The NITC Guide to the 2018 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference

posted on Thursday, December 14, 2017, 11:45am PST

This page serves as a homebase for our coverage of the 2018 Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual conference. Check back here for ongoing updates, as well as our Twitter and Facebook.

  • NITC GUIDE TO TRB (print-friendly PDF): our printable schedule of where all of our NITC researchers will be presenting at lectures, poster sessions, and workshops
  • NITC RECEPTION AT TRB: Join us for transportation bingo, co-hosted with TransitCenter, on Monday, January 8th (7–10:30pm) nearby at Fado Irish Pub
  • NITC STUDENT AWARD AT CUTC BANQUET: We’ll be celebrating our 2017 NITC “Student of the Year”, Jordan Preston of Oregon Tech at the annual CUTC Banquet. She has been working as a graduate research assistant on two NITC-funded projects, learn...
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Alex Bigazzi, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia

Alex Bigazzi, a former Post-Doctoral NITC researcher and student, received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Portland State University in 2014. Learn more about Alex:

NITC Researcher ProfileLinkedIn | UCB Faculty Profile

Read an article on his recent research on congestion pricing


Tell us about yourself:

My name is Alex Bigazzi and I am an assistant professor, joint-appointed in transportation engineering and planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. My main research areas are transportation emissions and air quality and active travel.

Why did you decide to attend Portland State University?

The original decision was driven almost entirely by location. I was living in Portland, decided to go back to school for a second bachelor’s degree, and didn’t want to leave town. PSU was a reputable public institution, so I enrolled. I originally had no plans...

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Principal Investigator: Arthur C. Nelson
Learn more about this research on the Project Overview page.

Researchers Robert Hibberd and Arthur C. Nelson at the University of Arizona are investigating the jobs-housing balance in transit neighborhoods. They're looking to identify patterns in the way that jobs and housing have concentrated near transit over time.

The paper they'll be presenting at this year's TRB annual meeting specifically looks at Chicago, before and after the great recession of 2008.

In the early 2000s, lower-income jobs were concentrated closest to transit. Higher-income jobs were spreading out to the suburbs, following the sprawl of development. The housing recession of 2008 seems to have caused that pendulum to swing back: from 2009 to 2014, higher-income jobs began crowding into the suddenly more competitive transit-adjacent areas.

The way these things are...

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Jordan Preston, Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech)
Oregon Tech Student Profile | LinkedIn

Jordan Preston, co-terminal BS/MS candidate in civil engineering at Oregon Tech, has been selected as the 2017 NITC university transportation center “Student of the Year.”

She'll be recognized at the upcoming annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Check out what else is happening with NITC and TREC at TRB 2018.

Jordan has been involved with NITC since she arrived on campus, and is now in her third year in an executive role in the NITC-funded Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter. She has since been hired on as a Research Assistant on two NITC projects:

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Principal Investigator: Miguel Figliozzi, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief, related publications and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

In the last decade there has been a national trend toward projects that involve roadway space reallocation across modes. "Road Diets," in which one or more travel lanes are removed to make space for wider and safer bicycle and pedestrian space, is a common type of roadway reallocation.

A new NITC report by Miguel Figliozzi and Travis Glick of Portland State University offers a new methodology for doing before-and-after studies of these projects using high-resolution transit data. The data used in this project was supplied by TriMet, the transit provider for the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region.

Typically, before-and-after studies of roadway changes have used data on vehicle speeds to determine effects of change, without considering transit. By using datasets from transit providers, researchers can measure transit and also general traffic speed, so the data serve both purposes.

"This is a new methodology; something that no...

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Principal Investigator: Keith Bartholomew, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the one-page Project Brief, related products and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

New laws in California and Oregon—California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375) and the Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (SB 1059)—have made them the first states in the nation to try and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using the transportation planning process.

A new NITC report coauthored by Keith Bartholomew and David Proffitt of the University of Utah evaluates how these pioneering laws have changed local planning processes in each state. Under these laws, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) must include climate goals in their regional transportation plans; coordinating land use and transportation infrastructure in a way that aims at reducing per capita GHG emissions.

