News Tagged: Livability

33 Entries Tagged

NITC researchers release Complete Streets design guide

Posted on October 6, 2014

NITC researchers have created a design manual to aid traffic engineers, transportation planners, elected officials, businesses and community stakeholders in re-envisioning their streets.
 
Traditionally, road design in the U.S. has been based on the simple principle of moving as many cars as possible.
 
The Complete Streets movement, a new way of approaching street design, is gaining ground as planners and engineers work to build road networks that are safer, more livable and can accomodate all modes of transportation.
 
The philosophy behind Complete Streets is that a street, in addition to being a means of reaching destinations, is also a "place" in its own right and should feel comfortable and welcoming for pedestrians and bicyclists.
 
To inform and encourage Complete Street redesigns, principal investigator Marc Schlossberg and co-investigator John Rowell, of the University of Oregon, put together an evidence-based design guide featuring 25 Complete Streets from around the country.

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Tags: active transportation, bicycle, bicycle infrastructure, bicycling, complete streets, design, emissions, livability, marc schlossberg, nitc, research, transit, university of oregon, walking

Workshop participants will cycle down Portland’s best trails

Posted on September 27, 2014

The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) is teaming up with Alta Planning + Design to offer a firsthand, on-the-ground training opportunity at the end of October.

They will teach a trail design course at Portland State University, with field tours of some of Portland's biggest trail challenges and best solutions.

Course instructors are Alta associates Robin WilcoxGeorge Hudson, and Karen Vitkay. They will share their experience and provide examples from some of the best trails around the country.

Multi-use trails, not accessible by car but meant to be shared by pedestrians, cyclists and the occasional leashed dog, are pleasant routes by almost anyone’s standards. Often winding through wooded areas or along waterways, insulated from the noise of traffic and offering contact with nature, they present an attractive alternative to cyclists who are not as comfortable riding on busy streets.

While any segment of trail can offer a pleasant stroll, the true beauty of shared-use trails lies in being able to use them: as an alternate, off-street means of travel, a route to school or a way to get to work in the morning. A widespread switch from driving on streets to walking or cycling on trails has the potential to change communities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing physical activity, and sharpening our well-being.

Yet it is a challenge to create a network of trails that is connected and functional enough to be able to serve as a commute route for a significant number of people.

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Tags: active transportation, bicycle, bicycle infrastructure, bicycling, design, ibpi, livability, portland state university

E-Bike laws create widely differing situations for users

Posted on August 28, 2014

In 2009, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the Copenhagen Wheel, a device that converts an ordinary bicycle into a hybrid e-bike.

An e-bike is considered a motorized bicycle under Massachusetts law. This means that once the 13-pound, 26-inch Copenhagen Wheel is attached to the rear wheel of a bicycle, the resulting vehicle requires a driver’s license to operate, must be registered with the DMV, and its rider must wear, not just a bike helmet, but a motorcycle helmet to be in compliance with the law.

Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, are well established in China and other Asian and European countries but market adoption has been slow in the United States.

Part of the reason could be that the law is often nebulous where e-bikes are concerned.

NITC researchers at Portland State University conducted a policy review revealing the current state of legislation regarding e-bikes in the United States and Canada.

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Tags: active transportation, bicycle, bicycling, e-bikes, electric vehicles, john macarthur, livability, nitc, portland state university, research

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer leads transportation forum at PSU

Posted on August 7, 2014

Congressman Earl Blumenauer called together a group of transportation policy makers on Monday, August 4, for a “Rebuilding and Renewing” forum.
 
Transportation professionals and officials from every level of government, from the federal to the local, met at Portland State University to discuss how to maintain and revive America’s transportation infrastructure.
 
Blumenauer, the representative for Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, advocates fuel taxes and VMT taxes to pay for infrastructure needs.
 
As the Highway Trust Fund rapidly shrinks and America’s deteriorating roads and bridges silently cry out for maintenance, Congress is in the process of trying to determine the best, most sustainable path forward.
 
During Monday’s forum, a variety of voices were sought out and listened to. Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Port of Portland, gave opening remarks and introduced Blumenauer, who spoke about dwindling highway funds and the need for investment in infrastructure to keep the nation’s economy alive.

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Tags: infrastructure, livability, portland state university

PSU students help determine Cully neighborhood’s walkability needs

Posted on July 11, 2014

Three Portland State University graduate students in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning used GIS technology to collect and analyze residents’ thoughts about walkability needs for Portland, Oregon’s northeast Cully neighborhood.

Their report, Engaging Cully, was the final product of a ten-week course called Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS), taught by PSU professor Vivek Shandas.
 
In PPGIS, community input is used to create GIS-based data and diagnostics maps which can inform planners’ decision-making process. Team members Travis Driessen, Brandi Campbell and Eduardo Montejo worked with community-based organizations and residents to assess the needs of the Cully neighborhood’s pedestrian network using PPGIS methods.

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Tags: active transportation, livability, portland state university, social equity, walking

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