PSU Graduating Transportation Students Plan For Active Transportation Equity & Access

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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

Walk and Roll Consulting team: Timothy Martinez, Shreya Jain, Matthew Cramer, Gwynn Mackellan, Sarah Bermudez, Walle Brown

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.

Cascade 30

Apiary Planning team: Jeff Broderick, Timothy DuBois, Seth Healy, Henry Miller, Elisha Ransom, Justin Sherrill

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

Conexion Studio team: Shiori Azumaya, Ryan McKinnon, Christina Winberry, Daisy Quinonez, Baxter Shandobil, Andre Lightsey-Walker

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

Project Team: Aziz Alsalman, Musaed Alqattan, Mohamed Ajina, Brandon Chao, Sarah Crisp, Dylan Jennings

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

Project Team: Ali Abulhassan, Marwa Mohammed Ali, Erin Benton, Gabryel Galvez, Tucker Kaus, Tinh Vo

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 

Project Team: Abdulla Abulhassan, Yousuf Binmahfoodh, Domingo Fernandez, KaSia Herr, Phillip Stout, Lynn Tran

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

Project Team: Abdulla ‘AJ’ Al Rujaib, Patrick McCoy, Polina Polikakhina, Travis Pyles, Brent Saechao, Lucina Selva

The Portland State University Campus Planning Office is currently working with the City of Portland to permanently close SW Montgomery Street to vehicular traffic. PSU has renamed this project site to Montgomery Street Plaza (MSP) to highlight their efforts in the permanent transformation of the block into an open public space. The purpose for this project is threefold: 1) Increase the pedestrian connectivity within PSU’s campus, 2) Provide safer navigation on foot and by bike, and 3) Increase car-free spaces that promote community interactions. The project team analyzed four possible alternatives and proposed several design solutions to complete the plaza, facilitate the flow of pedestrian and bicycle traffic through the space, and manage stormwater in a sustainable way.


Thesis and Dissertations


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:

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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