Event Date:
Oct 26, 2012
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Abstract: Traffic counts are an important piece of information used by transportation planners; however, while count programs are common for motor vehicles most efforts at counting non-motorized traffic – cyclists and pedestrians – are minimal. Long-term, continuous counts of non-motorized traffic can be used to estimate month of year and day of week adjustment factors that can be used to scale short-duration counts to estimates of annual average daily traffic. Here we present results from continuous counts of non-motorized traffic at 6 locations on off-street trails in Minneapolis, MN using two types of automated counters (active infrared and inductive loop detectors). We found that traffic volumes varied significantly by location, but the month of year and day of week patterns were mostly consistent across locations and mode (i.e., cycling, walking, or mixed mode). We give examples of how this information could be used to extrapolate short-duration counts to estimates of annual average daily traffic as well as Bicycle Miles Traveled (BMT) and Pedestrian Miles Traveled (PMT) for defined lengths of off-street trails. More research is needed to determine if non-motorized traffic patterns (and subsequently our adjustment factors)...

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Event Date:
Nov 02, 2012
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Abstract: TriMet has used a computer aided dispatch (CAD)/automatic vehicle location (AVL) system to manage bus and rail operations since the late 1990s. TriMet is currently in the process of updating the CAD/AVL system, and anticipates improvements in bus tracking and performance monitoring. This presentation will show how TriMet uses data from the system to support intelligent transportation systems (ITS) such as TransitTracker and automatic stop announcements in buses and trains, as well as to analyze transit operations such as on time performance and passenger loads.

Speaker Bios: Steve Callas is the Manager of Service and Performance Analysis at TriMet in Portland Oregon, where he is responsible for operations performance monitoring and analysis. This includes analyzing TriMet’s comprehensive automatic vehicle location and automatic passenger counter data archive. Additionally, Steve is involved in various transit operations research projection in conjunction with Portland State University and OTREC. Steve has been with TriMet for over 15 years.

David is an operations analyst with TriMet. He is involved in AVL data mining and analysis, safety analysis, automatic stop announcements, transit signal priority, and real-time customer information. David has been with...

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Event Date:
Nov 16, 2012
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Abstract: TriMet collects detailed ridership data from automatic passenger counters on buses and trains. In addition, an automatic vehicle location system provides specific information on how well buses and trains adhere to preset schedules. This presentation is an overview of how TriMet uses these data in designing and managing the transit network, ranging from developing regional service policies to making minor schedule adjustments on a bus line.

Speaker Bio: Ken Zatarain is TriMet Director of Service Planning and Scheduling. He has had several other positions at TriMet. Prior to joining TriMet, he worked at the federal and local government levels. Ken has a degree in Regional and City Planning from the University of North Carolina.

Event Date:
Mar 01, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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This paper uses econometric techniques to examine the determinants of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in a panel study using data from a cross section of 87 U.S. urban areas over the period 1982-2009. We use standard OLS regression as well as two-stage least squares techniques to examine the impact of factors such as population density, lane-miles per capita, per capita income, real fuel cost, transit mileage, and various industry mix variables on VMT. We use a distributed lag model to estimate the long run elasticity of various factors on VMT driven.

Preliminary empirical results show the demand for VMT in urban areas is positively and significantly impacted by lane miles, personal income, and the percent of employment in the construction. Fuel price, transit use and population density are all found to be negatively related to VMT per capita. Consistent with results from earlier studies, we find the long run price elasticity of demand for VMT per capita is approximately five times larger than the short run elasticity.

Holding all factors constant, per capita VMT is found to differ significantly by region with VMT being higher the more western and the larger the population size of an urban area. Finally, we find that the industry mix or the urban area also has a significant impact on driving.

Event Date:
Dec 06, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Other presentation materials: Handout (PDF)

Summary: The recent City Club report on bicycling provided an opportunity to collect and analyze a number of data sets including the new Hawthorne Bridge data. One question is where Portland bicycling on the logistic curve -- a common tool for judging the maturity of a developing product or activity. Logistic curves are used for marketing, for epidemiology, and even for visits to Indian owned casinos. The preliminary evidence is that we are reaching the horizontal area of the curve. Additional evidence Our further research into future policies indicates a shift to bicycle boulevards in order to attract more risk averse riders.

Bio: Robert McCullough is an energy economist (and an adjunct at PSU) who has written, talked, and testified on energy issues across the U.S. and Canada. He was instrumental in the identification and prosecution of Enron's energy traders. He also works with aboriginal groups in Quebec and Oregon, activists in California and Ohio, as well as many others. His most recent project is the economic review of the WNP-2 nuclear station for Physicians...

