About the Study

Skate Study PDX was a mixed-methods research study designed to gather information about skateboarding as a form of transportation. Urban planners who work on transportation issues have lots of information on how cars and public transit help people get around, and there has been some great research on biking recently, but planners don’t have much info about skateboarding as a way of getting from A to B.

There were two parts to the study:

  1. An online survey about where and why people skate. This survey was open to people ages 18 and up, who lived in the U.S. or Canada, who have skated as a way to get around within the last five years.
  2. Small focus group interviews with skaters in Portland, OR during January – March 2013. Portland skaters were encouraged to join a focus group as a way to share their experiences in depth.

This research was conducted as part of a masters degree in Urban Studies and Qualitative Methods at Portland State University. The intent for this research was to help urban planners and theorists expand their understanding of skating, and to incorporate some of the needs and preferences of skaters in the active transportation literature. Full results are available here for use by planners, skate groups, active transportation researchers, and others.

About the Researchers
Tessa CJ Walker conducted this research as a graduate thesis in Urban Studies at Portland State University in Oregon; she graduated in 2013 with an MUS in active transportation and qualitative research methods. She previously attended Marlboro College in Vermont where she wrote a thesis on post-socialist urban form.
Tessa has studied planning in Vietnam, Hungary, and Denmark, and has worked in land use planning, affordable housing, and public health. Originally from the Canadian Rockies, she now lives in Portland where she joined the Portland Bureau of Transportation in 2013 to work on transportation asset management projects.

This research was supervised by Dr. Jennifer DillDr. David Morgan, and Dr. Kelly Clifton of Portland State University.