Alex Bigazzi, a 2014 NITC dissertation fellow and graduate of Portland State University's Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. program, has published a paper based on his NITC-funded research in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

See ACS coverage of the project here.

Bigazzi's research evaluates the concentration of air pollution encountered by cyclists in Portland, Oregon.

In the study, volunteer research subjects rode bicycles equipped with instruments to collect high-resolution bicycle, rider, traffic and environmental data.

Participants rode a variety of routes including bicycle lanes on primary and secondary arterials, bicycle boulevards, off-street paths and mixed-use roadways. They were told to ride at a pace and exertion level typical for utilitarian travel, and breath biomarkers were used to record the amount of traffic-related pollution present in each cyclist’s exhalations. 

This research was the focus of Bigazzi's dissertation, Bicyclists’ Uptake of Traffic-Related Air Pollution: Effects of the Urban Transportation System, published by NITC in December 2014. It was related to an earlier project...

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Despite the many connections between transportation and public health, many agencies tasked with long-range transportation planning have yet to completely consider effects on health, a Portland State University research team found. The research will be presented at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. Jan. 11-15.

Patrick Singleton, a Portland State graduate student researcher, will present the paper “Incorporating public health in U.S. long-range metropolitan transportation planning: A review of guidance statements and performance measures,” during a poster session Tuesday. The paper grew out of concepts developed in a Portland State course on transportation and health taught by Prof. Kelly Clifton, who is a coauthor on the paper.

Individually, transportation and public health each have a wealth of research. That research doesn’t always cross over, Singleton said.

“The integration of these disciplines is in its infancy,” he said.

If transportation planning agencies were to fully consider transportation and health connections, those considerations would show up in their long-term plans, the research team reasoned. Performance measures would point to the potential effects of a health focus.

The researchers focused...

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Summary: Urban bicyclists’ uptake of traffic-related air pollution is still not well quantified, due to a lack of direct measurements of uptake and a lack of analysis of the variation in uptake. This paper describes and establishes the feasibility of a novel method for measuring bicyclists’ uptake of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by sampling breath concentrations. Early results from the data set demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to generate findings for transportation analysis, with statistically significant exposure and uptake differences from bicycling on arterial versus bikeway facilities for several traffic-related VOC. These results provide the first empirical evidence that the usage of bikeways (or greenways) by bicyclists within an urban environment can significantly reduce uptake of dangerous traffic-related gas pollutants. Dynamic concentration and respiration data reveal unfavorable correlations from a health impacts perspective, where bicyclists’ respiration and travel time are greater at higher-concentration locations on already high-concentration roadways (arterials).

Bio: Alex Bigazzi is a Ph.D. candidate in Transportation Engineering at PSU, where he is also teaching a class on transportation emissions modeling. His dissertation investigates how urban bicyclists...

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Summary: Dr. Lovell will talk about three projects funded by NASA and the FAA, addressing congestion in the National Airspace System. Dr. Lovell's team developed diffusion-based queuing models of individual airports that could support better building blocks for network-wide congestion models. The advantage of the new models is their flexibility with respect to input distributions. In a study for the FAA, Dr. Lovell's team developed day-of-operations collaboration "languages" suitable for the FAA and individual carriers in order to collectively manage expected airspace disruptions. Finally, he will discuss a study on predictability in the airspace, with a focus on scheduled block times.

Dr. Lovell is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research. He is a member of the faculty of the Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Scientific Computation Program. He is director of the University of Maryland chapter of Engineers Without Borders - USA, and serves that organization on its board and as a leader of one of its Technical Advisory Councils. Dr. Lovell received his B.A. in Mathematics from Portland State University in 1990, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University...

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Andrew Dannenberg, MD, MPH, is an Affiliate Professor in environmental health and in urban design and planning at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he teaches interdisciplinary courses on health impact assessment and on healthy community design.  He is also a consultant to and former Team Lead of the Healthy Community Design Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he works on activities related to examining the health aspects of community design with a special focus on the use of health impact assessment. Previously he served as Director of CDC’s Division of Applied Public Health Training, as Preventive Medicine Residency director and as an injury prevention epidemiologist on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, and as a cardiovascular epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.  Dr. Dannenberg received an MD from Stanford University and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University, and completed a family medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina.  With Drs. Howard Frumkin and Richard Jackson, he recently published a book on healthy community design entitled Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability (Island Press, 2011, www.makinghealthyplaces.com).

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This project will help demonstrate how sustainable ("green") streets contribute to the well-being of a community, including the physical and mental health of older and younger adults, along with the environment and economy. The project will collect data in Portland, OR neighborhoods to answer the following research questions:

Are residents living near sustainable streets more physically active in their neighborhood?

Do residents living near sustainable streets interact with neighbors more and demonstrate higher levels of neighborhood social capital?

What are residents’ opinions of sustainable streets?

Are there variations in responses to sustainable streets by age or other demographics? In particular, how to older adults differ from younger adults?

Does the implementation process and design affect green street outcomes?

Do sustainable streets affect home values?

How do green streets affect stormwater flows, urban heat island, and carbon sequestration in Portland neighborhoods?

The project includes a survey of residents in two neighborhoods with green street features and two control neighborhoods; an environmental assessment of the green street treatments; and an analysis of housing values using a hedonic modeling approach.

The project will be guided by an Advisory council of members of various stakeholder organizations...

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Abstract: As part of Clark County Public Health’s Planning Active Walkable Neighborhoods project, a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was conducted on the county’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  A rapid HIA was completed to provide input on the draft plan, and a subsequent comprehensive HIA was designed to evaluate the impacts of final proposals. This presentation will provide an overview of the process and results of the HIA, examine lessons learned, and discuss transferability to other jurisdictions or projects.

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Abstract: An overview will be presented on key policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our transportation system, and the health outcomes tied with those policies. The results come from the first-ever, formal Health Impact Assessment done on a climate change policy, coordinated by Upstream Public Health, and conducted by Oregon Health Science University and Human Impact Partners. Key health impacts related to changes in air pollution, physical activity and collisions will be presented for each of the 11 policies related to reduced driving. A new, ground-breaking study will also be presented on scenario planning that was conducted in London and New Delhi, that could be a model for how scenario planning can be conducted in Oregon.

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GPS use in travel behavior studies has seen increasing acceptance over the past decade, with more than 15 travel surveys conducted since 2000 including a GPS subcomponent. Similarly, accelerometers have become the gold standard for collecting objective physical activity data in health studies. Since 2003, GeoStats has been involved in studies that have deployed both devices in tandem to collect second-by-second travel and physical activity data never before available. This seminar will cover the use of these technologies to address key research questions facing transportation and health professionals.

Dr. Jean Wolf is the president and co-founder of GeoStats, a company specializing in the application of GPS and GIS technologies for the collection, analysis, visualization, and reporting of transportation data. Since the launch of GeoStats in 2000, Dr. Wolf has led all GPS-enhanced travel surveys and physical activity studies conducted by the firm (with more than 20 studies to date). Dr. Wolf has extensive project management, technology, and logistics experience, including 10 years at UPS as an industrial and systems engineer, which makes her uniquely qualified to run complex GPS studies that depend upon the integration of numerous processes and data flows to produce highly detailed and accurate GPS deliverables. Dr. Wolf is a member of the TRB Travel Survey Methods Committee,...

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Dr. James Sallis, Professor of Psychology, San Diego State University; Director, Active Living Research
Co-sponsored by the School of Community Health

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