Integrated Multimodal Transportation, Air Quality, and Livability Corridor Study Phase II

Miguel Figliozzi, Portland State University



The interactions between traffic, transit, pedestrians, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fuel consumption, and unhealthy emissions exposure are currently under study in a section of Powell Boulevard (PB). This Boulevard is a multimodal urban corridor connecting highway US-26 to and through Portland, Oregon. The corridor is highly congested during morning and evening peak traffic hours. Traffic performance and associated vehicular emissions can be significantly improved using advanced traffic control systems. One such adaptive system (Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System or SCATS) will be deployed in the summer of 2011 on the Powell Boulevard corridor. SCATS employs adaptive traffic control in response to real-time corridor traffic conditions to improve traffic flow, reduce the number of vehicle stops, and enhance travel reliability for automobiles and transit fleets. The PB corridor incorporates transit signal priority (TSP) to further improve transit service reliability. To the best of our knowledge, no research has jointly studied SCATS and transit signal priority performance or the impact of SCATS on pedestrian, bicyclist, and transit users' exposure to motor vehicle emissions. This proposal addresses this research gap by simultaneously measuring, integrating, and analyzing (a) traffic intensity and composition, (b) GHG and particulate emissions, (c) SCATS and TSP performance, (d) pedestrian, transit user, and bicyclist exposure to air pollution, and (e) the impact of a specific land-use (Cleveland High School) on automobile trip generation and associated traffic congestion and emissions. The first phase of this research began five months ago evaluating the PB corridor performance before SCATS implementation. The second phase of this research will evaluate the PB corridor performance after SCATS implementation (which is scheduled for summer 2011). The unique contribution of this research is to provide a detailed and integrated view of a multimodal urban transportation corridor in terms of traffic and air quality performance. Close cooperation with the City of Portland (see attached letter) has brought about the opportunity to install two permanent state-of-the-art air quality and traffic data collection stations at two key intersections of the PB corridor. The permanent data collection stations will be installed: (1) at an intersection adjacent to Cleveland High School and Powell City Park and (2) at the intersection of two major arterials in southeast Portland (SE 39th and Powell Boulevard). The permanent data collection stations will provide invaluable data to model short-term air quality trends (e.g. seasonal or daily variations), long-term air quality trends and health impacts in terms of traffic characteristics and composition (e.g. changes in automobile fleet composition, fuel efficiency, or electric vehicle market penetration).

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
March 31,2013
UTC Grant Cycle:
OTREC 2012
UTC Funding: