News Tagged: Livability

31 Entries Tagged

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

Emerging field of HIA helps to assess the public health impact of future plans

Posted on July 11, 2014

New research from NITC looks at Health Impact Assessment, or HIA, in transportation planning.

The leading causes of death in the United States are no longer communicable diseases. Instead, chronic conditions linked to behaviors and shaped by environments—such as obesity and diabetes—are today’s most pressing public health concerns.
 
HIA is a way of evaluating the effects that planning decisions will have on public health.
 
Researcher Nicole Iroz-Elardo studied this relatively new endeavor, analyzing and comparing three contemporary case studies in HIA.
 
She will share her findings in an IBPI webinar on July 16, 2014.

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Tags: active transportation, design, livability, nitc, portland state university

Portland State University students enhance Tigard’s walkability

Posted on June 30, 2014

Several notable transportation projects have come out of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program this spring.

 

Each year, graduating students finish up their two-year program of study by forming into groups and carrying out a professional project. Clients work with Portland State University to identify planning needs that would be a good fit for the MURP program, and students choose projects based on their interests.

 

The Paradigm Planning team made news with their re-imagining of the Salem-Keizer transit system, and InSite Planning Group with their Beaverton corridor study.

 

The city of Tigard engaged StepUP Studio, another MURP team, to craft a pedestrian plan.

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Tags: active transportation, livability, portland state university, research, walking

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