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Friday Seminar Summaries

Since Fall 2000, The Friday Transportation Seminar Series has served as an important resource for those involved in urban studies and planning. The series, which is free, open to the public, and streamed live online, covers a host of the most current topics related to the field.

Beginning from Fall 2002, the seminars are all archived and available as streamed media and downloadable files. We encourage you to watch them, and to enhance your knowledge in your areas of interest.

IBPI has compiled a list of past seminars that are relevant to bicycle and pedestrian issues. Below you'll find links to the seminar streams, as well as descriptions of the content contained within each one.



Bike/Ped-Friendly Community

 

Highlights from the Green Lane: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Protected Cycling Facilities

Professors Chris Monsere and Jennifer Dill, Portland State University
May 2, 2014
Cycling is on the rise across the U.S. and its popularity has grown beyond the usual leaders - Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Davis, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Boulder, CO. New York City, NY Chicago, IL and Washington, DC are among those cities making significant investments in bike infrastructure in recent years and have realized substantial growth in people taking to the streets on two wheels. This presentation will summarize some results from our comprehensive assessment of the safety, operations, economic impacts, user experience, and perceptions of new protected bikeways in 5 cities U.S. cities (Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.). To support this research, the team collected and analyzed 204 hours of video, 2,300 returned surveys of residents, and 1,111 returned surveys from people intercepted riding the new facilities.
Click to Play

Bike Planning Methods in Oregon Communities

Tara Weidner, Oregon DOT
February 21, 2014
In this seminar, Tara Weidner will discuss changes in the works to the State Analysis Procedures Manual (APM) to include three graduated levels of bike planning methods for use in Oregon communities, based on community size, data needs, and planning stage.  These include the Bike Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS), a sketch tool used to assess bike network connectivity, the data-heavy Highway Capacity Manual Multi-modal Level of Service (MMLOS) procedures, and a simplified MMLOS developed by the same researchers.
Click to Play

Peak Pedaling: Has Portland Bicycling reached the Top of the Logistic Curve?

Robert McCullough, McCullough Research
December 6, 2013
The recent City Club report on bicycling provided an opportunity to collect and analyze a number of data sets including the new Hawthorne Bridge data. One question is where Portland bicycling is on the logistic curve -- a common tool used for judging the maturity of a developing product or activity. Logistic curves are used for marketing, for epidemiology, and even for visits to Indian-owned casinos. The preliminary evidence is that we are reaching the horizontal area of the curve. Our further research into future policies indicates a shift to bicycle boulevards in order to attract more risk averse riders.
Click to Play

Why doesn’t that traffic signal ever turn green? An evaluation of roadway markings for cyclists

Stefan Bussey, PSU CE Undergraduate Honors Student
November 8, 2013
Signalized intersections often rely on vehicle detection to determine when to give a green light. The 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) includes an on-pavement marking and curbside sign that public agencies can use to indicate where cyclists should position themselves while waiting at an intersection. This presentation reviews the effectiveness of current markings, signs, and other methods used to help cyclists properly position themselves over detection.
Click to Play

E-Bikes in the United States

John MacArthur, OTREC at Portland State University
October 18, 2013
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are well established in China and other Asian and European countries but have yet to realize their potential in the United States, although recently the number of e-bikes has been growing. Research on the economic, operational, and safety issues of e-bikes in the U.S. is limited. This research aims in part to understand if different bicycling technology, in this case electric assist bicycles or e-bikes, can reduce barriers to bicycling and encourage more bike trips and longer bike trips, and increase the diversity of people bicycling, including people with a disability or chronic injury to bicycle. Some of these barriers include trip distance, topography, time, and rider effort. E-bikes typically resemble a standard pedal bicycle with the addition of a rechargeable battery and electric motor to assist the rider with propulsion. To answer these questions, we conducted an online survey of existing e-bike users on their purchase and use decisions. Results from 553 e-bike users across North America are analyzed here. Results suggest that e-bikes are enabling users to bike more often, to more distant locations, and to carry more cargo with them. Additionally, e-bikes allow people who would otherwise not be able to bike because of physical limitations or proximity to locations, the ability to bike with electric assist.
Click to Play

Are Bicycling and Walking "Cool?": Adolescent Attitudes About Active Travel

Tara Goddard, PhD Student in Urban Studies, PSU
May 24, 2013
Click to Play

Four Types of Cyclists: What do we know and how can it help?

Jennifer Dill, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, PSU
April 26, 2013
Click to Play

Complete Streets Policy, Planning and Implementation

Jessica Horning, Oregon DOT Region 1 Active Transportation Liaison
March 8, 2013
Click to Play


The Economics of Bicyling

Kelly Clifton, Portland State University CEE
February 15, 2013
Click to play.


