Event Date:
May 17, 2013
Content Type: Professional Development Event

The video begins at 2:16.

Abstract: Reliance on the automobile for most trips contributes to costly trends like pollution, oil dependence, congestion, and obesity. Germany and the U.S. have among the highest motorization rates in the world. Yet Germans make a four times higher share of trips by foot, bike, and public transport and drive for a 25 percent lower share of trips.

This presentation first investigates international trends in daily travel behavior with a focus on Germany and the USA. Next, the presentation examines the transport and land-use policies in Germany over the last 40 years that have encouraged more walking, bicycling, and public transport use. Using a case study of policy changes in the German city of Freiburg, the presentation concludes with policies that are transferable to car-oriented countries around the world.

Bio: Ralph Buehler is Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs & Planning and a Faculty Fellow with the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, VA. Originally from Germany, most of his research has an international comparative perspective, contrasting transport and land-use policies, transport systems, and travel behavior in Western Europe and North America. His research falls into three areas: (1) the influence of transport policy, land use, socio- demographics on travel behavior; (2) bicycling, walking, and public health; and (3) public...

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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:
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 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)

Summaries:

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 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:
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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Event Date:
Dec 05, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Summary: The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) discretionary New Starts program is the federal government's largest discretionary funding program. From heavy to light rail, from commuter rail to bus rapid transit systems, the FTA's New Starts program has helped to make possible hundreds of new or extended transit fixed guideway systems across the country, including most of TriMet’s light rail extensions and WES commuter rail. Beginning in 2001, FTA has required project sponsors to prepare a Before and After Study report on the effectiveness of planning and implementation of New Starts and Small Starts projects. The studies focus on five transit characteristics – project scope, capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, service levels, and ridership behavior – and compares these characteristics at various planning milestones, as well as before and after implementation of the project.

TriMet, in conjunction with FTA, has completed or nearly completed Before and After Study reports for three projects – Interstate MAX, WES Commuter Rail, and the Green Line – and is in the process of working on two more. This presentation will briefly describe the federal New Starts program, FTA requirements...

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Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

With his 2011 book, “Human Transit,” consultant Jarrett Walker provided planners and community members with a new way to think about the choices transit planning requires. Since that time, Walker has focused on what transit actually delivers. He calls this concept “abundant access”: how much of your city is available to you in a short amount of time.

Walker will delve into this topic Monday, Sept. 15 as the keynote speaker at the Oregon Transportation Summit. Online registration for the summit closes Wednesday night.

Register now!

“Abundant access is an interesting way to think about transit and something that brings it into the personal frame of liberty that is missing from most analysis of urban outcomes,” Walker said. “How we talk about sensations of freedom, so that we don’t just sound like bureaucrats who know what’s good for everyone.”

Urbanist leaders go astray, Walker said, when they put other goals ahead of the liberty and opportunity that useful transit provides. That could mean catering to developers or creating a symbolic transit system that is fun to ride but doesn’t serve regular transit users well.

Walker calls the New Urbanist conceit of prioritizing an aesthetically...

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Event Date:
Oct 03, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Topic: Using "big data" for transportation analysis: A case study of the LA Metro Expo Line

Summary: Access to a comprehensive historical archive of real-time, multi-modal multi-agency transportation system data has provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate how “big data” can be used for policy analysis, and to offer new insights for planning scholarship and practice. We illustrate with a case study of a new rail transit line. We use transit, freeway, and arterial data of high spatial and temporal resolution to examine transportation system performance impacts of the Exposition (Expo) light rail line (Phase 1) in Los Angeles. Using a quasi-experimental research design, we explore whether the Expo Line has had a significant impact on transit ridership, freeway traffic, and arterial traffic within the corridor it serves. Our results suggest a net increase in transit ridership, but few effects on traffic system performance. Given the latent travel demand in this heavily congested corridor, results are consistent with expectations. The benefits of rail transit investments are in increasing transit accessibility and person throughput within high-...

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Event Date:
Oct 10, 2014
Content Type: Professional Development Event

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Topic: Examining the Role of Internal Planning Decisions in Improving Transit Performance and Economic Outcomes
Summary: Scholars and practitioners continuously seek best practices to increase transit ridership, efficiency, and modal share. The ongoing suburbanization and decentralization of U.S. metropolitan regions brings new challenges for accomplishing these goals. Investigating possible strategies for improving transit outcomes in the existing socioeconomic setting, scholars from the Florida State University have pointed to the role of internal performance factors. In a series of research studies, they have found that improving transit service characteristics, such as frequency, connectivity, regional coverage, intermodal integration, as well as decentralization of network structures, could result in increased transit ridership and productivity. These positive effects could be observed even in auto-oriented, low-density environments. 

This presentation will briefly summarize the previous findings regarding the role of internal factors in improving transit performance and elaborate on the most recent study, which has attempted to assess the...

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