1. What are the reasons for participating?
There are multiple reasons for participating in the study:
2. What does each city get at the end of the study?
Each participating city will receive an individual, city-specific report of findings and results. Cities may share this report with residents and other key stakeholders in their city. We will also prepare a research report that synthesizes findings across all cities, including the utility of the methodology.
3. What is the timeline for the study?
The study will commence in Summer 2017. Cities will receive an individual, city-specific report of findings and results in Summer 2018.
4. Who are the partners working on the study and what are their roles?
The “study team” is comprised of PeopleForBikes, Bennett Midland, and Portland State University.
PeopleForBikes will document the study experience for future replication in other cities and lead the broad dissemination of study findings. PeopleForBikes is leading a movement to make riding better for everyone. By collaborating with millions of individual riders, businesses, community leaders, and elected officials, PeopleForBikes has created a powerful, united voice for bicycling and its benefits.
Bennett Midland will support cities throughout the study, build a community of practice across participating cities, and provide overall coordination between the study team and cities. Bennett Midland is a strategic partner for the civic sector. In 2012, Bennett Midland partnered with the New York City Department of Transportation to develop and conduct a study that was anchored in sales tax data for very small geographic areas. The study has been cited for its original methodology and its implication for city planning nationwide.
Portland State University will refine the methodology for the study, confirm the selection of study sites and compilation of data, conduct data analysis, and draft the study reports. The Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University is the nation’s oldest continuously operating program in urban studies. Through nationally recognized graduate programs and four centers for research and innovation, the Toulan School provides an interdisciplinary training that equips students for careers in urban planning, real estate development, community development, sustainability, urban research, and higher education.
5. What are the criteria around selecting an improvement site?
Improvement sites should meet the following criteria:
6. How many improvement sites will you study in each city?
The study team will consider all appropriate sites that meet the criteria above and prioritize anywhere from one to four sites for the study.
7. What are the criteria around selecting comparison sites?
Ideally, comparison sites should be located in close proximity to the improvement site. They should have sufficiently similar transportation characteristics such as traffic volumes, speed limits, and connections to arterials, and sufficiently similar economic profiles such as retail and food service activities and retail densities. Similar economic growth trends between the comparison site and improvement site would be another important criteria.
8. What if there are no suitable comparison sites for a given study site?
Some of our analysis methods do not require comparison sites (e.g., interrupted time series). For the methods that do require comparison sites, we may be able to compare the improvement site with the surrounding neighborhood or the city.
9. Do we have to have a comparison site in mind before proposing a study site?
It is not necessary, but will be helpful to the study team.
We will use sales tax, employment, and revenue data as measures of economic activity. We will apply econometric methods to control for other factors that could influence economic activity and isolate the impact of street improvements. One method, difference-in-difference, compares the change in economic activity in the study corridor pre- and post-improvement against the change in a similar corridor during the same time period. Another method, interrupted time series, estimates how a street improvement impacts both the level and growth rate of economic activity, without the need for a comparison corridor.
11. What if my city can’t obtain access to these data sources?
The study team may be able to use data from the Census Bureau or the Bureau of Labor Statistics to conduct the analysis.
12. How much staff time is required?
Each city is expected to dedicate staff time to support the study team to:
The study team will be responsible for the actual data analysis, interpretation of results, and preparation of the findings reports.
13. Is there a financial requirement for participation?
Funding for this study is contributed primarily by the National Institute for Transportation Communities at Portland State University, the Summit Foundation, and PeopleForBikes. In addition, each participating city is asked to make a contribution of $8,000.