"This paper explores a methodology for assessing a neighborhood’s bikeability based on its mix of infrastructure and destinations –essentially the 20-minute neighborhood for bicycles.
Background: Dense, well-connected neighborhoods where residents can access services, shopping, transit, restaurants and employment centers without the use of a car are often lauded as an important next step in urban and suburban development. These goals have come up in the aftermath of decades of federally-subsidized automobile and highway-centric planning that encouraged development of cheap land on the periphery of metropolitan areas, tore up existing urban streetcar systems, and disconnected urban neighborhoods with highway projects. Given that much of the current urban landscape was created for the automobile, it is no surprise that most people view the car as a necessity.
However, many places are now embracing the idea that auto-dependent cities are not sustainable from an environmental, economic and national-security standpoint. Efforts to recreate neighborhoods where residents can manage (and want to manage) without cars usually focus on providing transportation options, attracting a diversity of uses (including all essential uses) and attaining a certain threshold of population density within a limited space.
The area of outer east Portland provides an interesting case study of a community largely shaped by the automobile, but struggling to become increasingly urban and decreasingly auto-dependent. Among the goals expressed in the 2009 plan are to improve the area's land use mix by encourage mixed-use development and multi-use commercial areas, to increase the safety and accessibility of bicycling, and to improve connectivity.
This paper explores a methodology for assessing a neighborhood's bikeability based on its mix of infrastructure and destinations – essentially the 20-minute neighborhood for bicycles. The area of outer east Portland, an area east of 82nd Avenue with substantially lower bicycling rates than other Portland neighborhoods, is used as a case study and compared to an assessment of neighborhoods that are considered to be bike-friendly (downtown, inner-east and north Portland). The paper examines prior approaches to assessing bikeability, details a new method to measure bikeability, presents the findings, and explores what impact expected or potential transportation and land use changes might have on bikeability."The full paper can be downloaded here: http://www.pdx.edu/ibpi/sites/www.pdx.edu.ibpi/files/McNeil_Bikeability_June2010.pdf