In 2016, road crashes resulted in 40,000 deaths and 4.6 million injuries in the United States. For young people under age 19, these collisions were the leading cause of death.

What if we could use technology to predict where vehicle collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists will occur, then take steps to prevent them? Would you want to help? Well, now you can.

Portland State University is particpating in a multi-city, multi-organizational partnership called Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero. As indicated in this ITE Journal Article, this technology development partnership aims to use footage from traffic cameras across North America to “teach” computers how to recognize near-miss collisions. Data from these machine learning systems will allow transportation engineers to predict where crashes will occur and take proactive measures to prevent them.

The partnership invites public participation in the next project milestone – using crowdsourcing to analyze video and teach computers to identify a person in a wheelchair, on a bike or in a car, as well as patterns of movement in intersections. The more volunteers who take part, the better computers will learn to recognize near-miss collisions.

To participate, visit: http://www.ite.org/visionzero/videoanalytics/.

Here’s how it works: volunteers will view...

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Transportation workforce development doesn't always take place at the university level. Students' interest in transportation can start much earlier than that, which is why TREC is always looking for ways to engage elementary and high school students in transportation. Under the guidance of Lisa Patterson, our new technology transfer and workforce development program manager, TREC's education programs continue to expand. Many of our education efforts focus on drawing women and minorities, who are often underrepresented in STEM fields, to consider the possibilities of transportation as a profession.

On May 20th, 2017 TREC hosted a ChickTech Workshop at Portland State University, offering a GIS “crash” course for high school girls.

The workshop, held in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) lab of PSU’s Engineering Building, consisted of a morning instruction session and an afternoon applied activity. The day also incorporated a lunchtime walking tour of active transportation infrastructure around the Portland State campus. The workshop was led by Kristina Currans and Sirisha Kothuri of Portland State University, and Becky Hewitt and Kyra Schneider of Angelo Planning Group.

The...

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Everyday cycling for transportation can have positive, population-level health impacts. Significant deterrents to cycling remain, however, particularly for women and minorities.

Narratives of Marginalized Cyclists, a NITC project conducted by Amy Lubitow of Portland State University, explores the experiences of women and minorities biking in Portland, Oregon.

Lubitow interviewed 28 Portlanders who self-identified as a woman or as a racial/ethnic minority (or both), and based on the insights gained from their stories, came up with a set of recommended interventions for planners to mitigate the barriers they experience.

"Institutionalized racism and sexism is hard to fix. These are complicated issues that involve multiple levels of interventions, but at a basic sort of smaller scale, there are things we can do," Lubitow said.

She chose participants who own a bike and ride it at least once a month, but not more than once a week. The primary aim of the project was to collect rich, narrative data regarding obstacles to routine or utilitarian cycling for women and minorities who already see biking as a viable form of transportation, but who make relatively few bike trips.

The interviews yielded a...

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A new NITC report examines factors that predict whether a driver will comply with Oregon laws aimed at keeping pedestrians safe.

Miguel Figliozzi of Portland State University, director of the Transportation, Technology & People (TTP) research lab, has done extensive work in Portland, Oregon modeling and analyzing the complex interactions between cars, transit, traffic signal technologies and human roadway users.

The research seeks to provide a better understanding of the tradeoffs between traffic mobility, transit performance and pedestrian access.

The first phase of Figliozzi’s research focused on how two advanced traffic control technologies work together. In this second phase, he zeroes in on pedestrian safety.

The report examines traffic and trajectory factors that explain whether a driver complies with Oregon law, which has strong pedestrian protections. In Oregon, drivers must stop for pedestrians as soon as they move onto the roadway in a crosswalk with the intent to proceed.

Oregon state law determines that there is a crosswalk at every intersection with or without a marked crosswalk. The state also requires that a driver, before crossing a crosswalk, stop and remain stopped for pedestrians until the pedestrians...

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Principal Investigator: Christopher Monsere, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by viewing the final report and related publications on the Project Overview page.

The Federal Highway Administration issued an interim approval for bike signals, based on the NITC project "Operational Guidance for Bicycle-Specific Traffic Signals." The project, selected in 2015 as one of AASHTO's "Sweet Sixteen" high-value research projects, has been widely cited and the research is instrumental in beginning to standardize the use and design of bicycle signals.