Portland Bike Share: How Will Bike Share Work in the Nation's Most Bike Friendly City?

Presented by  Steve Hoyt-McBeth, Portland Bureau of Transportation
October 12, 2012

Portland is planning to launch a bike share system. Bike share is a new form of public transit that is rapidly spreading through the United States. In 2009, bike share operated in two U.S. cities. Today, 20 US cities operate systems with another 15 in the planning stages. In several cities, including Denver, Minneapolis and Washington, DC bike share has demonstrated the ability to bring new people to bicycling while reducing single occupancy vehicle trips. How will bike share work in the nation’s most bike friendly city (doesn’t everybody already have a bike)? What challenges does Portland face, and what opportunities does bike share offer to reach the Portland’s Bike Plan for 2030’s ambitious goals? Click to play.

Low-Stress Bicyling and Bike Network Connectivity

Presented by Peter G. Furth, Northeastern University
May 4, 2012

The most fundamental need in a bicycling network is low-stress connectivity, that is, providing routes between people’s origins and destinations that do not require cyclists to use links that exceed their tolerance for traffic stress, and that do not involve an undue level of detour. Evaluating network connectivity therefore requires both a set of criteria for tolerable levels of traffic stress and measures of connectivity appropriate to a bikeway network.

We propose criteria by which road segments can be classified into four levels of traffic stress (LTS), corresponding to four levels of traffic tolerance in the population. LTS 1 is suitable for children; LTS 2, based on Dutch bikeway design criteria, represents the traffic stress that most adults will tolerate; LTS 3 and 4 represent greater levels of stress. As a case study, every street in San Jose, California was classified by LTS. Maps in which only lower stress links are displayed reveal a city fractured into low-stress islands separated from one another by barriers that can only be crossed using high stress links.

To measure connectivity, two points in the network are said to be connected at a given level of traffic stress if there is a path connecting them that uses only links that do not exceed that level of stress and whose length does not exceed a detour criterion (25% longer than the most direct path). For the network as a whole, demand-weighted connectivity is the fraction of trips in the regional trip table whose origin and destination are connected at a given level of stress. Demand data is disaggregated to the block level because traffic analysis zones (TAZs) are too coarse a geographic unit for evaluating connectivity by bicycle. In San Jose, for work trips up to 6 miles long , demand-weighted connectivity at LTS 2 was foun to be 4.7%, providing a good explanation for the city’s low bicycling share. With a hypothetical slate of improvements totaling 32 miles in length but with strategically placed segments that provide low-stress connectivity across barriers, this measure of connectivity is almost tripled. Click to play.

How Do People Choose a Travel Mode? Factors Associated with Routine Walking & Bicyling

Presented by Robert Schneider, UC Berkeley
May 6, 2011

Walking and bicycling are being promoted as transportation options that can increase the livability and sustainability of communities, but the automobile remains the dominant mode of transportation in all United States metropolitan regions. In order to change travel behavior, researchers and practitioners need a greater understanding of the mode choice decision process, especially for walking and bicycling.

This presentation summarizes dissertation research on factors associated with walking and bicycling for routine travel purposes, such as shopping. More than 1,000 retail pharmacy store customers were surveyed in 20 San Francisco Bay Area shopping districts in fall 2009, and 26 follow-up interviews were conducted in spring and summer 2010. Mixed logit models showed that walking was associated with shorter travel distances, higher population densities, more street tree canopy coverage, and greater enjoyment of walking. Bicycling was associated with shorter travel distances, more bicycle facilities, more bicycle parking, and greater enjoyment of bicycling. Respondents were more likely to drive when they perceived a high risk of crime, but automobile use was discouraged by higher employment densities, smaller parking lots, and metered on-street parking. Interviews suggested a five-step theory of how people choose travel modes. Walking and bicycling could be promoted within each step: awareness and availability (through individual/social marketing programs), basic safety and security (through pedestrian and bicycle facility improvements and education and enforcement efforts), convenience (through higher-density, mixed land uses and limited automobile parking), enjoyment (through street trees and supportive culture), and habit (through roadway and parking pricing). Click to Play.

Sam Baek and the Jajeongeo: Visiting the Bike City of Korea

Presented by Tara Goddard, Portland State University
January 14, 2011

City of Davis Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Tara Goddard visited Sangju, South Korea as part of a "sister city" delegation. Sangju is the "Bike City" of Korea, with a bicycle mode share approximately that of Davis and Portland combined. Tara shares photos and lessons learned from that trip, compares the bicycle facilities of Sangju with that of Davis and Portland, and discusses opportunities for future bicycle research in East Asia. Click to Play.


