Event Date:
Mar 19, 2015
Content Type: Events

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As cities move to increase levels of bicycling for transportation, many practitioners and advocates have promoted the use of protected bike lanes (also known as “cycle tracks” or “protected bikeways”) as an important component in providing high-quality urban infrastructure for cyclists. These on-street lanes provide more space and physical separation between the bike lane and motor vehicle lane compared with traditional striped bike lanes. However, few U.S. cities have direct experiences with their design and operations, in part because of the limited design guidance provided in the past. There is limited research from North America on protected bike lanes, but preliminary evidence suggests that they can both improve the level of comfort of cyclists and potentially increase the number of people cycling. This research evaluates protected bike lanes in five distinct contexts varying in population, driving and cycling rates and cultures, and weather: Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and, Washington, District of Columbia. 

These five cities participated in the inaugural “Green Lane Project” (GLP) sponsored by...

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Event Date:
May 27, 2009
Content Type: Events

Room 315 Engineering Building (ITS Lab)

If American cities are to serve the mainstream population of traffic-intolerant bicyclists, we need a broad range of low-stress facility types that can be applied depending on traffic and space constraints. This seminar will focus on two kinds of bicycle accommodations. A “Bicycle Priority Lane” is a shared lane treatment, like the shared lane arrow or “sharrow” that is becoming popular, intended for streets lacking the space to provide a dedicated bike lane. It enhances the sharrow by providing longitudinal markings that define a “lane within a lane,” drawing from “advisory lanes” (UK) and “suggestion lanes” (NL). We show how defining the bicyclist’s space objectively with road marking frees bicyclists from the stress of negotiating for operating space with motorists.

Separated paths or cycle tracks are bike paths along a road that are physically separated from moving traffic by a curb, median, or parking lane. For decades, they have been the mainstay of bicycle networks in the Netherlands and in Montreal, but have been shunned by US planners due to misplaced safety concerns. We will expose the flaws of the studies used to discredit separated paths, and discuss their safety record in the Netherlands and in Montreal. Practical issues in cycle track design will be discussed based on Montreal’s experience of the last two decades.

Event Date:
Content Type: Blog entry

By Jennifer Dill, Ph.D.
Professor, Urban Studies & Planning 
Director, TREC

This week I’m at the International Travel Survey Conference in Australia. The conference happens every three years, attracting over 100 geeky people who spend time thinking about things like stated preference experiments, smartphone data collection, combining sampling frames, and respondent burden. I presented some work from our five city Green Lanes project, comparing our survey data with “objective” measures, such as videos and traffic counts. The focus was on intersections, where the protected lane is no longer separated from motor vehicles. An example of one design used in Portland, OR is shown in the adjacent figure.

 

Some of the comparisons are included in our report on the project. For example, we found that when asked on our intercept survey of Portland bicyclists where they should ride at the intersection shown above, only about half got the right answer (over the...

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Event Date:
Feb 28, 2014
Content Type: Events

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Summary: Urban bicyclists’ uptake of traffic-related air pollution is still not well quantified, due to a lack of direct measurements of uptake and a lack of analysis of the variation in uptake. This paper describes and establishes the feasibility of a novel method for measuring bicyclists’ uptake of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by sampling breath concentrations. Early results from the data set demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to generate findings for transportation analysis, with statistically significant exposure and uptake differences from bicycling on arterial versus bikeway facilities for several traffic-related VOC. These results provide the first empirical evidence that the usage of bikeways (or greenways) by bicyclists within an urban environment can significantly reduce uptake of dangerous traffic-related gas pollutants. Dynamic concentration and respiration data reveal unfavorable correlations from a health impacts perspective, where bicyclists’ respiration and travel time are greater at higher-concentration locations on already high-concentration roadways (arterials).

Bio: Alex Bigazzi is a Ph.D. candidate in Transportation Engineering at PSU, where he is also teaching a class on transportation emissions modeling. His dissertation investigates how urban...

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Event Date:
Feb 21, 2014
Content Type: Events

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Summary: In this seminar, Tara Weidner will discuss changes in the works to the State Analysis Procedures Manual (APM) to include three graduated levels of bike planning methods for use in Oregon communities, based on community size, data needs, and planning stage.  These include the Bike Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS), a sketch tool used to assess bike network connectivity, the data-heavy Highway Capacity Manual Multi-modal Level of Service (MMLOS) procedures, and a simplified MMLOS developed by the same researchers. 