This video provides a look at what that means for jurisdictions in the United States:

The 2017 Oregon Active Transportation Summit is happening, and TREC and Portland State University are well represented.

The event began yesterday, March 20th, and continues through today at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. In a breakout session yesterday afternoon, TREC researchers Sirisha Kothuri and Tara Goddard presented along with Rebecca Sanders of Toole Design Group in a session titled “The Latest in Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Research” which explored systemic safety analysis, safety performance along road segments, and the psychology of roadway interactions.

Kothuri is a postdoctoral researcher and Goddard is a current Ph.D. candidate at Portland State. Both of them have been former NITC dissertation fellows, and Goddard presented her dissertation research on the effects of explicit and implicit attitudes on self-reported safety behaviors in yesterday’s session.

Both Kothuri and Goddard are also working on ongoing research through the NITC program. Goddard studies transportation psychology and Kothuri’s research centers on bicycle and pedestrian safety and signal timing.

Kothuri was also a presenter in a morning session yesterday, “Making...

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Hilltop Planning, a group of students from the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University, received a 2017 Student Project Award from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) for their Planning Workshop project, OHSU Night Access Plan.

The group took third prize in NITC's 2016 student video contest with their short video about the Night Access Plan:

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TREC, the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University, hosted a lunch and information session Friday for Portland State staff and faculty members.

The luncheon brought together individuals from a broad range of disciplines. In addition to people from typically transportation-aware fields like civil and environmental engineering, metropolitan studies, urban and regional planning, public administration and the institute for sustainable solutions, representatives of other disciplines also attended, whose fields have the potential to intersect with transportation.

The span of fields included engineering and technology management; public health; education; mathematics and statistics; electrical and computer engineering; psychology; geography; computer science; women, gender and sexuality studies; economics and applied linguistics.

The gathering served as a way to bring together a diverse group of people from various disciplines who could benefit from connecting with the transportation center’s ongoing programs and research.

Portland has established itself nationally and globally as a leader in sustainable transportation, thanks in part to Portland State research and education programs. Portland state’s renown in transportation lifts the entire university’s national reputation, and faculty members whose studies are not directly related to transportation can still benefit from this effect.

Connecting with TREC...

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Vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, is a standard indicator of how many vehicles use a roadway system. A similar metric for bicycles and pedestrians is needed in order to achieve livability goals. Such data can inform decision-making, facility design and planning, and safety analysis.

A NITC report from Portland State University evaluates three methods of calculating bicycle miles traveled (BMT) and pedestrian miles traveled (PMT) by applying them to Washington State.

The Washington State Pedestrian and Bicycle Miles Traveled Project was led by Krista Nordback, a former TREC research associate who is now a senior research associate at the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center.

The researchers used data from permanent counters when available; otherwise they used short-duration counts to extrapolate average annual daily bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

When the project began in 2012, only one permanent count site existed in Washington, and it only counted bicycles. Nordback’s team contacted state officials to advise that more counters would be helpful; the state listened and installed more counters. Now there are more than a dozen permanent bicycle and pedestrian counters scattered throughout Washington.

Nordback’s team investigated a survey-based method, a sample-based method, and an aggregate demand model...

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Members of the Portland State University student group STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning) met last Friday at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery for “TRB Aftershock.”

The event has become a tradition for PSU transportation students. 

Each January, Portland State graduate students travel to Washington, D.C., to present their research in front of a national audience at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board. 

The aftershock gathering is a chance for fellow students to see the research they presented and hear about the conference. 

Student posters from TRB were displayed in Rogue’s meeting room. NITC dissertation fellow Patrick Singleton presented his poster on conceptualizing and measuring the positive utility of travel, a product of his dissertation research.

NITC scholar Steven Gehrke presented a poster on activity-related land use mix and its connection to pedestrian travel.

Travis Glick, the outgoing STEP president, displayed his poster on measuring the determinants of bus dwell time, with new insights and potential data biases. 

Glick, who has served two terms as STEP’s president, also gave an...

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