Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am

The role of walking in the development of healthy, livable communities is being increasingly recognized. In urban areas, intersections are often viewed as a deterrent to walking, as their operation primarily favors automobiles, leading to large and unnecessary delays for pedestrians. There is currently very limited research on accommodating and/or prioritizing pedestrians at signalized intersections in the North American context. Pedestrians are often considered as a deterrent to efficient vehicular traffic flow and therefore active efforts to include them in operational decisions at intersections have been lagging. This research aims to fill that gap by understanding factors that influence pedestrian crossing behavior at signalized intersections and developing cost effective and easily deployable signal timing strategies that could be employed at intersections, to increase efficiency for pedestrians.

Dr. Sirisha Kothuri is a research associate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. Dr. Kothuri’s primary research interests are in the areas of multimodal traffic operations, traffic signal timing and bicycle and pedestrian data collection...

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Friday, January 30, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Following the 2015 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, this Friday seminar will showcase some of Portland State University's student TRB research.

Presenters:

Patrick Singleton, GRA in civil and environmental engineering

The theory of travel decision-making: A conceptual framework of active travel behavior

Summary: We present a unifying conceptual framework of active travel behavior called the theory of travel decision-making. It integrates seminal travel-related concepts from economics, geography, and psychology with active travel behavior theories and empirical research. The framework abstracts an individual’s thought process around short-term travel decisions and explains the roles of activities, built environment factors, socio-demographics, attitudes and perceptions, and habit. Our primary objective is to inform travel behavior research by meeting the need for a theoretical framework capable of guiding studies on active transportation. The framework could also support active transportation planning and analysis methods by informing the development of travel forecasting tools that better represent the unique influences on walking and bicycling. This presentation...

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Friday, February 6, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU During the March 2011 earthquake/ tsunami/nuclear disaster, the internet filled with stories of how something quite ordinary in Japanese life became an important lifeline—the bicycle. For example an 83-year-old woman escaped the tsunami by bicycle, and due to public-transport disruptions, bicycle stores sold out of bicycles as quickly as supermarkets sold out of food. However not just in disasters, but in daily life, the most reliable, sustainable form of transportation, next to walking, is via Japan’s estimated 80,000,000 bicycles, affectionately called mamachari.
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Health risks associated with air pollution uptake while bicycling are often cited as a potential drawback to increased bicycling in cities. This seminar will provide an overview of how roadway and travel characteristics impact bicyclists' uptake of traffic-related air pollution. Specific considerations for planners and designers of urban transportation systems to mitigate risks for travelers will be discussed. In addition, the extent to which bicyclists themselves can unilaterally reduce their pollution uptake will be described. This seminar synthesizes findings from a recently completed doctoral dissertation at Portland State University and from the broader literature.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am

For fifteen years, scholars have claimed that accessibility-based transportation planning is at the brink of becoming a new paradigm. Its use may trail traditional transportation planning methods nationally due to vague definitions, momentum of traditional transportation system performance measures, and other factors. However, this paper argues that accessibility-based transportation planning is demonstrably necessary in shrinking cities across the U.S., and especially among minority populations in those cities. As shrinking cities’ need for accessibility-based planning is distinct, so are the barriers, and again, this is especially true when planning for minority populations. After presenting evidence of both the especial need for and challenges in accessibility-based planning in shrinking cities (and especially among minority populations), this paper proposes potential strategies for implementation, and for pursuing its study through research.  

...

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Friday, February 20, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU ORcycle is a new smartphone application (for both Android and iOS) developed by Transportation, Technology, and People (TTP) lab researchers at Portland State University as part of an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) research project. ORcycle collects user, route, infrastructure, crash, and safety data. ORcycle was successfully launched in early November 2013 and presents many improvements over existing or similar apps. Initial data findings and insights will be presented. Lessons learned as well as opportunities and challenges associated with smartphone data collection methods will be discussed. More information about the app can be found here: http://www.pdx.edu/transportation-lab/orcycle.
Friday, February 27, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU

More information will be coming soon. Check back here closer to the seminar date, or sign up for our email newsletter to receive Friday Seminar announcements.

Stream the seminar live, or watch an archived video here when made available.

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Friday, March 6, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU

Transit signal priority (TSP) is designed to reduce delay for transit vehicles through signalized intersections. For an existing TSP system, it is important to assess how timely and effective TSP phases are granted to buses that request priority. It is also necessary to evaluate the time savings and delays for buses and other vehicles as a result of TSP phases. However, due to the lack of disaggregated and integrated transit, traffic and signal phase data, previous studies have not investigated the TSP performance at the phase level. This study collects and integrates three archived databases: bus automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automatic passenger count (APC) data, intersection signal phase log data, and vehicle count data. Based on the integrated database, this research proposes innovative and useful performance measures to assess the timeliness and effectiveness of TSP phases to buses that request priority. This study also evaluates the time savings and delays to buses and other vehicles on major and minor streets. Results show that TSP performance varies significantly across intersections. On average, most of the TSP phases were granted timely to buses that request priority, but only a few of them were effective. Early green phases are more effective than green extension phases because too many green extension phases were granted late. For each early green phase, the total...

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Friday, March 13, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU

Actuated traffic signal control logic has many advantages because of its responsiveness to traffic demands, short cycles, effective use of capacity leading to and recovering from oversaturation, and amenability to aggressive transit priority. Its main drawback has been its inability to provide good progression along arterials. However, the traditional way of providing progression along arterials, coordinated-actuated control with a common, fixed cycle length, has many drawbacks stemming from its long cycle lengths, inflexibility in recovering from priority interruptions, and ineffective use of capacity during periods of oversaturation. This research explores a new paradigm for traffic signal control, “self-organizing signals,” based on local actuated control but with some additional rules that create coordination mechanisms. The primary new rules proposed are for secondary extensions, in which the green may be held to serve an imminently arriving platoon, and dynamic coordination, in which small groups of closely spaced signals communicate with one another to cycle synchronously with the group’s critical intersection. Simulation tests in VISSIM performed on arterial corridors in Massachusetts and Arizona show overall delay reductions of up to 14% compared to an optimized coordinated-actuated scheme where there is no transit priority, and more than 30% in scenarios with temporary...

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Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Note: The date of this event is subject to change. The date (TBA) will be in March 2015.

Registration: coming soon. Check back here for more info.

As cities move to increase levels of bicycling for transportation, many practitioners and advocates have promoted the use of protected bike lanes (also known as “cycle tracks” or “protected bikeways”) as an important component in providing high-quality urban infrastructure for cyclists. These on-street lanes provide more space and physical separation between the bike lane and motor vehicle lane compared with traditional striped bike lanes. However, few U.S. cities have direct experiences with their design and operations, in part because of the limited design guidance provided in the past. There is limited research from North America on protected bike lanes, but preliminary evidence suggests that they can both improve the level of comfort of cyclists and potentially increase the number of people cycling. This research evaluates protected bike lanes in five distinct contexts varying in population, driving and cycling rates and cultures, and weather: Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and, Washington, District of Columbia. 

These five cities participated in the inaugural “Green Lane Project” (GLP) sponsored by People for Bikes (formerly known as Bikes Belong). This evaluation focused on...

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