Event Date:
Jan 13, 2012
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 4:13.

Wei Feng: Impacts of Economic, Technological and Operational Factors on the Economic Competitiveness of Electric Commercial Vehicles in Fleet Replacement Decisions

Electric commercial vehicles (ECV) have the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noise, and pollution in urban areas. In addition, ECVs have lower per-mile operating costs and potentially lower maintenance costs. However, the initial purchase cost of ECVs is significantly higher than the purchase cost of a conventional diesel vehicle. From a purely economic perspective, there is a cost tradeoff between the low operating and maintenance costs of ECVs and their high initial capital costs.  In this paper, a fleet replacement optimization framework is employed to analyze the competitiveness of ECVs. Scenarios with different fleet utilization, fuel efficiency and sensitivity analysis of ten additional factors indicate that ECVs are more cost effective when conventional diesel vehicles’ fuel efficiency is low (8.2 miles/gallon) and daily utilization is more than 54 miles. Breakeven values of some key economic and technological factors that separate the competitiveness between ECVs and conventional diesel vehicles are calculated in all scenarios. For example, in low conventional diesel vehicle fuel efficiency and low daily utilization scenario, ECVs are more competitive when their purchase prices...

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Event Date:
Jan 20, 2012
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 2:51.

Adam Moore: Bus Stop Air Quality: An Empirical Analysis of Exposure to Particulate Matter at Bus Stop Shelters

Congested traffic corridors in dense urban areas are key contributors to the degradation of urban air quality. While waiting at bus stops, transit patrons may be exposed to greater amounts of vehicle-based pollution, including particulate matter, due to their proximity to the roadway. Current guidelines for the location and design of bus stops do not take into account air quality or exposure considerations. This study compares the exposure of transit riders waiting at three-sided bus stop shelters that either: 1) face the roadway traffic or 2) face away from the roadway traffic. Shelters were instrumented with air quality monitoring equipment, sonic anemometers, and vehicle counters. Data were collected for two days at three shelters during both the morning and afternoon peak periods. Bus shelter orientation is found to significantly affect concentration of four sizes of particulate matter: ultrafine particles, PM1, PM2.5, and PM10. Shelters with an opening oriented towards the roadway were consistently observed to have higher concentrations inside the shelter than outside the shelter. In contrast, shelters oriented away from the roadway were observed to have lower concentrations inside the shelter than outside the shelter. The differences in particulate matter...

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Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Three students at NITC member universities have been awarded scholarships from the Portland, Oregon chapter of WTS.

Miranda Barrus, a civil engineering student at the Oregon Institute of Technology, is the 2014 recipient of the Sharon D. Banks Undergraduate Scholarship. The scholarship honors Sharon D. Banks, chief executive officer of AC Transit in Alameda-Contra Costa County, California, who led the agency in a pioneering effort to introduce cultural and organizational changes aimed at motivating the public transit work force.

Barrus serves as vice president of Oregon Tech’s student chapter of ITE, the Institute of Transportation Engineers. She also won a scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year from the Structural Engineers Association of Oregon Scholarship Foundation. She was selected for her leadership, participation in activities, and outstanding performance in engineering.

...

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Event Date:
Jan 11, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 3:22.

Steve Gehrke (CEE PhD) - Application of Geographic Perturbation Methods to Residential Locations in the Oregon Household Activity Survey: Proof of Concept

Travel demand models have advanced from zone-based methods to favor activity-based approaches that require more disaggregate data sources. Household travel surveys gather disaggregate data that may be utilized to better inform advanced travel demand models and also improve the understanding of how nonmotorized travel is influenced by a household’s surrounding built environment. However, the release of these disaggregate data is often limited by a confidentiality pledge between the household participant and survey administrator. Concerns regarding the disclosure risk of survey respondents to household travel surveys must be addressed before these household-level data may be released at their disaggregate geography. In an effort to honor this confidentiality pledge and facilitate the dissemination of valuable travel survey data, this research: (i) reviews geographical perturbation methods that seek to protect respondent confidentiality; (ii) outlines a procedure for implementing one promising practice, referred to as the donut masking technique; and (iii) demonstrates a proof of concept for this technique on ten respondents to a household activity travel survey in the Portland metropolitan region. To examine the balance...

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Event Date:
Jan 18, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 1:44.

