Smart growth policies have often emphasized the importance of land use mix as an intervention beholding of lasting urban planning and public health benefits. Past transportation-land use research has identified potential efficiency gains achieved by mixed-use neighborhoods and the subsequent shortening of trip lengths; whereas, public health research has accredited increased land use mixing as an effective policy for facilitating greater physical activity.
However, despite the celebrated transportation, land use, and health benefits of improved land use mixing and the extent of topical attention, no consensus has been reached regarding the conceptualization and measurement of this key smart growth principle or the magnitude of its link to walking. This research, comprising three empirical studies, explores this topic in detail.
This webinar will provide attendees with greater specificity in the measurement of...Read more
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...Read more
The Portland State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce that NITC dissertation fellow Kristina Currans will defend her PhD Dissertation: "Data and Methodological Issues in Assessing Multimodal Transportation Impacts for Urban Development."
Advisor: Dr. Kelly J. Clifton
Since its first edition in 1976, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Trip Generation Handbook has become the predominant method for estimating the transportation impacts of land use, despite the lack of sensitivity to changes in the urban environments. As a result, local governments continue to be hampered by the urban application of the Handbook, overestimating (and overcharging for) automobile facilities, creating additional barriers to achieving multimodal or sustainable comprehensive plans. This dissertation explores the spatial, social, and temporal contexts of ITE’s Handbook, quantifying variations in vehicle trip generation estimates where...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
Afternoon Tea & Talk: Special Presentation by PSU's Urban Sustainability Accelerator
As part of its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, California has passed a law leading to a radical shift in how it analyzes the environmental impact of proposed land use developments and transportation projects. Instead of analyzing how a project can avoid creating additional traffic congestion (and maintain a certain “level of service”), it now requires developers and transportation projects to analyze how much new driving might result (“vehicle miles traveled”) and to reduce that additional driving.
Developments near transit stations and in target infill areas no longer need to conduct any analysis of their impacts on congestion. This is directly at odds with standard American practice, and yet comes from a state that led the nation in adoption of car-culture and car-oriented design.
In this talk, PSU’s Urban Sustainability Accelerator (USA) director Robert Liberty and two USA consultants will share what they have learned working with the largest California metropolitan planning organizations to implement this policy change. What lessons from California’s new law might be relevant to Oregon and other states? Could this be the beginning of a national trend?
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.
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.
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...Read more
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...Read more