Courtney Crosson and UA architecture students facilitate a mapping activity to identify current flooding challenges at a neighborhood meeting.
Sep 02, 2020
Photo by Eugene Lee
Courtney Crosson, University of Arizona

Short-term flooding from extreme storm events poses a serious transportation challenge in U.S. cities. This problem—which is anticipated to grow over the next century with our global climate crisis—is often hardest on vulnerable populations, including low-income and minority neighborhoods. The latest report from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), led by Courtney Crosson of University of Arizona (UA), advances national research methods for assessing flood vulnerability and prioritizing transportation improvement investments to ensure that no community is left stranded when the next flood occurs.

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Aerial view of urban city road with cars on the road and crosswalk. Text reads: Webinar: Land Use and Transportation Policies for a Sustainable Future.
Aug 14, 2020
 

OVERVIEW

Even though there are tremendous uncertainties in the timing and evolution path of the Autonomous Vehicles (AV) technology, it may become a likely reality within most MPOs' long-range regional transportation plan horizon of twenty years. Yet a recent survey of the largest MPOs in the US indicates only one of them "even mentions driverless, automated, or autonomous vehicles in its most recent RTP". One of the uncertainties in assessing the impacts of AV is their direction: on one hand, self-driving cars could increase VMT by increasing roadway capacity, lowering costs of travel; on the other, they may reduce VMT by enabling more car-sharing, improving access to transit, eliminating the fixed costs of car ownership, and reclaiming parking space. To date, there is no suitable conceptual framework or modeling tools available to MPOs for quantitatively assessing the likely long-term effects of AV or potential policy scenarios.

This project studies the possible impacts on travel and land use of the emerging AV technology and focuses on advancing this innovative mobility option by making sure it serves the greater good of building sustainable and equitable communities in its adoption. It also contributes to smart cities research by examining the likely social, economic, and environmental outcomes of integrating AV in our cities and by...

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A bus stop with a shelter, bench, and sidewalk showing people boarding the bus
Aug 10, 2020
 

OVERVIEW

Improving bus stops by providing shelters, seating, signage, and sidewalks is relatively inexpensive and popular among riders and local officials. Making such improvements, however, is not often a priority for U.S. transit providers because of competing demands for capital funds and a perception that amenities are not tied to measurable increases in system effectiveness or efficiency. This webinar focuses on the role that bus stops play as the point of first contact between transit agencies and their potential riders, and how the quality of that contact can influence both ridership and accessibility for riders with mobility-related disabilities. The webinar will use results from recent research sponsored by NITC and the Utah Department of Transportation looking at possible impacts that bus stop improvements made by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) have had on stop-level ridership and demand for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services. The results demonstrate how investments in bus stop facilities are not amenities, as they are frequently referred to, but essential elements of infrastructure necessary to provide access to transit and, by extension, to opportunities and essential services. Stops are, through this frame, conceptualized as an element of transportation justice.

KEY LEARNING TAKEAWAYS

Bus stop...

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A streetcar crosses a road with a bicycle signal, with a light rail train visible on an overpass overhead.
Jul 28, 2020

The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $1.14 million in total funding for eleven research projects spanning five universities. This year we focused funding on disaster resilience (including transportation in the era of COVID-19) and improving mobility in marginalized and underserved communities. Several projects examine how emerging technologies can be leveraged to create safer, more sustainable transportation systems for everyone.

Understanding Connections Between Mobility, Transportation, And Quality Of Life In Refugee Communities In Tucson, Arizona ($101,839
Led by Orhon Myadar, Maia Ingram, Nicole Iroz-Elardo and Arlie Adkins of the University of Arizona

Data-Driven Optimization for E-Scooter System Design ($67,619)
Led by Jianqiang Cheng and Yao-jan Wu of the University of Arizona

Understanding the Mobility Impacts of Decentralizing Homeless Services on Mobility in Salt Lake City ($100,206)
Led by Sarah Canham and Ivis Garcia of the University of Utah

Pedestrian...

