Jan 04, 2016

Traffic congestion on urban roadways can influence operating costs and cause travel delays.

Portland State University master’s students Nicholas Stoll and Travis Glick will present a paper introducing solutions for locating the sources of congestion at the 2016 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

With their faculty advisor, Miguel Figliozzi, Stoll and Glick looked into using bus GPS data to identify congestion hot spots.

By using high-resolution GPS data to visualize trends in bus behavior and movement, the researchers were able to examine the sources of delay on urban arterials.

These visualizations, which can be in the form of heat maps or speed plots like the one shown here on the right (an application of numerical method applied to a 2,000 ft segment of SE Powell), can be used by transportation agencies to identify locations where improvements are needed. For example, adding a queue jump lane at a congested intersection can improve flow.

The researchers used fine-grained bus data provided by TriMet to create the visualizations. Buses have been used as probes to estimate travel times before, but with...

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Oct 16, 2015

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This webinar presents a novel method that utilizes location-based services for collecting public transportation data.

A NITC-funded project at the University of Oregon will be presented that focuses on the development and evaluation of a mobile application based on Bluetooth low energy technology sensors and geofencing technology for crowdsourcing data collection.

The application was employed in a case study using Lane Transit District’s express bus system in the Eugene-Springfield area in western Oregon. The results show that using these types of location-based services offers an effective approach to collecting richer data than traditional means, while requiring only minimal...

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Apr 27, 2015

A new study led by Miguel Figliozzi of Portland State University provides a microscopic evaluation of how two advanced traffic control technologies work together.

Powell Boulevard, an east-west arterial corridor in southeast Portland, Oregon, has been the focus of several research studies by Figliozzi’s TTP research lab. The street is a key route for public transit buses as well as pedestrians and cars, but heavy traffic at peak hours often results in delays.

On Powell there are two systems operating concurrently: a demand-responsive traffic signal system called Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) and a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system. The TSP in the Portland metro region is designed to give priority to late buses and to boost transit performance.

In previous studies Figliozzi’s lab has analyzed a multitude of factors on Powell Boulevard including traffic congestion, transit times, air quality and cyclists’ intake of air pollutants, and a before/after evaluation of SCATS.

For this study, the researchers used a novel approach to evaluate how well SCATS and TSP work together by integrating three major data sources and video recordings at individual intersections.

Figliozzi’s team worked closely with TriMet and the City of Portland to...

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Feb 13, 2015

Shrinking cities, also known as legacy cities, are previously dense urban areas that have experienced significant population loss. Some of the most striking examples in the United States are historical automobile manufacturing cities like Detroit, Buffalo and Cleveland.

In these cities, the thinning of the population coupled with the decay of physical infrastructure creates unique transportation challenges.

University of Utah researcher Joanna Ganning set out to find a tailored solution for this problem using accessibility-based transportation planning.

She will present her research in a webinar on Thursday, February 19.

In contrast to mobility-based planning, which focuses on the cost of transportation per mile traveled, accessibility-based planning places its emphasis on whether people have access to their destinations.

Ganning believes that there is a heightened need for accessibility-based planning in urban settings with population decline.

“We know that increased population density makes transit more efficient. In urban decline you’re losing people, so you don’t have that working for you,” Ganning said.

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Feb 02, 2015

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Transit-oriented development (TOD) projects in low-income neighborhoods have the potential to provide needed transportation access to a segment of the population that stands to benefit significantly from these large-scale transit infrastructure projects. This research project reveals that large-scale TOD projects have the potential of leading to neighborhood revitalization and equitable outcomes in low-income Latino communities. But these positive outcomes depend on both the process and context of these particular neighborhoods, and how transportation planners incorporate the various forms of political, financial and cultural capital that exist in these communities into the planning and implementation process of TOD projects. This comparative case study analyzed the Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland and the MacArthur Park METRO TOD in Los Angeles. We...

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Jan 21, 2015

For fifteen years, scholars have claimed that accessibility-based transportation planning is at the brink of becoming a new paradigm. In contrast with traditional mobility-based planning methods, which focus on the cost of transportation per mile, accessibility-based planning methods place more importance on people's ability to reach various destinations and their access to transit systems. Its use may trail behind traditional planning methods nationally, due to vague definitions, momentum of traditional performance measures, and other factors. However, this webinar argues that accessibility-based planning is demonstrably necessary in shrinking cities across the U.S., and especially among minority populations in those cities.

As shrinking cities’ need for accessibility-based planning is distinct, the challenges to accomplishing it are also distinct and rather severe. Again, this is especially true when planning for minority populations, for whom there is often a level of mistrust in the policy process itself which must be overcome. After presenting evidence of both the especial need for and the challenges inherent in accessibility-based planning in shrinking cities (and especially among minority populations), this presentation proposes potential strategies for implementation and for applying this method in those scenarios in which it is most needed.

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Jan 14, 2015

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