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City of Tigard

PSU State of Place Project

Economic Evaluation of Urban Form in the Tigard Triangle

In January 2016, The City of Tigard retained State of Place, an urban-tech startup, to help the Community Development department better understand the built environment characteristics that define and impact the Tigard Triangle. The primary focus of this investigation was to better understand which factors best support the City’s goal of creating a more valuable, walkable, healthier and connected neighborhood in the Tigard Triangle.

The City of Tigard worked with a team of graduate students from Portland State University’s Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program on this project. The content below tracks their progress.

Project Deliverables

  • Assessment of current conditions for walkability in the Triangle.
  • Recommend scenarios for making the area into a vibrant neighborhood.
  • Gather public input on what makes a vibrant neighborhood and the proposed scenarios.

UPDATE: August 1, 2016
Learn More

The State of Place approach provides a quantitative assessment of the urban fabric, physical characteristics and pedestrian experience in a neighborhood using the State of Place Index. The State of Place Index is a walkability and place-making score that calculates a neighborhood’s quality of place. In Tigard, this quantitative assessment was based on an analysis of more than 20,000 data points. With this data, the City can objectively assess the assets and needs of the built environment in the Tigard Triangle with a focus on improving walkability, the quality of the place, and economic value. The State of Place Index lays the groundwork for a Neighborhood Profile, Prioritization Study and Development Scenario Analysis.

With these tools, the city can assess:

  1. Highlight where in the Triangle urban design is supporting or discouraging walking.
  2. Target areas for redevelopment and new investment with specific actions.
  3. Explore development and investment scenarios to forecast the impact on public and private sector values. 

Click here to see the Index & Profile Report and the Tigard Forecast Report.

UPDATE: July 27, 2016
Liveliness and Upkeep

This includes personal safety and urban design features that make a place feel interesting. Personal Safety was the one category where the Tigard Triangle scored well on the State of Place Index. The lack of graffiti, litter, visible dumpsters, broken windows are a good sign.  The presence of these indicators negatively impact a pedestrian’s sense of safety and deter walkability. The presence of other people on the sidewalk positively impacts the State of Place Index.

UPDATE: July 25, 2016
Destinations and Proximity

The largest deficit in pedestrian friendly destinations in the Tigard Triangle is due to a lack of parks, public spaces
and small retail locations like cafes, shops and restaurants. SW Beveland Street between 72nd and Hermoso Way performed well in this category due to a neighborhood scale retail center including pedestrian friendly offerings like Well and Good Coffee.

State of Place profile dimensions DESTINATIONS

UPDATE: July 23, 2016
Human Needs and Comfort

This includes the feeling of traffic safety and aesthetics. Smaller width streets, on street parking, planting strips, slower moving traffic and multiple intersections improve the feeling of pedestrian safety. The street segment between Hampton Street and Beveland Street scored high in the category. Here’s an example of what a more comfortable and walkable street could look like.

State of Place profile dimensions URBAN FABRIC

72nd Ave at Atlanta Street before  after

UPDATE: July 15, 2016
Finding Urban Fabric

The relationship of buildings to the street, density and lack of pedestrian barriers impact this component of the State of Place Index. The sidewalk network is mostly complete in the office area in the southern corner of the Triangle and on the streets serving commercial retail areas west of 72nd Ave.  Major roads carrying traffic with multiple lanes like Dartmouth and 72nd present an impediment to pedestrian activity due to difficulty in crossing. With the exemption of Dartmouth St and 72nd Ave., two lane two way streets are the norm in the Triangle which are easy for pedestrians to cross and present less of a barrier to pedestrian connectivity.

Tigard Triangle walking purposes survey results

UPDATE: June 15, 2016
State of Place Score

By collecting more than 280 data points per block (over about 72 blocks in the Tigard Triangle), the Delta Planning team helped determine that the State of Place Index Score for the Tigard Triangle is 33. For comparison sake, the State of Place index Score for Main Street in Downtown Tigard is twice as high with a score of 66. The State of Place index score provides a quantitative assessment of existing walkability based upon urban 10 different design categories that include Urban Fabric, Designations, Human Needs/Comfort and Liveliness/Upkeep.

