The 101st annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is coming up January 9 - 13, 2022, and has returned to an in-person gathering in Washington, D.C. Supported by funding from the U.S. DOT, research from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities will be featured at this annual gathering.

Below we've rounded up some highlights of research being presented by transportation experts from our participating NITC-funded campuses: Portland State University (PSU), University of Oregon (UO), University of Utah (UU), University of Arizona (UA), and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Please check out our full NITC guide for all of the sessions:

*Due to the evolving status of speaker attendance and TRB programming for next week, please check your TRB schedule for the most current information in the event...

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The Outstanding Student of the Year award is presented during the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) banquet at each annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, where the U.S. Department of Transportation honors an outstanding graduate student from each UTC. Kelly Rodgers will be presented with the award for NITC at the CUTC virtual award ceremony on January 8. See past NITC Students of the Year.

NITC OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE YEAR

Kelly Rodgers, PhD Urban Studies, Portland State University
Connect with Kelly on Linkedin

Kelly Rodgers is a Portland State University PhD student in Urban Studies who is studying the use and influence of health indicators in transportation plans. In 2021, Kelly was named the NITC Student of the Year. Kelly has been awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship three times and twice named a NITC Student Scholar. Kelly is also the Executive Director of ...

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Along with the Oregon Institute for Technology civil engineering faculty, we are proud to congratulate Oregon Tech students Thomas Dodgen and Caroline Schulze for earning scholarships from the Asphalt Pavement Association of Oregon (APAO) Educational Foundation. 

The scholarships were awarded on Friday, December 3 in Bend at a gala event at the APAO Annual Meeting. Oregon Tech maintains a decades-long relationship with APAO and the Oregon asphalt pavements industry - APAO was instrumental in establishing the Oregon Tech Pavement Engineering Lab in Cornett Hall. There were four scholarships awarded this year; the other winners were from Oregon State University and the University of Idaho. Several APAO members commented on the high-quality applications from Oregon Tech students and were impressed with the hands-on experiences that Tech students have in the Pavement Lab!

Thomas Dodgen, a BSCE senior graduating in June 2022, is from Adin, California. Thomas recently interned at Wildish Construction, an APAO member company, in Portland. Thomas is a licensed pilot interested in all modes of transportation!

Caroline Schulze, from Loveland, Colorado, is completing her BSCE and will begin her MSCE graduate studies in June 2022. Caroline is the immediate past president of Oregon Tech's Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter. She recently interned for GRI, a geotechnical and pavement engineering in Beaverton,...

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Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) need traffic data to run smoothly. At intersections, where there is the greatest potential for conflicts between road users, being able to reliably and intelligently monitor the different modes of traffic is crucial.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that more than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. For pedestrians the intersection is a particularly dangerous place: the City of Portland, Oregon identified that two-thirds of all crashes involving a pedestrian happen at intersections. And when darkness comes earlier in fall and winter, crashes increase dramatically. So knowing what's going on in low-visibility conditions is essential for mobility and safety of all road users.

Some agencies use cameras to monitor traffic modes, but cameras are limited in rainy, dark or foggy conditions. Some cities use radar instead of cameras, which works better in low-visibility but typically can't provide as rich a picture of what's going on. Conventional radar gives movement and position data for all...

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As we get older, transportation provides a vital link between home and community. Without reliable and easy ways to get around, many older adults (especially those who live alone) have limited access to essentials like groceries and medicine, let alone social interaction. A new report from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Developing Strategies To Enhance Mobility And Accessibility For Community-Dwelling Older Adults, looked at the mobility challenges, barriers, and gaps that older adults experience, with an eye toward developing forms of assistance or educational strategies to fill those gaps.

Funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) with additional support from The Senior Source, the interdisciplinary research team from the University of Texas at Arlington included Kate Hyun, Caroline Krejci and ...

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NITC research led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, examining impacts that the built environment and development patterns have on transportation, has produced a number of journal articles in the past year. Three 2021 articles highlighted below each focus on different aspects of the body of work, which revolves around polycentric development and trip generation.

A May 2021 article in the Journal of Transport Geography estimated a vehicle ownership model that contributes to our understanding of vehicle ownership and improves the accuracy of travel demand forecasts. "The built environment and vehicle ownership modeling: Evidence from 32 diverse regions in the U.S.," authored by Sadegh Sabouri, Guang Tian, Reid Ewing, Keunhyun Park and William Greene, draws on findings from the NITC project Key Enhancements to the WFRC/MAG Four-Step Travel Demand Model

Two main outcomes of this paper are:

  1. The number of vehicles owned by a household increases with socio-demographic variables and decreases with almost all of the built environmental variables. For the urban planning and design practices, this finding suggests that car shedding occurs as built environments become more dense, mixed, connected,...
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Researchers Amy Parker, Martin Swobodzinski, Julie Wright, Kyrsten Hansen and Becky Morton of Portland State University, along with Elizabeth Schaller of American Printing House for the Blind, have published a literature review in Frontiers in Education: Wayfinding Tools for People With Visual Impairments in Real-World Settings: A Literature Review of Recent Studies.

The literature review, published in October 2021, and a case study published in September 2021 in the same journal are both related to an ongoing project led by Swobodzinski. The project, Seamless Wayfinding by Individuals with Functional Disability in Indoor and Outdoor Spaces: An Investigation into Lived Experiences, Data Needs, and Technology Requirements, is funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).

The October article reviews 35 peer reviewed articles in order to identify and describe the types of wayfinding devices that people who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind use while navigating indoors and/or outdoors in dynamic travel contexts.

Within this...

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Low-income residents, immigrants, seniors, and people with disabilities – these are people who stand to gain the most from new tools and services that reduce transportation costs and travel time. However, issues of affordability, technology adoption, banking access or other barriers can limit access to these new mobility opportunities.

In the latest report funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), New Mobility For All: Evaluation of a Transportation Incentive Program for Residents of Affordable Housing in Portland, OR, Portland State University researchers Nathan McNeil, John MacArthur and Huijun Tan worked with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to evaluate a local pilot program: the ...

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is happy to welcome some new faces into our six-university consortium, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Latest NITC Faculty and Researchers to Join their Universities

Nelson Gomez-Torres, University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Nelson Gomez-Torres joins the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington as an assistant professor of instruction in civil engineering. Before coming to UTA he was the Director of Civil and Industrial Engineering Programs at Universidad Ana G. Mendez in Puerto Rico. Nelson has worked in engineering design, construction management, and traffic studies, but he found his passion in helping to develop the next generation of... Read more

Portland State University researchers Martin Swobodzinski and Amy Parker, with student co-authors Julie Wright, Kyrsten Hansen and Becky Morton, have published a new article in Frontiers in Education: "Seamless Wayfinding by a Deafblind Adult on an Urban College Campus: A Case Study on Wayfinding Performance, Information Preferences, and Technology Requirements."

The article reports on an empirical evaluation of the experience, performance, and perception of a deafblind adult participant in an experimental case study on pedestrian travel in an urban environment. The case study assessed the degree of seamlessness of the wayfinding experience pertaining to routes that traverse both indoor and outdoor spaces under different modalities of technology-aided pedestrian travel. Specifically, an adult deafblind pedestrian traveler completed three indoor/outdoor routes on an urban college campus using three supplemental wayfinding support tools: a mobile application, written directions, and a tactile map.

Results indicate that wayfinding performance and confidence differed considerably between the three wayfinding support tools. The tactile map afforded the most...

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