Content Type: News Item

Last year, we reported on a Portland State University graduate student project that created a tailored transit solution for the Salem-Keizer area.

This year, the flexible transit system created by students in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program has become a reality.

The West Salem Connector service launched as a year-long pilot program on June 1.

The new service, which focuses on improving transit access for those who actually use it in low-demand areas, will be free for the first six months.

Students in the MURP program spend about five months completing workshop projects, which focus on real-world planning problems and see them through. Not every student project, however, makes it to the stage of implementation.

The fact that the Salem-Keizer flexible transit line is becoming a reality reflects the quality of this group's work.

The Paradigm Planning group consisted of MURP students Darwin Moosavi, Brenda Martin, Matt Berggren, Lauren Wirtis, Mike Sellinger and CJ Doxsee. The project, ...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Abstract: The concept of accessibility has long been theorized as a principal determinant of household residential choice behavior. Research on this influence is extensive but the empirical results have been mixed, with some research suggesting that accessibility is becoming a relatively insignificant influence on housing choices. Further, the measurement of accessibility must contend with complications arising from the increasing prevalence of trip-chains, non-work activities, and multi-worker households, as well as reconcile person-specific travel needs with household residential decisions. This paper contributes to the literature by addressing the gap framed by these issues and presents a novel residential choice model with three main elements of innovation. First, it operationalized a time-space prism (TSP) accessibility measure, which the authors believe to be the first application of its kind in a residential choice model. Second, it represented the choice sets in a building-level framework, the lowest level of spatial disaggregation available for modeling residential choices. Third, it explicitly examined the influence of non-work accessibility at both the local- and person-...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Adaptive signal systems have been deployed in a number of locations across the country though their high maintenance requirements and additional cost have limited their widespread use. Adaptive systems adjust phases and timings at a network of signals in real time to improve traffic operations, particularly along congested corridors.

Rhythm Engineering has developed a new video detection-based system that vastly reduces the cost of deployment and maintenance. However, no existing microsimulation software could model the system due to its innovative methodology.

The methodology involves doing away completely with concept of cycle lengths, splits, and offsets, key parameters use in traffic signal analysis today. HDR and Rhythm Engineering joined together to develop a tool to act as middleware between the adaptive system and VISSIM that would emulate video detection, send the "video" to the adaptive controller, run the adaptive controller algorithm, and transmit detector calls back to VISSIM for inclusion in the model.

This presentation will discuss the lessons learned in the development of the emulation of video detection within VISSIM as well as showing the improvements in traffic operations provided by the system. It will also discuss the implications of the system's architecture and the impact it will have on not only adaptive signal systems...

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Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 2:51.

Adam Moore: Bus Stop Air Quality: An Empirical Analysis of Exposure to Particulate Matter at Bus Stop Shelters

Congested traffic corridors in dense urban areas are key contributors to the degradation of urban air quality. While waiting at bus stops, transit patrons may be exposed to greater amounts of vehicle-based pollution, including particulate matter, due to their proximity to the roadway. Current guidelines for the location and design of bus stops do not take into account air quality or exposure considerations. This study compares the exposure of transit riders waiting at three-sided bus stop shelters that either: 1) face the roadway traffic or 2) face away from the roadway traffic. Shelters were instrumented with air quality monitoring equipment, sonic anemometers, and vehicle counters. Data were collected for two days at three shelters during both the morning and afternoon peak periods. Bus shelter orientation is found to significantly affect concentration of four sizes of particulate matter: ultrafine particles, PM1, PM2.5, and PM10. Shelters with an opening oriented towards the roadway were consistently observed to have higher concentrations inside the shelter than outside the shelter. In contrast, shelters oriented away from the roadway were observed to have lower concentrations inside the shelter than outside the shelter. The differences in particulate matter...

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Summary: Ten new megatrends will be presented with a discussion on the resulting shifts on the transportation industry. Details will include a look on broken trends and the new challenges introduced for transportation planning. Thoughts will also be presented introducing a pivot to the current model being pursued by the Connected Vehicle program. Finally, planners will be challenged to consider a new question for the future of our connected communities, you have to come to hear it.

Bio: Ted Trepanier is the Senior Director for the Public Sector with INRIX, Inc.  Prior to joining INRIX, Ted was the Director of Traffic Operations for the Washington State Department of Transportation.  In addition to his extensive background in traffic operations, he has experience in design, planning, project management and toll operations. Ted earned his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from Washington State University and Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington.

Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 1:25.

The transportation engineering community is advancing methodologies to encourage active transportation. Adoption of new methodologies and standards has not been widely accepted because there remain gaps in the standards by which we determine facilities are adequate, particularly in the development review process. This is highlighted in the vocabulary we use on a daily basis, we continue to consider auto traffic congestion as something that should be reduced, when in reality it can support the encouragement of active transportation. This session will describe these challenges and identify technical procedures that would allow the development of a more balanced transportation system supportive of the local policies of the community. The case study of Portland will be used to describe specific actions where the City has acted consistent with the local policy rather than blindly accepting the national Level of Service thresholds identified in the Highway Capacity Manual.

Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 1:24.

Gene Hawkins of the Texas Transportation Institute on the Future of the MUTCD

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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.

Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 1:32.

Homelessness is a widespread, messy problem in the US. While transportation agencies are not housing or social service providers, their role as major public land owners thrusts them into the midst of the problem. This talk presents exploratory, descriptive research concerning the extent of homeless encampments on DOT-owned land and profiles three successful, collaborative strategies for addressing the issue. It also presents a case study of a longstanding homeless encampment at the Baldock Rest Area on I-5 near Wilsonville and how it was resolved.

Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 0:25.

Junfeng Jiao, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning at Ball State University, will discuss his research on healthy food accessibility. His research introduced a new way to measure healthy food access and to identify food deserts, and was recently published by the American Journal of Public Health in 2012.

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