State of Place Index and Profile Tigard Triangle

UPDATE: June 8, 2016
Land Value Analysis

Tigard Triangle Total Property ValueTotal property value is per tax lot is a simple way of assigning a dollar value to a place or space. The large commercial retail properties west of 72nd Ave in the Tigard Triangle have a high total value, however these properties are connected to some of the least walkable streets in the Tigard Triangle.

An alternative metric – Value per Acre – allows for a more balanced comparison of properties. This metric better recognizes the value provided by compact building form, higher building with improved density, an incorporation of mixed uses and a more efficient balance of building footprint to open space.

UPDATE: June 6, 2016
Workforce Analysis in the Tigard Triangle

The work done by Delta Planning and the analytical analysis done by State of Place  has given the City of Tigard a more in-depth understanding of urban form and walkability in the Tigard Triangle. More than 7,600 people work in the Tigard Triangle. The graphic below shows how many workers come into the Triangle for their job and how many residents in the Triangle leave this area for their job.

Tigard Triangle employment flow

UPDATE: May 31, 2016
Project Wrap UP

Tigard Triangle prioritization survey resultsThe graduate student team from PSU, Delta Planning, is wrapping up their work which began in January 2016.  The team was tasked with investigating urban design solutions that improve walkability, safety, comfort, aesthetics and value of the built environment for people who live, work and visit the Tigard Triangle. We’ll share some of their key findings over the next couple of weeks.

UPDATE: May 24, 2016
Improving Safety for Everyone with Protected Bike Lanes

Is it possible to improve pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety all at the same time through installing a protected bike lane? Delta Planning has evidence to support the answer being yes so they are recommending in the long-term for Tigard to install protected bike lanes on SW 72nd Avenue in the Tigard Triangle. The below photo from Rijswijk, Netherlands shows what a protected bike lane is. 

Rijswijk Netherlands

This week is National Protected Bike Lane Week so the following infographics were created to inform people about what a protected bike lane is and how it is beneficial. Pedestrians benefit from a protected bike lane because their crossing distance is shorter.

Protected bike lane makes it safer for pedestrians

Since cyclists feel safer biking on a protected bike lane, most cyclists stop riding on the sidewalk and start riding on the protected bike lane. Through reducing sidewalk riding, pedestrians have less unsafe conflicts with cyclists.

Protected bike lane reduces sidewalk biking

Motorists also benefit from a protected bike lane because they feel less stressed knowing where to expect cyclists. Currently, cyclists in Tigard bike on the road and sidewalk so motorists don’t know where to expect cyclists.

Protected bike lane makes driving less stressful

Map markerUPDATE: May 16, 2016
Tigard Triangle at Eye Level

Delta Planning’s goal is to recommend strategies that improve walkability in the Tigard Triangle. One finding from their data shows that improving ground floor activity along a street should improve walkability. The recently published The City at Eye Level offers amazing insight into how other cities have improved ground floor activity enough to drastically improve walkability. The infographic below, is based on results from a 2003 pedestrian behavior study in Copenhagen, shows how much pedestrian activity increases along a street with interesting facades compared with how few pedestrians use a street with uninteresting facades.

Through collecting data using State of Place’s analytical tool, the graduate student team called Delta Planning is providing Tigard with baseline pedestrian activity data so Tigard can track pedestrian activity changes over time. As the City of Tigard works to implement the plan that Delta Planning is creating, Tigard will be able to observe changes to the baseline pedestrian activity data. Delta Planning and Tigard hope that the observed changes show increases from the baseline pedestrian activity data, which will mean that their project was successful at improving walkability in the Tigard Triangle.

Pedestrian Behavior from City at Eye Level Book

UPDATE: May 3, 2016
Planning for walkability in the Tigard Triangle

Are intersections in the Tigard Triangle dangerous to cross? Are more walk-friendly shops needed?
View the community-generated map of walking hazards and deterrents

Over the past month, the graduate student team called Delta Planning collected dozens of suggestions for places where better street crossings, more walkable shops, and better trails could be located in the Triangle. Thank you to everyone who submitted a point (or several)! Submission to the map is now closed, but you can still take a look at all the suggestions we received.

