May 26, 2015

By Nathan McNeil

I’ve been working through some survey data as part of a case study of the Portland Traffic and Transportation Course (, and thought I would share a few interesting differences that I’ve come across between course participants who commute via different modes.

As a bit of background, the course is a 10 week class jointly offered by Portland State University and the City of Portland that is open to the general public (not just PSU students) and provides a background in “local traffic and transportation issues, transportation options, and how to get things done in your neighborhood.” Being open to the public and providing a considerable depth of transportation-focused information, from history to engineering, the class is a relatively unique civic offering. The case study and an accompanying curriculum for other cities to implement a similar transportation-focused course will be completed in the coming months (more details are available at

The data I’ve been working with came from a survey of graduates of the class (of which there are around 1200+ in Portland, from course sections going all the way back to the fall of 1991). The course includes, among other things, special guest...

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