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Event Date:
Nov 22, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Shaun will present on the recently completed pilot demonstration of multimodal arterial performance measures for the Portland metro region, as part of the larger regional concept of operations. Treatments include a permanent bike count station on the Springwater Trail, permanent truck classification stations, Bluetooth travel time stations, as well as leveraging existing transit and signal controller data to paint a picture of the collective modal transportation system.

Bio: Shaun Quayle is a transportation engineer with Kittelson and Associates, Inc. (www.kittelson.com). His focus areas of practice are in the operations, planning and design of arterial traffic signal systems, performance management systems, and complex traffic analysis and simulation. 

Event Date:
Nov 20, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

PSU Special Transportation Seminar:

An analytical derivation of the capacity at weaving sections consistent with empirical observations and micro-simulated results

Where: ITS Lab, Room 315, PSU Engineering Building

Summary: Weaving sections are discontinuities of the highway network formed when merge segments are closely followed by diverge segments. Because of their geometrical configuration, weaving areas generate numerous lane changes. Those lane changes lead to a reduction of the capacity and affect therefore the operation of weaving sections. 

This contribution aims at investigating empirically the lane changing behavior at a weaving section located in Grenoble (France). The data have been collected at a microscopic level, describing the position of every vehicle at every time step (trajectories of each individual vehicle). The data have been measured with a high-resolution camera mounted underneath a helicopter. 

From the empirical results, we develop an analytical formulation of the capacity of weaving sections. We consider a theoretical weaving section as the superposition of two merges and two diverges. We assume moreover that the accelerations and slowdowns of weaving vehicles create voids in the traffic stream that reduce the total capacity. The analytical estimation of the capacity is compared with field macroscopic data measured in Grenoble and micro-simulated results.

The specification of the needed data sample to...

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Event Date:
Nov 15, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Although the running of red lights is perceived by motorists as a commonplace behavior for cyclists, little research has been done on the actual rates of cyclist compliance at signalized intersections. Furthermore, little is known about the factors that influence cyclist non-compliance. This research seeks to illuminate the rates of and reasons for infringement against red lights using video footage and survey data from cyclists in Oregon. 

Bio: Sam became interested in transportation and planning while studying abroad in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. After benefiting from the efficient transit service and excellent walkability there, he came back to the states with a gusto for safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable transportation. After finally figuring out what to do with his Civil Engineering degree, he enrolled in Portland State. Sam's research interests include cyclist behavior and the comprehension and safety implications of new infrastructure. Originally hailing from Kansas, he has grown weary of Wizard of Oz jokes but is otherwise happy to call Portland his home, especially with the abundance of good coffee, micro brews, and stellar pie that PDX has to offer.

Event Date:
Oct 04, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Real-world traffic trends observed in PORTAL and INRIX traffic data are used to expand the performance measures that can be obtained from Portland Metro's travel demand model to include the number of hours of congestion that can be expected during a typical weekday and travel time reliability measures for congested freeway corridors.

Bio: Michael Mauch, a senior data analyst and project manager with DKS Associates, has over 20 years of experience in transportation data analysis, applications programming, mathematical model building and transportation demand forecasting.  Over the years, Mike has been project manager and has led the technical analyses for numerous large transportation data collection and data analysis projects including BRT and rail transit studies, CIP updates, transportation corridor studies, trip and parking generation studies, corridor capacity analysis, General and Master Plan Updates, incident management cost effectiveness analysis and numerous EIRs. In addition to working with DKS, Mike currently holds a variable-time position as a Research Engineer with UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies.  He has taught “Traffic Flow Theory”, “Transit Operations”, and “Computer Programming & Numerical Methods” classes at UC Berkeley, UC Davis...

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Event Date:
Feb 14, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Where and when does overcrowding happen on TriMet's bus network? Which routes have the best on-time performance? Portland State University and TriMet have collaborated to make this kind of data available to anybody through Portal, PSU's transportation data archive for the Portland/Vancouver region. This presentation will cover the use of General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data for mapping TriMet’s performance data and the development of Portal’s innovative transit application. In the MAP-21 era of performance management, see how tools like Portal can support enhanced agency decision-making as well as community engagement.

Bio: Jon Makler researches and teaches about transportation planning and engineering at Portland State University. His research portfolio centers on intelligent transportation systems, including how they can be harnessed to benefit the environment and how the data they generate can support operational strategies and planning decisions. Since moving to Oregon 9 years ago, he has worked at Metro, the City of Portland and OTREC, the federally-funded research center housed at PSU. His previous employers were the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the Harvard Kennedy School, IBI Group and Sarah Siwek & Associates. He earned a B.A. from...

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