Thanks to everyone who filled out our survey or attended our public workshop. We received a wealth of knowledge from the community, including contributions from at least 140 community members. We're currently working hard to put it all together into a slate of feasible recommendations for a more walkable Tigard Triangle. Check this page again to view our final report in mid-June.

UPDATE: April 20, 2016

Check Out Tigard and Delta Planning’s Community Workshop

  • What:  PSU grad student led Community Workshop for Triangle Walkability Planning
  • When:  Wednesday, April 20 from 5-7 pm
  • Where: Western Bikeworks – Tigard, (7295 SW Dartmouth Ave)
  • Plus:  Food will be provided
  • Community Workshop Agenda 
    4:50 – 5:10 Mingling
    5:10 – 5:25 Project presentation, presentation of draft alternatives
    5:25 – 5:30 Q & A
    5:30 – 6:30 Individual group work, including:
» 5:30 – 5:35 Introductions
» 5:35 – 5:45 Parks Placement Exercise – positive only
» 5:45 – 5:55 Mixed-Use Placement Exercise – positive and negative
» 5:55 – 6:05 Crossings Placement Exercise – positive only
» 6:05 – 6:15 Two Parks-Related Visual Preference Exercises
» 6:15 – 6:30 Evaluation of Two Alternatives in Light of Exercises
» 6:30 – 6:35 Conclusion: Explanation of next steps / call to further action
» 6:35 Done (documents can be viewed until 7pm)

Delta Planning, the team of PSU grad students working on this project have created, draft alternatives with two options. One alternative is called the Active Corridors. The focus of development occurs along a linear park, which stretches from the office area in the south to the residential area in the north.

The other alternative is called Neighborhood Centers. The focus of development occurs in two neighborhood centers, which are located where the light rail stops are expected to be located.

UPDATE: April 4, 2016

How do YOU want to improve walkability in the Tigard Triangle?

Delta Planning created this online survey and this online map to gather input on walking hazards and deterrents. The survey is being used to gather input from users of the Tigard Triangle in both commercial and residential areas. Delta Planning will use the feedback to make recommendations on how Tigard can achieve its goal of becoming the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest. Delta Planning will provide preliminary results at its Community Design Workshop on April 20th.

What:  Community Design Workshop for Triangle Walkability Planning
When:  Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Western Bikeworks – Tigard, (7295 SW Dartmouth Ave)
Plus:  FREE food and gift card drawing

Download the survey!

UPDATE: March 21, 2016

This week, the Delta Planning team will start using State of Place’s quantitative tool to gather data on existing built conditions along about 80 segments in the Tigard Triangle and Downtown Tigard. A segment includes the walking and urban design conditions from one intersection to the next intersection. State of Place will use the segment data to create segment profiles and indexes of the current state of walkability and urban design in the Tigard Triangle and Downtown Tigard. Each segment profile and index is created using 280 data points. The State of Place Index has ten parameters, which is based on the 280 data points. The graphic below provides an example of the type of analysis Delta Planning is working with.

Place Example

UPDATE: March 14, 2016
Data Collection in the Tigard Triangle and Downtown Tigard

Through working with State of Place, Delta Planning collected walkability and urban design data in the Tigard Triangle and Downtown Tigard. State of Place trained Delta Planning on how to properly collect walkability and urban design data using the Fulcrum app. As the below map shows, Delta Planning walked every block of the Tigard Triangle and Downtown Tigard. They included Downtown Tigard because they wanted to compare Downtown Tigard to the Tigard Triangle.

Data Collection Map

The data collection process involved starting at an intersection then moving along the entire segment then ending at the next intersection. Through this process, Delta Planning answered over 200 questions about the walkability and urban design of the segment. An example question is whether the intersection has marked crosswalks at all the places where people are expected to cross the intersection. As the below photo shows, Delta Planning found a crosswalk closed at the intersection near Walmart in the Tigard Triangle. The three other sides of the intersection have crosswalks so this crosswalk closure results in people having to go out of their way to walk across the other three sides of the intersection in order to reach their destination. Through collecting data about this, Delta Planning is providing the City of Tigard with the data they need to improve walkability in the Tigard Triangle.


