A DECADE OF NITC RESEARCH: IMPACTS ON TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY

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2022 marks the tenth year that the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) has been supporting research, education, and technology transfer through our multi-campus partnership. With three successive US DOT university transportation center (UTC) grants, NITC has maintained a focus on creating sustainable, livable, and equitable communities. We're looking back on our cumulative decade of our work to define our future research efforts in meeting the most important challenges facing transportation agencies and policymakers.

A national UTC designated by the US DOT under the FAST Act, NITC focuses on the federal research priority of improving mobility of people and goods through:

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

Led by Portland State University, this partnership includes University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington.

The Transportation, Land Use and Housing Connection

Where people can afford to live can limit their transportation options and access to jobs, increase their costs, and displace them from community and cultural resources. Agencies need research to support decision-making and policy changes that prioritize equity at the intersection of transportation, land use, and housing at full scale: from regional issues all the way down to the bus stop level.

Learn about the impacts of our research at the nexus of transportation, land use and housing.

Supporting Underserved Communities in Advancing Equitable Mobility

Well-connected regions and communities can improve social equity by providing access to jobs, services, recreation, and social opportunities. Our NITC research looks at how to improve accessibility, and affordability in our communities while also addressing inequitable distribution of transportation improvements to advance racial equity.

Learn about the impacts of our research that seeks to support underserved communities in advancing equitable mobility opportunities and investments.

Bikeway Design, Implementation and Activation

We have a long history in researching bikeway infrastructure, e-bikes, and signals to advance innovative design, safe mobility and accessibility of bikes for all ages and abilities. We look at how cities and regions can better plan for and prioritize multi-modal transportation, and we use our NITC research to produce practical guidance for transportation professionals.

Learn about the impacts of our research on bikeway design, implementation and activation.

Innovative Design in Pedestrian Safety and Accessibility

Our work advances innovative design, safe mobility and accessibility for pedestrians – prioritizing investments in historically underserved communities. NITC research on the innovative infrastructure implemented in cities across the country is being used to change national guidance, including the MUTCD and ITE Trip Generation manual, allowing cities and states more flexibility and improving pedestrian safety.

Learn about the impacts of our research on advancing innovative design in pedestrian safety and accessibility.

The Economics of Multimodal Transportation

How do we estimate the economic impacts of investing in multimodal transportation improvements? There are plenty of reasons to invest: safety improvements, increased access to different modes of travel, and reducing car congestion –– to name a few. How do you define and quantify the relationship between multimodal transportation and economic growth?

Learn about the impacts of our research on understanding the economic value of investing in transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Using and Modeling Multimodal Data

We need better data and tools for decision-making. Our research advances the collection, methodology, and analysis of multimodal data that supports professionals and researchers in understanding and predicting human travel behavior in order to optimize those systems for both the providers and users. These new models and tools examine the implications of changes to the system on a range of outcomes including equity, the environment, and health.

Learn about the impacts of our research on how we can better collect, use and model multimodal data.

Technology in the New Mobility Landscape

The growth of urban areas of all sizes requires the innovative use of technology and new mobility options. Our research on technologies (including connected vehicles/autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, micromobility, ITS, and more) has a role in advancing mobility, increasing safety, and ensuring that new modes of travel are not leaving users behind.

Learn about the impacts of our research on how we implement new technology that serves all road users. (coming soon)

Engaged and Lifelong Learning: Workforce Development

We go beyond research, looking at the classroom and how the next generation of transportation professionals will shape advancements in mobility. Our programs and curriculum are interdisciplinary - bridging gaps between planners and engineers, and U.S. universities. Programs include summer transportation camps for high school students, webinars for professionals, annual trainings on bike-ped curriculum for university educators, and more.

Learn about the impacts of our educational programs and curriculum on the transportation workforce. (coming soon)