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.
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.
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...Read more
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
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.
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...Read more
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.
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...
In our previous posts about Portland, Oregon bike travel and the pandemic from April and May, we observed bridge crossing stagnation and decline across the Hawthorne and Tilikum Crossing bridges during normal commute hours. To expand on these findings, we took a look at how Portland’s bike share system – BIKETOWN – has been impacted by the global pandemic.
Claims of a worldwide boom in bike share usage were reported during the early days of COVID-related closures. However, a few months have gone by and it’s now apparent that these findings were misleading due to limited sample selection. For example, some of the reported US bike share ridership outlooks were based on data collected over a very short period, just a week and a half in early March for Chicago and NYC. In the same article, Seattle and San Francisco were actually shown to have...Read more
We're proud to announce that Dr. Jennifer Dill, director of TREC at Portland State University, has been awarded the 2020 Research Professional of the Year award by the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals (APBP). Given the need for ongoing quarantine, we had to get creative with her acceptance speech - Watch the video to see the award delivered to her by TREC staffers, handed off in a multimodal relay, before Dill accepts the award on a neighborhood greenway/bike boulevard.
Dill received the 2020 APBP Research Professional of the Year award for her contributions advancing the state of practice in bicycle and pedestrian research with a high degree of professional integrity. Dr. Dill addresses important research questions related to walking and bicycling, points out limitations, and suggests lines of future research. Her teaching and advice to students at Portland State University, her leadership through the Transportation Research Board and APBP, and her insightful thoughts related to equity inspire practitioners and researchers working in bicycle and pedestrian transportation.
Watch her accept the award: