Firsthand Data Collection: Students Get Behind the Wheel of Vehicle Dynamics

posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 1:00pm PDT
Principal Investigator: Roger Lindgren, Oregon Institute of Technology
Learn more about this education project by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the principal investigator by tuning in for the June webinar.

Vehicle operating dynamics data have a fundamental impact on the design of roadways, but collecting this type of data is not part of your typical college curriculum. 

Instead, engineering students are handed a textbook, leaving them without a firsthand experience of how accelerations and decelerations “feel” to the driver, the ultimate consumer of their designs.

Seeking to change this norm, Roger Lindgren and C.J. Riley, civil engineering professors at the Oregon Institute of Technology, undertook a NITC education project to incorporate more real-world data collection and...

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Four Portland State University graduate students received Eisenhower Fellowships presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation at this year's annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB): David R. Soto Padín, Travis Glick, Gregory Norton and Jael Wettach-Glosser are all civil engineering students in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State University.

David Soto Padín, current President of Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP) at PSU, presented his research in a poster, "Bikeshare + Transit Integration: Best Practices for Increasing Ridership (PDF)," during TRB's Eisenhower Fellowship poster session. He will be working on researching bike share as a "last mile" mode choice for rail rapid transit in the American context. He also presented research on bicyclist positioning behavior...

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Principal Investigator: Danya Rumore, University of Utah
Learn more about this education project by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the investigators by registering for the upcoming April 26 webinar.

A newly published NITC education project offers tools for teaching collaborative regional planning in communities close to national parks and other natural attractions.

Referred to as Gateway and Natural Amenity Region (GNAR) communities, these unique places have their own set of challenges and opportunities. They are often located near small towns or rural areas with limited transportation networks, but  due to the periodic influx of visitors, can experience “big city problems” like congestion and sprawl.


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This summer we're hosting three workshops through our program, the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI).

These are small group (20 - 25), hands-on, multi-day workshops taught by local experts from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Portland State University, Alta Planning + Design, Toole Design Group, Nelson\Nygaard, Washington County, and more.

A limited number of scholarships are available to help offset the costs of travel and registration. Scholarship applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for the June faculty workshop, so apply early! Scholarship applications for the two August workshops are due by Friday, April 6.


IBPI Faculty Workshop: Integrating Bike-Ped Topics into University Transportation Courses

June 19–20, 2018 at Portland State University

This two-day course is designed to help transportation planning and engineering faculty integrate a holistic approach to bicycle and...

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Maria Sipin, Graduate Assistant, Portland State University

Maria Sipin is a Portland State University grad student in Urban Planning and Public Health, and an IBPI Active Transportation Scholar. Watch Maria's video, "Communicating Intersections," on the power that transportation planners have to affect positive, equitable change in our daily lives.

IBPI 2017 - 2018 ScholarLinkedIn | PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions Staff Member

Tell us about yourself:

I started grad school in fall 2016, just a week after moving to Portland from Los Angeles. I’m exploring Portland every day by bike and on foot and public transit and getting more acquainted with academic institutions, government agencies, transportation organizations, and community members throughout the region.

I was born in the Philippines and was raised in Manila and Los Angeles. This experience of migration and navigating my cultural, racial and ethnic identities in the United States play a major role in my work as a person, student...

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To help maximize the implementation of U.S. DOT’s commitment to livable communities, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) has launched its third round of pooled fund research funding in 2018. Agency partners are invited to submit problem statements by May 15, 2018.

The pooled fund program offers a process by which cities, counties, MPOs and other regional or local agencies can pool relatively small pots of research dollars to then leverage NITC matched funds for a single, collaborative project.

We held an online information session on February 28, 2018. Watch the video to learn more about the funding process, identifying partners, and crafting an effective problem statement:

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Principal Investigator: Rob Zako, University of Oregon
Project Overview: Effectiveness of Transportation Funding Mechanisms for Achieving National, State, and Metropolitan Economic, Health, and Other Livability Goals
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief; download the toolkit co-published with T4A, related presentations and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the PI by watching the post-webinar recording here.


The full final report on this project is now published. The final report offers a comprehensive look at six case study states' strategies to ensure they are delivering value to taxpayers in a transparent process.


What do Americans get in return for their transportation investments? It’s a simple enough question on the surface, but digging for an answer yields a gnarled knot of...

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Principal Investigator: Nathan McNeil, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Summary Report, related publications and the three Final Reports from each phase of the research on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the researchers by watching the August 2017 webinar.

The third and final phase of our bike share equity research project has been published, with new findings from a survey of bike share users.

Riders targeted for equity-focused outreach efforts—lower-income individuals and people of color—were most likely to cite cost savings or discounted membership as reasons why they joined, while higher-income and white users were more likely to cite the convenience of using bike share. Lower-income riders were also more likely to have heard about...

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2018 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by April 2, 2018.

Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award at least $1 million under our general research grant in 2018 for projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

  • Increasing access to opportunities
  • Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure
  • Advancing innovation and smart cities
  • Developing data, models, and tools

Research projects must focus on transportation, with additional consideration given to projects that emphasize equity and diversity in their research and partnerships. We’re seeking projects that demonstrate a strong potential to move transportation research into practice, shape national and international conversations, and respond to the needs of practitioners and policymakers. 

Priority is given to projects that are collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-campus, and support the development of untenured-tenure-track transportation faculty. 

Key Dates

  • Abstracts due: April 2,...
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Every year NITC offers Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowships which cover expenses for the recipient while working on a dissertation consistent with NITC's theme of improving the mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. 

Alexander Lee, a Graduate Research Assistant in Systems and Industrial Engineering at University of Arizona, is our 2017 NITC dissertation fellow has been funded to investigate his study on Using Time-Series Analysis to Precisely Identify and Rank Road Hotspots.

Over the past decades, many ranking methods have been proposed for "road hotspots". However, results vary from method to method, and one of the issues behind ranking is the element of subjectivity. One approach to resolve these issues is the use of combined models. One of the combined models is the Enhanced Empirical Bayesian (EB) method that incorporates the use of the similarity measure based on the Proportion Discordance Ratio (PDR). This model is developed to assess and objectively quantify similarity among road segments based on crash patterns, each of which contains a unique combination of selected crash-related features.

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Alex Bigazzi, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia

Alex Bigazzi, a former Post-Doctoral NITC researcher and student, received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Portland State University in 2014. Learn more about Alex:

NITC Researcher ProfileLinkedIn | UCB Faculty Profile

Read an article on his recent research on congestion pricing

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Alex Bigazzi and I am an assistant professor, joint-appointed in transportation engineering and planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. My main research areas are transportation emissions and air quality and active travel.

Why did you decide to attend Portland State University?

The original decision was driven almost entirely by location. I was living in Portland, decided to go back to school for a second...

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