As we previously reported, Patrick Singleton, a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University, was selected to attend the 2015 Eno Future Leaders Development Conference in Washington, DC, last week. As an Eno Fellow, Patrick attended a series of meetings and tours designed to be an introduction to the transportation policymaking landscape. Here, he shares his experience in his own words.

Last week I had the pleasure and honor to attend the 2015 Eno Center for Transportation’s Future Leaders Development Conference, in Washington, DC. Along with 19 other graduate students from around the country, I learned about federal transportation policymaking from leaders in the field.

During the week, we met with a wide array of distinguished speakers on a variety of transportation topics. We heard how Capitol Hill deals with transportation legislation from Congressional staffers. We debated big policy issues in the aviation industry with an airport CEO, trade organization lobbyists, and expert consultants. We learned about new requirements for performance management from...

Read more

The goal is to keep people moving west. Seems like an easy enough task, but currently there is no way for cyclists to keep riding west from the University of Oregon campus on 13th Avenue after Hilyard Street in Eugene, Oregon.

That’s where LiveMove, the UO’s transportation and livability student group, stepped in and developed the 13th Avenue Project to create a two-way protected bike lane along the north end of the street. The new bike route will travel from the university campus to Olive Street, a distance of over a mile.

It’s a project that’s now on the city of Eugene’s Capital Improvement Plan budget for 2018, and it was the task of LiveMove president Ross Peizer and incoming vice president Brett Setterfield to present a poster outlining the project at the American Planning Association’s 2015 National Conference in Seattle, where they won the FAICP Choice Award.

After weeks of hard work and countless hours of looking at a computer screen, the team developed a poster that clearly and professionally detailed the 13th Avenue Project.

See the winning poster here.

During the presentation, the students had several people approach and ask what the project was all about.

“One particular individual...

Read more

A new study led by Miguel Figliozzi of Portland State University provides a microscopic evaluation of how two advanced traffic control technologies work together.

Powell Boulevard, an east-west arterial corridor in southeast Portland, Oregon, has been the focus of several research studies by Figliozzi’s TTP research lab. The street is a key route for public transit buses as well as pedestrians and cars, but heavy traffic at peak hours often results in delays.

On Powell there are two systems operating concurrently: a demand-responsive traffic signal system called Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) and a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system. The TSP in the Portland metro region is designed to give priority to late buses and to boost transit performance.

In previous studies Figliozzi’s lab has analyzed a multitude of factors on Powell Boulevard including traffic congestion, transit times, air quality and cyclists’ intake of air pollutants, and a before/after evaluation of SCATS.

For this study, the researchers used a novel approach to evaluate how well SCATS and TSP work together by integrating three major data sources and video recordings at individual intersections.

Figliozzi’s team worked closely with TriMet and the City of Portland to...

Read more

Two Oregon elementary schools recently had their parking lots redesigned by the students.

5th grade classes at Beaverton’s Chehalem Elementary and 5th and 6th graders at Tobias Elementary in Aloha took part in a NITC education project, Investigations in Transportation, co-sponsored by Portland State University, the Portland Metro STEM Partnership and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The students' work yielded functional changes which will likely be made to the parking lots at both schools, resulting in better traffic flow and increased capacity.

William Becker, the director of PSU’s Center for Science Education, and Carol Biskupic-Knight began the NITC project in collaboration with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership, where Biskupic-Knight is the director of the STEM teachers academy.

The unit was designed to teach students real-world applications of core concepts in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). After exploring several potential engineering challenges at their schools, both groups of students chose to work on the “Parking Lot Dilemma.”

Transportation professionals from ODOT visited the...

Read more

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) invites proposals for Spring 2015 Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowships.

Who can apply?

NITC dissertation fellowships are open to students currently enrolled in a transportation-related doctoral program at Portland State University (PSU), University of Oregon (UO), Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), University of South Florida (USF) or the University of Utah (UU).

To be eligible, the student must be a U.S. Citizen and must have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree prior to the application deadline of May 1, 2015.

Interested students should download the Request for Proposals and Application Form or visit the NITC For Researchers page for more information on submitting proposals.

All research proposals must be consistent with the NITC theme of livability, incorporating safety and environmental sustainability. A more detailed explanation of the theme can be found in the Request for Proposals and Application Form.

This grant is part of the University Transportation Center (UTC) program funded by the U....

Read more

To be published later this spring is some of the first bicycle-focused research into shared space, a controversial urban design approach pioneered in the Netherlands in the 1990s.

