TREC Director Jennifer Dill Named Editor-in-Chief of Transportation Research Record

posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Jennifer Dill, director of Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), has been named the inaugural editor-in-chief of the Transportation Research Record (TRR). The TRR—the flagship journal of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board (TRB)—is one of the most cited and prolific transportation journals in the world, offering wide coverage of transportation-related topics.

While maintaining her current role as the director of TREC, Dill will begin her duties at TRR on July 15, collaborating with the TRR team and TRB volunteers to enhance the journal’s role in improving the nation's transportation system through high-quality research.

"The Transportation Research Record and TRB have played key roles in my scholarly and professional career. My very first peer-reviewed journal article was published in TRR based on research I did as an undergraduate student with my mentor, Dr. Dan Sperling. That opportunity opened my eyes to the possibility of being a researcher and professor," Dill said.

Prior to entering academia, Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner at the federal and regional levels. When she first...

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Transportation decision-makers typically use benefit-cost analysis (BCA) to evaluate the tradeoffs of transportation projects. However, it is difficult to produce state-specific measures that are multimodal and can consistently evaluate the full range of public and private benefits and costs for Oregonians.

Supported by a $200,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Jenny Liu of Portland State University will lead a research effort to develop an Oregon-specific, multimodal framework for transportation benefit-cost analysis.

Having a framework specifically tailored to Oregon can help ODOT make informed decisions on infrastructure, policies and support programs based on information about the economic and societal impacts of each transportation mode.

Launched in May 2024, the project, "Mode-Based Benefit-Cost Analysis Calculator" aims to create an easy-to-update Oregon BCA framework to compare transportation benefits and costs for better policy, program, and investment assessments. The research will also develop a methodology that incorporates equity and distributional assessments into the multimodal BCA framework. This will contribute to ODOT’s Strategic...

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The need for improving active transportation safety and mobility is clear: Nationally, since 2004, the share of all road user deaths that are pedestrians has risen from just under 11% to nearly 17% in 2020. Cyclists’ share of all fatalities has also increased over the past decade, from 2.1% in 2011 to 2.4% in 2020.. In many cases, solutions are also clear: for example, there are numerous evidence-based approaches to making walking and bicycling safer and more comfortable through improved infrastructure. So if the needs and solutions are clear, why are we not progressing more quickly toward improved road safety and better active transportation options?

In many ways, walking, bicycling, and rolling have not been a top priority for state departments of transportation (DOTs). Changing agency practice is essential: DOTs need research to help them better implement active transportation effectively and seamlessly.

This is the objective of a newly launched project, funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). Over two years, researchers will create an active transportation institutionalization guide to help state DOTs change their culture and processes and integrate active transportation into every stage of their work, from program development and project funding to project delivery, operations and maintenance.


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Shared micromobility (including shared electric scooters and bikes provided by private companies) is one of the newest transportation options that has come to cities in the last several decades. A new report explores the different ways cities charge shared micromobility companies to operate, and how these funds are used.

In the newly released report, John MacArthur of Portland State University, Kevin Fang of Sonoma State University and Calvin Thigpen of Lime examine data from 120 cities in 16 countries around the world. They also conducted a survey of cities’ shared micromobility program managers, with responses representing 33 jurisdictions in North America.

Download the report: "Taxing shared micromobility: assessing the global landscape of fees and taxes and their implications for cities, riders, and operators (PDF)"

"This study builds our understanding of a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of cities, riders, and micromobility operators: how to run a system that is affordable for riders while also remaining financially sustainable for micromobility operators. In the last 6 months alone, the industry has seen substantial upheaval through mergers, bankruptcies, and closures. So as...

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This is a reprint of a news story originally published by the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning.

Congratulations to Toulan School Assistant Professor Dr. Ozcan Tunalilar, inaugural recipient of the Arthur C. and Monika Z. Nelson Endowed Scholar Award, and Urban Studies doctoral candidate Minju Kim, inaugural recipient of the Nelson Endowed Doctoral Award.

The awards were established by PSU alumni Dr. Arthur Christian “Chris” Nelson and his wife Monika to support emerging scholars in the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA). Dr. Nelson was inspired to create these awards because he himself received financial aid at a critical moment as a graduate student.

The Scholar Award supports new and early career faculty, as determined by the Dean of CUPA. The fund will supplement university funding for the recruitment and retention of early career faculty. The Doctoral Award supports doctoral students enrolled in CUPA with an approved dissertation proposal.

About our Nelson Scholar

Dr. Ozcan "Ozzy" Tunalilar is an Assistant Professor at the...

