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Authored by Malia Knapp-Rossi, Project Manager Intern at Better Block PDX and Master of Urban and Regional Planning Student at Portland State University.

Better Block PDX, a public spaces advocacy nonprofit, has spent the last four years working with Portland State University (PSU) students to develop design and implementation plans for community-driven transportation projects. Read about Better Block project milestones. In collaboration with PSU faculty, PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS), graduate-level urban planning and engineering students, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, and community organizations—Better Block PDX created the annual PSU Project Pathway program.

This Pathway program empowers PSU students and the greater Portland community to collaborate on low cost, transportation projects to serve neighborhood needs. These D.I.Y urbanism projects are fully integrated into the academic curriculum. The next generation of engineers and planners develop detailed traffic plans, public participation events, and transportation performance measures in order to create a safe and effective implementation path. The Pathway program provides a practicum experience for PSU students, increases capacity for community organizations, and has been successful at influencing policy and leading to permanent changes in...

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Principal Investigator: Aaron Golub, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page, or watching a recording of the January 2019 webinar.

Since 1994, every Federal agency must develop a strategy for addressing “environmental justice” (EJ) – the disproportionately adverse human health or environmental effects on low-income and minority populations (sometimes called “EJ Populations”). In transportation planning this means including those communities' voices in the planning process, and evaluating the social impacts early on in the planning and project development process.

But what happens if EJ Populations move or grow during the sometimes decade-long project development process?

"If you're in a community that is changing, can you rely on forecasting to look ahead and have a detailed view of EJ impacts into the...

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Mike McQueen

The Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce that Mike McQueen, a first year master's student studying transportation, has been awarded the Young Professionals in Transportation StreetLight Graduate Fellowship. He was also one of seven Portland State University students to be awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship at this year's annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) is an international nonprofit coalition of organizations which helps provide professional development, fellowship, and networking for young professionals in the transportation field. This is the first year that YPT has offered the Graduate Fellowship award, thanks to a partnership with StreetLight Data, a transportation analytics firm. Mike was selected from an international pool of applicants.

The award includes a plaque, one year of YPT membership, a monetary scholarship, and one month of access to StreetLight Insight. Insight is a platform that transforms anonymous, archival location data derived from millions of mobile devices into useful metrics that describe travel patterns. Mike plans to use the StreetLight Insight to assist his research endeavors.

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NITC presents Transportation and Communities 2019 featuring Keynote Ben Wellington of iQuant NY

We’ve been hosting an annual summit that connects national mobility-focused research to local practice for eleven years now. Registration for Transportation and Communities Summit 2019 is now open, and this year we’re focusing our attention on three key themes: Intersection of Transportation and Housing / Land Use; New Mobility in Active Transportation; and Multimodal Data: Collecting, Processing, Analyzing, and Using.

In exploring the multimodal data theme further, we’re excited to welcome our keynote Ben Wellington—a data scientist and policy analyst from New York, NY. The founder of I Quant NY, his data analysis has influenced local government policy including changes in NYC street infrastructure, the way New Yorkers pay for cabs and the design of NYC subway vending machines, and made it’s way to TEDTalks “Making Data Mean More Through Storytelling” and “How We Found the Worst Place to Park in New York City — using Big Data”.

Across the world, the Open Data movement is growing and more and more cities are releasing data to the public. As citizens push for more...

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Cars waiting at a traffic signal
Principal Investigator: Gerardo Lafferriere, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Automobile traffic congestion in urban areas comes with significant economic and social costs for everyone. According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Report, the total additional cost of congestion was $160 billion. As more people move to metropolitan areas, the problems only intensify. The latest NITC report offers a new approach to urban traffic signal control based on network consensus control theory which is computationally efficient, responsive to local congestion, and at the same time has the potential for congestion management at the network level.

Traffic signals represent a significant bottleneck. As cars queue up at a stoplight, then gradually move again once the light turns green, incremental delays are introduced and compounded by this bottleneck. Exploiting new developments in communication, sensing and intelligent infrastructure systems, our opportunities...

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WTS Portland 2018 Scholars - Polina Polikakhina, Stephanie Lonsdale, and Sabina Roan

Three Portland State University students from the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Nohad Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning received 2018 WTS Portland scholarshipsEach year, the Portland Chapter of WTS bestows scholarships to assist exceptional women in their educational pursuits in the field of transportation. The scholarships are competitive and based on the applicant’s specific goals, academic achievements, and transportation related activities.

WTS is an international organization that supports women in transportation through professional development, mentorship, leadership training, and so much more to support their advancement in the transportation profession. We're proud to be a local partner with the Portland Chapter of WTS, even more so of these students advancing their transportation careers and the recognition for their achievements so far.

Through our national research center housed here at TREC, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC...

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Authored by Stefanie Knowlton, Communications Specialist for the Digital City Testbed Center at Portland State University

With her smart phone in one hand and a leash for her guide dog in the other, Portland State University student Katie Durden tested the latest in indoor navigation to explore the PSU library this week.

“Main Elevator. Six Yards,” said a female voice from her phone.

Durden was one of about 200 people who attended PSU’s Mobility Matters 2019 conference to learn about emerging technology and design to help everyone access safe and reliable transportation. Disability specialists, urban planners, engineers, transportation professionals, students and community members converged to share ideas.

“Today is the day to share your challenges and your frustrations and help each other be more creative in how you approach designing and planning for transportation,” said Jennifer Dill, professor and director of PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), which coordinated the event with the College of Education and support from Digital City Testbed Center. 

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Pedestrians crossing a street
Principal Investigator: Kelly Clifton, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

The latest NITC report offers improved tools for pedestrian modeling.

Led by Kelly Clifton of Portland State University, researchers had previously created the the MoPeD pedestrian demand model as well as a pedestrian index of the environment (PIE) for forecasting pedestrian travel. The PIE index improved the sensitivity of walk trip models by incorporating contextual features of the built environment that affect walking behavior in the Portland, Oregon region. Read about Clifton's previous body of work on context-specific modeling.

Useful for academic researchers in transportation, Clifton's research provides a framework for incorporating pedestrian travel behavior forecasts into traditional four-step travel demand models.

Since the method was based on Portland, the next step was to adapt the tools for wider use. In this new report, Clifton and...

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Bridge tour

We're offering two week-long transportation residence camps at Portland State University this summer:

June 23–29 Oregon Summer Transportation Institute 2019 at Portland State University

July 14–20 National Summer Transportation Institute 2019 at Portland State University

We are looking for Residential Counselors to provide supervision for campers and ensure their safety and well-being. Counselors are expected to serve as leaders, boundary setters, and role models throughout the program, including during class time. Counselors are available to the campers and staff 24 hours per day during the camp session. During the day when campers are in class, counselors will assist in the classroom and be of general assistance to the other program directors and instructors. All counselors will be in residence on the Campus for the duration of the Institute.

Interested in applying? Download the job description (PDF) for more information.

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...

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Pedestrians cross near a light rail amid mixed-use development

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2019 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by March 29, 2019.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award up to $1,000,000 to research projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

  • Increasing access to opportunities
  • Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure
  • Advancing innovation and smart cities
  • Developing data, models, and tools

2019 RESEARCH PRIORITIES

The NITC Advisory Board has provided input into several research priorities that relate to multimodal transportation data and the transportation-land use-housing connection. NITC is prioritizing the funding of proposals that directly addresses research questions related to:

Developing Data, Models and Tools. Agencies are confronting a plethora of new mobility options along with new data sources to support transportation research, planning, and analysis. Several priority research areas have been identified to increase understanding: 

  • Collection of multimodal...
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