Friday Transportation Seminar: The Urban Freight System and Its Supporting Infrastructure

Friday, November 19, 2021, 11:30am to 12:30pm PST
Gabriela Girón-Valderrama, PBOT
Free and open to the public
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online at 11:30 AM. 



The urban freight system is essential for the livability of any city. In the last decade, densification, the growth of e-commerce, and the changing mobility ecosystem have amplified commercial vehicles' (CV) challenges navigating the city streets or finding adequate space to park.

Much of the current research and transportation planning efforts at the urban scale have focused on passenger mobility, giving little attention to CV flows and their parking behavior. Furthermore, collecting CV data at the urban scale is challenging as this sector is fragmented, and its operations are complex, fast-changing, and heterogeneous. This results in local governments having limited insight into CV operations when developing appropriate and data-driven initiatives and policy measures.

In response to this urban challenge, this research focuses on the need for cities and researchers to collect comprehensive and high-quality data; and develop evidence-based knowledge about CV operations and their supporting infrastructure. This research combines a set of empirical case studies and analytical research including:

  1. Documenting and analyzing urban CV parking patterns,
  2. Developing and implements a comprehensive vehicle classification system focusing on the CV's heterogeneity, and
  3. Conducting an unsupervised data mining method to discover and evaluate temporal and spatial CV traffic variations.


  • Learn about the complexity and heterogeneity of the urban commercial operations.
  • Learn about the on-street load/unload infrastructure and commercial vehicle parking operations.
  • Learn about data gaps in the current understanding of the urban freight system and the characterization of daily commercial vehicle traffic flow patterns.


Gabriela Girón-Valderrama, Portland Bureau of Transportation

Gabriela Giron-Valderrama served as the Urban Freight Coordinator at PBOT. Before joining PBOT, Gabriela worked as a Predoctoral Research Associate at the Supply Transportation and Logistics Center, contributing and leading novel research in the urban freight field. She directly collaborated with the lab’s public and private sector partners to work on solving problems relevant to urban good delivery system in the City of Seattle. These research efforts have resulted in the development of a new body of works, several publications in peer- reviewed journals, city reports, and new city protocols for urban freight infrastructure design and management.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Photo by CaptureLight/iStock

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The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.