Photo by Ruffnekgal/iStock
Damian Matzen is a masters student at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He is a 2018-2019 National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) scholar, and was selected by NITC's executive committee as the 2019 NITC Outstanding Masters Student. As a recipient of this recognition, NITC is supporting Damian's attendance at the 2020 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington, D.C. next month.

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Tell us about yourself?

I’m a third-generation college student from rural Oregon who has always had a passion for solving complicated problems and wading through numbers. My early days were spent with Camp Fire USA exploring local wilderness areas and teaching the younger kids about how to survive. As I grew older, my hobbies began to shift towards the virtual world. Video games became a big part of my life around middle school, with them becoming the dominant hobby during high school. As school became more intensive, video games had to take a back seat, becoming a weekend hobby. During school, I devoted time to helping my classmates and anyone else in the degree who needed it. I never went so far as to give the other students answers, but I would explain terms and equations and do my best to guide them towards the right process.

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Last week the Portland State University’s Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP-ITE) group competed in the 28th annual Bill Kloos Traffic Bowl Competition held by Oregon ITE.

Competition in this trivia-based challenge was fierce, but the PSU student team took first place against the ITE student chapters of Oregon State University, Oregon Tech, and the University of Washington. In addition to bragging rights, they won a $500 cash prize that will go towards supporting STEP student activities for PSU transportation students.

Portland State University 2019 Team

  • STEP President Nicholas Puczkowskyj | PhD Candidate, Urban Studies
  • STEP VP Finance Rohan Sirupa | Graduate Student, Civil Engineering
  • STEP VP Communications Katherine Keeling | Graduate Student, Civil Engineering
  • STEP VP Events Gabby Galvez | Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering
  • STEP VP Creativity Polina Polikahina | Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering

Photo Credit: Oregon ITE Chapter

In addition to this annual event, Oregon ITE...

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Street icons for bicycle and pedestrian
Photo by Cait McCusker
Nathan McNeil, Portland State University; Kristin Tufte, Portland State University

In the past decade bike and pedestrian count programs have sprung up all over the United States, gathering data to evaluate biking and walking infrastructure. However, these modes have not been studied with the quantitative rigor applied to motor vehicle travel. A research project funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), led by Nathan McNeil of Portland State University (PSU), offers a method for monitoring the quality of this bike-ped count data.

"There has been an effort to...

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Julian Griffee next to a photo of e-scooter users in a green bike lane

Julian Griffee is a second-year masters student in urban and regional planning at the University of Arizona and a 2020 TRB Minority Student Fellow. He has worked as a planner, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Albania, and worked on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. He is currently a Climate Adaptation Outreach Assistant for the City of Tucson, Arizona.

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Tell us about yourself?

My name is Julian Griffee, a current 2nd year M.S. Urban Planning Candidate and Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow at the University of Arizona. Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, I received my B.S. in Geography with a concentration in land use planning from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Professionally, I have worked as a Planner I, have embarked on a Peace Corps service as an Urban and Regional Planning Volunteer to Albania, have interned within the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program as well as the Burlington-Graham Metropolitan Planning Organization in North Carolina, and now I am working with the City of Tucson’s Planning and Development Services Department where I research climate adaptation policies. During my time with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, I assisted in the development...

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A bicycle passes in front of a bus
Photo by Canetti
Miguel Figliozzi, Portland State University

When buses and bikes share space, it's complicated. Not only are there safety risks for cyclists, but also potential delays in bus service and stressful navigation for bus operators. The quest to increase bus speeds—and plausibly...

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An older woman helps an older man out of a car into a wheelchair
Photo by kali9
Vivian J. Miller, University of Texas at Arlington

Older adults who live in nursing homes are at an increased risk for depression and anxiety, and research has shown that social...

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Byron Head

Byron Head is a masters student in the department of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah. His focus is on active transportation and transportation demand management, and he is joining the University of Utah's sustainability office as the first Sustainability Graduate Assistant. Prior to beginning the masters program at UU he worked for the Tennessee Department of Transportation as a transportation program monitor. 

LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself?

It’s been quite a winding road for me to end up in the world of transportation planning. I went to Ole Miss for my undergrad in International Studies and Arabic because I thought I wanted to join the Peace Corps. Then I thought I wanted to be an English teacher, then a biologist. Eventually, I stumbled across a TDOT job posting in the Division of Multimodal Transportation Resources and thought to myself, “Multimodal? That means, like, bikes and buses and walking, right? I like riding my bike!” And that’s how I ended up working for TDOT, which eventually led me to the University of Utah.

I’m in my first semester of the Master of City and Metropolitan Planning program at the University of Utah. Outside of work and school, I enjoy cycling and playing Ultimate Frisbee. Since I’ve moved to Utah, I’m trying to get better at cycling up mountains because we don’t have those in Tennessee. I’m also...

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A worker measures the distance from a bike light to the ground
 

NITC researchers Stephen Fickas and Marc Schlossberg of the University of Oregon are on a mission: bring the benefits of V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure communication) to bicycling. Earlier this year they published their proof-of-concept of a DIY vehicle-to-infrastructure "bike box" in Oregon for communicating with traffic signal controllers. In the most recent round of NITC grants awarded this past summer they secured funding for Green Waves, Machine Learning, and Predictive Analytics: Making Streets Better for People on Bike & Scooter.

APPLYING GLOSA TO CYCLING

The latest report to come out of this body of work focuses on a new technology being integrated into modern cars: GLOSA, or Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory. GLOSA allows motorists to set their speed along corridors to maximize their chances of catching a "green wave" so they won't have to stop at red lights. This project demonstrates how GLOSA can be used by bicyclists in the same way it is used by motorists, with a test site on a busy car and bike corridor feeding the University of Oregon campus: 13th Avenue in Eugene, Oregon.

Fickas and Schlossberg created a...

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A view of the ballroom with attendees eating lunch during the Summit keynote

The 11th annual Transportation and Communities Summit 2019, held at Portland State University (PSU) on September 19–20, drew attendees from 14 states across the U.S. Over 250 people joined us for the Summit day, and nearly 60 took part in the deep-dive workshop day. We hope the event offered new opportunities for collaboration and synergy between researchers, practitioners, and community members.

Peter DeFazio, the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district, kicked off the day with a video welcome message for the summit attendees, followed on the main stage by TREC director and urban planning faculty Jennifer Dill. 

At lunchtime Ben Wellington, the data...

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