If you're biking through Cincinnati, Ohio in the next couple of years and find yourself pedaling on a Portland-style neighborhood greenway or two-way protected bike lane, it might be because two engineers from the City of Cincinnati's Department of Transportation & Engineering—Joe Conway and Brian Goubeaux—attended our Comprehensive Bikeway Design Workshop in the summer of 2022 and brought some inspiration home.

The City of Cincinnati is in the process of updating its Bicycle Transportation Plan, adopted in 2010 and due for a refresh. Goubeaux, a senior engineer for the City, said that design strategies and practices he learned during the summer workshop will likely find their way into the plan.

"We've been looking at implementing a neighborhood greenway. We've always had neighborhood greenways as a tool in the toolbox; it's always been listed on paper, but nothing has ever fully been implemented. So now as we're updating our bike plan, over the next six months or so, we're looking to include that as a priority for...

Read more

Students at Hood River Middle School in Hood River, Oregon, will get some hands-on transportation experience next spring as they participate in the redesign of bike and pedestrian infrastructure around their school. Members of the (tentatively named) "Better Blocks Club," a new after-school extracurricular club, will get the chance to observe infrastructure, go on field trips by bike, learn urban planning best practices, and be involved in implementing a pilot safety project.

They'll be helping to plan and install new pop-up pedestrian and bike facilities at the intersection of May Street and 17th/18th Streets, a dogleg intersection adjacent to their school. The intersection design, which will include a protected intersection near the school and pop-up mobility lanes on the approaching streets, was created by PSU civil engineering students as part of the Better Block PSU program.

After the 6-month pilot demonstration is complete, the project will undergo community feedback and design modifications before infrastructure is permanently installed by the City of Hood River.

Left: Intersection of 17th/May St (Google Street View, 2022). Right: Map of the project location.

HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME ABOUT?

The project is led by Megan Ramey, Hood River County School District's Safe Routes to School...

Read more

A group of nine transportation students traveled to Denmark and Sweden this past summer, to meet with planners and engineers and get a feel for on-the-ground transportation in Copenhagen and Stockholm. They explored the area by rail, foot, bike and boat, in between presentations and tours led by professionals. 

Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)'s associate director, Hau Hagedorn, and sustainable transportation program manager, John MacArthur, led the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) Study Abroad program. See photos from the trip.

In past years they've traveled to the Netherlands to experience the Dutch approach to cycling infrastructure and multimodal travel. This year, they decided to expand the mission. Copenhagen, like Amserdam, is sometimes referred to as the cycling capital of the world. Stockholm, along with some...

Read more

Researchers Rob Hemphill, John MacArthur, Jennifer Dill and Philip Longenecker of Portland State University; Garima Desai of the University of California, Santa Cruz; Lillie Nie of the University of Southern California; and Abbey Ibarra of California State Polytechnic University-Pomona have published an article in the August 2022 issue of the Journal of Transport and Land Use.

The article, "Congested sidewalks: The effects of the built environment on e-scooter parking compliance," offers recommendations for policymakers and future research around the impacts of the built environment on electric scooter (e-scooter) parking.

With the proliferation of e-scooters in cities across the world, concerns have arisen about users parking them on sidewalks and in other public spaces. Research has looked at e-scooter parking compliance and compared compliance to other mobility devices, but until now, research had not yet examined the impacts of the built environment on parking compliance. Using a field observation dataset in Portland, Oregon, and novel GIS data, the authors attempt to understand the spatial distribution of e-scooter parking and the impact of built features on parking compliance.

The results of the study show that 76% of e-scooters observed fail at least one of Portland’s parking compliance requirements and 59% fail at least two criteria...

Read more

In order to make sure bicyclists' needs are considered when improving a transportation system, planners and engineers need to know how many people are biking, and where. 

Traditional bicycle counters can provide data for limited sections of the bike network, often these counters are installed at important locations like trails or bridges. While limited in location, they count everyone who bikes by. Meanwhile, GPS & mobile data cover the entire transportation network, but that data only represents those travelers who are using smartphones or GPS. Combining the traditional location-based data sources with this new, crowdsourced data could offer better accuracy than any could provide alone. 

"Knowing how many people are bicycling on a street is really important for a number of reasons. As just a few examples, bicycle volumes give you a way to understand safety data and determine crash rates. They provide insight into where and how bicycle trips are taking place, which can help plan for new or improved facilities," said Nathan McNeil of Portland State University.

Supported by a pooled fund grant administered by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), Dr. Sirisha Kothuri of Portland State University led a research project aimed at fusing traditional and...

Read more

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 effects on...

Read more

Portland State University students interested in a career in advancing biking and walking can find financial support through two active transportation scholarships from the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU. Since 2008, nineteen students have been awarded.

Mia Birk, the founding donor, is an independent consultant with 27 years of experience in helping to make cities more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. She served as the City of Portland's bicycle coordinator from 1993 to 1999, then as President and CEO of Alta Planning + Design until 2016. Her TED Talk makes the case for "Pedaling Towards a Healthier Planet," and her book, Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, tells the story of her twenty-year crusade to...

Read more

An increasing trend in the number of bicycle crashes in the U.S since 2009 has been a major challenge to safety. A new PSU masters thesis in civil engineering offers insights: "Improving Bicycle Crossings at Unsignalized Intersections through Pavement Markings: Analysis of the City of Portland Innovative Strategy" by Frank Boateng Appiah of Portland State University.

For a deeper dive into this research, read BikePortland's coverage of the study. For more on the researcher, read our 2020 interview with Frank.

The City of Portland, Oregon has experimented with an innovative treatment to improve bicycle crossings at unsignalized intersections. This treatment, termed a high visibility cross-bike, was installed at crossings of neighborhood bicycle greenways with busy roadways. The marking is similar to a zebra-striped pedestrian crosswalk but with green pavement markings rather than white. Although the cross-bike marking does not currently require motorists to yield for bicycles waiting to cross the roadway, it was hypothesized that the presence of the marking...

Read more
Sponsor: National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
Research Team Lead: Christina Fink, Toole Design Group
Portland State Investigators: Christopher Monsere, Nathan McNeil and Sirisha Kothuri

One of the most common locations for motor vehicle-bicyclist crashes is at controlled intersections. Particularly dangerous is the conflict between through bicyclists and turning drivers (either left or right). Despite widespread acknowledgement of this problem, transportation engineers and planners still lack definitive guidance on how to safely and effectively design for bicyclists at intersections in the United States.

In a newly contracted project, awarded to Toole Design Group by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), a team of researchers will identify design best practices to reduce conflicts at intersections. In addition to Toole, the team includes researchers from Portland State University, Oregon State University (David Hurwitz), and Safe Streets Research & Consulting (Rebecca Sanders). Christopher...

Read more
Sponsor: National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
Research Team Lead: Dr. Bahar Dadashova, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Investigators: Christopher Monsere, Sirisha Kothuri and Nathan McNeil of Portland State University; and Toole Design Group

In recent years, there have been over 600 bicyclist fatalities annually in the United States. This sobering statistic has motivated a number of recent studies, including the recently released National Transportation Safety Board study, “Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures (PDF). ” That report notes that midblock crashes account for a disproportionate number of bicyclist fatalities and severe crashes, and that separated on-street bicycle facilities may reduce the likelihood of these crashes. However, there are only limited data on the safety outcomes of separated on-street bikeways in the U.S., despite their increasing popularity...

Read more

Pages