Jennifer Dill, director of Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), has been named the inaugural editor-in-chief of the Transportation Research Record (TRR). The TRR—the flagship journal of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board (TRB)—is one of the most cited and prolific transportation journals in the world, offering wide coverage of transportation-related topics.

While maintaining her current role as the director of TREC, Dill will begin her duties at TRR on July 15, collaborating with the TRR team and TRB volunteers to enhance the journal’s role in improving the nation's transportation system through high-quality research.

"The Transportation Research Record and TRB have played key roles in my scholarly and professional career. My very first peer-reviewed journal article was published in TRR based on research I did as an undergraduate student with my mentor, Dr. Dan Sperling. That opportunity opened my eyes to the possibility of being a researcher and professor," Dill said.

Prior to entering academia, Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner at the federal and regional levels. When she first...

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Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) maintains two large, public transportation data lakes: PORTAL and BikePed Portal. The latest round of funding for PORTAL, in the amount of $1.6 million, was awarded in February 2024 and will cover PORTAL's activities through the next five years. BikePed Portal, too, recently received $100K for another year of funding, and both are the focus of some exciting innovations in transportation data.

The two centralized data repositories, unique both in their size and in the fact that they are accessible (PORTAL is freely available to the public, and BikePed Portal has limited public access as well), are supported by multiple federal, state, and regional agencies. Federal funding for PORTAL comes from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'s Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding, suballocated by Metro’s ...

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Portland's Old Town neighborhood is getting a new skatepark, and a team of PSU transportation students were instrumental in bringing the project from idea to reality. 

Given the project of activating a vacant lot on the west side of the Steel Bridge by transforming it into a community skatepark, students in the Spring 2023 bike-pedestrian planning class created a set of design options, a weighted decision matrix, and a memorandum of existing conditions for the site. They also developed performance measures to determine how best to meet the project's objectives of activating the space, creating a welcoming environment, and stimulating local business activity.

Their work provided a basis for ongoing conversations with stakeholders around the project, which ultimately resulted in a green light: Funding for the new skatepark was announced in January by Commissioner Dan Ryan, who oversees Portland Parks & Recreation. Work is slated to begin this spring on property acquisition, community engagement and design of the 35,000 square foot facility.

"Getting to see this skatepark regularly...

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The trip to and from school is made by nearly every child in Oregon every school day. Bike and walk buses, organized groups of school children, parents, and ride/walk leaders, seek to encourage biking and walking to school. A new research project at Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) will gather information on bike buses nationwide, inspired by the success of Sam Balto's bike bus initiative at Alameda Elementary School in Portland, Oregon.

Balto, a physical education teacher, catapulted into the limelight in 2022 after establishing a weekly bike bus involving over 100 students commuting to school on two wheels. Its success and popularity prompted a broader initiative to understand and promote the benefits of bike and walk buses across the United States.

Researchers John MacArthur and Nathan McNeil, along with Evan Howington, a student in the Master of Urban and...

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The 103rd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will be held January 7–11, 2024 in Washington, D.C., and NITC transportation faculty and researchers will be sharing their expertise at the world's largest transportation conference. The TRB annual meeting attracts thousands of transportation professionals from around the globe to address transportation policy, practice, and plans for the future.

Below are a few highlights of research being presented by transportation experts from our participating NITC-funded campuses: Portland State University (PSU), University of Oregon (UO), University of Utah (UU), University of Arizona (UA), and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Check out our full NITC guide for all of the sessions:

VIEW THE ONLINE GUIDE TO NITC AT TRB 2024

*Due to the evolving status of speaker attendance and TRB programming, please check your TRB schedule for the most current information in the event of changes.*

NITC Research Highlights at TRB 2024

University of Texas at Arlington

Monday, January 8 - Older Adults, Travel Options, and Barriers to Accessibility

In this lectern session, Juana Perez, Mohammad Rashidi, Jobaidul Boni and Kate Hyun of the University of Texas, Arlington...

