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Summary: The declining rates of physical activity among children, particularly adolescent girls, are well-documented, yet there has been insufficient research into the attitudes about health behaviors, particularly active travel, of the children themselves. Tara's research explores attitudes about active transportation among children aged 4-17 years and examines how perceived ability, self-efficacy, and sensitivity to certain environments or facilities vary across gender and age of the children. She utilises data from the Family Activity Study, a multi-year longitudinal intervention study in Portland, Oregon, in which 490 children answered surveys regarding their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors about traveling by walking, bicycling, or being in a car.
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Abstract: Reliance on the automobile for most trips contributes to costly trends like pollution, oil dependence, congestion, and obesity. Germany and the U.S. have among the highest motorization rates in the world. Yet Germans make a four times higher share of trips by foot, bike, and public transport and drive for a 25 percent lower share of trips.
This presentation first investigates international trends in daily travel behavior with a focus on Germany and the USA. Next, the presentation examines the transport and land-use policies in Germany over the last 40 years that have encouraged more walking, bicycling, and public transport use. Using a case study of policy changes in the German city of Freiburg, the presentation concludes with policies that are transferable to car-oriented countries around the world.
Bio: Ralph Buehler is Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs & Planning and a Faculty Fellow with the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, VA. Originally from Germany, most of his research has an international comparative perspective, contrasting transport and land-use policies, transport systems, and travel behavior in Western Europe and North America. His research falls into three areas: (1) the influence of transport policy, land use, socio- demographics on travel behavior; (2) bicycling, walking, and public health; and (3) public transport...Read more
Smart growth policies have often emphasized the importance of land use mix as an intervention beholding of lasting urban planning and public health benefits. Past transportation-land use research has identified potential efficiency gains achieved by mixed-use neighborhoods and the subsequent shortening of trip lengths; whereas, public health research has accredited increased land use mixing as an effective policy for facilitating greater physical activity....Read more
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Topic: Four Types of Cyclists: What do we know and how can it help?
Labeling or categorizing cyclists has been occurring for over a century for a variety of purposes. Dr. Dill's research aimed to examine a typology developed by the City of Portland that includes four categories: Strong and the Fearless, Enthused and Confident, Interested but Concerned, and No Way No How. Unlike several other typologies, this widely referenced typology is intended to apply to all adults, regardless of their current cycling behavior. This seminar will present her findings, focusing on differences between the four types and a better understanding the market for increasing cycling for transportation.
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Speaker: Joseph Broach, Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University
Topic: Trick or Treatment? Impact of Route-Level Features on Decisions to Walk or Bike
Summary: Some travel routes attract people walking and cycling, while others may scare them away. What features of street environments are most important, and how do available routes affect decisions to bike or walk on a specific trip?
Research to date has focused on either large-scale areal measures like "miles of bike lane nearby" or else has considered only shortest path routes. Neither method is suited to capturing the impact of targeted route-level policies like neighborhood greenways. This session will present a new technique for measuring bike and walk accessibility along the most likely route for a given trip. The method is applied to travel data, and results provide new insight into the relationship between route quality and travel mode choice.
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The transportation engineering community is advancing methodologies to encourage active transportation. Adoption of new methodologies and standards has not been widely accepted because there remain gaps in the standards by which we determine facilities are adequate, particularly in the development review process. This is highlighted in the vocabulary we use on a daily basis, we continue to consider auto traffic congestion as something that should be reduced, when in reality it can support the encouragement of active transportation. This session will describe these challenges and identify technical procedures that would allow the development of a more balanced transportation system supportive of the local policies of the community. The case study of Portland will be used to describe specific actions where the City has acted consistent with the local policy rather than blindly accepting the national Level of Service thresholds identified in the Highway Capacity Manual.