NITC Student Spotlight: Amanda Dillon of University of Utah

Amanda Dillon, University of Utah

Amanda Dillon is a research assistant in the University of Utah's Metropolitan Research Center. She has received both NITC and WTS scholarships, and has recently been hired as a community planner in the urban design studio of MHTN Architects, a major architecture firm in Salt Lake City.

LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself?

I’m a second year dual master’s student in city and metropolitan planning and real estate development at the University of Utah. I came to Utah via New York City where I spent 6 years working in the nonprofit sector. Prior to that, I did community development in the U.S. Peace Corps for two and a half years in Mauritania and Mozambique. Utah is an exciting place to study planning, transportation, and development because the population is growing and the built environment is changing so fast. I became interested in transportation and our (unhealthy) relationship with cars at a young age growing up in Los Angeles. Now that I’m in Salt Lake City, I’m focused on researching and creating more sustainable relationships between transportation and land management.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

As I mentioned, I grew up in Los Angeles, and went to undergrad in Orange County. I formed my early impressions of transportation...

Read more
Researchers at TRB
Principal Investigator: Noelle Fields, University of Texas, Arlington
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page, or watching a recording of the February 2018 webinar.

The latest NITC report explores strengthening collaboration between disciplines, to build a transportation system that better serves everyone.

Transportation planners and engineers often struggle to serve at-risk communities and environmental justice (EJ) populations. EJ populations can include older adults, people with low income, low socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities—all groups who are at an increased risk for transportation disadvantage. Evidence of these struggles manifest as unequal transportation system outcomes related to access and opportunity.

... Read more
Cars waiting at a traffic signal
Photo by Canetti
Principal Investigator: Gerardo Lafferriere, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Automobile traffic congestion in urban areas comes with significant economic and social costs for everyone. According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Report, the total additional cost of congestion was $160 billion. As more people move to metropolitan areas, the problems only intensify. The latest NITC report offers a new approach to urban traffic signal control based on network consensus control theory which is computationally efficient, responsive to local congestion, and at the same time has the potential for congestion management at the network level.

Traffic signals represent a significant bottleneck. As cars queue up at a stoplight, then gradually move again once the...

Read more

Authored by Stefanie Knowlton, Communications Specialist for the Digital City Testbed Center at Portland State University

With her smart phone in one hand and a leash for her guide dog in the other, Portland State University student Katie Durden tested the latest in indoor navigation to explore the PSU library this week.

“Main Elevator. Six Yards,” said a female voice from her phone.

Durden was one of about 200 people who attended PSU’s Mobility Matters 2019 conference to learn about emerging technology and design to help everyone access safe and reliable transportation. Disability specialists, urban planners, engineers, transportation professionals, students and community members converged to share ideas.

“Today is the day to share your challenges and your frustrations and help each other be more creative in how you approach designing and planning for transportation,” said Jennifer Dill, professor and director of PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), which coordinated the event with the College of Education and support from Digital City Testbed Center. 

...
Read more
Pedestrians crossing a street
Principal Investigator: Kelly Clifton, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

The latest NITC report offers improved tools for pedestrian modeling.

Led by Kelly Clifton of Portland State University, researchers had previously created the the MoPeD pedestrian demand model as well as a pedestrian index of the environment (PIE) for forecasting pedestrian travel. The PIE index improved the sensitivity of walk trip models by incorporating contextual features of the built environment that affect walking behavior in the Portland, Oregon region. Read about Clifton's previous body of work on context-specific modeling.

Useful for academic researchers in transportation, Clifton's research provides a framework for incorporating pedestrian travel behavior forecasts into traditional four-step travel demand models.

Since the method was based on Portland, the next step was to adapt the tools for wider use. In this new report, Clifton and Jaime Orrego-Onate of...

Read more
Pedestrians cross near a light rail amid mixed-use development

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2019 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by March 29, 2019.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award up to $1,000,000 to research projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

  • Increasing access to opportunities
  • Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure
  • Advancing innovation and smart cities
  • Developing data, models, and tools

2019 RESEARCH PRIORITIES

The NITC Advisory Board has provided input into several research priorities that relate to multimodal transportation data and the transportation-land use-housing connection. NITC is prioritizing the funding of proposals that directly addresses research questions related to:

Developing Data, Models and Tools. Agencies are confronting a plethora of new mobility options along with new data sources to support transportation research, planning, and analysis. Several priority research areas have been identified to increase understanding: 

  • Collection of multimodal...
Read more
NITC Dissertation Fellow - Erin Roark Murphy of University of Texas at Arlington

Erin Roark Murphy, University of Texas at Arlington

Erin Roark Murphy, LMSW, is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). She is a NITC student scholar and has worked as a graduate research assistant on several NITC-funded projects, including "Evaluating Improved Transit Connections for Ladders of Opportunity" and "How Can Interdisciplinary Teams Leverage Emerging Technologies to Respond to Infrastructure Needs? A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Civil Engineers, Urban Planning, and Social Workers’ Perspectives."

LinkedIn | Twitter | Website


Tell us about yourself?

I am in the third year of my PhD program at UTA in the School of Social Work. My personal research focuses on looking at homelessness...

Read more
Cyclists cross the road at a bike signal
Investigators: Stephen Fickas, University of Oregon; Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Most people who bike for transportation can probably think of "that one intersection:" The light where it's impossible to get a green without waiting. Even when there are no cars, pedestrians or other bikes in sight, you still know you'll have to stop and wait a while, sacrifice all your momentum, and wish you could have given the signal advance notice that you were coming.

Researchers at the University of Oregon have created an app for that.

Lead investigator Stephen Fickas, a computer and information science professor at the UO, developed the app, along with a specially-designed Bike Connect ‘box' (watch the 3-minute video) that attaches to a traffic signal controller. With the box installed, the app allows a cyclist to alert the signal that they're...

Read more
Dave Amos, Roger Lindgren and March Schlossberg at TRB 2019
Principal Investigators: Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon; Roger Lindgren, Oregon Tech
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary on the Project Overview page, downloading your own copy of the Guidebook, or watching a recording of the February 27 webinar with the researchers / authors.

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is excited to announce the publication of a new visual design guide, "Rethinking Streets for Bikes." Focused on case studies in the U.S., the guidebook will make it easier for North American city officials to design streets with bikes (and the people on them) in mind. ...

Read more
Student Spotlight: Corrie Parrish, University of Oregon

Corrie Parrish, University of Oregon

Corrie Parrish is a masters student in the community and regional planning program at the University of Oregon (UO). She is the current president of LiveMove, UO's transportation and livability student group, as well as the Equity Initiative graduate employee for UO's School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management (PPPM). She has also worked as an outdoor recreation assistant and naturalist assistant for Five Rivers MetroParks in Ohio, and as an outreach and project coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in New Mexico.

LinkedIn

Update (March 2019): Recipient of the Eno Future Leaders Award

Corrie Parrish has been selected as one of 20 of the nation's top graduate students in transportation and will take part in the prestigious Eno Future Leaders Development Conference, taking place in Washington, DC, June 2 – 6, 2019! The Future Leaders Development Conference provides a first-hand look at how transportation policy is developed and implemented. Corrie and others will meet with top government officials, leaders of...

Read more

Pages