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» Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars

It’s an act of urban planning maybe even more so than a transit project.”

connected, finally!

Tilikum Crossing is the nation’s first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland’s streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. If the bridge looks elegant in its slenderness, that may be because the omission of private automobiles keeps it from taking on a more gargantuan array of lanes and entry/exit ramps.

"[The] original decision to turn down federal dollars for a freeway and instead to invest that in MAX (light-rail), that’s a fundamental shift that other American cities don’t make."

read more: citylab, 19.08.14.
more photos: the portland-milwaukie light-rail project on flickr.

interstate ave., portland, or.
these signs are so much more informative (make so much more sense) than the “share the road” signs.
steaming coffee mug bike rack on NW 18th Ave / Glisan. portland, or.
» Observing, analyzing Portland's stop sign culture

"I used the legal “complete stop” threshold for determining whether behavior qualified as stopping or not. As I tallied up hundreds of commuters, this standard revealed itself as less and less useful when comparing cars and bikes. Because of their slower overall speed, bike riders have just as long, if not longer, to approach an intersection, observe the participants and determine whose turn comes next. For the most part, they slow down sooner and move slowly for longer as they evaluate the timing and safety of crossing. Rarely does this require a complete stop. When a bike rider does make a complete stop, it takes longer for her to get started again than it does for someone driving a car.

As drivers, we approach intersections faster, decelerate later and faster, and spend less time gathering data about the likely traffic pattern. We are also able to accelerate quicker when we start up again.

Because of these dramatic differences in auto travel speed, acceleration and deceleration, when a car driver approaches a stop sign and rolls through without actually coming to a complete stop, it looks more like a stop than when a person does exactly the same thing on a bike. I wondered if police officers are able to overcome this optical bias.

Experienced Portlanders, whether behind the wheel or on the saddle, probably agree that not stopping can often be the most courteous thing to do at intersections. If done safely, it allows the next intersection participant to make their move sooner. “California stoppers” in cars and on bikes tended to treat the other vehicles as respectfully as traditional stoppers, and, I like to think, made the entire interaction more efficient.”

read more: bikeportland, 05.06.14.

there are two infamous traffic circles in portland, and they both have stop signs before entering the traffic circle, which totally defeats the purpose of traffic circles / roundabouts!

i forget how exactly to blend images together in photoshop.. and i don’t want to look up a tutorial. but you get the idea.. 
view from the urban center on psu campus, where i spend a lot of my time. streetcar tracks and plaza below, student rec center (gym) opposite, and sw hills in the backdrop.
glad i get a break from being there almost every day!
» Portland drivers 'clearly' show racial bias at crosswalks

Conducted in downtown Portland, the joint Portland State University and University of Arizona study found that twice as many drivers failed to yield for black pedestrians than those who were white. Meanwhile, black pedestrians typically had to wait a third longer for cars to stop for them when they had the legal right of way.

Kahn, Goddard and Adkins dressed the six test subjects – three white men, three black men, all in their 20s with the same height and build — in the same clothing and had them approach the crosswalk in the same manner. “Each pedestrian did 15 crossing trials,” the study said.”These trials resulted in 168 driver subjects.”

The research team stood out of sight and recorded whether the first car to approach yielded, how many cars passed before someone yielded and the number of seconds that elapsed before the pedestrian was able to cross.

The black pedestrians got passed by twice as many cars and waited 32 percent longer than white pedestrians, the researchers said.

read more: oregonlive, 21.05.14.

if you read from the beginning of the article, you can see that the oregonian writer totally hyped this up (as expected of media..).

he generalized from blacks to all minorities to nationally. what if portland drivers are more racist than drivers in other states?

this is just a pilot study that isn’t totally conclusive.

Goddard said she and her fellow researchers hope to acquire a grant to collect more data on driver demographics, which were only collected for the driver who yielded during the pilot study. They also want to test different types of crosswalks and the inclusion of gender as a possible influencing factor.

the 2014 Village Building Convergence is going on this week in Portland, presented by City Repair.
see the list of events [23.05-01.06]: VBC 2014.download the 2014 Village Builder Guide to learn about all the intersection repairs and more.photo: NE 10th/Beech, on 24.05.14.
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