When it comes to transportation investments, states have a good measure of automobile traffic to inform decisions: vehicle miles traveled. Bicycling and walking don't have a similar measure, leaving more guesswork in planning for those modes.
OTREC research associate Krista Nordback is helping to fix that disparity for Washington state. Working with graduate assistant Michael Sellinger, Nordback has published a research report presenting methods to estimate cycling and walking in the state.
The research is part of a larger effort, which includes Nordback's NITC research project, to create and apply pedestrian-miles-traveled and bicycle-miles-traveled -- PMT and BMT, resepectively -- measures at the state level. In the report, Nordback recommends improvements to Washington's Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project and outlines how PMT and BMT could be estimated.
Washington already leads the nation in its nonmotorized count program, collecting bike and pedestrian counts in more than 30 cities across the state. The statewide focus of Nordback's project sets it apart from similar studies limited to the local or regional level.
The report identifies key needs for programs such as Washington's, including more counts in rural areas and the need to combine short-duration counts with permanent counters. It also found that using broad...Read more
The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation hosted its first Webinar Feb. 27, with OTREC researcher Krista Nordback providing an overview of bicycle and pedestrian count programs for the 250-plus registered participants.
The Webinar marks an expansion of IBPI’s professional development offerings, which now also include a sustainable transportation study-abroad program and a wider selection of workshops geared toward transportation professionals and university instructors. Webinar participants were eligible to receive continuing education credits, new this year for IBPI live Webinars and in-person workshops.
While the title of the Webinar, “We are Traffic: Creating Robust Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Programs,” asserts a place for walking and bicycling in traffic discussions, Nordback began with a question: If we really believe that bicycling and walking are modes of traffic, how is that going to change how we measure those modes?
Nordback outlined the Federal Highway Administration’s Traffic Monitoring Guide, published last year. She covered why counting and understanding bicycle and pedestrian volumes is...Read more
OTREC researcher Miguel Figliozzi details some of the work on an Oregon Department of Transportation project, "Design and Implementation of Pedestrian and Bicycle Specific Data Collection Methods in Oregon," in this video produced by the Federal Highway Administration.
The project reviewed collection methods such as tube counters and loop detectors for accuracy and looked at using count numbers to deterimine average annual pedestrian and bicycle traffic at intersections.
Figliozzi was lead researcher on the project, with Christopher Monsere. Both are associate professors of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University.
OTREC's Krista Nordback was also involved in the project, as were graduate students Pamela Johnson and Bryan Blanc. More information on the project is at:
Krista Nordback, an OTREC staff researcher, won the Outstanding Paper award from the Transportation Research Board's Bicycle Transportation Committee. The award honors Nordback's paper, "Measuring Traffic Reduction from Bicycle Commuting," which was also featured here:
The paper marked the first research to document a statistically significant drop in motor vehicle traffic during a bike-to-work event. The paper is available to download here or through the link above.
The award is given to the best paper submitted to the Committee on Bicycle Transportation for the 2014 TRB annual meeting, held Jan. 12-16 in Washington, D.C. The committee reviewed 85 papers, using anonymous peer reviewers and committee members.
More information on OTREC's presence at the TRB annual meeting is at:
Information on the Committee on Bicycle Transportation is at:
The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation has unveiled the most ambitious year of professional development offerings in its history.
For the first time, the schedule includes Webinars, with the first taking place Feb. 27. Offerings also include courses and workshops geared toward practitioners and university faculty members. There’s also a two-week study abroad opportunity to learn about sustainable transportation in the Netherlands.
The course offerings include a newly added advanced bicycle design and engineering workshop. The workshop is geared toward professionals who have taken the original IBPI course or who serve communities with a developed bicycle network.
“More than 120 professionals have taken the course since 2008,” said Hau Hagedorn, who manages the IBPI program. “We’ve reached the threshold of educating professionals where there’s the need to take this to the next level of expertise.”
Continuing education credits are available for each workshop and Webinar. Click here for details on the individual course pages.
Registration is now open for IBPI’s inaugural Webinar on Feb. 27: “We are Traffic: Creating Robust Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Programs.” As agencies looking to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure have learned, it doesn’t count if it’s not counted....Read more
Note: In advance of the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, the biggest forum on the transportation research calendar, OTREC.us is profiling some of the researchers who will present their work.
The bicycle counts suggested that, on Bike to Work Day, more people did bike to work. But did fewer people drive?
OTREC staff researcher Krista Nordback took up the issue and will present her findings Monday, Jan. 13 at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The bike count data from sites across Boulder, Colo., certainly impressed Nordback. “Bike to Work Day has this huge spike,” she said. “The bike counts double at a lot of the count sites.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see something similar with the motor vehicle count data?”
In a twist that might only happen in Boulder, with its ample bike counters, Nordback had a harder time tracking down the motor vehicle counts. She lucked out, finding that the city’s red-light cameras had been counting cars alongside their primary job of catching red-light runners.
Those motor vehicle counts showed a consistent drop on Bike-to-Work days compared with average workdays in June and July. It was a small drop, but even finding that was unprecedented: no studies had documented a statistically significant drop in motor vehicle counts during any bike-to-work event.
This fall, the Friday transportation seminar series at Portland State University has focused on data collection and how information is used to make transportation investments. The Oct. 26 seminar, with the University of Minnesota’s Greg Lindsey, covered tracking and modeling travel behavior.
Engineers and planners alike have relied on traffic counts for their traffic models, but data behind bike and pedestrian travel has been fuzzy. Now, researchers such as Lindsey are offering new methods for conducting bike and pedestrian counts on trails and multiuse paths.
With little guidance from the Federal Highway Administration, Lindsey said, most of the efforts in creating best practices have bubbled up from communities like the Twin Cities, chosen as Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Cities. Lindsey and his researchers monitored six trails in Minneapolis, using inductive loops and infrared beams.
To address calibration problems and offer validity to their field numbers, Lindsey also sent students into the field to verify counts. The technology allowed for finer-grained detail, especially over a 24-hour period. OTREC Director Jennifer Dill noted, “Too much in the past we’ve lumped “bike and peds” together and your work and analysis is demonstrating that they truly are different modes, with different behaviors.”
Lindsey stressed the importance of conducting this type of research, and measuring our “bicycle miles traveled” and “pedestrian miles traveled” in...Read more
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) change our communities by improving the safety and convenience of people’s daily mobility. The system relies on multimodal traffic monitoring, that needs to provide reliable, efficient and detailed traffic information for traffic safety and planning. How to reliably and intelligently monitor intersection traffic with multimodal information is one of the most critical topics in intelligent transportation research.
In multimodal traffic monitoring, we gather traffic statistics for distinct transportation modes, such as pedestrians, cars and bicycles, in order to analyze and improve people’s daily mobility in terms of safety and convenience.
In this study, we use a high-resolution millimeter-wave (mmWave) radar sensor to obtain a relatively richer radar point cloud representation for a traffic monitoring scenario. Based on a new...Read more