From Spokes to Sprockettes: A History of Women and the Bicycle 

Presented by Jennifer Dill, Portland State University
December 3, 2010

Professor Jennifer Dill covers the culture of women bicycling, spanning back over 100 years. The presentation is accompanied by slides, quotes, and video. Click to Play.


Overcoming Barriers to Bicycling in Low-Income and Minority Communities

Presented by Lynn Weigand and Alison Graves, Portland State University and Community Cycling Center - respectively
April 30, 2010

The Understanding Barriers to Bicycling project is a community needs assessment to understand the unique cultural and economic barriers to bicycling encountered by communities of color and low-income community members. In this presentation, Lynn Weigand and Alison Graves present the results of the project's surveys and focus groups. Click to Play.

Emerging Implications of Electric Bicycles

Presented by Geoff Rose, Monash Sustainability Institute
May 21, 2010

A variety of types of electric bicycles are now available to consumers in America and around the world. While there has been strong uptake of these vehicles in China, there remains uncertainty in other markets about their ultimate potential as a transportation mode. The technology is evolving in ways that are likely to better meet traveller's needs and the growth of this mode presents both opportunities and challenges. Since they have implications for transportation policy, planning and operations it is appropriate for the transportation profession to consider these vehicles carefully. This seminar will review developments and emerging issues with this form of transportation technology. View presentation slides.

European Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning (Scan Tour Report)

Presented by Ed Fischer, Oregon DOT
January 29, 2010

ODOT State Traffic Engineer, Ed Fischer, visited Europe in May 2009 on a scan tour of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. He visited Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. The general goal of this tour was to see which policies and practices could be transferable to the US, plus which engineering and design practices could be adopted here. He shows a large number of examples of innovative treatments that are commonplace in Europe. He also goes over some evaluation programs for reporting performance and progress. He ends the seminar with recommendations of policies to implement in the US. View presentation slides.

Creating a City of Cyclists: What We Can Learn from Copenhagen

Presented by Niels Jensen, City of Copenhagen Traffic and Road Department
October 2, 2009

Copenhagen is particularly renowned for having a robust cycling community, and a strong cycling network to support it. In this seminar, Niels Jensen discusses how infrastructure - namely, cycletracks and intersections - affects a cyclist’s [perception of] safety. He also talks about the goals for Copenhagen’s future – how they will plan for the various different types of cyclists that will be traveling in increased numbers. Click to Play.

Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities

Presented by Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian
June 5, 2009

Jeff Mapes, reporter for The Oregonian, goes over the topics covered in his new book, Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities. He provides examples of individuals (often politicians) who have played important roles in the growth of bicycling as a popular mode of transportation. He also talks about the popularity of bicycling has varied over the decades; some times have been more welcoming and conducive to cycling than others. Click to Play.

Bicycling in Davis, CA: Rise and Maturation of Bicycle Engineering, Advocacy, and Policy from 1960s - Present

Presented by Ted Buehler
October 24, 2009

Davis, California is a 3 mile by 7 mile university town that boasts an exceptional number of bicyclists. In this presentation, Ted Buehler discusses his research into the history of bicycling in Davis, and the various reasons for why a culture of bicycling has thrived there. For his study, he looked at Davis’ bicycle policies over the years, as well as citizen lobbies and activism, and notable infrastructure. Much of the design standards that make up Davis’ network were adopted in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Click to Play.

Where Do People Bicycle? The Role of Infrastructure in Determining Bicycling Behavior

Presented by Jennifer Dill, Portland State University
May 16, 2009

In this presentation, Professor Jennifer Dill discusses phase 2 of her Bike-GPS study. The main questions posed for the research are: How does the built environment influence bicyclist behavior? And, what routes do bicyclists take (what infrastructure do they use)? She discusses the phases of her project – a phone survey, and (the focus of this presentation) GPS data collection. GPS ridership data was collected from 164 participants. She goes into detail about the GPS device and software that was used. The data collected shows riders within the inner Portland area, and how (routes), when (weather), and why (trip purpose) they take trips by bicycle. She then goes into detail about the findings. The findings also indicate various barriers to bicycling (traffic, access to bicycle networks, impressions of safety, etc.). She talks about next steps for the data (see Joe Broach’s May 28, 2010 presentation). The presention concludes with a robust Q&A session. Click to Play.


Bicycling in London: Innovations, Outreach, and Progress

Presented by Steve Durrant, Alta Planning + Design
January 11, 2008

Steve Durrant of Alta Planning + Design has spent a lot of time working as a landscape architect in London. In this presentation, he shares his experiences working with all the different cycling organizations in London and throughout England. The country contains a number of active and influential cycling organizations and partnerships, such as Cycling England, Sustrans, CTC, Cycle Training UK, and Transport for London. He details each organization’s interests, agendas, approaches, and accomplishments. The seminar is graphically supplemented, and casual in format (it is essentially derived from a notebook he kept while in England). Overall, this seminar serves to provide a strong overview of all the various cycling-oriented missions – access, education, safety, networks – going on throughout in England. A question and answer segment follows the lecture. Click to Play.

