PhD Dissertation Defense: NITC Fellow Patrick Singleton

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 9:00am to 10:00am PDT

The Portland State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce Patrick Singleton's PhD Dissertation Defense: "Exploring the Positive Utility of Travel and Mode Choice."

Adviser: Dr. Kelly Clifton

The “positive utility of travel” (PUT) concept suggests that travel may provide benefits and be motivated by factors beyond simply reaching a destination. This dissertation explores the PUT idea theoretically and empirically, using the results of a novel 2016 survey of nearly 700 commuters in the Portland, OR, region. First, a critical literature review strengthens the PUT concept. Next, the two main PUT aspects—travel-based multitasking and subjective well-being in the travel domain—are analyzed, and potential determinants examined. Finally, an integrated choice and latent variable model reveals significant associations between PUT measures and commute mode choices. Findings contribute to travel behavior research and knowledge and...

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Environmentally Sustainable and Affordable Housing Near Transit in Los Angeles

Friday, June 9, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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Providing affordable housing and reducing greenhouse gases are common goals in cities worldwide. Transit-oriented development (TOD) can provide an opportunity to make incremental progress on both fronts, by building affordable housing near transit and by providing alternative transport modes such that households reduce driving. While the existing literature has focused on the relationship between TOD and housing and TOD and greenhouse gas emission reduction as separate issues, it has seldom touched on the possibility that TOD could address both goals jointly. We provide evidence to show that focusing on either housing affordability or greenhouse gas emission reduction in isolation can lead to strategies that achieve one goal to the detriment of the other. Using the case of Los Angeles, we develop a scenario planning model that allows simultaneous consideration of housing and transportation goals, and illustrates the tradeoffs of different policy approaches. The results show that larger increases in residential densities combined with a small...

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China's Motorization Wave and the Place of Emerging Technologies

Friday, June 2, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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E-bikes, E-Cars, Carshare, Bikeshare, and Micro-EVs in China have shaken up the traditional motorization pathways that have occurred in developing countries in the past. The combination of emerging vehicle technologies, urban and environmental constraints, and heavy-handed policy make China's motorization processes unique in the world—but how China motorizes has far-reaching impacts based on sheer volume of vehicles and population.

This seminar discusses the results of a six-year NSF CAREER project to explore China's motorization processes, combining behavioral and environmental modeling approaches to assess the impacts of emerging vehicle technologies on motorization and ultimately environmental sustainability. The focus is mostly on emerging lightweight EVs that have surprisingly surpassed all other modes of personal mobility in annual sales and hold great promise across different shared and personal vehicle...

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Annual Metro Regional Trail Count and Why Local Extrapolation Factors Matter

Friday, May 26, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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Metro, Portland's regional governing agency, conducts annual two-hour counts along its regional trail every September. This upcoming fall (2017) will be the 10th year that the counts have been held, which means we at Metro can finally start seeing noticeable, long-lasting trends in the regional trail network. Perhaps more importantly, we are seeing how these data have directly impacted investments in future trail, bicycle, and pedestrian projects.

This seminar will cover the history of the program, details of how it's conducted and why it's conducted that way, how data are used (including an inside look at future iterations of Metro's interactive trail count map), and why creating local extrapolation factors for adjusting to annual traffic is so important.

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Webinar: Developing Practical Dynamic Evaluation Methods for Transportation Structures

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 10:00am to 11:00am PDT

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Deteriorating transportation infrastructure is constantly in the news. Government agencies at all levels are pursuing methods to monitor structural health, so that they can prioritize repairs. In Oregon, the Cascadia Subduction Zone megathrust earthquake looms as a significant natural hazard for which our transportation network is ill-prepared. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) estimates that it will take around $2.6 billion over seven years to repair or replace many of the existing bridges in the state’s network to maintain lifeline routes after a Cascadia event. Funding for the scenarios envisioned by ODOT is not forthcoming, and the project described in this webinar is aimed at creating a tool to support visual inspection of bridges for determining the extent of damage.

