Event Date:
Feb 28, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Urban bicyclists’ uptake of traffic-related air pollution is still not well quantified, due to a lack of direct measurements of uptake and a lack of analysis of the variation in uptake. This paper describes and establishes the feasibility of a novel method for measuring bicyclists’ uptake of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by sampling breath concentrations. Early results from the data set demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to generate findings for transportation analysis, with statistically significant exposure and uptake differences from bicycling on arterial versus bikeway facilities for several traffic-related VOC. These results provide the first empirical evidence that the usage of bikeways (or greenways) by bicyclists within an urban environment can significantly reduce uptake of dangerous traffic-related gas pollutants. Dynamic concentration and respiration data reveal unfavorable correlations from a health impacts perspective, where bicyclists’ respiration and travel time are greater at higher-concentration locations on already high-concentration roadways (arterials).

Bio: Alex Bigazzi is a Ph.D. candidate in Transportation Engineering at PSU, where he is also teaching a class on transportation emissions modeling. His dissertation investigates how urban...

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Event Date:
Feb 21, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: In this seminar, Tara Weidner will discuss changes in the works to the State Analysis Procedures Manual (APM) to include three graduated levels of bike planning methods for use in Oregon communities, based on community size, data needs, and planning stage.  These include the Bike Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS), a sketch tool used to assess bike network connectivity, the data-heavy Highway Capacity Manual Multi-modal Level of Service (MMLOS) procedures, and a simplified MMLOS developed by the same researchers. 

Bio: Tara Weidner is an Integrated Transportation Analysis Engineer in ODOT’s Transportation Planning Analysis Unit (TPAU).  She has over 20 years of experience in modeling and analysis of multi-modal transportation systems. Her work focuses on arming Oregon’s communities with tools to plan for the future, including being the lead on ODOT’s GreenSTEP Greenhouse Gas model and coordinating other multi-modal transportation and land use tools and analysis. She joined TPAU about a year ago after working as a Senior Planner for Parsons Brinkerhoff (PB), where she was the consultant lead for the ODOT StateWide Integrated Model (SWIM) and worked with the FHWA on Mega-Regions modeling tools and managed a webinar series on "Climate Change Planning for MPOs.

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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Event Date:
Jan 24, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: A growing concern related to large-truck crashes has increased in the State of Texas in recent years due to the potential economic impacts and level of injury severity that can be sustained. Yet, studies on large truck involved crashes highlighting the contributing factors leading to injury severity have not been conducted in detail in the State of Texas especially for its interstate system.  In this study, we analyze the contributing factors related to injury severity by utilizing Texas crash data based on a discrete outcome based model which accounts for possible unobserved heterogeneity related to human, vehicle and road-environment. We estimate a random parameter logit model (i.e., mixed logit) to predict the likelihood of five standard injury severity scales commonly used in Crash Records Information System (CRIS) in Texas – fatal, incapacitating, non-incapacitating, possible, and no injury (property damage only). Estimation findings indicate that the level of injury severity outcomes is highly influenced by a number of complex interactions between factors and the effects of the some factors can vary across observations. The contributing factors include drivers’ demographics, traffic flow condition, roadway geometrics, land use and temporal characteristics, weather, and lighting...

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Event Date:
Jan 17, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Moore Presentation (PDF)

Ma Presentation (PDF)

Summaries: 
Identification and Characterization of PM2.5 and VOC Hot Spots on Arterial Corridor by Integrating Probe Vehicle, Traffic, and Land Use Data: The purpose of this study is to explore the use of integrated probe vehicle, traffic and land use data to identify and characterize fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and volatile organic compound (VOC) hot spot locations on urban arterial corridors. An emission hot spot is defined as a fixed location along a corridor in which the mean pollutant concentrations are consistently above the 85th percentile of pollutant concentrations when considering all other locations along the corridor during the same time period. In order to collect data for this study, an electric vehicle was equipped with instruments designed to measure PM2.5 and VOC concentrations. Second-by-second measurements were performed for each pollutant from both the right and left sides of the vehicle. Detailed meteorological, traffic and land use data is also available for this research. The results of a statistical analysis are used to better understand which...

