Students in reflective jackets with clipboards standing near a sidewalk
Jennifer Dill, Portland State University, and Tara Goddard, Texas A&M University

We’ve got a new curriculum guidebook for undergraduate and graduate students in transportation: a comprehensive set of class exercises to learn pedestrian observation and data collection strategies.

Addressing the challenges of an evolving transportation industry means embracing the study of non-motorized travel and preparing the new workforce for it. Funded by our university research consortium National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), this guidebook was designed to enable instructors with little or no experience to integrate pedestrian-related curriculum into their teaching. While accessibility is a key feature...

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Kelly Clifton and student - presenting research at TRB Annual Meeting
Principal Investigator: Kelly Clifton, Portland State University
Research spans multiple studies and years of work.
This content was originally published in the June 2018 edition of the  U.S. DOT UTC Spotlight series (PDF).

In recent decades, cities have become increasingly motivated to invest in infrastructure that supports multimodal options like walking, biking and public transit. Trip generation, the first step in conventional four-step forecasting models, is a central figure in determining how those investments are made.

However, when considering pedestrian and bicycling travel, the current practice is usually to either leave those trips out of the model altogether, or to simply present them as a mode choice option that is not analyzed further. In short, they’re car-centric.

Without reliable trip generation rates for anyone but drivers, an accurate transportation impact is difficult to predict. Certain land uses will draw far more walkers, cyclists and transit riders than drivers. Cities...

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Cyclists riding toward a green bike signal
Principal Investigator: Sirisha Kothuri, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summaries, related presentations, and the full Final Report on each Project Overview page.

Sirisha Kothuri, a Portland State University research associate, has recently completed two distinct studies taking different approaches to advancing bicycle safety. Kothuri will lead a Sept. 13 workshop on Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Signal Timing Strategies along with Peter Koonce, the division manager of Signals & Street Lighting for the City of Portland. The half-day workshop will be part of Transportation and Communities 2018, a two-day...

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Principal Investigators: John MacArthur, Portland State University; and Christopher Cherry, University of Tennessee
Learn more about this education project by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

If more drivers switched seats to a bicycle, there would be immediate and tangible benefits on the road. Widespread adoption of bike commuting could improve public health through increased physical activity and reduced carbon emissions, as well as ease the burden on congested roads. However different lifestyle demands, physical ableness, and varied topography create an unequal playing field that prevents many from replacing their car trips.

Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are a relatively new mode of transportation that could bridge this gap. If substituted for car use, e-bikes could substantially improve efficiency in the transportation system while creating a more inclusive biking culture for people of all ages and abilities.

A newly published NITC study by John MacArthur of...

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Maria Sipin, Graduate Assistant, Portland State University

Maria Sipin is a Portland State University grad student in Urban Planning and Public Health, and an IBPI Active Transportation Scholar. Watch Maria's video, "Communicating Intersections," on the power that transportation planners have to affect positive, equitable change in our daily lives. Or, read the 2018 final report she co-authored "Elevating People: Planning for Equitable Travel to Marquam Hill" - a report on OHSU’s vision for diversity and inclusion and their goals to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips and promote the increased use of sustainable multimodal transportation.

IBPI 2017 - 2018 ScholarLinkedIn | PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions Staff Member


Tell us about yourself:

I started grad school in fall 2016, just a week after moving to Portland from Los...

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Principal Investigator: Nathan McNeil, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Summary Report, related publications and the three Final Reports from each phase of the research on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the researchers by watching the August 2017 webinar.

The third and final phase of our bike share equity research project has been published, with new findings from a survey of bike share users.

Riders targeted for equity-focused outreach efforts—lower-income individuals and people of color—were most likely to cite cost savings or discounted membership as reasons why they joined, while higher-income and white users were more likely to cite the convenience of using bike share. Lower-income riders were also more...

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2018 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by April 2, 2018.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award at least $1 million under our general research grant in 2018 for projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

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

Research projects must focus on transportation, with additional consideration given to projects that emphasize equity and diversity in their research and partnerships. We’re seeking projects that demonstrate a strong potential to move transportation research into practice, shape national and international conversations, and respond to the needs of practitioners and policymakers. 

Priority is given to projects that are collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-campus, and support the development of untenured-tenure-track transportation faculty. 

Key Dates

  • Abstracts due: April 2,...
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Principal Investigator: Liming Wang, Portland State University
Learn more about this curriculum and how you can apply it at your school by viewing the one-page Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

A NITC education grant funded a new course for planners, engineers, scientists and students to help improve their data processing workflow.

Liming Wang, an assistant professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning at Portland State University, is on a mission to simplify data processing. A NITC education grant supported his efforts to develop a new course: Introduction to Data Science (Aug 6 - 10, 2018). The course is designed to help students and professionals to improve their workflow for data-intensive research. The course covers how to collect data, clean them up, visualize, explore, model and eventually compile the data with findings in a report.

"I've pretty...

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

Small Starts grants assist researchers who are interested in transportation but have not yet had an opportunity to undertake a small project—$15,000 in funding or less—that supports NITC's theme of safe, healthy and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities.

The latest projects selected by NITC's executive committee support that theme in exploring livable streets, multimodal safety and transportation efficiency.

The six newly funded projects are:

  • Is There a "Buy Local" Case for Lower Travel Speeds? Testing Differences in Driver Recognition of Local Versus National Retail at Different Travel Speeds—Jonathan Bean and Arlie Adkins, University of Arizona (Full Proposal)
  • How Will Autonomous Vehicles Change Local Government Budgeting and Finance? A Case Study of Solid Waste, Drop-off/Pick-up Zones, and Parking—Benjamin Clark, University of Oregon (...
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In 2014, NITC published a study on racial bias at crosswalks under a Small Starts grant. Read coverage of that project in the New York Times and Washington PostThe next phase of the research is now complete, with more comprehensive findings. 
 
Principal InvestigatorKimberly Kahn, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief, related presentations, and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand...
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