Oregon

Driving Down, Biking Up In Portland Metro Study

OPB | Oct. 23, 2012 7:11 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 24, 2012 5:27 a.m. | Portland

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Portlanders aren’t driving as much as they used to. That’s according to a new report released Tuesday by the Metro regional government.

Casey Negreiff bikes in commuter challenge. (file)

Casey Negreiff bikes in commuter challenge. (file)

Alex Johnson / OPB

The study compares travel behavior in the present-day with what people in the Portland region were doing in the 1990’s.

Mike Hoglund directs research at Metro. He says two things stood out in the new travel study.

“So, in 1994, about 90 percent of all (commuter) trips around the region were made by automobile, and now it’s down to about 81 percent. We’re also seeing, particularly in the downtown area, but also throughout the entire region, not surprisingly, bicycle ridership is up ­ I think you see that on the streets just about every day.”

The study found that biking jumped from less than three-percent of trips to 13-percent in central Portland.

Driving habits changed over the last seventeen years, too. Household vehicle miles traveled fell by almost one-third.

The length of the average trip shrank from over five miles in 1994, to less than four and a half miles last year.

Hoglund says the new research will help guide discussions about future rapid transit projects, like the Southwest Corridor from Portland toward Sherwood.

Editor’s Note:
An earlier version of this story Mike Hoglund referred to “all trips.” Hoglund has since clarified that the 90 percent to 81 percent drop in the study was in “commuter” trips.

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