The Federal Highway Administration issued an interim approval for bike signals, based on the NITC project "Operational Guidance for Bicycle-Specific Traffic Signals." This video provides a look at what that means for jurisdictions in the U.S.
A new NITC report introduces an important tool for safety analysis: a naturalistic method of data collection that can be used to improve the cycling experience.
Before now, most naturalistic studies (studies where data are collected in a natural setting, rather than a controlled setting) in bicycle safety research have been captured by stationary cameras and haven't followed cyclists along a route.
Researchers in this study used first-person video and sensor data to measure cyclists' reactions to specific situations.
Safety research in general has advanced significantly through naturalistic driving studies, which gather data from real drivers to illuminate the causes of traffic incidents both major and minor. For motorized vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been developing portable, vehicle-based data collection technologies since the early 1990s.
Their report, Utilizing Ego-centric Video to Conduct Naturalistic Bicycling Studies, offers a successful method for integrating video and sensor data to record...Read more
Alex Bigazzi, a 2014 NITC dissertation fellow and graduate of Portland State University's Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. program, has published a paper based on his NITC-funded research in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
See ACS coverage of the project here.
Bigazzi's research evaluates the concentration of air pollution encountered by cyclists in Portland, Oregon.
In the study, volunteer research subjects rode bicycles equipped with instruments to collect high-resolution bicycle, rider, traffic and environmental data.
Participants rode a variety of routes including bicycle lanes on primary and secondary arterials, bicycle boulevards, off-street paths and mixed-use roadways. They were told to ride at a pace and exertion level typical for utilitarian travel, and breath biomarkers were used to record the amount of traffic-related pollution present in each cyclist’s exhalations.
This research was the focus of Bigazzi's dissertation, Bicyclists’ Uptake of Traffic-Related Air Pollution: Effects of the Urban Transportation System, published by NITC in December 2014. It was related to an earlier project...Read more
Protected bicycle lanes have gained popularity as a safer way to get more people cycling. Earlier research from the Transportation Research and Education Center, TREC, at Portland State University showed that people feel safer in lanes with a physical barrier between bicycle and motor vehicle traffic.
The research hadn’t closely studied the intersections, where the barriers—and the protection they offer—go away. With little research guidance, agencies across the country could face the prospect of using untested approaches or avoiding protected lanes altogether.
TREC, through its National Institute for Transportation and Communities pooled-fund program, is now addressing intersections for protected lanes. The program lets agencies and interested partners invest small amounts to join research with a national impact. For this project, 11 partners each put $5,000 to $50,000 toward the $250,000 cost.
The project will help agencies decide which intersection treatments to use in which cases, and what elements each should include. Toole Design Group will work with the Portland State research team to tailor the results to practitioners.
“Right now, it’s based on their judgment,” said...
Portland State University today achieved the highest ranking from the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly University program. Portland State is now one of just five platinum universities recognized under the program.
Other NITC program campuses were also designated as bike friendly. University of Oregon achieved gold status and University of Utah, silver.
The Bicycle Friendly University program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning, known as the Five E's.
The league noted that Portland State’s support for bicycling has helped reduce congestion, improve air quality and lower the demand for parking on campus. “Portland State encourages bicycling as an affordable, efficient option for transportation and provides amenities such as indoor bicycle parking, low-cost bicycle rentals, and an on-campus Bike Hub, where students can find everything they need to make bicycling a part of their commute options,” the league stated.
PSU previously was a gold-level bike-friendly university. In the past two years it expanded its “Vik Bike” bicycle rental program from 12 bicycles to 134. Each bike comes with lights, a lock and a helmet. The program, in which students can rent a bike for a term, receive training on bike commuting and bike maintenance, has a waiting list of participants.
Comprehensive Bikeway Design 1.0, a popular summer workshop offered by the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), wrapped up to a successful conclusion last week.
Hau Hagedorn, director of the IBPI, has seen the annual workshop grow into a one-of-a-kind training opportunity for bicycle and pedestrian professionals.
“The course is comprehensive. It isn't just about bikeway design. It's about everything a city can do to become more bike-friendly, including policies that support cycling and land uses that encourage active transportation,” Hagedorn said.
With 10 participants from six states, this year’s workshop helped further the IBPI’s goal of expanding America’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to encourage healthier, more sustainable forms of transportation. The participants came from a diversity of disciplines including community and bicycle planning, academic research and political leadership, and traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania to visit Portland’s bicycle culture.
“I think it reaffirms that this is a unique opportunity, for people to come and see what has been done in Portland. This didn't happen overnight. It gives a good idea of what can be done in other places,” Hagedorn said.
The five-day instructional course began on Sunday, July 26, with a tour of...Read more