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Eleven students attending partner universities of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) are receiving Eisenhower Fellowships presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation at this year's annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Meet this year's NITC Eisenhower Fellows:

Ashley (Ash) Avila, University of Arizona

Ash Avila is a graduate student in the Accelerated Master’s Program in Urban Planning at the University of Arizona with a focus on transportation and environmental planning. She is currently a graduate research assistant studying the effects of heat and other weather patterns on travel behavior as part of a larger ... Read more

Nathan McNeil, a Research Associate at PSU's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), and co-authors Keith Bartholomew and Matt Ryan (University of Utah), have been selected for a Charley V. Wootan Award for their paper "Transportation Academies as Catalysts for Civic Engagement in Transportation Decision-making." They will be presented with the award in January at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

The paper, published in Transportation Research Record (TRR): The Journal of the Transportation Research Board, draws on findings from a project funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), with additional support from Salt Lake City Transportation Division; Wasatch Front Regional Council; Utah Department of Transportation; Utah Transit Authority; University of Utah; Salt Lake County, Regional Planning and Transportation; and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Read more about the project: Launching the Wasatch Transportation Academy.

The article will also appear in a promotional issue of the TRR journal, physical copies of which will be available in the TRB Annual Meeting Exhibitor Hall in Washington, D.C. during the annual meeting. Stop by the TRR Journal booth for a copy.

The...

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After 17 years of service to TREC, Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center, associate director Hau Hagedorn is moving on to a new position as the Community Investments Manager for Oregon Metro. We will miss her as a colleague, as a model for transportation photos (here she is on the cover of our 2022 Annual Report) and as a seemingly inexhaustible source of energy and inspiration!

During her time at TREC, Hau devoted tireless efforts to improving access to transportation and mobility for people of all ages, communities, and incomes. Her perseverance and commitment have been recognized in the form of numerous accolades and awards. In 2020, she received the CUTC-ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership from the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), and the same year she was appointed ...

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As a social determinant of health, transportation significantly contributes to people's well-being. Walkable, bikable, transit-oriented communities are associated with healthier populations. People in such communities are more physically active, less likely to be injured due to a crash, and less exposed to air pollution.

Because of these and other factors, researchers and practitioners have called for health indicators as one way to integrate public health concerns into transportation decision-making. However, it is unclear how indicators are actually being used and what their impact is on policy.

Research conducted by Kelly Rodgers, a National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) Dissertation Fellow, explored how health-related indicators are being used in municipal transportation plans, whether they are institutionalized into transportation agency decision-making processes, and what influence they have on administrative decision-making.

"I have for some time been working at the intersection of health and transportation, and was interested in how health could be better integrated into transportation decision making. And I have also previously done work on performance measures. And so I kind of combined those two things, to see if health-related indicators were a way of getting transportation agencies to consider health in transportation planning," Rodgers said.

THE RESEARCH

Rodgers conducted case...

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How can emerging data sources most effectively be integrated with traditional sources? A new article in the July 2023 issue of Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board reports that rather than replacing conventional bike data sources and count programs, old “small” data sources will likely be very important for big data sources like Strava and StreetLight to achieve their potential for predicting annual average daily bicycle traffic (AADBT).

The article, "Evaluating the Potential of Crowdsourced Data to Estimate Network-Wide Bicycle Volumes," was authored by TREC researchers Joe Broach, Sirisha Kothuri and Nathan McNeil of Portland State University along with Md Mintu Miah, Kate Hyun and Stephen Mattingly of the University of Texas at Arlington, Krista Nordback of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Frank Proulx of Frank Proulx Consulting, LLC.

Transportation agencies have invested heavily in count infrastructure and models to estimate motor vehicle volumes through networks. Efforts to develop network wide bicycle volume estimates have been hampered by lack of bicycle counters and limited other data sources from which to draw volume estimates. Until recently, most data on bicycle activity came from national or regional household travel surveys, along with observed counts of cyclists—...

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