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Inequities in Urban Mobility in Portland: Understanding Community Vulnerability and Prospects for Livable Neighborhoods

Friday, May 19, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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Gentrification and development are changing the face of many Portland neighborhoods. This talk will draw on data from focus groups and participatory mapping research with residents in SE and North Portland neighborhoods. The presentation will share findings on the patterns of movement reported by residents in gentrifying neighborhoods and will offer ideas and perspectives on how to plan for a sustainable future for all Portlanders.

Amy Lubitow is an assistant professor of sociology at Portland State University. Her research interests are environmental sociology, sustainability, environmental justice, social movements, gender and environmental health. Her current projects include critical analyses of urban sustainability, particularly as they relate to bicycle infrastructure; an examination of the transit-dependent population in Portland, including the gendered implications of transit dependency; a study of the influence of scientist-activist collaboration in environmental policy realms and the...

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Network Congestion Effect of E-Hailing Transportation Services

Friday, May 12, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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E-hailing plays a key role in emerging transportation services such as ridesourcing, ridesharing and taxis, among others. This seminar will present a general economic model to analyze the congestion effect of e-hailing services in a transportation network.

The model can help analyze customers’ choices of different modes, based on their value of time and the charging schemes of different services, as well as the overall impact of the services to network level congestion.

Dr. Xuegang (Jeff) Ban is an associate professor at the civil and environmental engineering department of...

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Behavior-Based Freight Modeling at Metro

Friday, May 5, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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Chris Johnson and Bud Reiff will present on a behavior-based freight model being used at Oregon Metro. This model will replace Metro’s current truck model with a hybrid freight model that both represents multi-modal freight flows through elements of national and regional supply chains and simulates the movement of individual trucks and shipments on local networks. Model estimation and calibration will also require collection of behavioral data from shippers and receivers representing a wide range of industries, common and contract freight carriers, business that operate non-freight commercial vehicles, warehouse managers, and logistics agents.

Key project objectives:

  • Develop tools to enable a more comprehensive analysis of infrastructure needs and policy choices pertaining to the movements of goods. 
  • Develop more detailed network assignments by truck type, which support regional environmental analysis, as well as local traffic operations and engineering analysis.
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Transport Planning in Delft, Netherlands

Friday, April 28, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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While the Netherlands is known today for the highest bicycling rates in the world, this movement only began in the 1970s. Transportation policy has been one of the critical keys to reducing automobile trips in the Netherlands.

Visiting scholar Jan Nederveen will present on transportation planning in the compact, densely populated city of Delft. Delft has been a city since 1246, and the historic street pattern is still visible today. The city has grown to 100,000 residents and covers an area of 5 square kilometers. Twenty years ago, the council decided to change the transportation philosophy from a car-oriented system to a bike city with a car-free historic center. This policy has been very successful, and bikes are now the dominant mode.

Delft found a good balance in road design for both cars and bikes. Today, the bike network has reached the point of congestion. Solutions developed for cars are being introduced in the bike network. The presentation will cover the city's transport policy, road design, the concept of a car-free city, and the challenge of reducing bicycle congestion.

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Webinar: Integrating Equity into Regional Transportation Planning

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 9:00am to 10:00am PDT

This webinar is hosted by the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR). A video recording may be available through CUTR.

This presentation will explore methods used by MPOs to understand the equity effects of regional transportation plans and investments, based on research conducted for the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). The webinar will examine how MPOs are identifying communities of concern with regard to transportation equity, along with techniques used in evaluating accessibility to jobs and services, modal options, distributional equity of investments, and other equity considerations.

The webinar includes case studies of equity methods being applied in two distinctly different regions that participated in the research effort: 1) Hillsborough County, (Tampa) Florida: a lower density, sprawling, auto dependent area with limited public transportation; and 2) Portland, Oregon: a higher density, compact urban area with a variety of travel options and a strong urban growth management system. The two MPOs are at different stages of addressing transportation equity in their planning and public engagement activities. Transportation planners from each of these MPOs will discuss the development and application of their equity analysis methods and how attention to equity is being integrated into...

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