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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...

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OTREC was well-represented at this year’s Western ITE conference, the 2013 conference for the Western District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Eight graduate student researchers presented papers at the conference, which took place July 14 through 17 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Portland State University students Katherine Bell, Kirk Paulsen, Adam Moore, Wei Feng, Sirisha Kothuri, Pamela Johnson, Sam Thompson and Alex Bigazzi attended the three-day conference and showcased their work in transportation research.

The conference was held at the Arizona Biltmore, a 1920’s luxury hotel created by architects Albert Chase McArthur and Frank Lloyd Wright. For the engineering and planning students, the Biltmore held its own attraction as an example of unique architecture, and in between events they enjoyed walking the grounds. 

Katherine Bell, a Master’s student whose research interests include planning, modeling and performance measures for freight, gave a presentation on the use of a smart phone application with a GPS device for freight data collection. This was her second time presenting at the...

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Fleet managers can benefit from buying electric vehicles under certain conditions, according to a research paper by Portland State University associate professor Miguel Figliozzi. The paper marks OTREC’s first electric vehicle-related research accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

In the paper, set for publication in the Transportation Research Record, Figliozzi presents a vehicle replacement model that compares the benefits of conventional and electric vehicles under various scenarios. Incorporating electric vehicles makes the most sense for heavily used fleets when gasoline prices are high, assuming electric vehicle tax credits continue.

Until their purchase price drops, electric vehicles won’t make financial sense for fleet managers without some incentives. “Tax credits are important, especially at the beginning, given the higher price of EVs,” Figliozzi said. “The federal tax credit is roughly 20 percent of the (Nissan) Leaf’s list price and it makes a difference.”

The model presented in the paper shows that fleets will start to include a few electric vehicles with gas at $4.10 per gallon, assuming the existing tax credits. In heavily used fleets, defined...

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OTREC helped sponsor the 50th Annual Forum of the Transportation Research Forum, held in Portland, Oregon March 16-18, 2009. OTREC faculty partner B. Starr McMullen of Oregon State University served as conference chair and OTREC sponsored the Keynote Speaker Daniel McFadden, 2000 Nobel Prize recipient in Economics, who presented “Sociality, Rationality and the Ecology of Choice.” OTREC faculty member Miguel Figliozzi presented “A Study of Transportation Disruption Causes and Costs in Containerized Maritime Transportation,” director Robert Bertini presented “Can Sensors Be Used to Provide Accurate Travel Time Information?,” and chaired a session on “Transportation Measures: Which Ones and How Do We Measure Them?,” PSU student Meead Saberi presented “Evaluating the Factors Affecting Student Travel Mode Choice,” PSU student Alex Bigazzi presented a poster “Adding Sustainability Performance Measures to a Transportation Data Archive,” PSU Student Meead Saberi presented a poster “Does Weather Affect Traffic Flow on Freeways?,” Miguel Figliozzi presented a poster with Kristin Tufte, “Integration and Visualization Challenges and Opportunities for Online Freight Data Mapping,” and PSU student Wei Feng presented a poster “Characteristics of Transitions in Freeway Traffic.” Congratulations to Prof. McMullent, TRF and all participants for a successful conference!

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The Sixth Annual Region X Student Conference was held on November 7, 2008 in Seattle Washington. Twenty students from PSU, fifteen from University of Washington, eight from OSU, five from University of Idaho, three from UO and one from Reed College participated in this conference. Of the ten student presentations given at the conference six were from OTREC Partner Institutions PSU, UO and OSU! Student presenters included Tim Brass (UO) on Using Mobile GIS for Assessing Accessibility of Pedestrian Facilities / OU Bike Loan Program Raul Avelar (OSU) on Low-cost Data Collection and Estimation of Roundabout Traffic Volumes, Wei Feng (PSU) on Transition Features Near a Freeway Congestion, Alex Bigazzi (PSU) on Adding Sustainability Performance Measures to a Transportation Data Archive and Meead Saberi Kalaee (PSU) on Evaluation the Data Accuracy of Loop Detectors in Adaptive Signal Control Systems.