Alexis Biddle, a graduate student at the University of Oregon, has been named a 2016 Eno Fellow and will participate in the Eno Future Leaders Development Conference this June.

“I am most looking forward to broadening my vision of transportation policy. The people that I meet in the five days of the Leadership Development Conference will shape my perspective for my lifetime… I expect to return to Oregon with a reformed sense of my role in transportation policy and politics,” Biddle said.

He is currently pursuing a joint degree between the Community & Regional Planning program and the Law School at UO. He has worked on NITC research projects under the guidance of UO professor Rebecca Lewis, co-organized the student-run Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, and s active in the local transportation advocacy organization Better Eugene Springfield Transit (BEST).

The goal of the Eno Leadership Development Conference is to cultivate the next generation of leaders in all modes of transportation. Eno fellows...

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New research from the NITC program identifies key strategies for integrating freight into livability planning.

The typical vision of a livable neighborhood does not include big trucks—with their emissions, vibrations, noise and congestion—traveling through it. So where livability is a goal of the planning process, freight runs the risk of not being considered except as an afterthought or as something to be excluded.

However, because economic prosperity is an important characteristic of livable communities, freight will inevitably be needed and must be incorporated into the planning process.

Investigators Kristine Williams and Alex Carroll of the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research conducted a NITC research project to explore the relationship between freight and livability. Their goal was to provide a “menu of options” for planners to be aware of when considering freight solutions.

“There is a strong push for more livable, walkable and bikeable communities throughout the U.S. and without this kind of information, there may be more of a focus on where we don’t want to have trucks, rather than designating truck routes and identifying appropriate circulation routes for last mile deliveries,” Williams said.

The report, “Integrating...

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The NITC program has selected two dissertation fellows for the spring 2016 round of dissertation funding.

Portland State University Ph.D. candidates Patrick Singleton and Kristina Currans will each be awarded a $15,000 fellowship to support their doctoral dissertation research.

Both Currans and Singleton are also Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Graduate Fellows.

Singleton, a former Eno fellow and NITC’s 2015 student of the year, will focus his research on the “positive utility of travel.” 

Traditionally, travel is considered a means to an end, and travel demand is derived from activity demand. More recently, scholars have questioned these axioms, noting that some people enjoy traveling, use travel time productively, and may travel for non-utilitarian reasons.

Singleton will explore this concept, empirically investigating what factors determine the positive utility of travel and its impact on travel behavior. 

His research has important implications for transportation planning and policy, through improving knowledge of influences on sustainable modes and anticipating potential behavioral shifts with autonomous vehicles.

Currans, a former NITC scholar, student of the year and inductee into the Portland State University Women Engineers Hall of Fame, will be researching data and methodological issues in assessing multimodal transportation impacts.

As cities aim to promote sustainable, multimodal growth, existing...

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Protected bicycle lanes have gained popularity as a safer way to get more people cycling. Earlier research from the Transportation Research and Education Center, TREC, at Portland State University showed that people feel safer in lanes with a physical barrier between bicycle and motor vehicle traffic.

The research hadn’t closely studied the intersections, where the barriers—and the protection they offer—go away. With little research guidance, agencies across the country could face the prospect of using untested approaches or avoiding protected lanes altogether.

TREC, through its National Institute for Transportation and Communities pooled-fund program, is now addressing intersections for protected lanes. The program lets agencies and interested partners invest small amounts to join research with a national impact. For this project, 11 partners each put $5,000 to $50,000 toward the $250,000 cost.

The project will help agencies decide which intersection treatments to use in which cases, and what elements each should include. Toole Design Group will work with the Portland State research team to tailor the results to practitioners.
 
“Right now, it’s based on their judgment,” said...

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Miranda Barrus, a NITC scholar and student at the Oregon Institute of Technology, has been awarded a 2016 national WTS scholarship.

Barrus is the recipient of the WTS CH2M Hill Partnership Scholarship, an award granted to students on a transportation career track who demonstrate outstanding skills and academic record.

She has also been awarded WTS Portland chapter scholarships for the last two years, the 2015 WTS Portland Gail Achterman Leadership Graduate Scholarship and the 2014 Sharon D. Banks Undergraduate Scholarship.