Transportation Infrastructure Investment: Past, Present, and Future

Presented by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, US Congress
October 26, 2007

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Representative of Oregon's 3rd District, manages a broad scope of topics when discussing transportation infrasctructure. He provides an historical context for the values placed on resources such as land and water, and discusses how some have been nationally subsidized at the expense of others. He then pulls the discussion to a local level: he notes how Portland's strategies for growth, development, and revitalization have included innovative, sustainable policy. Over the years, Congressman Blumenauer has played an integral role in the growth of these transportation systems, and his current position puts him in a place to comment on the future. Thoughtful planning and active community involvement have directed the city's development, he notes, and it's important to empower citizens to understand the transportation system for themselves.

A robust question and answer segment follows his seminar. Click to Play.

Safety


Pedestrian Safety and Culture Change

Ron Van Houten, Professor, Western Michigan University
May 16, 2014
This session will describe the process and results of a NHTSA study that showed a change in driver culture of yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks on a citywide basis. The research won the Pat Waller award from the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board in January of this year. The approach to changing road user behavior focused on an integrated approach that include Enforcement, Engineering, and Educational efforts that were designed to be dovetailed together and that included a social norming component. Additional information will be provided on engineering solutions that can facilitate changes in pedestrian level of service and safety.
Click to Play

Highlights from the Green Lane: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Protected Cycling Facilities

Professors Chris Monsere and Jennifer Dill, Portland State University
May 2, 2014
Cycling is on the rise across the U.S. and its popularity has grown beyond the usual leaders - Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Davis, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Boulder, CO. New York City, NY Chicago, IL and Washington, DC are among those cities making significant investments in bike infrastructure in recent years and have realized substantial growth in people taking to the streets on two wheels. This presentation will summarize some results from our comprehensive assessment of the safety, operations, economic impacts, user experience, and perceptions of new protected bikeways in 5 cities U.S. cities (Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.). To support this research, the team collected and analyzed 204 hours of video, 2,300 returned surveys of residents, and 1,111 returned surveys from people intercepted riding the new facilities.
Click to Play


Measuring urban bicyclists’ uptake of traffic-related pollution

Alex Bigazzi, PhD Candidate, Portland State University
February 28, 2014
Urban bicyclists’ uptake of traffic-related air pollution is still not well quantified, due to a lack of direct measurements of uptake and a lack of analysis of the variation in uptake. This paper describes and establishes the feasibility of a novel method for measuring bicyclists’ uptake of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by sampling breath concentrations. Early results from the data set demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to generate findings for transportation analysis, with statistically significant exposure and uptake differences from bicycling on arterial versus bikeway facilities for several traffic-related VOC. These results provide the first empirical evidence that the usage of bikeways (or greenways) by bicyclists within an urban environment can significantly reduce uptake of dangerous traffic-related gas pollutants. Dynamic concentration and respiration data reveal unfavorable correlations from a health impacts perspective, where bicyclists’ respiration and travel time are greater at higher-concentration locations on already high-concentration roadways (arterials).
Click to Play

Cyclist Compliance at Signalized Intersections

Sam Thompson, PSU Graduate Student
November 15, 2013
Although the running of red lights is perceived by motorists as a commonplace behavior for cyclists, little research has been done on the actual rates of cyclist compliance at signalized intersections. Furthermore, little is known about the factors that influence cyclist non-compliance. This research seeks to illuminate the rates of and reasons for infringement against red lights using video footage and survey data from cyclists in Oregon.
Click to Play

Walking and Biking on their Own: Modeling Children's Independent Travel to Neighborhood Parks and Schools

Joe Broach, PhD Candidate in Urban Studies, PSU
April 5, 2013
Click to Play

A Review of Case Studies Exploring Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Transit Users' Exposure to Particulate Matter in Portland.

Presented by Alex Bigazzi and Miguel Figliozzi, Portland State University
February 3, 2012

Click to Play.