UPDATE: March 8, 2016

Community Engagement DiagramThe community engagement diagram shows the variety of methods Delta Planning is creating to gather public input.

The Delta Planning team presented their project to the Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee last week and will present to the Tigard Planning Commission and Tigard City Center Development Agency this week.

The Delta Planning team will begin gathering information from visitors, business leaders, shoppers and residents through interviews and surveys. Paper and online survey results will set the stage for a community workshop in April.

Meet the Team

Wala Abuhejleh:  Wala is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at PSU specializing in community development. She has a background in architecture and is passionate about re-energizing and revitalizing neighborhoods. She is interested in reinforcing the connection between the Tigard Triangle and its community to help enhance livability and environmental quality through walkability initiatives.

Ray Atkinson:  Ray is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at PSU specializing in transportation. He is from Kannapolis, NC, and was raised in a home that has a Walk Score of zero. He is passionate to use his GIS knowledge to help the Tigard Triangle become more walkable, so people don’t have to rely on an automobile for every trip.

Linn Davis:  Linn is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at PSU specializing in land use with a particular interest in public participation. He is passionate about walkable neighborhoods and the potential of this project to bring together technical tools and public input to yield a slate of specific walkability strategies in the Triangle.

Curtis Fisher:  Curtis is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at PSU specializing in transportation and land use. His professional interest is in improving overall well-being by enhancing the quality of the built environment. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Western Michigan University and a graduate certificate in paralegal studies from Woodbury College in Vermont.

Project Summary

The City of Tigard’s Community Development Department is leading the way in reinventing the suburbs through walkability initiatives, lean code, form based code, innovative community engagement and community focused economic development.  We’ve had some help along the way. Tigard’s vision to become the “most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest where citizens live healthy, interconnected lives” was preceded and guided by a 2013 MURP Team (Step Up Studio). PSU’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program pairs graduate students with local communities on a real-world planning project to complete their graduate studies.

This year, four graduate students chose a new project working with the City of Tigard. Good planning creates a cascade of benefits -- real estate premiums, transit access, density, livability and built form - which all create value, quality of life, and economic performance in neighborhoods, walkable centers and commercial districts.  How do we quantify these benefits, and use “state of place” measures to inform future planning decisions?

Led by a MURP team of graduate students, using the “State of Place” process, we will profile existing built environment performance, diagnose assets and recognize opportunities for improvement based on ten urban design features. Graphically presenting these performance measures (part of the State of Place approach) makes it easy for communities and stakeholders to understand how walkable they are and how best to improve walkability and economic performance. The MURP team will then use the State of Place profiles they develop to inform a strategic investment plan based on a community’s existing conditions specific goals (economic, quality of life, and current capacity budget, organizational structure, etc.)

The City of Tigard, and the suburbs in general, are ready for a more complex and holistic lens for urban planning. The State of Place approach provides that systems thinking. The city is excited to work with a team of practitioners with a strong foundation in urban planning to implement this approach to planning.  MURP graduate students have the critical thinking, flexibility of perspective and orientation to good planning practice essential to this project. 

Related Projects

In 2014, a similar team of graduate students from the MURP program at PSU worked on a city-wide project called “Tigard Walks.” This team, calling themselves “Step Up Studio” explored strategies for improving walkability in the City of Tigard.

The Walkable Neighborhoods Plan for Tigard outlines a set of strategies to help Tigard’s residents, businesses, and leaders build their city into a more walkable place. These five strategies are based on three core values gleaned from StepUP Studio’s outreach efforts to the people living and working in and for the city of Tigard.

  • Family Friendly Neighborhoods Tigard’s neighborhoods should be safe, vibrant communities, where people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to walk, talk, learn, and play.
  • Living Close to Home Tigard’s neighborhoods should contain the destinations, facilities, and amenities that meet the needs of their residents.
  • Informed and Empowered Citizens Tigard’s residents should have the tools, resources, and expertise to help make their communities better.

Click on the links below to learn more about the 2014 Tigard Walks project from Step Up Studio:

A Communications Plan 
Example Map: Woodard Park Walking Map 
Final Report | Appendices 
GIS Network Analysis Guide
Toolkit for Neighborhoods


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