Event Date:
Nov 08, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Signalized intersections often rely on vehicle detection to determine when to give a green light. The 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) includes an on-pavement marking and curbside sign that public agencies can use to indicate where cyclists should position themselves while waiting at an intersection. This presentation reviews the effectiveness of current markings, signs, and other methods used to help cyclists properly position themselves over detection.

Stefan Bussey is an undergraduate civil engineering student at Portland State University. He is interested in exploring how road users’ interactions with each other and the built environment affect the efficiency and safety of road networks. He currently works as a civil design intern at Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc. 

Event Date:
Feb 28, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Urban bicyclists’ uptake of traffic-related air pollution is still not well quantified, due to a lack of direct measurements of uptake and a lack of analysis of the variation in uptake. This paper describes and establishes the feasibility of a novel method for measuring bicyclists’ uptake of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by sampling breath concentrations. Early results from the data set demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to generate findings for transportation analysis, with statistically significant exposure and uptake differences from bicycling on arterial versus bikeway facilities for several traffic-related VOC. These results provide the first empirical evidence that the usage of bikeways (or greenways) by bicyclists within an urban environment can significantly reduce uptake of dangerous traffic-related gas pollutants. Dynamic concentration and respiration data reveal unfavorable correlations from a health impacts perspective, where bicyclists’ respiration and travel time are greater at higher-concentration locations on already high-concentration roadways (arterials).

Bio: Alex Bigazzi is a Ph.D. candidate in Transportation Engineering at PSU, where he is also teaching a class on transportation emissions modeling. His dissertation investigates how urban...

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Event Date:
Feb 21, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: In this seminar, Tara Weidner will discuss changes in the works to the State Analysis Procedures Manual (APM) to include three graduated levels of bike planning methods for use in Oregon communities, based on community size, data needs, and planning stage.  These include the Bike Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS), a sketch tool used to assess bike network connectivity, the data-heavy Highway Capacity Manual Multi-modal Level of Service (MMLOS) procedures, and a simplified MMLOS developed by the same researchers. 

Bio: Tara Weidner is an Integrated Transportation Analysis Engineer in ODOT’s Transportation Planning Analysis Unit (TPAU).  She has over 20 years of experience in modeling and analysis of multi-modal transportation systems. Her work focuses on arming Oregon’s communities with tools to plan for the future, including being the lead on ODOT’s GreenSTEP Greenhouse Gas model and coordinating other multi-modal transportation and land use tools and analysis. She joined TPAU about a year ago after working as a Senior Planner for Parsons Brinkerhoff (PB), where she was the consultant lead for the ODOT StateWide Integrated Model (SWIM) and worked with the FHWA on Mega-Regions modeling tools and managed a webinar series on "Climate Change Planning for MPOs.

Event Date:
Jan 17, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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View slides: Bell Presentation (PDF)

Moore Presentation (PDF)

Ma Presentation (PDF)

Summaries: 
Identification and Characterization of PM2.5 and VOC Hot Spots on Arterial Corridor by Integrating Probe Vehicle, Traffic, and Land Use Data: The purpose of this study is to explore the use of integrated probe vehicle, traffic and land use data to identify and characterize fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and volatile organic compound (VOC) hot spot locations on urban arterial corridors. An emission hot spot is defined as a fixed location along a corridor in which the mean pollutant concentrations are consistently above the 85th percentile of pollutant concentrations when considering all other locations along the corridor during the same time period. In order to collect data for this study, an electric vehicle was equipped with instruments designed to measure PM2.5 and VOC concentrations. Second-by-second measurements were performed for each pollutant from both the right and left sides of the vehicle. Detailed meteorological, traffic and land use data is also available for this research. The results of a statistical analysis are used to better understand which...

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Event Date:
May 30, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: This presentation is a showcase of various GIS tools developed for bicycle network analysis and planning. The showcase includes a tool for assessing community-wide bikeability, a tool for forecasting bicycle volumes based on street topology, and a tool for evaluating different bicycle improvement plans in terms of exposure to danger situations for bicyclists. The tools will be demonstrated with case study data. The presentation will include a review of the Highway Capacity Manual Bicycle Level of Service and a discussion about using bicycle and pedestrian data collected through citizen-volunteer count programs.

