Our National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research program has awarded grant funding for a new series of Small Starts projects.
Small Starts grants assist researchers who are interested in transportation but have not yet had an opportunity to undertake a small project—$15,000 in funding or less—that supports NITC's theme of safe, healthy and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities.
The latest projects selected by NITC's executive committee support that theme in exploring livable streets, multimodal safety and transportation efficiency.
The six newly funded projects are:
- Is There a "Buy Local" Case for Lower Travel Speeds? Testing Differences in Driver Recognition of Local Versus National Retail at Different Travel Speeds—Jonathan Bean and Arlie Adkins, University of Arizona (Full Proposal)
- How Will Autonomous Vehicles Change Local Government Budgeting and Finance? A Case Study of Solid Waste, Drop-off/Pick-up Zones, and Parking—Benjamin Clark, University of Oregon (...
Livability encompasses several aspects of community, including safe, walkable neighborhoods; quality transit service and healthy green spaces. Making these types of benefits more available to underserved and marginalized populations is a key component of TREC's research focus. With the support of the Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture Endowment, every year we host leaders who have made great strides in advocating for health, safety, and bicycle and pedestrian access.
For our 4th annual Ann Niles Lecture we've invited Tamika Butler – Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. In her current role she grows healthier, safer, and stronger communities through the creation of urban parks and community gardens—addressing the critical lack of green and recreational spaces in greater Los Angeles' underserved neighborhoods. Prior to this, Butler was the the executive director of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, bringing energy and passion to the quest for better bicycle access.
Through our programs, including the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) and...Read more
Prepared by TREC, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has just released a Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit.
TREC Director Jennifer Dill and TREC researcher Nathan McNeil worked with the FTA to develop the manual, a guidebook to creating a robust network for active transportation and transit users.
From defining "access sheds" to linking up transit and bike share, the newly published manual is a rich resource for planners and engineers looking to boost their city's bicycle and pedestrian transit access.
Dill and McNeil built the manual with a special...Read more
2017 TCS Recap: View slides from the breakout sessions and workshops, see PDFs of the posters, revisit the PechaKucha presentations, or read instructions for recording your continuing education credits.
The two-day 2017 Transportation and Communities Summit, held at Portland State University (PSU) on September 11–12, drew 315 attendees from over 10 states and over 40 cities and towns. This was the largest summit we’ve ever hosted, and we hope it created new opportunities for collaboration between researchers and practitioners.
This event was sponsored by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a national university transportation center managed by TREC housed at PSU. NITC is a partnership between PSU, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology, the University of Utah, and our newest partners - the University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Arlington.
NITC researchers at all six of the partner universities were introduced in a series of "Meet the Researcher" tweets and videos, to familiarize attendees with the research interests of NITC faculty and to open the...Read more
Steven Howland, PhD Candidate in Urban Studies at Portland State University
In addition to being a student, Steven has also acted as a researcher on a number of TREC projects:
- Suburban Black Poverty in East Portland: The Role of Transportation in Making Ends Meet
- Evaluating Efforts to Improve the Equity of Bike Share Systems
- Peer-To-Peer Carsharing: Short-term effects on travel behavior in Portland, OR
Tell us about yourself:
I am Steven Howland, a PhD candidate in Urban Studies, where I specialize in economic development and poverty with particular interest in the intersections of the two with transportation issues. I hold a Bachelor's and Master's in Planning from Arizona State University. My dissertation looks at the transportation...Read more
Happy World #CarFreeDay! Not satisfied with just one day of celebrating alternate mobility choice, we're kicking off a year of #OffbeatCommute by sharing the off the beaten path commutes of the staff, faculty and researchers of TREC, NITC and IBPI. Whether that's by bike, public transit, rollerblades, skateboarding, or running.
We invite you to join us in tagging your #OffbeatCommute by sharing your photos, videos and stories!
Starting off with a bang, here's our Communications Coordinator, Lacey Friedly, on her trek to TREC (hint, water is involved):
In celebration of Car-Free Day, I wanted to share a video of my human-powered journey to work. And so, last month I borrowed a GoPro and recorded my commute. I wanted to do this before the summer was over, because my commute had gotten particularly awesome during 2017. Earlier this summer I heard about Benjamin David, the man who got so tired of the traffic in Munich that he started swimming to work each day in the River Isar. I thought, that's so great—he chose to commute on his own terms. Why stay in the lines when you don't have to?
This got me thinking about human-powered travel. I live in Milwaukie, Oregon, and...Read more
Nineteen girls presented ingenious transportation ideas to a packed room on Friday, August 18, the closing day of TREC's 2017 National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI). For two weeks, the high schoolers had stayed in Ondine Residence Hall on the Portland State University campus; meeting for daily lectures at PSU's Engineering Building, hearing from some of the women who run transportation systems in Portland, Oregon and touring the city's agencies.
In between guest lectures and field trips, the NSTI class worked on group projects, which they presented at Friday's closing event to their family members and the course instructors.
On the first day of the camp, they were asked to think about a real-world transportation problem so they could use the skills they would gain to present a solution at the end of the course. The problems were real, and the solutions were impressive.
It might be because the guest lecturers were actual practitioners, who gave real talk about the issues they've encountered in their work and how they've tried to solve them.Read more
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief, related presentations, and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.
As cities aim to promote sustainable, multimodal growth, sometimes the way we go about development review processes can create barriers to achieving the results we want. Some of the methods we have inherited, while still useful, have distinct limitations.
NITC dissertation fellow Kristina Currans took on this challenge in her doctoral research project, Data and Methodological Issues in Assessing Multimodal Transportation Impacts for Urban Development.
The guidelines for evaluating transportation impacts of new development were originally published in 1976 by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). Decades later, we’re still using essentially the same processes all across the U.S. and Canada, and these methods—which harbor a lack of...Read more
Normally we assume that travel is a means to an end, but the latest NITC report examines other benefits of travel—aspects that aren’t about reaching a destination.
One such benefit is travel-based multitasking. A good example of this is using time on a commuter train to listen to music, relax or get some work done. The simple enjoyment of a walk in the fresh air relates to another benefit, known as subjective well-being, in which the act of travel itself makes a person feel better. These intrinsic benefits can impact travel behavior and mode choice, but our current models don’t have any way to reflect this.
NITC fellow Patrick Singleton investigated the policy and planning implications of this in his dissertation, Exploring The Positive Utility Of Travel And Mode Choice.
"The way we analyze travel behavior assumes people want to get from A to B as quickly as possible. We don’t include the...Read more