Archive for May, 2011

Early Findings from Crash Reporting, Update from Latest Meeting with PBOT

Posted in Advocate's Toolbox, News on May 26th, 2011 by AROW – Comments Off on Early Findings from Crash Reporting, Update from Latest Meeting with PBOT

Bicycle crashes reported on new Portland Streetcar line

Less than a month ago, AROW launched an effort to collect data from people who have crashed their bicycles on Streetcar tracks.  While reports continue to be collected, we took the  opportunity to look through the 99 reports we have received to date.

For our first set of findings, we isolated crashes that were along the new streetcar alignment to present to PBOT, as part of AROW’s continuing work to bring safety improvements to vital bikeways intersecting streetcar tracks.  You can review the wonky spreadsheet for details, report case numbers correspond with the numbers on the map above.  We will continue to work with the data to come up with a more complete picture of crash hot-spots along the entire Streetcar system.

Meeting with PBOT & Portland Streetcar

New Pearl District Traffic Circulation Map

New Pearl District Traffic Circulation Map, note bikes are now routed down 16th rather than 15th.

AROW met with PBOT and Portland Streetcar last Wednesday to review our list of outsanding safety concerns.

PBOT indicated changes are coming, including new wayfinding signage, lane reconfigurations, and further study of motor vehicle trips on Marshall Street.  We are pleased that PBOT has carefully considered our requests and there has been progress. The AROW Streetcar Safety Group remains concerned about the implementation timeline, especially considering our proximity to Summer, a time when the biggest, most diverse set of people on bikes are out riding these streets.

A summary list of locations due to receive enhanced bikeway safety improvements, as provided by PBOT,  is below. read more »

People of color, poor & elderly most at risk of death by crossing the street

Posted in News on May 25th, 2011 by Steve – 2 Comments

Transportation for America released their Dangerous by Design 2011 Report yesterday.  Transportation Equity Network, a grassroots network working to build a more just, prosperous and connected America, has highlighted some troubling findings from the study:

We already know that investing in pedestrian safety is a matter of stopping an ongoing human catastrophe, with more than 40,000 pedestrians killed by vehicles from 2000-2009. Now we know it’s also a matter of social justice.

African Americans make 26 percent more trips by foot than whites, while Hispanics make nearly 45 percent more trips by foot than whites. As a result—and because of constantly decaying transportation infrastructure in low-income communities of color—African Americans and Hispanics experience far more pedestrian fatalities. From 2000-2007, the pedestrian death rate for Hispanics was 2.23 per 100,000 persons, nearly 62 percent higher than for non-Hispanic whites. The rates for African Americans were even higher—2.39 per 100,000 persons—more than 73 percent higher than for whites.

Poverty also puts people at greater risk of pedestrian death. In the 234 U.S. counties where more than 20 percent of families live below the poverty line, the pedestrian fatality rate is 2.91 per 100,000 persons, well above the national rate of 1.6.

For older Americans, the dangers are clearest of all. Those 65 and over are 96 percent more likely to be killed while walking than those under 65. Pedestrians 75 years and older suffered a pedestrian fatality rate of 3.61 per 100,000 people, more than twice that for those under 65.

TEN’s list of recommendations to combat this epidemic includes:

  • protect federal funding for pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • adopt a national Complete Streets policy
  • hold states accountable for creating pedestrian-safe communities.

Check out an interactive map of Oregon’s pedestrian deaths between 2000-2009.

Strong Support for Lloyd District Bikeway Projects

Posted in News on May 20th, 2011 by AROW – Comments Off on Strong Support for Lloyd District Bikeway Projects

Three tremendously important bikeway projects in the Lloyd District are currently under consideration by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.  We believe this trio of complete-the-streets projects will repair an often dubious neighborhood to navigate via bicycle.

We penned a letter to voice broad support for this project, while also addressing a misconception that these bikeway improvements could be bad for business.  In fact, Portland’s experience has been the opposite: bikeways mean business!  Read the letter for more detail on our reasoning, and review the benefits of investing in bikeways on our fact sheet.

You are encouraged to submit your own letter of support for safety improvements in the Lloyd District to PBOT Project Manager Ellen Vanderslice.

PSU seminar report: How do people choose a travel mode?

Posted in Advocate's Toolbox, Thoughts on May 9th, 2011 by Alexis – Comments Off on PSU seminar report: How do people choose a travel mode?

Last Friday I attended the PSU Transportation Seminar lecture by Robert Schneider, “How do people choose a travel mode?” Schneider presented results from his dissertation research studying the travel patterns of people shopping at different Walgreens stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He shared a five-category scheme for factors that might influence travel behavior, as well as a five-prong scheme for looking at decision-making for individual trips, both of which offered insight into where to look to influence people’s mode choices, but in my opinion the most useful tool he presented for advocacy was the use of a detailed survey of people’s paths throughout their trips. Most surveys ask only about primary trip mode, but Schneider’s surveyers traced the participants’ routes on the map and asked how each part of the trip was taken, so that if a person drove to the shopping center and then walked around to different stores, the walking path was recorded as part of the trip too.

Even though many of the study participants had driven to the Walgreens location, a large percentage of trips included some walking around the shopping area. Schneider found that walking was more likely in shopping areas with certain characteristics, such as higher density and greater tree cover.

These results are a reminder that looking at single-destination trips, or thinking of trips as consisting only of their primary mode, is an oversimplification at best, and a serious mistake at worst; that it’s possible to influence people’s behavior at intermediate points in their journeys. Not only that, but it may be easier than getting them to change their major mode of travel.

Far more people choose to walk at some point during their day than choose to walk as their primary mode of travel, and all of these walkers are potential supporters of a better walking environment. We need to make sure, as Schneider did, that they are counted, so that they can play a part in our work.

Show Support & Help Shape Lloyd District Bikeways

Posted in News on May 6th, 2011 by AROW – Comments Off on Show Support & Help Shape Lloyd District Bikeways

Proposed bikeway improvements in the Lloyd District are under attack by freight interests.  To date, no substantial evidence exists that would suggest these bike projects would have a detrimental effect to freight operations in the area.  Due to a general sense of skepticism on the part of Franz Bread and Portland Bottling Company, we are being told these business interests may significantly stall or halt any near-term bikeway improvements in the Lloyd District.

In fact, bikeway improvements may actually improve freight operations, while allowing Oregonians who work in this employment center to commute safely by bicycle.

There are two upcoming meetings that will determine the future of bikeways in the Lloyd District, May 10 & May 19.  Please attend if you are able.

Please note that this meeting will focus on the Holladay Street project.

What: Lloyd District Bikeway Development Projects SAC meeting
When: Tuesday, May 10, 3-4:30 p.m.
Where: Lloyd Tower, 825 NE Multnomah.  Skybridge Conference Rooms,

1. Introductions (10 min. – Harlow)
2. Pubic Comment Period (10 min. – Harlow)
3. Holladay Street Technical Update (15 min. – Alta)
4. Holladay Street Discussion and Possible Action (50 min. – Harlow)
5. Next Steps (5 min. – Harlow)
Next Meeting
Thursday, May 19, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
700 NE Multnomah, 3rd Floor Conference Room