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Event Date:
May 23, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Speaker: Darwin Moosavi, MURP, Portland State University
Topic: Capturing the Ride: Exploring Low-Density Flexible Transit Alternatives in Salem-Keizer

Summary: Current fixed-route transit service provided by Salem-Keizer Transit is inefficient in the low-density neighborhoods of West Salem, South Salem, and Keizer. The lack of sidewalks, non-gridded circuitous streets, and large single-family residential lots all contribute to a lack of ridership. As a result, traditional fixed-route transit service is not cost-effective in these areas. Through a five month planning process, a group of Portland State University graduate students, better known as Paradigm Planning, tackled the task of addressing this problem in each of the three study areas. Paradigm’s planning process explored mode and route options in order to produce a plan that provides innovative and feasible alternatives to current transit service that will better meet the needs of the community. Through an intensive community engagement process, the residents in each neighborhood were given a voice in shaping the future of transit in their neighborhood.

Bio: Darwin Moosavi is a Master in Urban & Regional Planning candidate at Portland...

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Event Date:
May 02, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Cycling is on the rise across the U.S. and its popularity has grown beyond the usual leaders - Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Davis, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Boulder, CO. New York City, NY Chicago, IL and Washington, DC are among those cities making significant investments in bike infrastructure in recent years and have realized substantial growth in people taking to the streets on two wheels. This presentation will summarize some results from our comprehensive assessment of the safety, operations, economic impacts, user experience, and perceptions of new protected bikeways in 5 cities U.S. cities (Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.). To support this research, the team collected and analyzed 204 hours of video, 2,300 returned surveys of residents, and 1,111 returned surveys from people intercepted riding the new facilities.

Bios: Dr. Christopher M. Monsere is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State University. Dr. Monsere’s primary research interests are in the areas of multimodal transportation safety; management and dissemination of large transportation datasets; and...

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Event Date:
Apr 25, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Researchers from the transportation, planning and health fields share the common goal of promoting physically active lifestyle. One challenge that researchers often face is the measurement of physical activity, particularly among children. This is because the sporadic nature of children’s physical activity patterns makes it difficult to recall and quantify such activities. Additionally, children’s lower cognitive functioning compared to adults prevents them from accurately recalling their activities. This presentation will describe the design and application of a novel self-report instrument - the Graphs for Recalling Activity Time (GReAT) - for measuring children’s activity time use patterns. The instrument was applied in a study of children’s risk for obesity and diabetes in a predominately Hispanic community in Milwaukee, WI. Time-use data for two weekdays and one weekend day were collected for various physical and sedentary activities. The data was then assessed against measurements of the children’s cardiovascular fitness, weight status and insulin resistance through exploratory analysis and structured equation modeling. Findings on GReAT’s reliability and new evidence on the impacts of time-use in...

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Event Date:
Apr 18, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Transportation and Road Weather

Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center at PSU
Speaker: Rhonda Young, University of Wyoming
Topic: Transportation and Road Weather

Summary: Weather has a tremendous impact on the transportation system and is one of the largest contributors to non-recurring delay and increased crashes.  Road weather is the a multidisciplinary area involving transportation engineers and meteorologists who are working to mitigate the negative effects of weather on the operation and maintenance practices of transportation systems.  The talk covers the broad types of issues being studied in this field and looks at ways in which technology is playing a large part in the proposed solutions.  The issue of weather as a complicating factor in the use of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies  is also discussed.

Bio: Rhonda Young is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming since 2002 and teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Traffic Operations, Transportation Planning, Transportation Design and Traffic Safety.  She completed her master and PhD...

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Event Date:
Apr 11, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Transit serves as backbone infrastructure for many regional and local visions for sustainable urban development. Also, many modern policies predicate transit funding on the potential for transit-oriented development (TOD) near proposed infrastructure investments. However, little research has examined how TOD considerations have informed transit planning. This presentation discusses the results of recent dissertation research that fills this gap. Through multiple transit project case studies and interviews with nearly 100 transit planning professionals, this research categorized how transit projects across 19 U.S. regions were designed to foster TOD and how transit planning professionals identified TOD opportunities as projects were planned. During interviews, many professionals lamented the amount of real estate development that had occurred around the transit projects they helped plan. Analysis revealed that the ways in which professionals identified TOD opportunities helped to explain disconnects between their expectations and actual outcomes. The findings raise concerns about the effectiveness and efficiency of transit planning practice in the age of transit-oriented development and point to potential policy and practice changes that could address the issues.

Bio: Ian...

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