Content Type: Professional Development Event

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There is growing support for improvements to the quality of the walking environment, including more investments to promote pedestrian travel. Planners, engineers, and others seek improved tools to estimate pedestrian demand that are sensitive to environmental and demographic factors at the appropriate scale in order to aid policy-relevant issues like air quality, public health, and smart allocation of infrastructure and other resources. Further, in the travel demand forecasting realm, tools of this kind are difficult to implement due to the use of spatial scales of analysis that are oriented towards motorized modes, vast data requirements, and computer processing limitations.

To address these issues, a two-phase project between Portland State University and Oregon Metro is underway to develop a robust pedestrian planning method for use in regional travel demand models. The first phase, completed in 2013, utilizes a tool that predicts the number of walking trips generated with spatial acuity, based on a new measure of the pedestrian environment and a micro-level unit of analysis. Currently, phase two is building upon this tool to predict the distribution of walking trips, connecting the origins predicted in phase one to...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU

The ability to forecast future transportation patterns under a particular land-use scenario or urban form is key to making informed decisions at the local and regional levels.

Although several researchers have explored the links between the built environment, socio-demographics and travel behavior, a consensus is not reached.

This talk highlights two recent projects. The first project focuses on individuals’ attitudes towards transportation, neighborhood characteristics and their effects on campus commuters’ transit use, and addresses the question whether attitudes, the built environment or a combination of both explains the resulting transit use better.

The second part presents the Regional Land Use Allocation Decision Analysis Tool developed for The Ohio Department of Transportation, which enables decision makers to quantify the impacts of population and employment distribution in terms of the resulting VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled). This tool forecasts the impacts of future land-use policies in Ohio, based on alternative assumptions of highway and mass transit corridor development, zoning and...

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Content Type: News Item

When policymakers look to meet cycling goals by investing in new bicycle routes, they have little research to help them determine whether cyclists will actually use them. As a result, bicycle facilities aren’t considered equally with motor vehicle infrastructure.

That’s changing, thanks in part to OTREC research. An OTREC-funded study, the first to gather large-scale data that reveal cyclists’ actual route preference, is being published in a scientific journal (Transportation Research Part A). The findings have already been incorporated into the regional travel demand model used to make transportation investment decisions across the Portland region.

In the study, Portland State University researchers Joseph Broach, Jennifer Dill and John Gliebe (Gliebe is now with RSG Inc.) outfitted cyclists with GPS units to record which routes they chose and model the choices to reveal preferences. Previous studies have relied on stated preference surveys or less reliable methods of determining cyclists’ actual routes. The data gathering was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its national program Active Living Research.

The research...

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