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Alex Bigazzi, a 2014 NITC dissertation fellow and graduate of Portland State University's Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. program, has published a paper based on his NITC-funded research in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

See ACS coverage of the project here.

Bigazzi's research evaluates the concentration of air pollution encountered by cyclists in Portland, Oregon.

In the study, volunteer research subjects rode bicycles equipped with instruments to collect high-resolution bicycle, rider, traffic and environmental data.

Participants rode a variety of routes including bicycle lanes on primary and secondary arterials, bicycle boulevards, off-street paths and mixed-use roadways. They were told to ride at a pace and exertion level typical for utilitarian travel, and breath biomarkers were used to record the amount of traffic-related pollution present in each cyclist’s exhalations. 

This research was the focus of Bigazzi's dissertation, Bicyclists’ Uptake of Traffic-Related Air Pollution: Effects of the Urban Transportation System, published by NITC in December 2014. It was related to an earlier project...

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Many cities are considering pursuing Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths, but may not know how to move beyond addressing past crash locations toward preventing future crashes. Systemic analysis, which looks at crash patterns to determine common characteristics associated with various types of crashes, shows promise in helping cities to identify problematic locations and treatments in the hopes of preventing future crashes.

This presentation will share results from part of Seattle’s Vision Zero effort – a multi-phased analysis of pedestrian and bicycle crash data aiming to help the City understand both where crashes have occurred and where they are most likely to occur in the future. Discussing the work that she conducted with colleagues at Toole Design Group and UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Sanders will show how the most common crash types were identified and then analyzed in conjunction with variables accounting for roadway design, land use, population, and...

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The overall goal of this research was to quantify the safety performance of alternative traffic control strategies to mitigate right-turning-vehicle/bicycle collisions, often called "right-hook" crashes, at signalized intersections in Oregon.

A two stage experiment was developed in the OSU high-fidelity driving simulator to investigate the causal factors of right-hook crashes at signalized intersections with a striped bike lane and no right-turn lane, and to then identify and evaluate alternative design treatments that could mitigate the occurrence of right-hook crashes.

Experiment 1 investigated motorist and environmental related causal factors of right-hook crashes, using three different motorist performance measures:

  1. visual attention,
  2. situational awareness (SA) and
  3. crash avoidance behavior.

Data was collected from 51 participants (30 male and 21 female) turning right 820 times in 21 different experimental scenarios. It was determined that the worst case right-hook scenario occurred when a bicycle was approaching the intersection at a higher speed (16 mph) and positioned in the blind zone of the motorist. In crash and near crash situations (measured by time-to-collision...

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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.”

Transportation professionals from ODOT visited the...

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In this seminar, Dr. Porter will explore the interactions of geometric design decisions, speed, and safety. A performance-based approach to this topic will be considered given the availability of several key documents, including the Highway Safety Manual and TRB's Modeling Operating Speed: Synthesis Report as well as a significant body of published research. A historical look at the design speed concept will show that while the design speed definition has changed on more than one occasion, the same basic but flawed philosophy that relates design speed to a “safe speed” is still reflected in supplemental guidance related to design speed selection in current design policy. A conservative approach to establishing design criteria, currently used to address the range of driver, vehicle, and roadway conditions and capabilities that a designer must consider, will be demonstrated. Resulting operating speeds will be shown to be higher than design speeds for design speeds of approximately 55 mph or less. This outcome may be considered undesirable from a safety perspective, but that categorization seems to be based more on...

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Abstract: Average Portland rainfall is nearly 37 inches a year. This rainfall usually runs off streets and other impervious surfaces such as roofs and into the sewer system, but this can cause two major problems. First, disposing of runoff in a storm sewer that drains to a river or stream sends dirt, metals, oil, pesticides, and other pollutants right into the water. Second, in neighborhoods with combined sewers, (that is, sewage systems that combine household sewage with the runoff waters from rain), after a heavy rainfall, the high volume of sewage sent to be treated can overwhelm the treatment center and lead to raw sewage discharges into the Willamette River. About 27% of the city is covered by buildings, streets, sidewalks, and other hard, or impervious, surfaces. Paved streets cover about 19% of Portland’s land area, but those streets account for nearly half of Portland’s impervious surfaces. Paved streets contribute 66% of the total annual stormwater runoff and 77% of the pollutants in the runoff. To address this problem, the City of Portland has begun investing in ways to treat stormwater runoff before it enters the sewer system. The city has built and is developing a number of “green street” projects that mimic what happens to rain when it falls on undeveloped areas. A green street uses landscaped curb extensions, lowered infiltration planters and basins, swales, trees,...

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