Designing for Bicycle Safety in Urban Environments

During the Industrial Designer Society of America Western District Conference, I led a design charrette with Steve Cheney and Janna Kimel of IDSA. The charrette theme was thinking about ways cars and bikes can coexist in urban environments. Our enthusiastic subject matter expert, Greg Raisman of Portland’s Office of Transportation, gave the group some background on Portland’s growing bicycle community and the challenges of transportation design that suits both cars and bikes. We then turned the group loose to design better street bike parking areas and traffic calming zones. Students, design professionals, and guests from PDOT, SCRAP, and BikePortland.org started sketching and after 30 minutes we had a lively review of the design proposals.

Everything from better speed bumps to beautified bike racks were proposed and Greg helped the designers understand some of the different financial and physical constraints faced by the city. The project provided some great energy and I look forward to partnering with PDOT on future projects that could be implemented in several of Portland’s design districts.

Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers, including Greg Raisman, Sarah Figliozzi and Mark Lear of PDOT, Teri Thomas Petersen of SCRAP, Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org, and Bill Stites.