Jul 11, 2011

Fixing a community’s pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure issues could be as simple as turning on one’s smart phone in the future. At least that’s the hope of OTREC researchers Marc Schlossberg, Ken Kato, Dana Maher, Cody Evers, and Christo Brehm of the University of Oregon.

In the report, Transportation Planning Through Mobile Mapping (Read The Full Report Here), researchers developed and tested the Fix This Tool, a smart phone application that allows community members to assess problems within their transportation environment. The goal was to create a tool that could be affordably distributed to communities across the country so pedestrians and cyclists can actively participate in improving their means of transportation.

As the desire for reduced carbon emissions, reduced congestion, and reduced public spending on transportation infrastructure grows, many state and local governments are looking to encourage walking and bicycling in their communities as an alternative to cars. However, current data on pedestrian and bike networks are limited and there is little understanding on what constitutes appropriate bike and pedestrian infrastructure. To remedy this, local governments must engage residents to find out challenges current users face and what infrastructure is needed to increase biking and walking by residents.

Previous OTREC research developed a tool built on a GIS platform (using ArcPad...

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Oct 22, 2010

Ten OTREC researchers, staff, and students participated in the Transportation Research Board and University Transportation Center Transportation Systems for Livable Communities Conference last week in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together researchers and practitioners from transportation, housing and public health.

Highlights of the conference included an insightful discussion on defining livability. Despite inconclusive debate on the definition, participants agreed that for the concept to be embraced it can neither be dictated nor prescribed.  Performance measures also were a recurring theme of the two-day conference. Concepts explored included: re-evaluating outdated measures such as volume-to-capacity ratio and level of service to better reflect different modes, shifting thinking from mobility to accessibility and proximity, and data standardization and measurement methodologies. To complete the livability picture, the multigenerational and socioeconomic considerations need to be included.

The following four OTREC research projects were highlighted during the conference poster session:

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Nov 04, 2008

Christo Brehm, University of Oregon, is currently pursuing a concurrent graduate degree in Community and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon. He holds an undergraduate degree in Planning, Public Policy and Management and has spent many years working in the field of affordable housing. While a University of Oregon student, Christo has designed one of the nation's first assessment tools of the emerging "Complete Streets" concept. He has traveled across the country (MD, VA, and MN) leading community assessment workshops using this Complete Streets tool that works within a mobile GIS environment. Christo co-authored a paper for the 2009 TRB national conference and has presented his work at the national Pro Bike / Pro Walk conference. He has been asked by leaders in two Oregon state agencies to describe and share his work with smaller Oregon communities and is a founding member and director of a campuswide, interdisciplinary transportation and livability student group at the University of Oregon called LiveMove. During this time, Christo has worked with Dr. Marc Schlossberg and has been a truly exceptional student researcher and leader. Congratulations Christo!