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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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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Principal Investigator: Reid Ewing, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief, related presentations, and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

A new report from the University of Utah uses data to settle a debate that has been ongoing among transportation researchers since the 1990s: what are the effects of compact development on traffic congestion?

One camp argues that dense, compact development with a mixture of land uses will ultimately relieve congestion by encouraging fewer auto trips. On the opposite side, proponents of highway-induced, sprawling development argue that sprawl decreases congestion by funneling traffic away from dense areas, acting as a "traffic safety valve."

Led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah and Shima Hamidi of the University of Texas at Arlington, this NITC study sought to address the question through cross sectional data. So which of these forms of urban development is better at reducing area-wide traffic congestion?

Surprisingly, neither.

Ewing and Hamidi arrived at the conclusion that development density—whether compact...

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TREC’s NITC program has made $500,000 available for grants to eligible researchers through its 2017 general research request for proposals. The RFP is the first since the NITC program expanded to include the University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington.

All proposals must contribute to the NITC theme, improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities, and focus on transportation. They must also show strong potential to move transportation research into practice, inform other researchers, shape national and international conversations on transportation research, and respond to the needs of practitioners and policymakers.

Projects are capped at $100,000, and we encourage PIs to propose smaller projects. Priority is given to projects that are collaborative, multi-disciplinary, multi-campus and support the development of untenured tenure-track transportation faculty.

Key Dates

  •     Abstracts due: April 14, 2017
  •     Proposal due: May 15, 2017
  •     Peer reviews: June 2017
  •     Project Selection, Awards, and Task Orders: July-August 2017
  •     Projects begin: Sept 2017

Eligibility

Only eligible faculty members and research faculty from Portland State University, University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of...

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PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

OVERVIEW

Drawing from the framework of social determinants of health, the objective of this study is to investigate the cross-sectional association between transportation-related factors and self-perceived physical health among adults in the U.S.

Data for this study were derived from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey. An analytic sample of 71,235 respondents aged 18 and 64 years was analyzed using binary logistic regression. Of the 71,235 respondents examined, 8.9% perceived their physical health to be poor. About 36% of the respondents had fewer vehicles per individuals in the household.

Controlling for the effects of other factors, respondents who had fewer vehicles per individuals in the household were 1.27 times more likely to report poor self-perceived physical health when compared to their counterparts with more vehicles per individuals in the household (AOR=1.27, 95% CI=1.17-1...

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People walking with no sidewalk. Text: Webinar - When Growth Outpaces Infrastructure

PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

OVERVIEW

This study used a community-engaged interdisciplinary approach to assess the gaps between economic growth and transportation infrastructure development, and the impact of potential gaps on access to opportunities for environmental justice populations within North Central Texas, where population growth has increased over 100% since 2000.

The interdisciplinary team, comprised of social work and civil engineering researchers, in partnership with the regional homeless coalition, measured residents’ perspectives of:

  • the economic growth in the area over the past decade,
  • the extent to which transportation infrastructure has matched the economic growth, and
  • the implications for access to affordable quality housing, employment, quality public education, as well as engagement in cultural and social activities.

The team utilized a mixed-methods (focus groups and survey data), exploratory design to collect responses from a diverse sampling frame. The study results produced an infrastructure profile for the region, in which increased infrastructure from toll ways have...

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PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

OVERVIEW

Mobility disparities among older adults affect their ability to travel and access services. This project seeks to understand challenges, barriers, and gaps that older adults experience and to develop forms of assistance or educational strategies to fill the varying mobility gaps and meet the mobility needs. This study characterizes older adults’ use of existing and potential transportation options, including conventional transit, paratransit, and ride-hailing systems, based on surveys and interviews collected from community-dwelling older adults in Dallas, Texas. Through the interview during the pandemic, the research team found that perceptual and knowledge barriers appear to be reduced among older adults to adopt new mobility options such as ride-hailing although financial and technology barriers still exist. Based on the findings, we discussed several strategies that can...

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