Access + Mobility is a blog about maximizing transportation options for people who don’t drive. It is written primarily by members of our team with occasional guest articles from leading thinkers in the fields of community transportation, human services, and public policy.


Our objective in starting this blog is to share ideas and engage our readers in a conversation about transportation planning and policy impacting individuals who cannot drive, including: seniors, people with disabilities, and people who cannot afford to drive for their primary mode of transportation.

May 18, 2016

So much to love about Portland


Portland is known as a bastion of progressive land use and transportation planning, but this reputation didn't just happen. Our policies and places are a reflection of what we value. We value our environment, open spaces and agricultural lands. We value having choices for how we get around. And underlying all of this, we value collaboration. Over the years, leaders here have modeled patterns of working together that have led to landmarks in our development. From Portland's Urban Growth Boundary, to Tom McCall Waterfront Park to Ride Connection, the policies, places and organizations you hear about in Portland are derived from people working together to solve challenging problems.


This is why we at GridWorks are so proud to call Portland home. Portland's climate, culture and commitment to collaboration make this an excellent place to grow a mission-focused consulting firm. Our high standa...

February 3, 2016


Formerly C.R. Peterson Consulting, we've re-branded to reflect our growth as a team.  We are now GridWorks.

So what does this new name mean?


Obviously it has a strong connection to cities, structures and the hard work we put into solving problems. It speaks to our role as city planners and the intersectionality of our work in areas like health and transportation. Our tag line “Solutions at the intersection of Access + Mobility” alludes to our interdisciplinary approach to projects.


But more important than the literal references the name conveys, I want to talk about some of the deeply meaningful symbolism reflected in this change. To me, this new moniker is really about teamwork and purpose.


When I started this firm I named it after myself because, well, it was just me at the time. As the firm has grown over the past two years, I have come to understand certain things about the meaning of the work we do here and how o...

August 28, 2015

I’d like to share a few thoughts about the future of this firm.



C.R. Peterson Consulting was formed in 2013 when I was laid off from my position as Director of Consulting at Ride Connection here in Portland, OR. At the time, I formed the company out of necessity: I had clients who needed me to finish work and a family to feed. That was exactly a year ago today.

During the first three months on my own, my focus was survival. But after finishing a few projects with happy clients and after winning several additional jobs, I realized the timing was right to build the business I’ve always wanted to build.


At the beginning of this year I made a decision that I would commit myself to turning C.R. Peterson Consulting into more than a single-shingle consulting firm. My goal is to build a team of passionate and talented people who are dedicated to solving what I call the community transportation crisis. I...

September 17, 2013


When demanding a more efficient public transportation system, Elected officials often talk of witnessing multiple paratransit or other accessible vehicles lined up on the curb in front of the Hospital, each picking up or dropping off a single passenger. The assumption that many elected leaders have is that vehicle capacity could be used more effectively if more customers were grouped. For years this has been the rationale behind major federal and state initiatives to improve coordination of human-service transportation programs. Indeed, much of my professional career has focused on implementing programs that improve coordination of limited transportation resources.


While I generally agree that HST programs often can be better coordinated, today I want to highlight an important piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked.  In doing so, I hope to provi...

September 8, 2013


This week I’m writing about something that has been on my mind for a while: lower-tech (relatively) alternatives that build one-call infrastructure for non-drivers looking for transportation options.  I’m assuming most of my readers know what I mean by “one-call.” For those who don’t, CTAA provides a helpful primer on the “one-call/one-click” concept. The basic idea is to provide a one-stop shopping experience for customers who are looking for a ride.


In my consulting practice I have come across a number of mighty proposals to build  systems that aspire to provide an “” experience for human services transportation trips. Indeed, FTA recently awarded over $60 million in one-time capital funding to build one-call/one-click systems. While I fully expect trip planning software to eventually move toward online multi-modal trip booking, I think there are other simpler technologies that are often overlooked i...

February 7, 2013


Using 2010 Census and 2005 – 2009 American Community Survey data I studied the changing concentration of seniors and people with low incomes relative to their distance from the central business district in four major metropolitan areas.  I selected cities with new light rail systems and tried to cover a cross-section of geographic regions across the lower 48 states.  The cities I selected were Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dallas, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. My paper was accepted for a poster session during this year’s annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.  The full poster is available at the link below.






The finding is consistent for all four metro regions: younger, more affluent populations are becoming more concentrated in close-in neighborhoods while older, poorer populations...

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