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Pedestrians often have to wait longer than drivers for the light to change. Increased delay for pedestrians can lead to noncompliance, which can have a negative impact on safety.

Most planning efforts geared toward those on foot have tended to focus on safety, but pedestrian efficiency is also important.

NITC researchers will present on this topic at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. Learn more and download our guide to the conference.

Sirisha Kothuri, a research associate in civil engineering at Portland State University, is the principal investigator on this NITC research project, an extension of her doctoral dissertation work.

Kothuri and co-investigator Edward Smaglik of Northern Arizona University will present their work Sunday, Jan. 8 in a workshop at the TRB conference. Their research looked at pedestrian strategies around the country to determine if they were primarily safety or efficiency measures.

“Generally, pedestrian strategies, if they exist at all, are safety based,” Kothuri said.

So the first task was to identify efficiency-based strategies for pedestrians. Then the research team undertook a...

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Event Date:
Feb 18, 2016
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Why model pedestrians?

A new predictive tool for estimating pedestrian demand has potential applications for improving walkability. By forecasting the number, location and characteristics of walking trips, this tool allows for policy-sensitive mode shifts away from automobile travel.

There is growing support to improve the quality of the walking environment and make investments to promote pedestrian travel. Despite this interest and need, current forecasting tools, particularly regional travel demand models, often fall short. To address this gap, Oregon Metro and NITC researcher Kelly Clifton worked together to develop this pedestrian demand estimation tool which can allow planners to allocate...

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Event Date:
Jan 08, 2016
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Steven Gehrke, Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University

Topic: An Activity-related Land Use Mix Construct and Its Connection to Pedestrian Travel

Land use mix is a central smart growth principle connected to active transportation. This presentation describes the indicators of local land use mixing and their association with pedestrian travel in Oregon’s Willamette River Valley. It argues that land use mix is a multidimensional construct reflected by the complementarity, composition, and configuration of land use types, which is positively linked to walk mode choice and home-based trip frequency. Findings from this study underline the conceptual and empirical benefit of analyzing this transportation-land use interaction with a landscape pattern measure of activity-related composition and spatial configuration.

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A new NITC project has developed a robust pedestrian demand estimation tool, the first of its kind in the country.

Using the tool, planners can predict pedestrian trips with spatial acuity.

The research was completed in partnership with Oregon Metro, and will allow Metro to allocate infrastructure based on pedestrian demand in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

In a previous project completed last year as part of the same partnership, the lead investigator, Kelly Clifton, developed a way to collect data about the pedestrian environment on a small, neighborhood scale that made sense for walk trips. For more about how that works, click here to read our news coverage of that project. 

Following the initial project, the next step was to take that micro-level pedestrian data and use it to predict destination choice. For every walk trip generated by the model in the first project, this tool matches it to a likely destination based on traveler characteristics and environmental attributes.

Patrick Singleton, a graduate student researcher at Portland State...

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Event Date:
May 15, 2015
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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This OTREC educational project took students at Portland State University beyond the lecture hall and the library. Dr. Lynn Weigand expanded the bicycle and pedestrian design curriculum at PSU by turning an existing three-credit course into a five-credit course with an applied lab. The new course gave students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gained in class to real projects in their community. Working in teams, the students developed projects that focused on improving bicycle and pedestrian connections to the PSU campus. The course received excellent reviews from the students, and the department recognized the courseís value by offering it again the following year. The report can be downloaded at: http://otrec.us/project/279.

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Professor John Pucher, a car-less commuter from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, was the first fall OTREC Visiting Scholar and CTS Seminar guest on September 28, 2007. His presentation, "Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from Europe," was standing room only, and the audience enjoyed his photos of bike-friendly features in cities across Europe. Pucher examined a range of public health impacts of our urban transport systems and argued that the current car dependence of American cities is responsible for enormous environmental harm, social isolation, lack of physical activity, and traffic dangers. He described how improving the convenience, safety, and attractiveness of walking and cycling in crucial to overcoming these negative impacts. Pucher discussed specific policies and programs used in Europe, and advocates their widespread adoption in American cities. A lively discussion with faculty, students and members of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan Committee followed the seminar.