Jul 25, 2013

OTREC was well-represented at this year’s Western ITE conference, the 2013 conference for the Western District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Eight graduate student researchers presented papers at the conference, which took place July 14 through 17 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Portland State University students Katherine Bell, Kirk Paulsen, Adam Moore, Wei Feng, Sirisha Kothuri, Pamela Johnson, Sam Thompson and Alex Bigazzi attended the three-day conference and showcased their work in transportation research.

The conference was held at the Arizona Biltmore, a 1920’s luxury hotel created by architects Albert Chase McArthur and Frank Lloyd Wright. For the engineering and planning students, the Biltmore held its own attraction as an example of unique architecture, and in between events they enjoyed walking the grounds. 

Katherine Bell, a Master’s student whose research interests include planning, modeling and performance measures for freight, gave a presentation on the use of a smart phone application with a GPS device for freight data collection. This was her second time presenting at the...

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Apr 05, 2013

When planning their daily commute, most drivers account for the traffic they know is unavoidable: at peak times of day, like morning and afternoon rush hour, they probably allow extra time to get where they’re going.

The delays that are harder to accept are the unexpected ones, when accidents, road work, or a traffic bottleneck turn a thirty minute trip into an hour.

This unpredictable postponement leads to natural frustration on the part of drivers, as it may cause them to be late to work or late picking up children from school. A reliable road network is one in which this is a rare occurrence.

A project led by Portland State University’s Miguel Figliozzi explored the value of this travel-time reliability using a study of commuters’ route choice behavior, taking a look at the trade-offs between reliability, traffic congestion, and air pollution.

The details for the combined project can be found here.

In the first phase of the research, co-investigators David Levinson and Kathleen Harder of the University of Minnesota sought to measure the route choices drivers made in a real-world setting. Instead of just having people fill out a survey about whether they would choose to take major roads or the freeway to work, this study ambitiously placed GPS...

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Apr 05, 2013

Graduate student researcher Alex Bigazzi, of Portland State University, will present his work in Vietnam next week.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is hosting a transportation workshop in Ho Chi Minh city. The opportunity for Bigazzi to attend is the result of a spontaneous connection he made recently at a conference in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was giving a paper on truck-specific traffic management.

Large trucks contribute a large share of emissions, especially when traveling at a slow crawl through heavy traffic. Bigazzi’s work explores ways to mitigate the effects of this traffic congestion on air quality.

Bigazzi presented two papers at the 54th Annual Transportation Research Forum, which took place March 21-23 in Annapolis. One of them, “The Emissions Benefits of Truck-Only Lane Management,” offers a better understanding of the impacts of congestion on heavy-duty vehicles.

After a question-and-answer exchange, he was invited to present the same research in Vietnam’s largest city.

APEC’s 37th Transportation Working Group Meeting will take place April 8th through the 12th, 2013, at a Sheridan...

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Jan 20, 2012

Students and faculty researchers from OTREC universities will present 45 papers at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting Jan. 22 to 26 in Washington, D.C.

The papers, to be presented at 37 separate sessions and poster sessions, stem from transportation research at Portland State University, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. The three universities will send 43 students to the conference.

Alex Bigazzi, a PSU engineering doctoral student, will present his work on topics including congestion and emissions at the conference. Some of that work stems from his master’s thesis, “Roadway Congestion Impacts on Emissions, Air Quality, and Exposure,” with adviser Miguel Figliozzi at PSU. The thesis won this year’s Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award, which will be presented Jan. 21 at the Council of University Transportation Centers awards banquet.

Bigazzi will present another paper, which he wrote with PSU’s Kelly Clifton and Brian Gregor of the Oregon Department of Transportation, that looks at fuel economy for alternative-fuel vehicles in congestion. Titled “Advanced Vehicle Fuel-Speed Curves for Regional Greenhouse Gas Scenario Analysis,” the paper helps Oregon DOT incorporate hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles into its emissions planning model.

While traditional vehicles lose fuel efficiency during congested driving, advanced vehicles don’t suffer from the same effects, according to the paper.  Some even do better in...

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Apr 07, 2011

OTREC researchers at Portland State University won the best paper award at the annual Transportation Research Forum for examining the effects of freeway traffic bottlenecks on costs. Graduate student Alex Bigazzi and Miguel Figliozzi, an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, submitted the paper for the forum, held in March in Long Beach, Calif.

