A project led by Portland State University researchers Chris Monsere and Miguel Figliozzi has been nationally recognized as one of sixteen high value research projects by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
Each year at its annual meeting, AASHTO's Research Advisory Committee selects four projects from each of its four regions to form a "Sweet Sixteen" group of important and influential projects.
The project, “Operational Guidance for Bicycle-Specific Traffic Signals,” reviewed the current state of practice for bicycle signals and evaluated cyclist performance characteristics at intersections. The research has been used to inform an FHWA Interim Approval for bicycle signals.
Bike signals are beginning to be common in major cities throughout the U.S., with some engineering guidance available from the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the...Read More
The Portland, Oregon chapter of WTS awards scholarships each year to help exceptional women advance in the field of transportation. Three of the scholarships last fall were awarded to students at NITC member campuses.
With NITC’s support, these students were able to attend the WTS International Conference in Chicago, Illinois May 20-22.
Miranda Barrus, a civil engineering student at the Oregon Institute of Technology, received the Sharon D. Banks Undergraduate Scholarship.
This was her first time attending the WTS International conference.
“Thanks to NITC, I was able to sit in a banquet room full of hundreds of women engineers,” Barrus said. “Being in the city itself was also a wonderful opportunity, seeing different sights and utilizing different forms of transit.”
Rae-Leigh Stark, a first year Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) student at PSU, was awarded the Gail Achterman Leadership Scholarship. She described the conference as an “awesome opportunity.”
The NITC program’s executive committee has awarded around $1.5 million in funding for 16 research projects. The projects reflect NITC’s theme as the national university transportation center for livable communities: safe, healthy and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities.
This funding round included a special focus on research examining economic effects of transportation. Funded projects on this focus area looked at urban greenways, location affordability in shrinking cities, transportation affordability in developments near transit, smart-parking programs and effects of bus rapid transit on surrounding property values.
Principal investigators on funded projects represent four of the five NITC program campuses: eight projects from Portland State University, three each from the University of Utah and the University of Oregon and two from the University of South Florida. The Oregon Institute of Technology is also a NITC member campus.
Eleven projects involve collaboration between multiple researchers, with two...
Last year, we reported on a Portland State University graduate student project that created a tailored transit solution for the Salem-Keizer area.
This year, the flexible transit system created by students in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program has become a reality.
The West Salem Connector service launched as a year-long pilot program on June 1.
The new service, which focuses on improving transit access for those who actually use it in low-demand areas, will be free for the first six months.
Students in the MURP program spend about five months completing workshop projects, which focus on real-world planning problems and see them through. Not every student project, however, makes it to the stage of implementation.
The fact that the Salem-Keizer flexible transit line is becoming a reality reflects the quality of this group's work.
As we previously reported, Patrick Singleton, a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University, was selected to attend the 2015 Eno Future Leaders Development Conference in Washington, DC, last week. As an Eno Fellow, Patrick attended a series of meetings and tours designed to be an introduction to the transportation policymaking landscape. Here, he shares his experience in his own words.
Last week I had the pleasure and honor to attend the 2015 Eno Center for Transportation’s Future Leaders Development Conference, in Washington, DC. Along with 19 other graduate students from around the country, I learned about federal transportation policymaking from leaders in the field.
At TREC, we like to think of the streets of our community as our living laboratory. That laboratory doesn't fit neatly in a ballroom such as the one that hosted the Portland State University Sustainability Celebration May 28.
Fortunately, TREC Communications Coordinator Lacey Friedly had a solution: if we can't take people on a tour of town, we'll take the town to the people. Friedly set to work building Tiny TREC, an interactive display showing 24 TREC research efforts in context. Visitors took small scrolls of paper that described research projects and linked to web pages and full-sized project briefs.
Have a look around town. Mind the bicycle-specific signal on your way in:
Portland State University today announced that the city of Portland will implement a student design to make one of downtown Portland’s busiest roads safer and more accessible to multimodal traffic.
The “Naito Pilot Project” is a civil engineering senior capstone sponsored by Better Block PDX, the local chapter of a national organization committed to the revitalization of urban spaces. The objective of the project is to increase access for pedestrians and bicycles without disrupting vehicle traffic.
