The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) recently kicked off the 2013 SmartTrips season in Portland’s downtown and Central Eastside.
SmartTrips is a comprehensive program to reduce drive-alone trips and increase walking, bicycling, public transit, carpool and car share trips in targeted geographic areas of the city. SmartTrips incorporates an individualized marketing approach and hand-delivers customized packets of information to residents who wish to learn more about all their transportation options.
Each year, PBOT chooses an area of town to implement the program. Area selection is based on analyzing land use patterns, transit service availability, walking and bicycling infrastructure, and current transit or streetscape infrastructure investments such as new light rail or pedestrian and bicycle trails. This year’s target area is focused around the new Central Streetcar Loop. The Central Loop is a 3.35-mile double-track extension with 28 new streetcar stops.
This year PBOT’s Active Transportation Division will be targeting about 32,000 households in downtown south of Burnside and into South Waterfront, east of Macadam and south to Bancroft, as well as parts of Goose Hollow neighborhoods on the west side of the Willamette River, and much of Hosford-Abernethy, Buckman, Kerns, Sullivan’s Gulch, Lloyd District, and parts of Eliot and Irvington neighborhoods on the east side of the Willamette.
The nearly 32,000 households received a newsletter with a calendar of nearby walks, clinics and bicycle rides. The newsletter introduces the program and highlights SmartTrips programs, including the Ten Toe Express walking program, Portland By Cycle, Women on Bikes and Senior Strolls programs. The first newsletter is followed by a SmartTrips Order Form that target area residents can use to custom order information and incentives specific to their needs. The customized packet of information is hand-delivered, by bike, to the resident’s home.
All SmartTrips residents receive SmartTrips messages at least seven times throughout the year and approximately 30 percent of all area residents either order materials or participate in a SmartTrips activity or event. SmartTrips projects in the past have yielded a reduction of 9 to 13 percent in drive-alone car trips by all area residents with a corresponding increase in walking, bicycling and transit mode shares in the SmartTrips areas.