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In a new project that's just getting underway, Portland State University researchers will work with researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill to develop tools and a decision-making process to proactively design and retrofit roadways to make them safer. 

Led by Sirisha Kothuri of the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science and supported by the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the effort aims to help WSDOT implement a Safe System Approach to prevent dangerous crashes. They intend to implement safe systems in conjunction with another principle embraced by WSDOT and many other transportation agencies, the Complete Streets concept. Complete Streets is a planning and design method that prioritizes safe access for all road users.

"PSU along with UNC is excited to help WSDOT implement the Safe System Approach to road safety within the Complete Streets context. This work aims to reduce crashes for all road users generally, and in particular to eliminate fatal and serious injury crashes," Kothuri said.


As described by the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), the Safe System Approach has been embraced by the transportation community as an effective way to address and mitigate the risks inherent in our transportation system. It works...

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Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) maintains two large, public transportation data lakes: PORTAL and BikePed Portal. The latest round of funding for PORTAL, in the amount of $1.6 million, was awarded in February 2024 and will cover PORTAL's activities through the next five years. BikePed Portal, too, recently received $100K for another year of funding, and both are the focus of some exciting innovations in transportation data.

The two centralized data repositories, unique both in their size and in the fact that they are accessible (PORTAL is freely available to the public, and BikePed Portal has limited public access as well), are supported by multiple federal, state, and regional agencies. Federal funding for PORTAL comes from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'s Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding, suballocated by Metro’s ...

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Each year, the Portland Chapter of WTS awards scholarships to assist exceptional women in their educational pursuits in the field of transportation. The scholarships are competitive and selections are based on the applicant’s goals, academic achievements, and transportation related activities.

Three of the six scholarship winners this year are Portland State University (PSU) transportation students. Eun Jun Choi, Holly Querin, and Isa Swain will be presented with the awards during the 2024 WTS Scholarships and Awards Gala, which will be held Wednesday, April 17 in Portland.

Congratulations to the 2024 WTS scholars of PSU!

Eun Jun Choi: Jannet Walker-Ford Leadership Legacy Scholarship

Eun Jun Choi is a second-year doctoral student in Urban Studies with research interests in transportation planning, equity... Read more

Portland's Old Town neighborhood is getting a new skatepark, and a team of PSU transportation students were instrumental in bringing the project from idea to reality. 

Given the project of activating a vacant lot on the west side of the Steel Bridge by transforming it into a community skatepark, students in the Spring 2023 bike-pedestrian planning class created a set of design options, a weighted decision matrix, and a memorandum of existing conditions for the site. They also developed performance measures to determine how best to meet the project's objectives of activating the space, creating a welcoming environment, and stimulating local business activity.

Their work provided a basis for ongoing conversations with stakeholders around the project, which ultimately resulted in a green light: Funding for the new skatepark was announced in January by Commissioner Dan Ryan, who oversees Portland Parks & Recreation. Work is slated to begin this spring on property acquisition, community engagement and design of the 35,000 square foot facility.

"Getting to see this skatepark regularly...

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The transportation safety crisis in America persists. People walking and riding bikes are more at risk than ever of being injured or killed, and those who manage transportation systems—in our case, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and tribes—are in urgent need of more and better data to make walking and bicycling safer and more attractive.

Data can be a powerful tool for agencies in determining which bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects are most critical. Decision makers are pushing to increase walking and cycling rates to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Transportation engineers and planners are looking for solutions to achieving vision zero goals and making all road users feel safer while walking, cycling, and rolling. Health professionals see active transportation for daily needs as a long-term solution to a wide range of chronic diseases. Significant new sources of infrastructure funding can support investments that could help reverse the trend of increasing pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities and the stagnating trends of cycling and walking for transportation. Despite the clear need, decision makers and professionals do not always have the data and tools necessary to make informed decisions.

A research team led by Portland State University has been contracted by the National...

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The Better Block PSU program at Portland State University (PSU) has opened the annual call for community organizations to reimagine their streets and underused public spaces in a way to bring people together and reclaim it for their community’s future. 

A partnership between the public spaces advocacy nonprofit Better Block PDX and the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU, students in the Better Block PSU program have developed plans and designs for many community-driven projects that promote equitable placemaking, community building, and active transportation–including the well-known Better Naito project. What began as a PSU student-led initiative for safer and higher capacity bicycle and pedestrian facilities along the Waterfront Park, has gained so much public support that it was permanently implemented by the City of Portland.

Integrated into PSU planning and engineering classes, these projects can be powerful demonstrations of community-...

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