Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Planners looking to develop an dense mix of urban land uses often face a dilemma: they’re using trip-generation models that undercount the very trips on bicycle and foot that the planners encourage while paving the way for more driving.

Portland State University Associate Professor Kelly Clifton dove into the topic Monday, presenting a paper at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington D.C. Kristina Currans of PSU, April Cutter of Metro, and Robert Schneider of the University of California Berkeley are coauthors.

Clifton and other panelists agreed that the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ trip generation rates don’t adequately reflect actual trips in an urban area with multiple land uses and transportation modes. They differed on the remedy, however.

Presenting another paper, Associate Professor Kevan Shafizadeh of California State University Sacramento, evaluated and tested several complex methods, finding that none truly suits smart-growth development projects. However, Shafizadeh and his team found that every method tested does a better job at predicting the number of trips generated than the ITE rates.

We need to predict trips better, Clifton said, but perhaps a simpler solution exists. She acknowledged Shafizadeh’s conclusions that each alternative also had deficiencies in certain applications, and suggested that the ITE rates could be tweaked instead of scrapped entirely.

“It’s a Band-Aid to temporarily...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Students and faculty researchers from OTREC universities will present 45 papers at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting Jan. 22 to 26 in Washington, D.C.

The papers, to be presented at 37 separate sessions and poster sessions, stem from transportation research at Portland State University, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. The three universities will send 43 students to the conference.

Alex Bigazzi, a PSU engineering doctoral student, will present his work on topics including congestion and emissions at the conference. Some of that work stems from his master’s thesis, “Roadway Congestion Impacts on Emissions, Air Quality, and Exposure,” with adviser Miguel Figliozzi at PSU. The thesis won this year’s Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award, which will be presented Jan. 21 at the Council of University Transportation Centers awards banquet.

Bigazzi will present another paper, which he wrote with PSU’s Kelly Clifton and Brian Gregor of the Oregon Department of Transportation, that looks at fuel economy for alternative-fuel vehicles in congestion. Titled “Advanced Vehicle Fuel-Speed Curves for Regional Greenhouse Gas Scenario Analysis,” the paper helps Oregon DOT incorporate hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles into its emissions planning model.

While traditional vehicles lose fuel efficiency during congested driving, advanced vehicles don’t suffer from the same effects, according to the paper.  Some even do better in...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

If you weren’t one of the 10,000 people who attended the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting in January, there are fifty students and twenty faculty for PSU, UO, OSU and OIT who can tell you what they learned there.  OTREC's bright yellow lanyards made our presence especially visible! PSU student Brian Davis blogged about his experience, OTREC’s Jon Makler was interviewed in a local newspaper, and the Oregon “delegation” at the conference was covered by both local and national blogs. Team OTREC filed some daily debriefs, highlighting presentations on topics such as federal stimulus investments in Los Angeles and Vermont’s efforts to address their transportation workforce crisis with returning military veterans (as well as the...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Brian Davis, a transportation engineering student at Portland State University, was one of 47 students from OTREC campuses to attend the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. He shares the following thoughts, tips and cautions for future attendees, students and professionals:

I’m finally back in Portland from my first go-round at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board. Aside from some kerkuffles flying in and out, due in small part to snow and in much larger part to the incompetence of American Airlines (maybe all their good operations people were, you know, at the conference!), it was a terrific, invaluable experience.

By the end of the second day of the conference, it became clear to me that the biggest takeaway from this meeting would be what to do differently next time. In talking to some of the TRB veterans meandering about the meeting, it seems like that’s a pretty common experience from one’s first TRB conference. Here, then, are a few thoughts about what I’m going to do differently next time, and a pat or two on the back for the few instances that I guessed right.

The devil fools with the best laid plans

In the days and weeks leading up to the meeting, I agonized for hours and hours trying to plan the perfect assortment of sessions and presentations to attend.  By the time the meeting started, I thought I had a wonderful experience planned where I’d get to...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

If anyone doubted Detroit could produce a reliable electric car that can be charged at home and make several trips without recharging, the proof was parked in the Oregon Convention Center: a 1917 Detroit Electric. Production of that car, which could travel up to 80 miles on a charge, began in 1907.

The Detroit Electric and conceptual descendents, such as the sporty Tesla Roadster and Nissan Leaf, served as backdrop to E.V. Road Map 3, a forum to discuss the benefits of electric vehicles and plan for their future. Sponsored by Portland State University and Portland General Electric, the conference came at a turning point for electric vehicles, said John MacArthur, director of OTREC’s Transportation Electrification Initiative.