Initial Assessment of Portland's Green Bike Boxes

Presented by Jennifer Dill and Chris Monsere, Portland State University
December 4, 2009

After two recent bicyclist deaths in Portland, occurring after vehicles "right hooked" the cyclists, the City of Portland installed nine green and three uncolored bike boxes at intersections in Portland, OR. PSU professors Jennifer Dill and Christopher Monsere (Urban Studies, and Civil and Environmental Engineering, respectively) conducted a before-and-after study of the safety effectiveness and perceived effectiveness of the bike boxes. Their testing methods involved video data analysis and surveys. The video analysis looked at both driver and cyclist behavior in the area around the bike boxes. The results presented in this seminar are still preliminary results. The video showed positive findings for motor vehicle encroachment in the bike boxes, but the conflicts – both before and after – were so limited in number that it's hard to tell if the findings are positive (it is still being analyzed). Two surveys were conducted – one with bicyclists, at the intersections; and one with motorists. The bicyclist survey tested usage and perceptions of safety, while the motorist survey tested familiarity with the bike boxes, as well as opinions on marking designs. Both the cyclist and motorist surveys showed positive findings for perceptions of safety in and around the bike boxes. View presentation slides.

Planning and Infrastructure

Bike Planning Methods in Oregon Communities

Tara Weidner, Oregon DOT
February 21, 2014
In this seminar, Tara Weidner will discuss changes in the works to the State Analysis Procedures Manual (APM) to include three graduated levels of bike planning methods for use in Oregon communities, based on community size, data needs, and planning stage.  These include the Bike Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS), a sketch tool used to assess bike network connectivity, the data-heavy Highway Capacity Manual Multi-modal Level of Service (MMLOS) procedures, and a simplified MMLOS developed by the same researchers.
Click to Play


Why doesn’t that traffic signal ever turn green? An evaluation of roadway markings for cyclists

Stefan Bussey, PSU CE Undergraduate Honors Student
November 8, 2013
Signalized intersections often rely on vehicle detection to determine when to give a green light. The 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) includes an on-pavement marking and curbside sign that public agencies can use to indicate where cyclists should position themselves while waiting at an intersection. This presentation reviews the effectiveness of current markings, signs, and other methods used to help cyclists properly position themselves over detection.
Click to Play


Four Types of Cyclists: What do we know and how can it help?

Jennifer Dill, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, PSU
April 26, 2013
Click to Play


Walking and Biking on their Own: Modeling Children's Independent Travel to Neighborhood Parks and Schools

Joe Broach, PhD Candidate in Urban Studies, PSU
April 5, 2013
Click to Play

Complete Streets Policy, Planning and Implementation

Jessica Horning, Oregon DOT Region 1 Active Transportation Liaison
March 8, 2013
Click to Play


The Economics of Bicyling

Kelly Clifton, Portland State University CEE
February 15, 2013
Click to play.


Pedestrians in Regional Travel Demand Forecasting Models: State-of-the-Practice

Patrick Singleton, CEE MS Student, Portland State University
February 1, 2013
Click to play.

Confessions of a Traffic Engineer: The Misuse of Level of Service and its Impact on Active Transportation

Doug Bish, Oregon DOT
January 25, 2013
Click to play.

Adjustment Factors for Estimating Miles Traveled by Non-Motorized Traffic

Greg Lindsey, University of Minnesota
October 26, 2012

Traffic counts are an important piece of information used by transportation planners; however, while count programs are common for motor vehicles most efforts at counting non-motorized traffic – cyclists and pedestrians – are minimal. Long-term, continuous counts of non-motorized traffic can be used to estimate month of year and day of week adjustment factors that can be used to scale short-duration counts to estimates of annual average daily traffic. Here we present results from continuous counts of non-motorized traffic at 6 locations on off-street trails in Minneapolis, MN using two types of automated counters (active infrared and inductive loop detectors). We found that traffic volumes varied significantly by location, but the month of year and day of week patterns were mostly consistent across locations and mode (i.e., cycling, walking, or mixed mode). We give examples of how this information could be used to extrapolate short-duration counts to estimates of annual average daily traffic as well as Bicycle Miles Traveled (BMT) and Pedestrian Miles Traveled (PMT) for defined lengths of off-street trails. More research is needed to determine if non-motorized traffic patterns (and subsequently our adjustment factors) for off-street trails are comparable to those for on-street non-motorized travel or for other geographic areas. Click to play.

Low-Stress Bicyling and Bike Network Connectivity

Presented by Peter G. Furth, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University
May 4, 2012

The most fundamental need in a bicycling network is low-stress connectivity, that is, providing routes between people’s origins and destinations that do not require cyclists to use links that exceed their tolerance for traffic stress, and that do not involve an undue level of detour. Evaluating network connectivity therefore requires both a set of criteria for tolerable levels of traffic stress and measures of connectivity appropriate to a bikeway network. 

Furth proposes criteria by which road segments can be classified into four levels of traffic stress (LTS), corresponding to four levels of traffic tolerance in the population. LTS 1 is suitable for children; LTS 2, based on Dutch bikeway design criteria, represents the traffic stress that most adults will tolerate; LTS 3 and 4 represent greater levels of stress. As a case study, every street in San Jose, California was classified by LTS. Maps in which only lower stress links are displayed reveal a city fractured into low-stress islands separated from one another by barriers that can only be crossed using high stress links. 