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A bus coming up to a bus stop with a pedestrian nearby
Jul 08, 2020

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is proud to introduce our four Summer 2020 Dissertation Fellows, together awarded $60,000 in total funding. Read about their projects below, or learn how to apply for funding through the NITC Dissertation Fellowship Grant


Travis Glick, Portland State University

Travis Glick is a PhD student, graduate teaching and research assistant in civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University. He served for two years as president of Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), Portland State University's transportation student group. Travis is a NITC scholar and three-time Eisenhower fellow, and his ongoing research examines dwell times, bus-bike conflicts, and transit modeling. Travis's doctoral work tackles a new class of problem that... Read more
Robert Hibberd (headshot) alongside a photo of affordable housing near a transit station
Jul 07, 2020

Robert Hibberd is a Ph.D. student and Graduate Research Assistant in the University of Arizona's College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture. His research emphasis is on urban and transportation planning, demographics, Smart Growth and New Urbanism, housing affordability issues, and sustainable development. He has worked on multiple NITC projects including LRT/BRT/SCT/CRT Development Outcomes FINAL PHASE and Updating and Expanding LRT/BRT/SCT/CRT Data and Analysis with his advisor, Dr. Arthur C. Nelson. He is a 2020 NITC dissertation fellow.

LinkedIn | Twitter | NITC Researcher Profile


Tell us about yourself?

Robert E. Hibberd grew up in Syracuse, Utah, north of Salt Lake City. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Utah, and a Master’s degree in Historical Resources Management,...

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TRB
Feb 05, 2020

We've collected posters and presentations of NITC research at TRB. Explore the links below to see what NITC researchers brought to D.C. this year—the below projects have a connection to NITC funding, but are not necessarily representative of the full body of work that researchers at these institutions brought to the annual meeting.

Check out our TRB 2020 photo album here!


Portland State University

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Gabby Abou Zeid
Feb 05, 2020

Gabby Abou-Zeid is a first-year civil engineering graduate student, 2019 Eisenhower Fellow and recipient of the 2019 IBPI Rex Burkholder and Lydia Rich Scholarship. She is pursuing her M.S. at Portland State University and working with Dr. Kelly Clifton's SUPER (Sustainable Urban Planning & Engineering Research) Lab. She received her BS in sustainable built environments from the University of Arizona in 2019, and plans on pursuing a PhD in a transportation-related field after her master's program. Prior to coming to PSU, she conducted research with Dr. Clifton through the Transportation Undergraduate Reearch Fellow (TURF) program*. Gabby will present her work on the demand for freight at multifamily apartment buildings on February 14 in a Friday Transportation Seminar at Portland State.

Watch an interview with Gabby about her research at University of Arizona on Walkability in Tucson, Arizona.

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The Portland Streetcar and Portland MAX are visible, along with a green Bike Signal and a pedestrian walk button.
Jan 27, 2020

Photo by Cait McCusker

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2020 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by March 23, 2020.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award up to $1,000,000 to research 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.

Well-connected regions and communities can improve social equity by providing access to jobs, services, recreation, and social opportunities. Research should examine barriers to access, including the connections between transportation, land use, and housing. It should look at how to overcome these barriers and improve accessibility, affordability, and equity in our communities.

Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure.

Improved mobility requires a range of options for moving people and goods. As concepts of mobility evolve, research is needed to understand how people and firms make mode choices so that we can design better multi-modal systems. Research should examine how...

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Jenny Liu presents a poster at TRB 2019
Jan 06, 2020

This page serves as a homebase for our coverage of the 2020 Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual conference. Check back here for ongoing updates, as well as our Twitter and Facebook.

  • NITC GUIDE TO TRB (PDF): Our printable schedule of where all of our NITC researchers will be presenting at lectures, poster sessions, and workshops.

  • NITC RECEPTION AT TRB: Join us for transportation bingo and networking on Monday, January 13 (8:00 –10:30 PM) nearby at Fadó Irish Pub.

  • NITC STUDENT AWARD AT CUTC BANQUET: We’ll be celebrating our 2019 NITC “Student of the Year,"  Samuel Jensen of the University of Arizona, at the annual CUTC Banquet.

NITC AT TRB 2020 HIGHLIGHTS

Below is a small sampling of the expertise NITC is bringing to TRB 2020. For the ...

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