NITC requests proposals for “small starts” research projects

posted on Monday, October 5, 2015 - 10:00am

NITC announces the opportunity to apply for awards to support small research development endeavors.

The purpose of these awards is to assist researchers who are interested in transportation but have not had an opportunity to undertake a small project that supports safe, healthy and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities. Individual awards cannot exceed $15,000. All grants require 1:1 match. 

Proposals are due November 6, 2015.

Please visit the NITC website for more information.

Priority (not exclusive) will be given to:

  • Applications from faculty who have not previously received an NITC grant.
  • Applications from untenured faculty.
  • Applications from research projects that are interdisciplinary.

Faculty members and research faculty eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) at Portland State University, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, or University of South Florida may submit proposals. 

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) announces the opportunity to apply for grants to support implementation or translation of research results.

Grants are limited to disseminating results stemming from previously funded and completed research funded by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) or NITC. The purpose of these awards is to turn research into products that can be used by practitioners and/or researchers to further advance implementation. Priority will be given to projects that promote transportation and livable communities.
Examples of technology transfer activities include:
  • Activity aimed at assisting local agencies or partners in implementing research results. This can be in the form of an in-person workshop, on-line webinar, development of a “how to” or training video, handbook, guidebook, software/spreadsheet tools, etc.
  • Refining or developing and disseminating tools that can be used by practitioners, students, or researchers to further the state of the practice.
For more information and to download the proposal, please visit:
Proposals are due November 6, 2015. If you miss this cycle, there...
Read more

The 2015 Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture with featured speaker Seleta Reynolds, initially set for last May but postponed due to unforeseen conflicts, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 6.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Ecotrust's Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center, in Portland's Pearl District. RSVP here to secure a spot.

Reynolds will discuss the challenges of fostering active transportation in car country.

Despite its reputation as a city built for automobiles, Los Angeles has made huge strides toward promoting active transportation and transit. In a diverse city with a unique land use and transportation system, however, serving all residents poses a challenge. It’s a challenge Seleta Reynolds, the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, is up for. In Los Angeles, equity and transportation are bound together and the city's transportation department must take on equity in a big way. Read more...

Christopher Monsere, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Portland State University whose research focuses on multimodal safety, has been selected to be a member of Portland, Oregon's new Vision Zero Task Force.

Vision Zero is a multi-national safety project which aims to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on the roads.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, in an effort to make Portland's transportation system the safest possible, is taking steps to move toward zero traffic-related fatalities in the next 10 years.

To connect this work with a wider community effort, Mayor Charlie Hales kicked off the Vision Zero Task Force with a gathering last Monday, August 17, at the intersection of 82nd Avenue and Division—two of Portland’s most lethal corridors.

The Task Force is a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional group of members with a clear mandate: to work together and create a community-wide action plan with real solutions. Its members were chosen by Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick based on their qualifications and commitment.

Monsere will serve in an advisory capacity and investigate solutions as a TREC researcher. His expertise in the area of multimodal safety makes him uniquely qualified to offer...

Read more

Seven dedicated students spent their summer days in TREC’s offices at PSU this year, working to transform the Bike-Ped Portal project from a dream into a reality.

TREC already houses Portal, a vast collection of Portland-area traffic and transit data, and NITC researchers saw a need for a database on the national scale for non-motorized transportation modes.

Research associate Krista Nordback launched the NITC pooled-fund project, Online Non-motorized Traffic Count Archive, with co-investigator Kristen Tufte in the spring of 2014. A year ago, Bike-Ped Portal was little more than an idea.

Now it contains roughly four million individual records of bicycle, pedestrian and even equestrian movements in five states.

High school interns Jolene Liu, Tomas Ramirez, Tara Sengupta, Gautum Singh, Kim Le, Max Fajardo and Kimberly Kuhn worked full time for weeks in order to convert piles of unsorted documentation into usable formats.

Nordback engaged the team of interns through Saturday Academy, a program affiliated with the University of...

Read more

A NITC research project from Portland State University introduces a method of cleaning up land use data, for use in improved transportation models.

Transportation and land use are closely interdependent. Considerable work is underway, in Oregon and elsewhere, to develop models that integrate the two.

Planners creating these models often spend the bulk of their time preparing data on the various land uses. Many times the data, gathered from diverse sources, is incomplete and requires the planner to find missing information to fill in the gaps.

In fields outside of transportation, there have been considerable advances in techniques to do this. Data-mining and machine-learning techniques have been developed, for example, to systematically detect fraud in credit data, reconcile medical records and clean up information on the web.

In the transportation modeling community, by contrast, most efforts to tackle the problem are tied to a specific model system and a chosen study area. Few have produced reusable tools for processing land use data.

Liming Wang, lead investigator of the project Continuous Data Integration for Land Use and Transportation Planning and Modeling, offers such reusable...

Read more

On creating civic engagement, driving density and sharing a stage with the 'funniest person on earth'

Our cities reflect how we choose to live. Increasingly, we choose to live alone.

Eric Klinenberg spent seven years researching people who live alone for his book “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” Klinenberg will discuss the implications for the future of transportation as keynote speaker for the Transportation and Communities Summit on Monday, Sept. 15.

Comprehensive Bikeway Design 1.0, a popular summer workshop offered by the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), wrapped up to a successful conclusion last week.

Hau Hagedorn, director of the IBPI, has seen the annual workshop grow into a one-of-a-kind training opportunity for bicycle and pedestrian professionals.

“The course is comprehensive. It isn't just about bikeway design. It's about everything a city can do to become more bike-friendly, including policies that support cycling and land uses that encourage active transportation,” Hagedorn said.

With 10 participants from six states, this year’s workshop helped further the IBPI’s goal of expanding America’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to encourage healthier, more sustainable forms of transportation. The participants came from a diversity of disciplines including community and bicycle planning, academic research and political leadership, and traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania to visit Portland’s bicycle culture.

“I think it reaffirms that this is a unique opportunity, for people to come and see what has been done in Portland. This didn't happen overnight. It gives a good idea of what can be done in other places,” Hagedorn said.

Millennials prefer walking over driving by a substantially wider margin than any other generation, according to a new poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors and TREC, the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University.

The 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey found that millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials are also shown to prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, and are the most likely age group to make use of public transportation.

The poll also found that millennials show a stronger preference than other generations for expanding public transportation and providing transportation alternatives to driving, such as biking and walking, while also increasing the availability of trains and buses. Millennials likewise favor developing communities where people do not need to drive long distances to work or shop.

> Jennifer Dill of TREC and Hugh Morris of NAR will discuss the findings in a free Webinar Aug. 5....

Read more

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.”