Naito Parkway, a 3.1 mile stretch of arterial road, runs along the west bank of the Willamette River and is the subject of mounting safety concerns. Sidewalks on the east side of the street are not continuous for large stretches and bicycle lanes start and end abruptly. Such issues are exacerbated when large crowds are drawn to the waterfront for events.
“Our city engineers were impressed by the level of quality that the university’s students produced in their traffic control plan,” said Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, who publicly announced plans to implement the Naito Pilot Project at a press conference today. “I am proud that Portland State University is teaching its engineering students the value of utilizing their skills to create public space, improve safety, and engineer an environment conducive to better health.”
A new study led by Miguel Figliozzi of Portland State University provides a microscopic evaluation of how two advanced traffic control technologies work together.
Powell Boulevard, an east-west arterial corridor in southeast Portland, Oregon, has been the focus of several research studies by Figliozzi’s TTP research lab. The street is a key route for public transit buses as well as pedestrians and cars, but heavy traffic at peak hours often results in delays.
On Powell there are two systems operating concurrently: a demand-responsive traffic signal system called Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) and a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system. The TSP in the Portland metro region is designed to give priority to late buses and to boost transit performance.
In previous studies Figliozzi’s lab has analyzed a multitude of factors on Powell Boulevard including traffic congestion, transit times, air quality and cyclists’ intake of air pollutants, and a before/after evaluation of SCATS.
For this study, the researchers used a novel approach to evaluate how well SCATS and TSP work together by integrating three major data sources and video recordings at individual intersections.
Founded to collect the transportation data created by agencies across the region, Portal had done its job almost too well. The data archive, a program of TREC, had taken in more data than it could make available.
Portal started in 2004 with just one data source: Oregon freeway loop detectors. Over the years, it grew into a truly multimodal data archive, incorporating transit data, traffic signal data, bicycle and pedestrian counts – eight data sources spanning two states and multiple agencies.
Its budget didn’t grow proportionately, however, leaving Portal less able to make use of the data it collected. Portal’s $125,000 in regional transportation money just kept the system running, said Portal director Kristin Tufte. “It was enough money to keep the lights on,” she said.
Given Portal’s potential to help agencies improve operations and researchers to address systemwide issues, that wasn’t enough. The information had to be accessible to make a difference.
A boost in support for Portal is helping to make that possible. With a grant from the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State, TREC hired a Portal programmer this year to present the data visually.
Two Oregon elementary schools recently had their parking lots redesigned by the students.
5th grade classes at Beaverton’s Chehalem Elementary and 5th and 6th graders at Tobias Elementary in Aloha took part in a NITC education project, Investigations in Transportation, co-sponsored by Portland State University, the Portland Metro STEM Partnership and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The students' work yielded functional changes which will likely be made to the parking lots at both schools, resulting in better traffic flow and increased capacity.
William Becker, the director of PSU’s Center for Science Education, and Carol Biskupic-Knight began the NITC project in collaboration with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership, where Biskupic-Knight is the director of the STEM teachers academy.
The unit was designed to teach students real-world applications of core concepts in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). After exploring several potential engineering challenges at their schools, both groups of students chose to work on the “Parking Lot Dilemma.”
After meeting with TREC researchers earlier this year, a team of students from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon developed a mobile app that uses real-time data to help cyclists find available bike parking, and took three awards in Portland State University’s High School Innovation Challenge.
The app, which senses the presence or absence of a bicycle’s tire with a logic box located at the bike rack, could also be used to notify owners if their bicycle is removed (i.e. stolen) when they are not present.
Saturday, April 11 was the third annual High School Innovation Challenge, a STEM competition sponsored by the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at PSU.
The Grant team won the awards for Best Presentation, Best Technology Focus, and Audience Favorite, making them the only team entered in the 2015 challenge to receive more than one award.
Team members Cory Koehler, Aubrey Masten, Konon Phillips, Richard Smith, Sarah St. Clair and Alex Taylor met with TREC researchers in mid-February for a tour and explanations of the technology behind transportation systems.
Afterward, they worked with Portland State University student mentors Ke’Liilah Vara and Barbara Acevedo to come up with...Read more