Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

Flashing-yellow-arrow traffic signals offer convenience for drivers by permitting them to turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic. This convenience, OTREC research has found, can come at the expense of safety, especially where the traffic mix includes pedestrians.

OTREC researchers David Hurwitz of Oregon State University and Christopher Monsere of Portland State University examined how driver behaviors affect pedestrian safety at flashing yellow arrows. Their findings show that drivers at these intersections often don’t even look for pedestrians.

This research will be the focus of OTREC’s first live interview-style Webinar May 7. Host Steph Routh of Oregon Walks will interview the researcher-practitioner team, explore real-world applications and take audience questions. The Webinar is free. Details are at this link:

Flashing-yellow-arrow Webinar

Flashing yellow arrows have been replacing other left-turn signals, such as solid green or flashing yellow or red circles, to indicate that drivers may turn after yielding to oncoming traffic. These turns are considered “permissive.” Turns where no conflicting traffic is present, such as those indicated with a green arrow, are “protected” turns. The flashing yellow arrow’s inclusion in the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices sped up the signal’s adoption to indicate a permissive...

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

Oregon State University’s student ITE chapter is the reigning Western District ITE chapter after taking the Student Chapter Award at the district’s annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. The award honors the outstanding chapter for the entire 13-state region, which encompasses 34 student chapters.

The award marks a quick turnaround for a chapter that was dormant a few years ago. Faculty adviser Karen Dixon restarted the chapter when she arrived at Oregon State in 2005. “Another professor, David Hurwitz, came from an active chapter and shared insights he had as a student,” Dixon said. “That helped give us that push.”

Applying for the honor requires a thorough accounting of all the chapter’s activities, Dixon said. “You have to document every tiny thing.”

And having a lot to document was one of the reasons Oregon State won the award, said student chapter President Lacy Brown. “We did a lot of activities out in the community,” Brown said. “A lot of outreach to other students on campus who weren’t necessarily in our chapter.”

The chapter brought in speakers from private consultants and public agencies, took field trips across the state and attended conferences in the Northwest and beyond, including the Transportation Research Board...

Read more