“Once 2011 hit, we went from the theoretical to the applied,” MacArthur said. “Automakers are rolling out the vehicles, charging stations are popping up, and now they’re starting to be seen and tested.”

Perception remains the largest barrier to wider adoption of electric vehicles, he said. “There’s still this ‘range anxiety’ out there,” that is, people worry if the car has enough juice to get to their destination and back. “But once they drive one, they realize it’s not a big deal.”

That’s because most people don’t drive...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Wednesday, Jan. 26 dispatch from the TRB annual meeting in Washington, D.C.:

With transportation-related professions changing rapidly, the classroom needs to reflect or, better, drive those changes. Sessions throughout this week's Transportation Research Board annual meeting focused on classroom innovation in transportation education, with faculty at OTREC universities often in the forefront.

Those discussions continued Wednesday while the focus widened. Innovation within the classroom is needed, but it’s not enough. Increasingly, developments in transportation education need to incorporate the learning and training potential of the outside world.

The session “Transportation Education and Training Beyond the Traditional Classroom” featured four presentations, including one from OTREC visiting scholar Geoff Rose of Monash University in Australia. Rose’s presentation focused on online discussion forums.

Titled “Nurturing Student Learning in Transport Planning and Policy Through Assessable Online Discussions,” Rose’s presentation approached the forums as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction.

Teams from Southern Illinois University and from Louisiana State University and Louisiana Transportation Research Center internships and virtual learning environments, respectively. Karen Glitman, a program manager at the University of Vermont, gave a stirring...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Tuesday, Jan. 25 dispatch from the Transportation Research Board annual meeting:

Sometimes even stimulus needs a little stimulus. That was certainly true in Los Angeles County, faced with a backlog of transportation needs.

Doug Failing, chief planner with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, spoke at a session at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting titled “How the implementation of ARRA-TIGER projects was accelerated: a tale of four cities.”

The Los Angeles tale is one of good fortune and good timing. As talk of a federal stimulus package was heating up, the county passed Measure R in November 2008. The sales tax measure would commit a projected $40 billion to transportation projects over the next 30 years.

The federal stimulus project gave that effort a boost when it passed in early 2009. Metro then took a further step, Failing said: the agency would speed up 12 key mass-transit projects to be completed within 10 years instead of 30.

Transportation-system investments have gone a long way toward moving people more efficiently in an area known for its gridlock. Once the worst metro area in the country in terms of hours spent in traffic, that number has declined over the last decade, with other cities taking over...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Faculty and students from OTREC universities will be featured at more than 35 sessions at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting Jan. 23 to 27 in Washington D.C. The meeting offers a forum to show OTREC’s research and programs to approximately 10,000 transportation professionals representing various disciplines and countries. Download OTREC’s guide to TRB.

Among these sessions, a highlight is the presentation of work that has emerged from OTREC’s collaborations with other members of the Region X Consortium, which includes the Departments of Transportation and University Transportation Centers from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana. This year, two poster presentations stem from a Region X-sponsored project: Climate Change Impact Assessment for Surface Transportation in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska The project addresses the potential impacts of climate change, and associated opportunities for adaptation, throughout the region.

“Most plans for the region deal with mitigation, that is, the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere from transportation,” said John MacArthur, the project’s principal investigator and a presenting author...

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Ten OTREC researchers, staff, and students participated in the Transportation Research Board and University Transportation Center Transportation Systems for Livable Communities Conference last week in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together researchers and practitioners from transportation, housing and public health.

Highlights of the conference included an insightful discussion on defining livability. Despite inconclusive debate on the definition, participants agreed that for the concept to be embraced it can neither be dictated nor prescribed.  Performance measures also were a recurring theme of the two-day conference. Concepts explored included: re-evaluating outdated measures such as volume-to-capacity ratio and level of service to better reflect different modes, shifting thinking from mobility to accessibility and proximity, and data standardization and measurement methodologies. To complete the livability picture, the multigenerational and socioeconomic considerations need to be included.

The following four OTREC research projects were highlighted during the conference poster session:

Read more
Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Oregon was well-represented at the Transportation Research Boardís 87th Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2008 in Washington, D.C. More than 15 faculty participated and presented research in numerous poster sessions and workshops and served as presiding officers for various sessions, committees and subcommittees. In addition, we are pleased that more than 20 students also attended, many of them presenting research work in poster and regular sessions. OTREC staff attended the annual meeting of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), and the 2007 OTREC Student of the Year, Oren Eshel, was recognized at the CUTC banquet. In addition, OTREC and the Region X UTCs (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) hosted a reception at the beginning of the conference week. A summary of OTREC faculty and student participation can be found here: TRB 2008.

Pages