Traffic flows can break down more or less at random as the freeway approaches its capacity. Although drivers pay a high price for bottlenecks both in their time and fuel costs, earlier models have taken an oversimplified look at how the uncertainty associated with how bottlenecks form, and how long they last, affect time and fuel costs. Without incorporating uncertainty, previous models underestimate the impact of congestion and bottlenecks.  The paper, called “A Model and Case Study of the Impacts of Stochastic Capacity on Freeway Traffic Flow Benefits and Costs,” takes into account the range and frequency with which these random or uncertain traffic breakdowns occur.  

Research detailed in the paper stemmed from an OTREC project, Value of Reliability. Figliozzi had considered the concept of reliability for years, even using it in his modeling class as an example on how to analyze the impact of uncertainty and combine diverse datasets and models—traffic, congestion, and emissions—into a cohesive model.

In terms of time and fuel...

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Mar 17, 2009

OTREC helped sponsor the 50th Annual Forum of the Transportation Research Forum, held in Portland, Oregon March 16-18, 2009. OTREC faculty partner B. Starr McMullen of Oregon State University served as conference chair and OTREC sponsored the Keynote Speaker Daniel McFadden, 2000 Nobel Prize recipient in Economics, who presented “Sociality, Rationality and the Ecology of Choice.” OTREC faculty member Miguel Figliozzi presented “A Study of Transportation Disruption Causes and Costs in Containerized Maritime Transportation,” director Robert Bertini presented “Can Sensors Be Used to Provide Accurate Travel Time Information?,” and chaired a session on “Transportation Measures: Which Ones and How Do We Measure Them?,” PSU student Meead Saberi presented “Evaluating the Factors Affecting Student Travel Mode Choice,” PSU student Alex Bigazzi presented a poster “Adding Sustainability Performance Measures to a Transportation Data Archive,” PSU Student Meead Saberi presented a poster “Does Weather Affect Traffic Flow on Freeways?,” Miguel Figliozzi presented a poster with Kristin Tufte, “Integration and Visualization Challenges and Opportunities for Online Freight Data Mapping,” and PSU student Wei Feng presented a poster “Characteristics of Transitions in Freeway Traffic.” Congratulations to Prof. McMullent, TRF and all participants for a successful conference!

Nov 06, 2008

The Sixth Annual Region X Student Conference was held on November 7, 2008 in Seattle Washington. Twenty students from PSU, fifteen from University of Washington, eight from OSU, five from University of Idaho, three from UO and one from Reed College participated in this conference. Of the ten student presentations given at the conference six were from OTREC Partner Institutions PSU, UO and OSU! Student presenters included Tim Brass (UO) on Using Mobile GIS for Assessing Accessibility of Pedestrian Facilities / OU Bike Loan Program Raul Avelar (OSU) on Low-cost Data Collection and Estimation of Roundabout Traffic Volumes, Wei Feng (PSU) on Transition Features Near a Freeway Congestion, Alex Bigazzi (PSU) on Adding Sustainability Performance Measures to a Transportation Data Archive and Meead Saberi Kalaee (PSU) on Evaluation the Data Accuracy of Loop Detectors in Adaptive Signal Control Systems.

Aug 28, 2008

STEP members attended the 2008 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Anaheim, California. Students were able to interact with professionals from all over the country and learn about case studies that were divided into four categories; traffic engineering and design, safety, planning, management and operations, and conversation circles. Members also went on a special tour of the toll lanes on California State Route 91. This congestion priced road is one of the countryís few roads that generate enough revenue to fully pay all of its expenses. Dr. Christopher Monsere presented on the National Transportation Education Conference at the Current Practice in Professional Education and Training session. STEP also won the Student Chapter Web Site Award. STEP members also had the opportunity in the evenings to enjoy nearby Downtown Disneyland and Newport Beach. STEP would like to thank SALP and OTREC for their funding support. The picture on the left shows (from left to right) Dr. Christopher Monsere, Chengyu Dai, Rolando Melgoza, Huan Li, Alex Bigazzi, Lisa Diercksen, and Leah Tomlinson. (Written by Rolando Melgoza)

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