Bio: Dr. Michael Lowry holds a joint appointment in Civil Engineering and Bioregional Planning at the University of Idaho. He is an affiliate researcher for the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. His research focuses on capital investment decision-making and transportation planning for bicyclists and pedestrians. Dr. Lowry teaches courses related to sustainable transportation, engineering statistics, and economic analysis. He received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington and BS and MS from Brigham Young University.

Event Date:
May 02, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Cycling is on the rise across the U.S. and its popularity has grown beyond the usual leaders - Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Davis, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Boulder, CO. New York City, NY Chicago, IL and Washington, DC are among those cities making significant investments in bike infrastructure in recent years and have realized substantial growth in people taking to the streets on two wheels. This presentation will summarize some results from our comprehensive assessment of the safety, operations, economic impacts, user experience, and perceptions of new protected bikeways in 5 cities U.S. cities (Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.). To support this research, the team collected and analyzed 204 hours of video, 2,300 returned surveys of residents, and 1,111 returned surveys from people intercepted riding the new facilities.

Bios: Dr. Christopher M. Monsere is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State University. Dr. Monsere’s primary research interests are in the areas of multimodal transportation safety; management and dissemination of large transportation datasets; and...

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Content Type: News Item

The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) is teaming up with Alta Planning + Design to offer a firsthand, on-the-ground training opportunity at the end of October.

They will teach a trail design course at Portland State University, with field tours of some of Portland's biggest trail challenges and best solutions.

Course instructors are Alta associates Robin Wilcox, George Hudson, and Karen Vitkay. They will share their experience and provide examples from some of the best trails around the country.

Multi-use trails, not accessible by car but meant to be shared by pedestrians, cyclists and the occasional leashed dog, are pleasant routes by almost anyone’s standards. Often winding through wooded areas or along waterways, insulated from the noise of traffic and offering contact with nature, they present an attractive alternative to cyclists who are not as comfortable riding on busy streets.

While any segment of trail can offer a pleasant stroll, the true beauty of shared-use trails lies in being able to use them: as an alternate, off-street means of travel, a route to school or a way to get to work in the morning. A widespread switch from driving on streets to...

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Event Date:
Nov 21, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: The most recent edition of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) contains analysis procedures for measuring the level-of-service (LOS), also referred to as quality of service, provided by an urban roadway to bicyclists. The method uses different design and operating features of the roadway segment (e.g. width, motor vehicle volumes and speeds) to assess an LOS grade of A (best) to F (worst). These procedures are used by planners and engineers to recommend how existing streets could be retrofitted or new streets designed to better serve people on bicycles (and other modes). However, the current HCM does not include methods that address protected bike lanes (aka “cycle tracks” or “separated bike lanes”), only conventional striped bike lanes, shoulders, and shared streets. There are other methods for predicting comfort from a bicyclist’s perspective that do consider protected bike lanes, but they are either based only on expert opinion or on surveys in Denmark.

This presentation will describe how to evaluate the level-of-service of a protected bike lane using results from surveys conducted in the United States. The model developed by this project could be used to supplement the current HCM to objectively consider a wider range...

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Content Type: News Item

An OTREC report from Oregon State University looked at various center median and bicycle lane configurations, and how they affect traffic at road access points.

In the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) publication A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, commonly known as the Green Book, access points include the intersections of public roads as well as driveway locations. In the Green Book, most of the supporting research for the spacing of driveways is based on standard highway design procedures. They include simple human factors and geometric principles, and have not been thoroughly evaluated based on a variety of road cross section configurations.

Principal investigator Karen Dixon of Oregon State University sought to close this research gap by evaluating the influences of select cross-sectional-related design elements, specifically median configurations and bicycle lanes, on driveways.

Dixon's research team evaluated eight physical sites and four simulated scenarios with different driveway spacing and roadway cross section designs. The primary research goal...

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Event Date:
Oct 31, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Speaker: Joseph Broach, Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University
Topic: Trick or Treatment? Impact of Route-Level Features on Decisions to Walk or Bike
Summary: Some travel routes attract people walking and cycling, while others may scare them away. What features of street environments are most important, and how do available routes affect decisions to bike or walk on a specific trip? 

Research to date has focused on either large-scale areal measures like "miles of bike lane nearby" or else has considered only shortest path routes. Neither method is suited to capturing the impact of targeted route-level policies like neighborhood greenways. This session will present a new technique for measuring bike and walk accessibility along the most likely route for a given trip. The method is applied to travel data, and results provide new insight into the relationship between route quality and travel mode choice.

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