Barrus’ interest in structures initially led her into studying civil engineering. But after taking many transportation electives, versatile internships, and the influence of many mentors along the way, she realized transportation was her true passion. 

Intrigued by transportation innovations, planning, design, and construction, Barrus wants to be an engineer that is challenged to make transportation improvements to a community. 

Barrus has had experience working for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, OBEC Consulting Engineers and the Washington...

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NITC researcher Marc Schlossberg is bringing his work on complete streets to a new, international audience: planners and practitioners in Israel.

On Thursday, January 21, a national “Rethinking Israeli Streets” workshop held at Tel Aviv University was attended by around 100 academics and professionals – a significant turnout for this first-of-its-kind event.

Experts gathered at the conference to present their ideas for lessening automobile dependency in Israel’s future, a vision that the Jerusalem Post described as “blissful.”

Schlossberg, who co-organized the conference, is currently working in Haifa under a Fulbright scholarship. As part of his earlier NITC research he co-authored the book Rethinking Streets, an evidence-based design guide for complete street transformations....

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, program invites proposals for a new round of research, education, and technology transfer projects for 2016.

NITC is focused on contributing to transportation projects that support innovations in: livability, incorporating safety and environmental sustainability.

This grant is part of the University Transportation Center program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and is a partnership between Portland State University, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology, the University of Utah and the University of South Florida.

Projects should range from $30,000 to $150,000. Projects can focus on research, education, or technology transfer. All projects submitted for this RFP will undergo peer review. All awards require a 1 to 1.2 (unless otherwise noted) non-federal match in the form of cash or in-kind services from project partners—to include universities, transportation and other public agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations.

Download the RFP, and visit the researchers page for more details on how to apply.

Abstracts are due March 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM PDT. Full proposals will be due April 15.

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The NITC research program has announced its Small Starts grant awards for 2016.

The purpose of the Small Starts grant is to assist researchers who are interested in transportation but have not 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.

Projects awarded Small Starts funding in this round include studies of connectivity for active travel routes, explorations of the reasons why people choose active travel modes, and investigations of transportation barriers for the food insecure.

Funded projects in this round are:

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Today marks the final day of NITC program presentations at TRB. NITC campuses feature in six posters at 8:30 a.m. and one lectern session, at 8 a.m.

Portland State University doctoral student Joe Broach presents a portion of the work that makes up his dissertation at the 8:30 a.m. poster session, in Hall E of the convention center.

Through earlier work, Broach learned the distances cyclists will detour from the shortest path to, say, avoid stop signs or use an off-road path. But that work said little about whether a person was likely to use a bicycle for that trip at all. 

That earlier work helped Broach get a sense of actual routes people might bicycle or walk along. For this research, he took that one step further, determining if the features of those routes influenced the decision to walk or bike at all.  

The poster is titled, “Using Predicted Bicyclist and Pedestrian Route Choice to Enhance Mode Choice Models” (Paper No. 16-4108).

Broach said he pursued the mode-choice-model approach after the route-choice models alone left some questions unanswered, particularly those of the cycling gender gap. Bike boulevards, the low-traffic neighborhood streets that prioritize cyclists, attracted male and female riders at about the same rates, for example.

But the question wasn’t whether women who had made the choice to bicycle would take bike boulevards. Rather, it was...

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Today is the biggest day of the annual Transportation Research Board meeting for posters and presentations from NITC program affiliated campuses. The day starts with an 8:30 a.m. poster session featuring eight NITC affiliate posters and ends with the NITC reception and transportation trivia.

An "Emerging Research in Bicycling" lectern session at 1:30 p.m. will highlight two separate NITC projects. In one, Portland State University researchers Jennifer Dill and Nathan McNeil discuss their research on the "Four Types of Transit Cyclist" typologies first proposed by Roger Geller of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. 

The research follows up on our earlier research, which validated the typologies for the city of Portland. The current project looks at whether it also applies nationwide.

Dill and McNeil asked a sample of 3,000 people in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. to state their comfort bicycling in various environments, their interest in bicycling and recent behavior. They found that the distribution of people who can be categorized in the four groups:...

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