"The MPOs have to show how, in the future, they could accomodate population growth, new housing and new...

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TREC is searching for a transportation data program manager to administer our Portal Program.

The Portal Program Administrator will work on a variety of transportation data projects that require data synthesis, analysis, presentation and visualization.

This individual will work closely with the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), PORTAL (the Portland Region transportation data archive), and bike-ped data to develop requirements and recommendations on improving the usability of the Portland regional transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian data to help meet the needs of transportation agency end-users.

The PORTAL transportation data archive contains freeway (speed, count, travel time), arterial (travel time, traffic signal, bicycle count, pedestrian push button), transit, incident, weigh-in-motion and weather data. The BikePed Portal is the national archive for bicycle and pedestrian count data.

For more information and to apply, visit the Portland State University job posting or view the full...

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Our National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research program has awarded grant funding for a new series of Small Starts projects.

Small Starts grants assist researchers who are interested in transportation but have not yet had an opportunity to undertake a small project—$15,000 in funding or less—that supports NITC's theme of safe, healthy and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities.

The latest projects selected by NITC's executive committee support that theme in exploring livable streets, multimodal safety and transportation efficiency.

The six newly funded projects are:

  • Is There a "Buy Local" Case for Lower Travel Speeds? Testing Differences in Driver Recognition of Local Versus National Retail at Different Travel Speeds—Jonathan Bean and Arlie Adkins, University of Arizona (Full Proposal)
  • How Will Autonomous Vehicles Change Local Government Budgeting and Finance? A Case Study of Solid Waste, Drop-off/Pick-up Zones, and Parking—Benjamin Clark, University of Oregon (...
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Abolfazl Karimpour, Graduate Research Assistant in Engineering Mechanics at University of Arizona

Learn more about Abolfazl by following him on Facebook, or find his published articles on LinkedIn.


Tell us about yourself:

My name is Abolfazl, I born in Mashhad, Iran. I am a second year Ph.D. student in Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Arizona. My specialty is in Transportation Engineering, and I am working as a full time research assistant in the Smart Transportation Lab.

Why did you decide to attend University of Arizona?

I had the opportunity to continue my studies and enroll in the doctoral program in Iran, however it would not have provided me with the same learning opportunities as studying at the University of Arizona. Working and researching in UofA enabled me to advance my educational goals and make positive contributions to the field. My background in Transportation Engineering closely matches with what my colleagues are doing in Smart Transportation Lab, which made me choose this university. 

What are your career aspirations after you graduate?

My...

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Principal Investigator: Reid Ewing, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief, related presentations, and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

A new report from the University of Utah uses data to settle a debate that has been ongoing among transportation researchers since the 1990s: what are the effects of compact development on traffic congestion?

One camp argues that dense, compact development with a mixture of land uses will ultimately relieve congestion by encouraging fewer auto trips. On the opposite side, proponents of highway-induced, sprawling development argue that sprawl decreases congestion by funneling traffic away from dense areas, acting as a "traffic safety valve."

Led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah and Shima Hamidi of the University of Texas at Arlington, this NITC study sought to address the question through cross sectional data. So which of these forms of urban development is better at reducing area-wide traffic congestion?

Surprisingly, neither.

Ewing and Hamidi arrived at the conclusion that development density—whether...

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Livability encompasses several aspects of community, including safe, walkable neighborhoods; quality transit service and healthy green spaces. Making these types of benefits more available to underserved and marginalized populations is a key component of TREC's research focus. With the support of the Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture Endowment, every year we host leaders who have made great strides in advocating for health, safety, and bicycle and pedestrian access.

For our 4th annual Ann Niles Lecture we've invited Tamika Butler – Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. In her current role she grows healthier, safer, and stronger communities through the creation of urban parks and community gardens—addressing the critical lack of green and recreational spaces in greater Los Angeles' underserved neighborhoods. Prior to this, Butler was the the executive director of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, bringing energy and passion to the quest for better bicycle access. 

Through our programs, including the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPIand...

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