To measure connectivity, two points in the network are said to be connected at a given level of traffic stress if there is a path connecting them that uses only links that do not exceed that level of stress and whose length does not exceed a detour criterion (25% longer than the most direct path). For the network as a whole, demand-weighted connectivity is the fraction of trips in the regional trip table whose origin and destination are connected at a given level of stress. Demand data is disaggregated to the block level because traffic analysis zones (TAZs) are too coarse a geographic unit for evaluating connectivity by bicycle. In San Jose, for work trips up to 6 miles long , demand-weighted connectivity at LTS 2 was found to be 4.7%, providing a good explanation for the city’s low bicycling share. With a hypothetical slate of improvements totaling 32 miles in length but with strategically placed segments that provide low-stress connectivity across barriers, this measure of connectivity is almost tripled. Click to Play.

Bikes, Bodies, and Public Space: The Role of Human Infrastructure in Urban Transport

Presented by Adonia Lugo, UC Irvine
March 16, 2012

The bike movement in the United States tends to support infrastructural changes to streets. Reshaping the built environment is expected to stimulate behavior changes in road users. At the same time, this approach may overlook the transportation cultures of existing urban communities and raise concerns about displacement and gentrification. Based on ethnographic research and advocacy experiments in Los Angeles, Lugo proposes the concept of "human infrastructure" to describe the ways that social relationships impact how people experience the built environment. By taking both physical and human infrastructure into account, transportation planners and advocates can make social justice a key part of sustainability. Click to Play.

Lessons from Utrecht: Connecting Bicycle and Rail Networks

Presented by Ronald Tamse, City of Utrecht (Netherlands), PSU / University of Oregon Visiting Scholar
October 21, 2011

Ronald Tamse is a traffic engineer for the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands. Ronald has been involved in traffic design in Amsterdam and Utrecht. He is most interested in bicycle and rail transportation. He has worked on the design of the Amsterdam subway, a light rail system in Utrecht, and is currently working on urban transportation solutions as Utrecht Centraal is redeveloped. Utrecht Centraal is the largest train station in The Netherlands.

Ronald's presentation highlights key examples from Utrecht that show some new ideas, similarities between the Dutch and American approaches, as well as a few lessons imported from Portland. These examples share highlights from major projects that include building a new commuter railway network, including the rebuilding of Utrecht Centraal railway station, and the development of a light rail line in Utrecht that uses MAX as a development model.

In addition, Ronald demonstrates the importance of connecting bike infrastructure through network planning, infrastructure, and connections to transit. Click to Play.

Emerging Trends in Developing and Implementing Bicycle Master Plans – The Seattle Example

Presented by Peter Lagerway, Toole Design Group
September 30, 2011

Using the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan as a model, this presentation provides a roadmap for developing and implementing bicycle master plans.

Toole Design Group (TDG) served as the prime consultant for the City of Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. In partnership with the City, TDG took a diverse approach to public involvement, including working with a Citizen’s Advisory Committee and local advocacy groups, conducting an online survey, and conduction highly successful public input meetings that were attended by hundreds of people.

The project involved extensive GIS and field analysis, and the development of specific recommendations for street reconfigurations and wayfinding signs for a 450-mile network of on and off-street facilities. The project included design innovations such as shared-lane markings, up-hill bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and new warning and wayfinding signs. It also included new thinking on right-of-way assignment and the design of trail street crossings. In addition, TDG developed bicycle facility design guidelines recommendations for education and enforcement programs to support and encourage bicycling, and policies for integrating bicycle considerations into all City projects and programs.

The Plan focused heavily on implementation and included funding strategies as well as a timeline and phasing approach for the completion of recommendations from the Plan. The Plan set performance measures and provided cost estimates for implementation. Since adoption, more than 150 miles of on and off road bicycle facilities (including signed routes) have been installed, representing 30% of the network proposed by the Plan. Click to Play.

Lagerway handout.

Applying Health Impact Assessment to Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning

Presented by Brendon Haggerty, Clark County Public Health
October 22, 2010

As part of Clark County Public Health’s Planning Active Walkable Neighborhoods project, a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was conducted on the county’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. A rapid HIA was completed to provide input on the draft plan, and a subsequent comprehensive HIA was designed to evaluate the impacts of final proposals. This presentation will provide an overview of the process and results of the HIA, examine lessons learned, and discuss transferability to other jurisdictions or projects. Click to Play.

View the presentation slides.

