Psychology teaches us that implicit biases—attitudes we hold on a level below consciousness, and may not even be aware of—can have a heavy influence on split-second decisions.
In a fast-paced activity like driving, with a lot of moving parts in a complex environment, we make those snap decisions all the time. There are obvious safety implications to this, particularly for the most vulnerable road users. That’s why TREC researchers are becoming more and more interested in studying implicit bias and social psychology as it relates to transportation behavior.
The latest report from the NITC program, Exploring Drivers’ Attitudes and Behaviors toward Bicyclists: The Effect of Explicit and Implicit Attitudes on Self-Reported Safety Behaviors, is a dissertation by NITC fellow Tara Goddard.
With a focus on driver-cyclist interactions, Goddard dives into the social psychology of roadway interactions and comes up with some interesting takeaways for practitioners and researchers. Before moving to Portland in 2011 to begin her Ph.D., Goddard was the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for the City of Davis, California, and says that it’s important to understand the mechanisms...Read more
Some researchers have tried to categorize cyclists’ levels of traffic stress utilizing facility or traffic data that can be readily measured in the field, such as motorized travel lanes, travel speeds, and type of bicycle infrastructure.
This seminar will present data and modeling results utilizing two novel data sources:
(a) real-world, on-road measurements of physiological stress as cyclists travel across different types of facilities and
(b) data collected utilizing a smartphone app called ORcycle (http://www.pdx.edu/transportation-lab/orcycle).
This presentation will discuss key findings and potential policy implications.
Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology is reshaping the civil engineering profession and offers many unique advantages. National efforts such as the 3D Elevation Plan (3DEP) are helping increase the availability of LIDAR data. LIDAR is one of the crucial technologies that is transitioning the world of civil and construction engineering from 2D paper-based design to 3D digital design. The high spatial resolution and accuracy capabilities of LIDAR have led to increased efficiencies, improved analyses, and more informed decision making.
A further advantage of this dataset is that multiple people can use the same dataset for a variety of purposes across multiple disciplines. The visual nature of the dataset also is more intuitive than traditional data acquisition and analysis techniques. This presentation will provide a brief background of LIDAR , its capabilities, limitations and platforms, and discuss its current and future role in civil engineering. Examples of a wide range of transportation, geotechnical, coastal, and structural engineering, science, and planning applications will be presented including development of mobile LIDAR guidelines for...Read more
In this seminar, Dr. Porter will explore the interactions of geometric design decisions, speed, and safety. A performance-based approach to this topic will be considered given the availability of several key documents, including the Highway Safety Manual and TRB's Modeling Operating Speed: Synthesis Report as well as a significant body of published research. A historical look at the design speed concept will show that while the design speed definition has changed on more than one occasion, the same basic but flawed philosophy that relates design speed to a “safe speed” is still reflected in supplemental guidance related to design speed selection in current design policy. A conservative approach to establishing design criteria, currently used to address the range of driver, vehicle, and roadway conditions and capabilities that a designer must consider, will be demonstrated. Resulting operating speeds will be shown to be higher than design speeds for design speeds of approximately 55 mph or less. This outcome may be considered undesirable from a safety perspective, but that categorization seems to be based more on...Read more
To be published later this spring is some of the first bicycle-focused research into shared space, a controversial urban design approach pioneered in the Netherlands in the 1990s.
Allison Duncan, a PhD candidate in urban studies & planning at Portland State University, earned a NITC dissertation fellowship in 2014 and used the research grant to study shared space intersections in the United Kingdom.
Shared space designs have recently been adopted at a handful of sites in the UK and others scattered across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. They are characterized by a lack of physical guidelines such as curbs, road surface markings and traffic signs to define who has the right-of-way.
The idea is for pedestrians, cars and bicycles to mingle in a common zone and use eye contact and natural communication to make sure no one gets hurt.
“Cyclists and pedestrians are supposed to be able to treat it more like a plaza and just cross where they want to, and drivers are supposed to yield,” Duncan said.
As a street design scheme, shared space isn’t exactly new. It’s more or less the way all streets were designed until the advent of cars, and is still the norm in many Asian countries where cars share the roads with a crowd of two- and three-wheeled...Read more