In recent years, shared electric scooters (e-scooters) have taken cities around the world by storm. But how are people using this new mode of transportation? Seeking to understand the potential impacts of e-scooters on land use, infrastructure and sustainability goals, researchers have some new interesting data to share on e-scooter users, exploring the interplay between demographics, behaviors and trip purposes.

Funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and led by Kristina Currans and Nicole Iroz-Elardo of the University of Arizona and Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, the study combines a user survey with on-the-ground observations to characterize the use and safety of e-scooters. The research team also included students Dong-ah Choi,...

Read more

Led by Dr. Stephen Fickas of the University of Oregon (UO),  transportation researchers are working to give bicyclists smoother rides by allowing them to communicate with traffic signals via a mobile app. 

The latest report to come out of this multi-project research effort introduces machine-learning algorithms to work with their mobile app FastTrack. Developed and tested in earlier phases of the project, the app allows cyclists to passively communicate with traffic signals along a busy bike corridor in Eugene, Oregon. Researchers hope to eventually make their app available in other cities.

"The overall goal is to give bicyclists a safer and more efficient use of a city’s signaled intersections. The current project attempts to use two deep-learning algorithms, LSTM and 1D CNN, to tackle time-series forecasting. The goal is to predict the next phase of an upcoming, actuated traffic signal given a history of its prior phases in time-series format. We're encouraged by the results," Fickas said.

Their latest work builds on two prior projects, also funded by the National Institute for Transportation a Communities: in which Fickas and his team successfully built and deployed a hardware and software product called ‘Bike Connect’ which allowed people on bikes to give hands-free advance...

Read more
Rethinking Streets for Physical Distancing, the third in our "Rethinking Streets" book series, has been released. The book offers 25 case studies from a broad swath of U.S. cities with a handful of international examples of streets that were redesigned to better accommodate people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rethinking Streets is a design guidebook series produced by NITC researchers at the University of Oregon, led by Marc Schlossberg. The three books are:

These full-color design guides have proven popular with planners and...

Read more
A worker measures the distance from a bike light to the ground
 

NITC researchers Stephen Fickas and Marc Schlossberg of the University of Oregon are on a mission: bring the benefits of V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure communication) to bicycling. Earlier this year they published their proof-of-concept of a DIY vehicle-to-infrastructure "bike box" in Oregon for communicating with traffic signal controllers. In the most recent round of NITC grants awarded this past summer they secured funding for Green Waves, Machine Learning, and Predictive Analytics: Making Streets Better for People on Bike & Scooter.

APPLYING GLOSA TO CYCLING

The latest report to come out of this body of work focuses on a new technology being integrated into modern cars: GLOSA, or Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory. GLOSA allows motorists to set their speed along corridors to maximize their chances of catching a "green wave" so they won't have to stop at red lights. This project demonstrates how GLOSA can be used by bicyclists in the same way it is used by motorists, with a test site on a busy car and bike corridor feeding the University of Oregon campus: 13th Avenue in Eugene, Oregon.

Fickas and Schlossberg created a...

Read more
Cyclists cross the road at a bike signal
Investigators: Stephen Fickas, University of Oregon; Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Most people who bike for transportation can probably think of "that one intersection:" The light where it's impossible to get a green without waiting. Even when there are no cars, pedestrians or other bikes in sight, you still know you'll have to stop and wait a while, sacrifice all your momentum, and wish you could have given the signal advance notice that you were coming.

Researchers at the University of Oregon have created an app for that.

Lead investigator Stephen Fickas, a computer and information science professor at the UO, developed the app, along with a specially-designed Bike Connect ‘box' (watch the 3-minute video) that attaches to a traffic signal controller. With the box installed, the app allows a cyclist to...

Read more
Dave Amos, Roger Lindgren and March Schlossberg at TRB 2019

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is excited to announce the publication of a new visual design guide, "Rethinking Streets for Bikes." Focused on case studies in the U.S., the guidebook will make it easier for North American city officials to design streets with bikes (and the people on them) in mind.

There is...

Read more
Principal Investigator: Christopher Monsere, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the final report and related publications on the Project Overview page.

The Federal Highway Administration issued an interim approval for bike signals, based on the NITC project "Operational Guidance for Bicycle-Specific Traffic Signals." The project, selected in 2015 as one of AASHTO's "Sweet Sixteen" high-value research projects, has been widely cited and the research is instrumental in beginning to standardize the use and design of bicycle signals.

This video provides a look at what that means for jurisdictions in the United States:

Proponents of advanced bikeways will point out a growing body of research on these facilities’ safety and benefits for cycling. They can now add another benefit: higher home values.

Research led by Jenny Liu of Portland State University looked at property around advanced bikeways in Portland, defined as bicycle boulevards, protected bike lanes and buffered bike lanes. She found positive effects on property values close to one of these bikeways and an even stronger effect where the network was denser.

Liu presents her research Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. Learn more or download the research paper.

For single family home sales, being a quarter mile closer to an advanced bikeway translated to a $686 premium, while increasing the density by a quarter mile represented a $4,039 premium. For multi-family homes, the effect of being close to a bikeway wasn’t statistically significant on sale price, but increasing the density of bikeways translated to $4,712 of value.

The research can inform policymakers who may question how much residents value bikeways and provide insight into siting decisions. “My results don’t necessarily say to put one here or not, but it does show there is indeed a...

Read more

Pages