Oliver Smith (USP PhD) - Peak of the day or the daily grind? Commuting and subjective well-being

To understand the impact of daily travel on personal and societal well-being, measurement techniques that go beyond satisfaction-based measures of travel are used. Such metrics are increasingly important for evaluating transportation and land-use policies. This study examines commute well-being, a multi-item measure of how one feels about the commute to work, and its influences using data from a web-based survey that was distributed to Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. workers. Valid surveys (n=828) were compiled from three roughly equally sized groups based on mode: bike, transit and car users. Average distances between work and home varied significantly among the three groups. Descriptive results show that commute well-being varies widely across the sample. Those who bike to work have significantly higher commute well-being than transit and car commuters. A multiple linear regression model shows that along with travel mode, traffic congestion, travel time, income, health, job satisfaction and residential satisfaction also play important individual roles in shaping commute well-being. While more analysis is needed, these results support findings in previous research that commuting by bike enhances well-being while congestion detracts from well-being. Implications for future research and...

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Event Date:
Feb 01, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 0:49.

It has been nearly 25 years since non-motorized modes and non-motorized-specific built environment measures were first included in the regional travel demand models of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). Such modeling practices have evolved considerably as data collection and analysis methods improve, decisions-makers demand more policy-responsive tools, and walking and cycling grow in popularity. Many models now explicitly consider the unique characteristics of walking travel, separate from travel by bicycle. As MPOs look to enhance their models’ representations of pedestrian travel, the need to understand current and emerging practice is great.

This project presents a comprehensive review of the practice of representing walking in MPO travel models. A review of model documentation determined that – as of mid-2012 – 63% (30) of the 48 largest MPOs included non-motorized travel in their regional models, while 47% (14) of those also distinguished between walk and bicycle modes. The modeling frameworks, model structures, and variables used for pedestrian and non-motorized regional modeling are described and discussed. A survey of MPO staff members revealed barriers to modeling non-motorized travel, including insufficient travel survey records, but also innovations being implemented, including smaller zones and non-motorized network assignment. Finally, best practices...

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Event Date:
May 24, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 0:10.

Summary: The declining rates of physical activity among children, particularly adolescent girls, are well-documented, yet there has been insufficient research into the attitudes about health behaviors, particularly active travel, of the children themselves. Tara's research explores attitudes about active transportation among children aged 4-17 years and examines how perceived ability, self-efficacy, and sensitivity to certain environments or facilities vary across gender and age of the children. She utilises data from the Family Activity Study, a multi-year longitudinal intervention study in Portland, ORegon, in which 490 children answered surveys regarding their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors about traveling by walking, bicycling, or being in a car.

Event Date:
May 31, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 2:45.

Topic: Skateboarding as Transportation: Findings from Exploratory Research

Bio: Tessa Walker is currently completing her thesis on non-motorized transportation and qualitative research methods with supervision from Dr. Jennifer Dill and Dr. David Morgan. For more information on her thesis research please visit the Skate Study PDX website (http://www.skatestudypdx.wordpress.com). Tessa has previously worked in town planning in Vermont, sustainability auditing in Massachusetts, and in bicycle and pedestrian transportation research with the Family Activity Study at PSU. She is currently an intern at the public opinion research firm DHM Research, and she will be a 2013-2014 Hatfield Fellow.

Event Date:
Jun 07, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 0:20.

Topic: Inaccessible Accessibility: low-income households and barriers to the “new American dream”

In many ways, the resurgence in demand for housing in highly accessible and walkable neighborhoods can be viewed as a triumph of planning and policy efforts to reinvest in walkable urban neighborhoods that support active travel. However, increased demand has resulted in price premiums that can make location-efficient housing choices more difficult for low-income households. This research uses data from a survey of recent movers in six U.S. cities, including Portland, to explore the extent to which households of different economic means are able to choose housing locations that match their accessibility and transportation preferences.

Bio: Arlie Adkins is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His dissertation research focuses on better understanding how people make decisions about non-work travel behavior in the context of a new home. Arlie holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley. He previously worked in TriMet’s project planning department as a community affairs specialist and at Flexcar in Washington, DC.

Event Date:
Nov 15, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Although the running of red lights is perceived by motorists as a commonplace behavior for cyclists, little research has been done on the actual rates of cyclist compliance at signalized intersections. Furthermore, little is known about the factors that influence cyclist non-compliance. This research seeks to illuminate the rates of and reasons for infringement against red lights using video footage and survey data from cyclists in Oregon. 

Bio: Sam became interested in transportation and planning while studying abroad in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. After benefiting from the efficient transit service and excellent walkability there, he came back to the states with a gusto for safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable transportation. After finally figuring out what to do with his Civil Engineering degree, he enrolled in Portland State. Sam's research interests include cyclist behavior and the comprehension and safety implications of new infrastructure. Originally hailing from Kansas, he has grown weary of Wizard of Oz jokes but is otherwise happy to call Portland his home, especially with the abundance of good coffee, micro brews, and stellar pie that PDX has to offer.

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