Photos by Sam Balto

Since 2013, local transportation activist group Better Block PDX has developed partnerships with organizations across the Portland Metro area. Most notable were the connections that emerged between the communities’ needs for tactical urbanism solutions and the expertise of Portland State University (PSU) transportation students.

Over the last few years, that collaboration evolved and formalized into Better Block PSU, a pathway program that integrates tactical urbanism into the engineering and planning curriculum at PSU. Now led by PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center, the latest project to advance through the program is Re-imagining a Safer Route to the César Chávez School: N. Willis Blvd. & N. Portsmouth Ave.

A number of teams worked with PSU Urban Planning students in the Fall of 2020, and this project from the César Chávez K-8 School community and the Community Cycling Center was chosen to move onto the second phase with the Spring 2021 PSU Civil Engineering course.

César Chávez PE teacher and project lead Sam Balto shared more about the motivation behind the project, “Not only is this intersection incredibly uninviting for the students and families walking to school...

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Sponsor: National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
Research Team Lead: Christina Fink, Toole Design Group
Portland State Investigators: Christopher Monsere, Nathan McNeil and Sirisha Kothuri

One of the most common locations for motor vehicle-bicyclist crashes is at controlled intersections. Particularly dangerous is the conflict between through bicyclists and turning drivers (either left or right). Despite widespread acknowledgement of this problem, transportation engineers and planners still lack definitive guidance on how to safely and effectively design for bicyclists at intersections in the United States.

In a newly contracted project, awarded to Toole Design Group by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), a team of researchers will identify design best practices to reduce conflicts at intersections. In addition to Toole, the team includes researchers from Portland State University, Oregon State University (David Hurwitz), and Safe Streets Research & Consulting (Rebecca Sanders). Christopher...

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Each year, the Portland Chapter of WTS bestows scholarships to assist exceptional women in their educational pursuits in the field of transportation. The scholarships are competitive and based on the applicant’s specific goals, academic achievements, and transportation related activities. Two of the five 2020/2021 scholarship awardees are Portland State University students! WTS Portland will be celebrating all of the awardees during an online happy hour on Wed, January 27th at 5PM (PT) - RSVP here.

Apy Das (Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship)

Apy Das is a master’s student in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University. She got her bachelor of science degree in... Read more

Photo by Portland Bureau of Transportation

Effect of Residential Street Speed Limit Reduction from 25 to 20 mi/hr on Driving Speeds in Portland, Oregon

Christopher Monsere, Sirisha Kothuri, and Jason Anderson; Portland State University

In 2015, the City of Portland adopted Vision Zero's objective of eliminating transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries. Speed, through analysis of crash data,...

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Hau Hagedorn, the associate director of Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, has been selected by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) to win the 2020 CUTC-ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership.

Hau is responsible for the day-to-day management, operations and overall direction of TREC and NITC's peer-reviewed research and technology transfer programs. She also oversees programming and delivery of professional development workshops through the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation program at PSU. An active participant in national efforts on conducting and implementing research, she serves as co-Chair of both the TRB Conduct of Research Committee and the TRB Research, Innovation and Implementation Management Committee. Hau is also heavily involved at the state-level as the current Chair of the Oregon Bicycle...

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The 100th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is coming up next month. Normally held in Washington, D.C., this year's meeting will be virtual and will take place from January 5–29. Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) researchers will have strong representation in the online conference: 23 Portland State University faculty, staff and students are presenting their expertise at TRB 2021!

VIEW THE ONLINE GUIDE TO PSU AT TRB 2021

DOWNLOAD THE PSU PRESENTATION FILES

 

A Few Session Highlights To Watch For:

Monday, Jan 25, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, Driver Yielding and Pedestrian Performance at Midblock Crossings on Three-lane Roadways with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons  – PSU engineering graduate student Frank Appiah (read an interview with Frank) will present alongside PSU researchers Sirisha Kothuri and Christopher Monsere....

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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.

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