Jul 22, 2014

Transit supporters offer up a host of arguments for their favorite form of transportation but may struggle to counter a response of “prove it.” This year’s Oregon Transportation Summit could help change that.

Fresh research showing some of the benefits of transit will keep the public transportation track lively and relevant during the sixth annual summit. Morning and afternoon workshops spotlight transit, bookending a luncheon keynote by noted transit planner Jarrett Walker.

The Oregon Transportation Summit takes place Monday, Sept. 15 at Portland State University.

University of Utah researcher Reid Ewing made national and international headlines recently with a study showing the effect of light rail in a busy travel corridor. The study, funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, was the first to document a drop in automobile traffic after the opening of a light-rail line. Ewing presents his research at a...

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Jun 09, 2014

Historically, large-scale transportation infrastructure projects have had devastating outcomes in communities of color. With twentieth-century urban renewal efforts often came the displacement of underprivileged communities, the loss of low-income neighborhoods and their replacement with affluent housing and freeways.

According to new OTREC research from the University of Oregon, transit-oriented development, or TOD, can offer a different trajectory. Rather than displacing residents, TOD has the potential to improve neighborhoods for the benefit of those who live there.

OTREC researcher Gerardo Sandoval grew up near MacArthur park, one of the two sites studied, and has witnessed firsthand the neighborhood’s dramatic change. “I think the coolest thing about MacArthur Park is that now it’s considered a national model for TOD. When I was growing up there … nobody saw it like that. It was thought of more as a low-income area,” Sandoval said.

The project examined two California neighborhoods: MacArthur Park, in Los Angeles, and Fruitvale, in Oakland. In both neighborhoods, the majority of residents are recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America, many of whom have significantly lower incomes and rely heavily on public transportation.

In the last few decades, both sites have seen TOD coincide with neighborhood revitalization, and...

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Jan 10, 2014

Note: In advance of the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, the biggest forum on the transportation research calendar, OTREC.us is profiling some of the researchers who will present their work.

In transit-oriented development, planners typically focus on the neighborhood within a quarter of a mile of a transit stop.

Housing and commercial developments within this "walkable zone" are thought to be the ones primarily affected by, or dependent on, the transit stop.

New research from the University of Utah expands the traditional one-quarter-mile distance away from transit stops to a broader radius of about one and one-quarter mile from a stop.

The project's principal investigator, Susan Petheram, led a team of researchers who used the Salt Lake County assessor's database to analyze property values surrounding light rail stops. Petheram is a NITC doctoral dissertation fellow and the research stems from her dissertation.

"We were seeing a certain negative impact [on property values] right around the core station area for single family homes," Petheram said. Slightly farther out from the...

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Oct 12, 2010

On Monday, OTREC faculty and students met with transportation scholars and practitioners from China. Professor Haixiao Pan from Tongji University in Shanghai presented his research on transit-oriented development titled "From TOD to 5D in a Fast Growth City with High Density." His look at Chinese cities indicates that levels of walking and bicycling are key to reducing vehicle miles traveled, perhaps even more so than transit use.

Liyuan Gong, deputy director of the Jinan Public Transport Development Institute, and Wenhong Wang, department head of the Beijing Urban Engineering Design and Research Institute Co., gave overviews of bus rapid transit systems in several Chinese cities.

Professor Connie Ozawa, director of the School of Urban Studies and Planning, welcomed the group to Portland State University. OTREC Director Jennifer Dill presented her research on travel behavior of TOD residents and John Gliebe, OTREC researcher and urban studies assistant professor, presented on dynamic travel demand modeling. Arlie Adkins, an urban studies doctoral student, presented "Getting the Parking Right for Suburban TODs."

The forum gave students and faculty opportunities to exchange ideas about integrating transportation and land use in China and the United States. In both countries, some transit-oriented developments have fallen short of transit-use goals for similar reasons, such as convenience and time. Reliability of transit service often plays a greater role...

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Apr 07, 2010

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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Feb 14, 2010

As a part of OTREC’s visiting scholars program, Professor Rick Willson from Cal Poly Pomona presented on the the next generation of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) on February 12.† In a nutshell, TOD is “the intersection of good transit planning and good development planning.”† The initial implementation of TOD in California focused on vertical mixed development, fixed rail and property within a quarter mile.† It was a good step in the right direction of creating more livable and sustainable communities.† However, it had some shortcomings such as using cheap right of way, dispersed origin-destination, and counter incentives. New legislation in California and other states focused on vehicle-miles traveled greenhouse gas emissions reduction provides an opportunity to update TOD to use the lessons learned and improve on some shortcomings.† If you missed Prof. Willson’s recent seminar, you can view the streaming video and access presentation online. (Image Credit: Rick Willson)

Jan 27, 2010

On January 28th, OTREC co-hosted a brown bag seminar on The Impacts and Opportunities for Building Healthy, Equitable Communities.† Shireen Malekafzali, PolicyLink, was the guest speaker of the seminar. She discussed the impacts of transportation on health, the challenges with existing policy,and the opportunities for influencing new policy with transportation authorization on the federal agenda.††Some of the recommendations for policy changes†that better consider the†impact of health equity include prioritizing and encouraging investments in public transprtation, pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure, and transit-oriented development.† The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Transportation Reform in America, a publication produced by PolicyLink and Prevention Instituted further explores the link between transportation, health and equity.† The seminar was well-attended, with a standing room only crowd of folks that†represented public, private, non-profit, and university partners in both health and transportation fields. The seminar followed on the heels of the on the recent publication of the book, Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and...

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