Active transportation investments offer many types of benefits related to safety, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, physical activity and the economy. Metro, Oregon’s regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, wants to better understand the role of these investments in building stronger communities in their region, and in implementing the Metro 2040 Growth Concept.

Led by Portland State University in partnership with Metro, the Active Transportation Return on Investment (ATROI) study looked at twelve projects constructed in the greater Portland region between 2001 and 2016. These twelve 2040 Catalyst Projects were evaluated to determine if active transportation investments had significant...

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Millennials prefer walking over driving by a substantially wider margin than any other generation, according to a new poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors and TREC, the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University.

The 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey found that millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials are also shown to prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, and are the most likely age group to make use of public transportation.

The poll also found that millennials show a stronger preference than other generations for expanding public transportation and providing transportation alternatives to driving, such as biking and walking, while also increasing the availability of trains and buses. Millennials likewise favor developing communities where people do not need to drive long distances to work or shop.

> Jennifer Dill of TREC and Hugh Morris of NAR will discuss the findings in a free Webinar Aug. 5....

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Bad streets don’t just create frustrating commutes, Dan Burden told a Eugene crowd Feb. 28. They also hurt our health, environment and economy.

Burden, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, spoke as part of the University of Oregon’s LiveMove Transportation Speaker Series. A national authority on bicycle and pedestrian programs, street corridor and intersection design, and traffic calming, Burden started advocating for active transportation 38 years ago.

A healthy and sustainable community is a walkable one, Burden said, and transportation and land-use planning both should serve that goal. “If you want to be a transportation planner, you’d better take a couple courses in land use,” he said. “And if you want to be a land-use planner, you’d better take a couple courses in transportation.”

Well-designed streets are key to healthy communities, Burden said. Wide sidewalks, good landscaping, buffer zones between cars and pedestrians and short crosswalks all create an environment that gets more people walking. In turn, he said, businesses will build to take advantage of foot traffic and existing owners will see their property values rise.

Although established communities offer few opportunities to plan streets from scratch, there are still opportunities to incorporate good design, Burden said. Bad streets can be put on a diet, he said....

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Dr. Yizhao Yangís OTREC project on understanding school travel examined the relationships between school transportation, neighborhood walkability, and where families choose to live. The study involved a 5,500-household survey of families with children attending selected public schools in Eugene, Oregon. In general, parents did consider school transportation in the process of deciding where to live. Unfortunately, housing opportunities around schools and in walkable communities are often limited. Dr. Yangís project suggests a need for greater coordination between community land use planning and school planning. The study also points to the value of continuing to educate the community about safe and active transportation options to school. The final report can be downloaded at: https://ppms.trec.pdx.edu/media/project_files/OTREC-RR-10-01.pdf.