Sponsor: National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
Research Team Lead: Dr. Bahar Dadashova, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Investigators: Christopher Monsere, Sirisha Kothuri and Nathan McNeil of Portland State University; and Toole Design Group

In recent years, there have been over 600 bicyclist fatalities annually in the United States. This sobering statistic has motivated a number of recent studies, including the recently released National Transportation Safety Board study, “Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures (PDF). ” That report notes that midblock crashes account for a disproportionate number of bicyclist fatalities and severe crashes, and that separated on-street bicycle facilities may reduce the likelihood of these crashes. However, there are only limited data on the safety outcomes of separated on-street bikeways in the U.S., despite their increasing popularity...

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A national non-motorized count data archive, BikePed Portal provides a centralized standard count database for public agencies, researchers, educators, and other curious members of the public to view and download bicycle and pedestrian count data. It includes automated and manual counts from across the country, and supports screenline and turning movement counts.

BikePed Portal was established in 2015 by Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) researchers at Portland State University through a pooled fund grant administered by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). Other project partners include the Federal Highway Administration, Oregon Department of Transportation, Metro, Lane Council of Governments, Central Lane MPO, Bend MPO, Mid Willamette Valley Council of Governments, Rogue Valley Council of Governments, City of Boulder, City of Austin, Cycle Oregon, and Oregon Community Foundation.

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A new paper in the Journal of Planning Literature by Michael McQueen, Gabriella Abou-Zeid, John MacArthur and Kelly Clifton of PSU took a look at micromobility. The article focuses on the role of new modes like shared e-scooters in the efforts to cultivate a more sustainable transportation system by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing a reliable and equitable transportation service, and enhancing the human experience. Their review of the literature shows that the sustainability impacts of these modes are at present mixed, and are likely to remain so without more targeted interventions by local stakeholders. Yet, the operations and use of micromobility systems are quickly evolving and hold promise for contributing to a more sustainable transportation system.

Read the online journal article, or access the free author version (PDF) here.

Chris Monsere, Sirisha Kothuri and Jason Anderson of Portland State University developed guidance for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) regarding the placement of Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons, or RRFB's, in combination with median refuges on three-lane roadways. Their research explored the effect of these crossings on driver yielding behavior. For roads with volumes higher than 12,000 average daily traffic (ADT), they found high yielding rates at pedestrian crossings that had a beacon, whether or not there was a median. This demonstrates that the RRFB is a useful tool for alerting drivers to the presence of pedestrians at crosswalks. The researchers also found that for roadways with less than 12,000 ADT, the addition of a median refuge increases driver yielding. 

Read the final report.

Cyclists ride along a bicycle boulevard in Portland, Oregon
Wei Shi, Portland State University

In active transportation research, plenty of attention has been given to how different types of bike infrastructure affect people's likelihood of biking. Research has demonstrated that protected bike lanes encourage more people to bike than simple painted lanes, and that most cyclists feel safer riding through a protected intersection as opposed to navigating shared space with cars. However, relatively few empirical studies have investigated how holistically connected an entire bike network is, and how different populations can be positively or negatively impacted in their decision to bike by that level of connectivity.

Wei Shi, a recent Portland State University graduate with a PhD in urban planning, wrote her doctoral thesis on...

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Gabby Abou-Zeid, Katherine Keeling, and Kelly Rodgers

Three Portland State University students, all women, will receive Eisenhower Fellowships presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation at the 2021 virtual annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Kelly Rodgers, Gabby Abou-Zeid, and Katherine Keeling have all been awarded Eisenhower fellowships before; Abou-Zeid and Keeling won the prestigious fellowship in 2020 and Rodgers in 2019

2021 Eisenhower Fellows of PSU

Gabby Abou-Zeid, Civil Engineering

Gabby Abou-Zeid holds a B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments from the University of Arizona and is currently a second-year Civil Engineering MSc student with transportation emphasis. Working...

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A review of equity and vehicle sharing, by Jennifer Dill and Nathan McNeil of PSU, appears this month in a special issue of the Journal of Planning Literature (click here for access to a free author's edition). They investigated whether shared vehicle systems – carsharing, bikesharing, and e-scooter sharing – are equitable. Overall, they did not find much evidence that they are improving accessibility for disadvantaged populations. Equity programs in carsharing are notably understudied. Given that many cities lack safe bicycle infrastructure and trip distances can be long, there may be more immediate potential for improving accessibility through carsharing. The benefits of access to a vehicle for low income people are well documented.

Read Dr. Dill's blog here.

Orange e-scooters on the road in Portland, Oregon
Michael McQueen, Portland State University

Is shared micromobility the ideal first/last mile supplement to transit? Can electric scooters make it easier for historically disadvantaged populations to get around? In just three years, brand-new fleets of e-scooters have substantially disrupted and altered the urban mobility landscape. For proponents, it's tempting to view them as a new answer to old problems. A just-released study finds however, that while there is potential for improved mobility if they are paired with other interventions, the shiny rows of e-scooters parked around cities aren't a catchall solution for our longstanding issues.

Portland State University (PSU) graduate Michael McQueen surveyed nearly 2,000 PSU students in his masters thesis, "Comparing the Promise and Reality of E-Scooters: A...

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Hau Hagedorn riding a bicycle

We're proud to announce that our associate director, Hau Hagedorn, has been named the new Chair of Oregon's governor-appointed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

OBPAC serves as a liaison between the public and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The eight-member committee advises ODOT in the regulation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the establishment of bikeways and walkways, and other statewide bicycle and pedestrian issues.

The committee meets six times a year in various locations around the state to support implementation of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and listen to the views and concerns of interested citizens, local officials and ODOT staff.

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.

Screenshot from a Zoom session of the 2020 summer camp, showing the faces of participating students in a grid layout.

On March 23, 2020, Oregon — like many other U.S. states — was placed under a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At Portland State, we were faced with a decision: What to do about our 2020 transportation summer camps for Oregon high schoolers

Our camps, up to this year, have been defined by the in-person, on-campus experience. Previous cohorts toured Portland's bikeways, saw the inside of Multnomah County's bridges, and sat down with professional engineers and planners to talk about tricky traffic problems. Would the program survive the transition to a virtual format?

We had already received 52 applications from promising Oregon high schoolers, and decided the camp was too important to cancel. With the financial support of the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, we were able to shift to a virtual camp and still fulfill our objectives:

  • Introduce high school students to professionals in transportation 

  • Teach them about the broad range of transportation careers and sectors 

  • Present the social justice and equity issues within transportation and how they relate to students, their families and their neighborhoods 

  • Introduce students to transportation systems in Portland 

    ...
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