Bikeability and the Twenty-Minute Neighborhood: Exploring How Infrastructure and Destinations Influence Bicycle Accessibility

Presented by Nathan McNeil, Portland State University
October 8, 2010

This presentation explores a methodology for assessing a neighborhood’s bikeability based on its mix of infrastructure and destinations. The new methodology seeks to create an objective bikeability assessment – essentially asking if a place could be considered a 20-minute neighborhood by bike.  The method was developed in part in an effort to integrate transportation infrastructure and land use factors into a bikeability assessment. In its application, the process can be used to explore where planned (or hypothetical) infrastructure or development may be most helpful and which neighborhoods may not be receiving much added value from the planned improvements. Click to Play.

View the presentation slides.

Portland's Cycle Track and Buffered Bike Lanes: Are they working?

Presented by Chris Monsere and Nathan McNeil, Portland State University
February 25, 2011

Findings are presented on an evaluation of two innovative bicycle facilities installed in late summer and early fall 2009 in downtown Portland aimed at providing a more separated and comfortable experience for cyclists. The SW Broadway cycle track (near PSU) and the couplet of buffered bike lanes on SW Stark and SW Oak were evaluated to understand how they are functioning on multiple levels. Each facility involved removing a motor vehicle lane by restriping to provide additional roadway space to bicyclists. The facilities were evaluated after they had been in place for approximately one year. Data collected to support this evaluation consisted of surveys of multiple user groups for each facility type, and video data collected by the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation at intersections along each of the routes to understand the facilities' impact on traffic flow, operations and user interactions. Click to Play.

Beyond the Bike Hook: Linking Bicycles and Transit

Presented by Colin Maher, TriMet
January 28, 2011

While TriMet and other transit agencies serve many commuters by having racks for bikes on trains and buses, large bike parking facilities in global capitals of urban bicycling provide the key link between bikes and transit. Following the lead of European and Asian cities, the Portland region is starting to develop a network of bike-transit facilities; TriMet is piloting smart bike parking technology in the form of electronic bike lockers and "Bike & Rides". This presentation discusses the background and planning for bike-transit integration in the region and shares insights into bike-transit travel patterns, habits, and market segmentation gained from recent rider surveys. Click to Play.

Attracting the Next 10% of Cyclists with the Right Infrastructure 

Presented by Glen Koorey, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
August 25, 2010

Although considered a cycling centre in New Zealand, Christchurch still has relatively low cycle use (e.g. ~7% of commuters) but huge potential for utilitarian cycling due to its favourable geography. There is continuing, but relatively small, investment in infrastructure for cyclists, yet evidence seems to suggest little if any growth in cycle numbers. Therefore, on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency, research at the University of Canterbury assessed the barriers to cycle use, with a specific focus on the infrastructure needed to attract the next tier of people who do not cycle regularly for utility trip purposes. The research surveyed workplaces, recreational cyclists and community groups to identify potential (but not current) regular utility cyclists. Focus groups were held with them to discuss the motivations and barriers for cycling. Click to Play.

Developing a Bicyclist Route Choice Model Using GPS Data

Presented by Joe Broach, Portland State University
May 28, 2010

Existing regional travel forecasting systems are not typically set up to forecast usage of bicycle infrastructure and are insensitive to bicyclists' route preferences in general. We collected revealed preference, GPS data on 162 bicyclists over the course of several days and coded the resulting trips to a highly detailed bicycle network model. We then use these data to estimate bicyclist route choice models. As part of this research, we developed a sophisticated choice set generation algorithm based on multiple permutations of labeled path attributes, which seems to out-perform comparable implementations of other route choice set generation algorithms. The model was formulated as a Path-Size Logit model to account for overlapping route alternatives. The estimation results show compelling intuitive elasticities for route choice attributes, including the effects of distance and delay; avoiding high-volumes of vehicular traffic, stops and turns, and elevation gain; and preferences for certain bike infrastructure types, particularly at bridge crossings and off-street paths. Estimation results also support segmentation by commute versus non-commute trip types, but are less clear when it comes to gender. The final model will be implemented as part of the regional travel forecasting system for Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. View presentation slides.

Portland is Good, but Copenhagen and Amsterdam are Awesome: Lessons Learned from the World's Best Cycling Cities

Presented by Mia Birk, Rob Burchfield, Jay Graves, Alta Planning + Design, City of Portland, Bike Gallery
November 21, 2009

An all-star delegation from Portland visited Amsterdam and Copenhagen to obtain a first-hand look at the innovative on-street bicycle infrastructure and treatments in those cities. They were lead on these tours by some of the local bicycle coordinators. In this seminar, the presenters run through pictures from their tours, focusing especially on cycle tracks, signals, intersection treatment, and much more. Mia also discusses how a previous trip, in the mid-90s, greatly influenced her work for the City of Portland. Click to Play.

Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from Europe

Presented by John Pucher, Rutgers University, OTREC Visiting Scholar
September 28, 2007

Rutgers University professor John Pucher (or, he refers to himself, "Car-free John") kicks off this year's Seminar Series to a packed room. His presentation examines a range of public health impacts of our urban transport systems. His points are illustrated with an extensive collection of graphs and data. He argues that the current car-dependence of American cities is responsible for enormous environmental harm, social isolation, lack of physical activity, and traffic dangers. To overcome these negative impacts, it is crucial to improve the convenience, safety, and attractiveness of walking and cycling.

Professor Pucher discusses and illustrates the many specific policies and programs used in Europe, where he worked for a number of years, and proposes their widespread adoption in American cities. The points are accompanied by photographic examples from all over the world. An informative question and answer session follows this exciting presentation. Click to Play.

Download the PDF of John Pucher's PowerPoint presentation!

Trails

Rails-with-trails: issues related to safety, design, planning, and implementation of trails next to active railway lines

Presented by Mia Birk, Alta Planning + Design
May 2, 2003

Mia Birk returns a few months later to discuss in detail a key element that she touched upon in her previous seminar on Rails-with-Trails.

Mia discusses a four-year study completed by Alta Planning and Design, and published by USDOT, about rails-with-trails planning and development. In this in-depth presentation, she lays out issues and discusses lessons learned from her experience with the study, and from her own personal experience in this facet of urban planning.

Topics from the study include literature reviews, in-depth analyses of 18 case studies, railroad industry interviews, reviewed draft reports, design research, legal symposium and research, outreach, integration of commentary.

The areas surrounding railroads are often prime locations for trails. Mia provides recommendations for both railway managers and trail planners and designers for how all parties can work together to improve their landscape. Click to Play.

Portland Regional Trails Program

Presented by Mel Huie, Metro
October 17, 2003

The Portland Metro area is abundant with parks, greenspaces, and recreational and commuter trails. In this seminar Mel Huie provides a broad view of the region's varied systems. He details it all with maps, examples, descriptions of their various functions within neighborhoods. He discusses how to plan, design, construct, and manage environmentally-friendly trails. And he discusses guidelines to help protect water and habitat resources, acquire permits, and follow greenway requirements. Click to Play.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails: Planning to Implementation

Presented by Michael Rose and George Hudson, Alta Planning + Design
January 27, 2006

George Hudson, trail designer with Alta Planning and Design (and instructor of the upcoming IBPI-sponsored workshop on Trail Design), begins this seminar by laying down the general process of planning for trails. Some details include feasibility and master planning, establishing goals and objectives, meeting community needs, working with local agencies, data collection, and field work. He also goes through the timeline of work: conceptual design, permitting, design and drawings, bidding, and finally construction. He makes sure to go into detail on every point, and he identifies specific issues that relate to different contexts.

Michael Rose, also of Alta, delivers the second half of the seminar. He discusses the specific implementation the Clark County Wetlands Park, a trail project that Alta is currently working on in the Las Vegas area. He goes into the specific of planning the trail. He discusses route and their uses, how best to implement then, and how to make them work together and with the surrounding landscape. Click to Play.

Walkability

Getting Around on Foot Action Plan

Presented by Stephanie Routh, Willamette Pedestrian Coalition
February 18, 2011

Click to Play.

Quantifying Walkability - Toward an Objective and Reliable Measure of the Pedestrian Environment

Presented by Jamie Parks, Kittelson Associates, Inc.
November 17, 2006

In this seminar, Jamie Parks of Kittleson Associates, presents innovative measures for quantifying walkability. His studies, all conducted in the Chicago area, have been refigured from previous research so as to control data collection, reduce unnecessary information and work, and find and alleviate the weaknesses in current methods. His new methods attempt to make the data more objective, less expensive to collect, and still reliable on widely available data. With a robust question and answer segment, Parks presents a thorough and knowledgeable seminar on this important topic. Click to Play.

Walk this Way: New Tools for Measuring Walkability and Some Findings on Middle School Transportation Behavior

Presented by Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon
February 10, 2006

Due to the proliferation of handheld GIS devices in recent years, we're witness to the growth of a new field for quantifying walkability. In this seminar, Marc Schlossberg presents details on these new tools for measuring walkability and transportation behavior. He begins with an overview of street-based walkability measures, and shows how they've been applied to transit-oriented developments and schools. He also provides additional results on middle school travel. He goes on to discuss the relationship between physical activity and the urban form.

He looks at different road types and characteristics, and uses those definitions to differentiate between pedestrian and auto-oriented roads.

Finally, he presents a detailed look at capturing and making use of GIS data. Click to Play.