A bus on the street
Dec 04, 2019
Photo by Andrei Stanescu/iStock

Our National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research program has awarded grant funding for a new series of Small Starts projects.

The latest Small Starts Grant projects, evaluated by the NITC Advisory Board and selected by NITC's Executive Committee, will explore mobility impacts of construction workzones, transportation equity and barriers for low-income travelers, and the widespread impacts of emerging technologies like e-scooters and ride hailing.

This annual NITC funding program is a unique opportunity to tackle small-scale ($20,000 or less in scope) research projects. In contrast to our larger, annual flagship program ($30–150K), Small Starts enables us to include researchers who:

  • Bring a diverse, interdisciplinary perspective

  • Offer a new voice in the field, whether they’re untenured faculty or a researcher who has not received a NITC grant before

  • Want to kick-start a larger project by first tackling an exploratory study smaller in scope

THE...

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Street icons for bicycle and pedestrian
Nov 21, 2019
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.

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A bicycle passes in front of a bus
Oct 24, 2019
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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A view of the ballroom with attendees eating lunch during the Summit keynote
Oct 09, 2019

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 storyteller behind the popular quantitative analysis blog...

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Bicyclists cross an intersection with a bike signal, near a red car
Sep 26, 2019
John MacArthur, Portland State University

What if your bicycle could warn you that a car is coming from a side street you can't see? Or let you know that your front tire is getting a little low, or that you're approaching a pothole that wasn't there yesterday? A NITC research project led by John MacArthur of Portland State University explores how connected vehicle (CV) technologies could encourage an increase in bicycling. As CV technology moves forward in the rest of the transportation system—with buses and connected streetcars requesting early green lights from the traffic signals, and cars chatting with each other about their locations and trajectories—there may be...

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Three people stand waiting for a train
Sep 11, 2019
Photo by santypan

Amy Lubitow and Julius McGee, Portland State University;  Raoul Liévanos, University of Oregon


What is the quality of travel data for underrepresented, marginalized populations? The issues go deeper than creating slicker algorithms: In a world with...

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A man with sunglasses and a cane carries a smartphone in his hand, appearing to be listening to its audio
Aug 15, 2019
Photo by diego_cervo
Martin Swobodzinski and Amy Parker, Portland State University

It's 2019, and with the explosion of mobile technology that has affected all other areas of life, it would seem to be a golden age for people living with visual impairments. Like never before in history, blind, deaf-blind, and low-vision individuals can access a plethora of mobile apps offering a range of services to aid in navigation and wayfinding. But the words "explosion" and "plethora" hint at an underlying problem: there are so many different apps, each one addressing only a segment of their mobility...

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NITC Webinar: Arterial Reliability Performance Metrics w Jason Anderson of Portland State
Aug 07, 2019

PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

Miss the webinar or want a look back?

OVERVIEW

With worsening congestion, travel time reliability is increasingly becoming as critical as average travel times in affecting travel choices. Researchers from Portland State University (PSU) partnered with Washington County, Oregon to offer data-driven strategies in prioritizing funding for travel time reliability improvements on their urban arterials. The vast majority of existing research on travel time reliability has focused exclusively on freeways. Avinash Unnikrishnan, Sirisha Kothuri and Jason C. Anderson leveraged Bluetooth sensors provided and deployed by Bluemac Analytics to identify problem areas in the county. Set up at intersections throughout Washington County, the sensors are able to calculate travel time from one intersection to another by matching Bluetooth signals from devices in people's cars. The researchers evaluated the Bluetooth travel time data to understand the temporal variation in travel time reliability metrics on these urban arterials, including factors related to time of day, weather, and holidays. They...

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