluation of a recent campaign to get kids to bicycle to soccer games. This presentation offers highlights from a three studies to provide a critical assessment of Davis as a bicycling community.

Susan Handy is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the director of the Sustainable Transportation Center at the University of California Davis. Her research focuses on the connections between land use and transportation, and she is well known for her work on the impact of neighborhood design on travel behavior. She serves on three committees of the Transportation Research Board and on the editorial boards of several journals in the fields of planning, transportation, and public health.

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This project will help demonstrate how sustainable ("green") streets contribute to the well-being of a community, including the physical and mental health of older and younger adults, along with the environment and economy. The project will collect data in Portland, OR neighborhoods to answer the following research questions:

Are residents living near sustainable streets more physically active in their neighborhood?

Do residents living near sustainable streets interact with neighbors more and demonstrate higher levels of neighborhood social capital?

What are residents’ opinions of sustainable streets?

Are there variations in responses to sustainable streets by age or other demographics? In particular, how to older adults differ from younger adults?

Does the implementation process and design affect green street outcomes?

Do sustainable streets affect home values?

How do green streets affect stormwater flows, urban heat island, and carbon sequestration in Portland neighborhoods?

The project includes a survey of residents in two neighborhoods with green street features and two control neighborhoods; an environmental assessment of the green street treatments; and an analysis of housing values using a hedonic modeling approach.

The project will be guided by an Advisory council of members of various stakeholder organizations...

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