Portland State University and Toole Design Create Active Transportation "Research Roadmap" to Guide AASHTO’s National Research Agenda

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Interested in active transportation research? What’s been done? What should be done? 

We’re excited to share the release of the Research Roadmap for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Council on Active Transportation (CAT). The Roadmap was created to foster research that will address important active transportation needs at the state DOT level and beyond. 

Funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), a team of researchers from the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University (PSU) and Toole Design prepared the Research Roadmap over the past 18 months. They reviewed existing and on-going active transportation research, identified key research needs from a wide range of sources, and held outreach activities with practitioners to refine and prioritize those needs.

The project offers guidance on where active transportation research has been, and where it should go next in developing speed management strategies to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety on arterial roadways, determining context-driven optimal spacing between marked crosswalks, addressing racial and economic disparities in safety improvements, refining guidance on bicycle signal timing, overcoming barriers to implementing active transportation in planning and engineering practice, and many more research questions:

  • The Research Roadmap provides an introduction and description of the process and methods used to develop the Roadmap. Most importantly, it includes a set of 110 research needs that are grouped into four levels of priority, as well assigned one of six primary topical areas: Data; Design; Equity and Accessibility; Planning; Policy and Practice; Safety; or Technology and Micromobility.
  • The Research Review summarizes the existing and ongoing research on 22 topics. These summaries informed the Research Roadmap, and for each topic it dives into what we already know; how research is being done; current research underway; existing reviews; TRID index terms; and other relevant insights.
  • A February 2, 2022 Webinar provides an overview of the Research Roadmap.

The team also prepared a Continuity and Implementation Plan for the AASHTO CAT, along with a tracking tool. The NCHRP 20-123(02) project page includes more detailed information.

The PSU team was led by Jennifer Dill, and included Nathan McNeil, Christopher Monsere, Sirisha Kothuri, and John MacArthur. PSU graduate students Ana Navia Peláez and Kyuri Kim assisted with the Research Review. Stefanie Brodie led the team from Toole Design, which included Jessica Schoner, Jeremy Chrzan, James Elliot, Christina Fink, Talia Jacobson, Belinda Judelman, and Frank Proulx. Jacobson and Judelman are alums of the PSU Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program. 

Photo by Cait McCusker

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.

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