Allison Duncan, a PhD candidate in urban studies & planning at Portland State University, earned a NITC dissertation fellowship in 2014 and used the research grant to study shared space intersections in the United Kingdom.

Shared space designs have recently been adopted at a handful of sites in the UK and others scattered across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. They are characterized by a lack of physical guidelines such as curbs, road surface markings and traffic signs to define who has the right-of-way.

The idea is for pedestrians, cars and bicycles to mingle in a common zone and use eye contact and natural communication to make sure no one gets hurt.

“Cyclists and pedestrians are supposed to be able to treat it more like a plaza and just cross where they want to, and drivers are supposed to yield,” Duncan said.

As a street design scheme, shared space isn’t exactly new. It’s more or less the way all streets were designed until the advent of cars, and is still the norm in many Asian countries where cars share the roads with a crowd of two- and three-wheeled...

Read more

The University of Oregon student group, LiveMove, shared lunch and an afternoon conversation on Monday, February 23rd, with Shelley Poticha, Director of the Urban Solutions program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The lunch was held on OU’s Eugene campus in Susan Campbell Hall, where Poticha engaged in an afternoon Q&A session with students from LiveMove.

The topic was transportation and livability related issues, with 13 participants in attendance.

In the evening following the Q&A, Poticha gave a presentation in Lawrence Hall. Her focus was on addressing best practices for implementing key concepts of new urbanism, as well as detailing dynamic approaches for achieving these goals.

Through aiding in the development of greener neighborhoods and implementation of better regional planning, Poticha is a national leader in assisting cities with creating sustainable communities. Prior to joining NRDC she was a senior advisor and director of the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Before joining HUD, she served as President and CEO of Reconnecting America, as well as the Executive Director of the Congress for New Urbanism.

LiveMove partnered with the Sustainable Cities Initiative (...

Read more

To help maximize the US Department of Transportation’s commitment to livable communities, NITC has opened a second round of funding for the Transportation for Livable Communities Pooled-Fund Research program.

This program gives regional and local agencies more opportunity to be invested in research with a national impact. Through the program, cities, counties, MPOs and other regional or local agencies can pool research dollars to leverage NITC funds for a single project.

We are currently seeking partners to identify research needs. In the second round of Pooled-Fund Research, partnering agencies will work with NITC staff to develop a clear problem statement.

Once the research problem statement is identified, NITC will issue a request for proposals (RFP) to faculty and investigators at our partner universities.

Who can submit?

Any agency such as a city, metropolitan planning organization, county, transit agency, etc. can submit research problem statements relating to NITC’s theme of livability, incorporating safety and environmental sustainability. NITC expects that the agency or group of agencies submitting a problem statement will pool funds to contribute to half the cost of the project and be a member of the technical advisory committee.

We are asking that agency partners provide non-federal dollars that can be used to match the NITC...

Read more

Shrinking cities, also known as legacy cities, are previously dense urban areas that have experienced significant population loss. Some of the most striking examples in the United States are historical automobile manufacturing cities like Detroit, Buffalo and Cleveland.

In these cities, the thinning of the population coupled with the decay of physical infrastructure creates unique transportation challenges.

University of Utah researcher Joanna Ganning set out to find a tailored solution for this problem using accessibility-based transportation planning.

She will present her research in a webinar on Thursday, February 19.

In contrast to mobility-based planning, which focuses on the cost of transportation per mile traveled, accessibility-based planning places its emphasis on whether people have access to their destinations.

Ganning believes that there is a heightened need for accessibility-based planning in urban settings with population decline.

“We know that increased population density makes transit more efficient. In urban decline you’re losing people, so you don’t have that working for you,” Ganning said.

...

Read more

Kelly Clifton, a NITC researcher and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year.

She will spend three months in Lisbon, Portugal starting in January 2016, where she will work with faculty at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), part of the University of Lisbon.

Clifton will collaborate there with assistant professor João de Abreu e Silva, a fellow travel behavior researcher whose areas of interest lie in transportation systems and land use patterns, specifically in urban environments.

Clifton’s research into bicycle and pedestrian travel demand modeling and the consumer behavior of active travelers has the potential to be applied in downtown Lisbon, an area currently experiencing a revitalization through tourism.

Her work at the University of Lisbon will include a case study of a recently redesigned street near the university, with a new bike boulevard that has encouraged local merchants to...

Read more

Pages