Event Date:
Nov 08, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Signalized intersections often rely on vehicle detection to determine when to give a green light. The 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) includes an on-pavement marking and curbside sign that public agencies can use to indicate where cyclists should position themselves while waiting at an intersection. This presentation reviews the effectiveness of current markings, signs, and other methods used to help cyclists properly position themselves over detection.

Stefan Bussey is an undergraduate civil engineering student at Portland State University. He is interested in exploring how road users’ interactions with each other and the built environment affect the efficiency and safety of road networks. He currently works as a civil design intern at Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc. 

Event Date:
Oct 25, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Dr. Lovell will talk about three projects funded by NASA and the FAA, addressing congestion in the National Airspace System. Dr. Lovell's team developed diffusion-based queuing models of individual airports that could support better building blocks for network-wide congestion models. The advantage of the new models is their flexibility with respect to input distributions. In a study for the FAA, Dr. Lovell's team developed day-of-operations collaboration "languages" suitable for the FAA and individual carriers in order to collectively manage expected airspace disruptions. Finally, he will discuss a study on predictability in the airspace, with a focus on scheduled block times.

Dr. Lovell is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research. He is a member of the faculty of the Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Scientific Computation Program. He is director of the University of Maryland chapter of Engineers Without Borders - USA, and serves that organization on its board and as a leader of one of its Technical Advisory Councils. Dr. Lovell received his B.A. in Mathematics from Portland State University in 1990, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the...

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

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Summary: The Federal Transit Administration invests in building the capacity and improving the quality of public transportation throughout the United States of America.  Under FTA's leadership, public rail, bus, trolley, ferry, and other transit services have reached greater levels of safety, reliability, availability, and accessibility.  Come hear the highlights of FTA's impacts and participate in an interactive question/answer session and discussion on career options in public transportation!

Bio: Amy Changchien is the Director of Planning & Program Development of the Federal Transit Administration Region 10 Office in Seattle.  Ms. Changchien has been a transportation professional for over 20 years, with experience spanning from highway to transit.  In her career, she has worked on projects involving highway operations, Intelligent Transportation System, commuter rail, light rail, streetcar, ferries, and buses.  Ms. Changchien holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a master's degree in Public Administration from University of Washington. 

Event Date:
Jan 31, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: Since about 2008, the planning world has been experiencing a paradigm shift that began in places like California and Oregon that have adopted legislation requiring the linking of land use and transportation plans to outcomes, specifically to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In response to this need, Calthorpe Associates has developed a new planning tool, called UrbanFootprint, on a fully Open Source platform (i.e. Ubuntu Linux, PostGIS, PostGreSQL, etc.). As a powerful and dynamic web and mobile-enabled geo-spatial scenario creation and modeling tool with full co-benefits analysis capacity, UrbanFootprint has great utility for urban planning and research at multiple scales, from general plans, to project assessments, to regional and state-wide scenario development and analysis. Scenario outcomes measurement modules include: a powerful ‘sketch’ transportation model that produces travel and emissions impacts; a public health analysis engine that measures land use impacts on respiratory disease, obesity, and related impacts and costs; climate-sensitive building energy and water modeling; fiscal impacts analysis; and greenhouse gas and other emissions modeling.

Bio: Garlynn Woodsong is a Project Manager in the regional and large-scale master planning team at Calthorpe...

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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 10, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 1:20.

View slides: Foster Presentation (PDF)

View slides: Muhs Presentation (PDF)

View slides: Wagner Presentation (PDF)

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Evaluating Driver and Pedestrian Behaviors at Enhanced Multilane Midblock Pedestrian Crossings: Case Study in Portland, Oregon This study examines driver and pedestrian behaviors at two enhanced midblock pedestrian crossings in Portland, Oregon. One crossing is on a five-lane arterial with a posted speed of 35/45 miles-per-hour (MPH) and features six rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) assemblies and a narrow median refuge. The other crossing is on a suburban arterial with four travel lanes and a two-way left-turn lane. The crossing is enhanced with four RRFB assemblies and a median island with a “Z” crossing, or Danish offset, designed to encourage pedestrians to face oncoming traffic before completing the second stage of their crossing. Approximately 62 hours of video have been collected at the two locations. A total of 351 pedestrian crossings are analyzed for driver compliance (yielding) rates, pedestrian activation rates, pedestrian delay, and conflict avoidance maneuvers. The suburban arterial...

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Event Date:
May 16, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: This session will describe the process and results of a NHTSA study that showed a change in driver culture of yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks on a citywide basis. The research won the Pat Waller award from the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board in January of this year. The approach to changing road user behavior focused on an integrated approach that include Enforcement, Engineering, and Educational efforts that were designed to be dovetailed together and that included a social norming component. Additional information will be provided on engineering solutions that can facilitate changes in pedestrian level of service and safety.

Bio: Dr. Van Houten is a Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He has worked in the area of pedestrian safety for thirty years. He is past chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s pedestrian committee and a member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. He has published extensively in the area of pedestrian safety and recently received along with Dr. Louis Malenfant, Richard Blomberg and Dr. Brad Huitema the Waller Award from the Transportation Research Board for their paper on changing driving culture by increasing driver yielding right-of-way to...

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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 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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Content Type: News Item

(First published by BikePortland.org)

Sue Groth’s job: use math and millions of dollars to stop injuries before they happen.

The team Groth leads at the Minnesota Department of Transportation has probably saved a few hundred lives over the last 10 years. In that time they’ve reinvented “highway safety” spending and seen traffic fatalities fall almost twice as fast as they have in Oregon and the rest of the country.

Groth is the plenary speaker at the Sept. 15 Oregon Transportation Summit hosted by OTREC at Portland State University. Michael Andersen of BikePortland spoke to her last week to talk about MnDOT’s daring decision to give up some of the “gobs of money” it gets for highway safety and hand it to local agencies instead.

What’s the nature of your work on the safety movement called Vision Zero, also known as Toward Zero Deaths?
My state happened to be one of the first to adopt it. We have had a program for over 10 years now and have had some pretty good success. We don’t have to accept the fact that 400 people a year die on the roads in Minnesota, or 33,000 nationally.

400?
Oh, I’d better give you a precise number: 387. Minnesota’s had great success. One year we actually got down to 368.

(Editor’s note: 387, it turns...

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