Archive | May, 2011

When Will You Walk (or Bike)?

Nice piece on NPR Sunday that suggests that we may have reached ‘peaked gasoline’ (i.e., peak demand for gasoline) in the U.S. as folks make alternative choices (even as the economy comes back, gasoline use is not tracking upward with the economy).

However, worldwide demand continues to rise because of the appetite in developing countries (India, China, etc.), so pressure on prices is likely to continue.

Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?

I can’t say I have a lot of love for folks who attempt to use the initiative system to limit the role of government. I cut my teeth in statewide politics a decade ago working to oppose measures by anti-tax activists that would have gutted critical services.

But now here is Tim Eyman, Washington State’s answer to Bill Sizemore, but with a bent for transportation, pushing an initiative to prohibit variable tolling, which could be one more source of heartburn for the Columbia River Crossing.

Sigh… but I don’t think I’ll bite. Just as I wouldn’t really want to ally with anti-transit activists in Clark County, I don’t think this is the way to take down the CRC. There are too many good reasons to change it.

Besides, I don’t really think of myself as an ‘enemy’ of the CRC, I see myself more as the ‘loyal opposition’.

Sorry, Tim.

Why We Walk II

Last post we were being asked, now someone is going to explain it to us:

Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Spring 2011 Transportation Seminar Series

Speaker: Robert Schneider, UC Berkeley

Topic: How Do People Choose a Travel Mode? Factors Associated with Routine Walking & Bicycling

Abstract: 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 will summarize 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).

When: Friday, May 6, 2011, 12:00 – 1:00pm

Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204