Bio: Tara Weidner is an Integrated Transportation Analysis Engineer in ODOT’s Transportation Planning Analysis Unit (TPAU).  She has over 20 years of experience in modeling and analysis of multi-modal transportation systems. Her work focuses on arming Oregon’s communities with tools to plan for the future, including being the lead on ODOT’s GreenSTEP Greenhouse Gas model and coordinating other multi-modal transportation and land use tools and analysis. She joined TPAU about a year ago after working as a Senior Planner for Parsons Brinkerhoff (PB), where she was the consultant lead for the ODOT StateWide Integrated Model (SWIM) and worked with the FHWA on Mega-Regions modeling tools and managed a webinar series on "Climate Change Planning for MPOs.

Event Date:
May 02, 2014
Content Type: Events

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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:
Nov 21, 2014
Content Type: Events

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Summary: The most recent edition of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) contains analysis procedures for measuring the level-of-service (LOS), also referred to as quality of service, provided by an urban roadway to bicyclists. The method uses different design and operating features of the roadway segment (e.g. width, motor vehicle volumes and speeds) to assess an LOS grade of A (best) to F (worst). These procedures are used by planners and engineers to recommend how existing streets could be retrofitted or new streets designed to better serve people on bicycles (and other modes). However, the current HCM does not include methods that address protected bike lanes (aka “cycle tracks” or “separated bike lanes”), only conventional striped bike lanes, shoulders, and shared streets. There are other methods for predicting comfort from a bicyclist’s perspective that do consider protected bike lanes, but they are either based only on expert opinion or on surveys in Denmark.

This presentation will describe how to evaluate the level-of-service of a protected bike lane using results from surveys conducted in the United States. The model developed by this project could be used to supplement the current HCM to objectively consider a wider range...

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Event Date:
Oct 31, 2014
Content Type: Events

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Speaker: Joseph Broach, Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University
Topic: Trick or Treatment? Impact of Route-Level Features on Decisions to Walk or Bike
Summary: Some travel routes attract people walking and cycling, while others may scare them away. What features of street environments are most important, and how do available routes affect decisions to bike or walk on a specific trip? 

Research to date has focused on either large-scale areal measures like "miles of bike lane nearby" or else has considered only shortest path routes. Neither method is suited to capturing the impact of targeted route-level policies like neighborhood greenways. This session will present a new technique for measuring bike and walk accessibility along the most likely route for a given trip. The method is applied to travel data, and results provide new insight into the relationship between route quality and travel mode choice.

Event Date:
Content Type: News Item
The executive committee of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, program has selected a third round of research, education, and technology transfer projects for funding. This grant is part of the University Transportation Center (UTC) program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Research and Technology, and is a partnership between Portland State University, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah. The committee chose eight projects, totaling $800,000, under the NITC theme of safe, healthy and sustainable transportation to foster livable communities. 
 
The projects are national in scope and support innovations in priority areas including public transit and active transportation. 
 
Projects selected include:
  • An analysis of the effects of commuter rail on population deconcentration.
  • A look into prioritizing pedestrians at signalized intersections.
  • A study of cyclist-vehicle interaction.
  • An evaluation of an eco-driving intervention.
The eight projects were chosen from among 20 proposals...
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Event Date:
Content Type: News Item

A research study released Monday by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities program offers the most comprehensive evaluation of protected bicycle lanes to date. The study, “Lessons from the Green Lanes,” examines recently installed protected bike lanes in five of the six founding PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project cities and provides the scientific basis for decisions that could improve bicycling in cities across the United States.

Protected bike lanes, sometimes called cycle tracks, are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts to help organize the street and make riding a bike appealing for people of all ages and abilities. Because protected bike lanes are relatively new to the U.S., little academic research has existed to help leaders evaluate the risks and rewards of the investment in putting the facilities on the ground.

This study provides definitive evidence that people feel safe riding in protected lanes and that people traveling by car or foot also support building more protected lanes to separate bicycles and automobiles. It also provides insight on the safety, use and...

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