The Portland Streetcar

Smart City PDX Pilot: NITC Researchers Take Connected Vehicle Technology for a Test Run on Portland Streetcar

posted on Thursday, August 23, 2018, 12:15pm PDT
Principal Investigators: Kristin Tufte, Portland State University; Larry Head, University of Arizona
Project Overview: NITC Connected Vehicle Platform / Connected Streetcar Project (pending name change)

Learn more about this and other "Smart Cities" technology by registering for this September 14 workshop.

Connected Vehicle (CV) technology is coming to Portland, Oregon. We're excited to announce the first step in what could be a long-term game changer for the city: during the winter of 2018, researchers from Portland State University and University of Arizona will work with the City of Portland to deploy a test concept of CV tech on the Portland Streetcar.

Primarily funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Connected Streetcar Project is one of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) 2018 Smart Cities pilot projects, and also part of the city’s ...

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A bicyclists rides down a neighborhood greenway
Principal Investigator: Jenny Liu, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report, or watching the January 2018 seminar on the Project Overview page.

Portland, Oregon's 2035 Comprehensive Plan calls for “City Greenways” - a citywide network of park-like streets focused on moving pedestrians and bicycles safely. Such a connected network of safe, welcoming active transportation options could have significant benefits for residents—but which residents?

Benefits of bike and pedestrian infrastructure include environmentally sustainable transportation, livability, and improvements in economic development and public health. While these outcomes are well documented, it is also known that both transportation and environmental amenities are typically unevenly distributed in the urban context....

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Left: Bicycles on a trail; Right: Young woman buying transit pass

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is soliciting proposals for our two 2018 Pooled Fund projects:

RFP now open; proposals due Oct 1, 2018

This project will address the need of cities and municipalities to combine bicycle data from different sources (such as manual counts, automatic counts, and crowd-sourced data from apps such as Strava) to assess an accurate accounting of bicycle traffic on a network. Current work on data fusion techniques is limited and additional research is needed to fully understand the choice of weighting techniques, inclusion of spatial vs. temporal variation in the weighting scheme and exploring other...

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People looking at laptops
Principal Investigator: Liming Wang, Portland State University
Learn more about this curriculum and how you can apply it at your school by viewing the one-page Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Missed this class? Sign up for a full-day workshop: R for Transportation Data Science: Application and Best Practices, September 14.

"Scientific Computing for Planners, Engineers, and Scientists," our data science course for transportation professionals, has completed its second year and continues to help planners and engineers improve their data processing workflows.

Taking an ocean of numbers and converting it into compelling infographics, charts and narratives that communicate results is a key part of the transportation profession, and a daunting challenge. That's why we created this week-long data science course. It's also why we're offering a one-day workshop that focuses specifically on transportation...

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Electric Car Charging
Principal Investigator: John MacArthur, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is changing dramatically in the United States, and zero-emissions vehicles could replace internal combustion engine automobiles in the near future. Oregon has one of the highest per-capita EV sales markets in the country, and has declared an ambitious goal of complete electrification of the private automobile industry by 2050. This makes Oregon a prime testing ground for the climate-friendly vehicles.

A new study conducted by John MacArthur, a researcher at the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University, analyzed survey responses from 4,069 EV owners in Oregon to identify the biggest challenges and opportunities for the emerging industry. Some key findings:

  • EV owners demonstrated a high level of satisfaction with their vehicles;...
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Student Work

With the departing class of 2018, we wanted to shine a light on a group of graduating Portland State University (PSU) masters students that focused their studies and expertise on transportation. 

Three groups of PSU students finishing the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program chose to do workshop projects that tackled a specific transportation issue in the Portland area. Michael Harpool, a graduate of PSU's Master of Urban Studies (MUS) program, wrote his masters thesis on utilitarian skateboarding.

Masters in Urban and Regional Planning(MURP) projects:

 

Elevating People: Planning for Equitable Travel to Marquam Hill

Elevating People intersects with OHSU’s vision for diversity and inclusion and their goals to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips and promote the increased use of...

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Class group photo

For the third year in a row, it was our pleasure to host the Oregon Summer Transportation Institute (OSTI) at Portland State University (PSU), a free two-week residential camp open to high school girls. This past July, our camp,  introduced twenty-three Oregonians to the transportation profession. The end goal? Our hope is to build an awareness in young women of transportation careers and inspire them to pursue areas of STEM study not traditionally open to them.

Made possible with support from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), this free camp was led by Lisa Patterson, the Technology Transfer and Workforce Development Program Manager for PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). The camp featured guest lectures by local professional women from ODOT, PSU, TREC, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), , TriMet, moovel, Roosevelt High School, eBay, Multnomah County, Toole Design Group, Alta Planning + Design, DKS Associates, Jarrett Walker + Associates, and Nelson\Nygaard. See photos from this year’s camp.

Students worked in groups on their “two week projects” to analyze and propose solutions for five...

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Stock image of bicycles

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2018 Small Starts request for proposals (RFP). Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by September 17, 2018.

The Small Starts grant assists researchers (based at NITC partner universities) who are interested in transportation but have not had an opportunity to undertake a small project ($20,000 or less). Read about the Small Starts projects that were funded in 2017. Projects must be consistent with NITC's theme of improving the 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

Key Dates

  • RFP Opens: July 18, 2018
  • Proposals due: September 17, 2018
  • Award Selection: Sept-Oct 2018
  • Projects begin & funds become available: December...
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Biketown Station

This article was authored by Kurt Bedell of Portland State University Media and Public Relations, and cross-posted from Portland State University News.

Portland State University students may now ride Portland’s iconic bright orange BIKETOWN bikes for free.

Thanks to a new agreement between PSU and BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike share program, current Portland State students may now ride any available BIKETOWN bike up to 90-minutes per day at no cost by signing up for a student membership online.

BIKETOWN is Portland’s city-owned bike share program, which provides 1,000 shared bikes at over 100 stations across downtown and several neighborhoods. The PSU campus is now considered a Super Hub Zone, which means that BIKETOWN bikes may be parked in any public bike rack on the PSU campus without penalty. Previously BIKETOWN bikes could only be parked and locked in BIKETOWN stations and other designated areas or riders would incur a $2 penalty.

“Portland State is already among the top five most bicycle-friendly colleges and universities in the nation,” said Clint Culpepper, PSU’s transportation options manager. “With eligible free BIKETOWN rides...

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A blindfolded woman navigates a wheelchair up a ramp

On Sunday, July 1, blindfolded Portland State University (PSU) students were seated in wheelchairs, struggling not to drop their long white canes while using both hands to roll between obstacles. Taking turns under simulated low-vision and mobility conditions, they attempted to follow the spoken instructions of orientation and mobility instructor Scott Crawford. Many of these PSU students hope to one day have a job like his.

Crawford has over 27 years teaching experience working with Blind and Low Vision individuals. He travels around the United States giving hands-on lessons in orientation and mobility, and PSU Assistant Professor Amy Parker was excited to host him as a guest lecturer at TriMet's indoor Transit Mobility Center in Northwest Portland. In addition to teaching, Parker is the coordinator of PSU’s new Orientation and Mobility Program under the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and her students are learning to be O&M specialists. Unaccustomed to navigating in wheelchairs, much less blindfolds, the students learned invaluable lessons as they fumbled, took wrong turns and bumped into guard rails. See photos from the event.

This workshop is just the latest in a...

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