PSU Graduating Transportation Students Plan For Active Transportation Equity & Access
Following the successful finish of Portland State's first-ever remote Spring Term, we're taking a moment to highlight the projects of students in transportation engineering and planning who worked through unusual pandemic conditions. See below for a recap of transportation student work that was wrapped up at the end of the 2019/2020 academic year. Last year's graduating masters of urban studies students focused on human-powered transportation, and this year's projects address a range of topics from improved active transportation infrastructure to equity and access.
Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Workshop Projects
Every year, graduating Master of Urban and Regional Planning students participate in a workshop project where they develop planning projects for clients in the community.
Roses from Concrete
Roses from Concrete is a walkability plan for Portland Metro’s Rosewood neighborhood, created by Walk & Roll Consulting (W&R). This plan seeks to address the challenges of being a pedestrian - emphasizing youth and older adults, in the historically disinvested Rosewood neighborhood. This is accomplished by providing tools for analyzing existing infrastructural deficiencies, research-based recommendations for contextualized capital improvements, and compiled perspectives from local residents and professionals, in order to catalyze improving the lives of people who live, walk, and roll within the Rosewood neighborhood.
The town of Hood River—hub of the scenic Columbia Gorge—is an important center in the Portland metropolitan region and is growing in popularity. However, Hood River has limited space to grow. The growth happening now and any future growth will need to happen on land already urbanized. New growth in Hood River will create a denser community with more residents and tourists needing a safe way to travel within the city. ODOT engaged Apiary Planning Group to create an active transportation network plan that would incorporate bicycle and pedestrian facilities into the existing facilities. The team created concepts for a reimagined Cascade Avenue to act as a gateway from The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail State Trail into Hood River.
Clackamas Community College Shuttle Service and Access Plan
Addressing transportation-related barriers is an essential part of Clackamas Community College's mission to make education more accessible. This plan provides a student-centered analysis of barriers that make it difficult for students with limited access to personal vehicles to access CCC’s Oregon City and Harmony campuses and identifies strategies to overcome them. The plan focuses on the CCC Xpress Shuttle, which sees over 26,500 trips per academic year, and on the compounded barriers facing students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities.
Civil & Environmental Engineering Capstone Projects
Capstone projects completed by students in the Civil & Environmental Engineering department are preliminary studies to take a first look at real-world transportation challenges in the Portland area.
Reimagining NW 13th: A Better Block PSU Project
The objective of this project was to improve the pedestrian experience and safety along NW 13th Avenue between NW Davis Street and NW Hoyt Street. The group explored how ot provide enhanced pedestrian and micro mobility usability of the space, while recreating a balance in the amount of cars and people, reducing vehicular traffic and making NW 13th a shared, friendlier road. Among the changes they envisioned were the addition of curb extensions, corner plazas, and flexible rideshare zones as well as activity zones to replace curbside parking.
PS1 Traffic Improvement
Located at the heart of Portland State University, Parking structure 1 (PS1) serves as a general parking lot for students, faculty, and visitors to the school. The Transportation and Parking Services Department at PSU has identified slow vehicle egress and pedestrian/vehicle conflicts as their two primary concerns with PS1. During peak hours, (2pm-4pm), cars are slow to egress with only two exits serving the entire structure. Pedestrians, a majority of which are associated with the university, use the sidewalks adjacent to PS1. This Capstone Group has designed an exit at the west side of the parking structure, which will allow all cars to exit directly onto SW Broadway St. to alleviate congestion while providing for pedestrian safety.
Greenway Improvement Study
The Portland Metro area has expanded dramatically in the past decade. Traffic congestion and air quality have suffered due to this population boom. Increasing the number of bicycles on the road is a part of the solution to this issue. This project aims to assist Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) planners increase the use of the Neighborhood Greenways network through low cost roadway treatments. The purpose of this project is to measure how extra design elements impact user comfort on the SE Salmon Street Neighborhood Greenway from the intersections of SE 7th Avenue up to SE 28th Avenue.
Montgomery St. Plaza
Thesis and Dissertations
Steven Howland (Urban Studies PhD) completed his dissertation titled “I Should Have Moved Somewhere Else': The Impacts of Gentrification on Transportation and Social Support for Black Working-Poor Families in Portland, Oregon” focused on qualitative data from in-depth interviews.
Michael McQueen (CEE) completed his civil engineering master’s thesis “Comparing the Promise and Reality of E-Scooters” looking at the impacts of e-scooter pricing, travel time, attitudes towards modes, parking cost, and more on travel mode decisions to the PSU campus. Read our full story next month in the TREC newsletter.
- Wei Shi (Urban Studies PhD) completed her dissertation titled "The Impacts of the Bicycle Network on Bicycling Activity: A Longitudinal Multi-City Approach"
Transportation Students Central to Research Projects
Non-thesis research where PSU students were centrally involved as graduate research assistants or other roles in 2019 - 2020:
Gabby Abou-Zeid (CEE) worked with Kelly Clifton on a PBOT project looking at passenger and freight trip generation at multifamily housing.
Minji Cho (Urban Studies PhD) worked with Jennifer Dill and Jenny Liu on research for Portland Metro on the economic impacts of active transportation investments.
Matthew Cramer (MURP) worked with John MacArthur and Aaron Golub to research the impact automated fare payments may have on vulnerable community members as transit agencies modernize their fare payment systems.
Minju Kim (Urban Studies PhD) worked with John MacArthur and Jennifer Dill looking at the sustainability and accessibility impacts of shared e-scooter operations during the 2019-2020 Portland Pilot Program - specifically, scooter operations on VMT, including scooter deployment, rebalancing, and charging.
Kyuri Kim (Urban Studies PhD) worked with Jennifer Dill, Hau Hagedorn and Tammy Lee in transportation data analysis and visualization (including BikePed Portal and OHSU Census data) and a review of existing research for a research roadmap for AASHTO's Council on Active Transportation.
Jaime Orrego (CEE-PhD) is working on a joint NITC/ODOT project to make the state strategic planning model, VisionEval, more bicycle savvy.
Ana Navia Pelaez (MURP) has been working with Jennifer Dill and Nathan McNeil on a review of existing research for a research roadmap for AASHTO's Council on Active Transportation.
Max Nonnamaker (MURP) worked with Portland Metro and Jennifer Dill on background research for Metro's Regional Mobility Policy Update.
Nicholas Puczkowskyj (Urban Studies PhD) worked with Jennifer Dill and John MacArthur to examine the impacts of e-scooter operations on VMTs in Portland, OR.
Baxter Shandobil (MURP) worked with Kelly Clifton and John MacArthur on a PBOT project looking at benchmarking VMT.
Nora Stoelting (MURP) joined TREC to work on education programming through integrating tactical urbanism projects into PSU classes and designing and running TREC's free summer camp for Oregon high school students.
Huijun Tan (Urban Studies PhD) has been working with Nathan McNeil and John MacArthur on new ways of connecting traditionally underserved communities to comprehensive set of transportation options represented by new technologies
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.