Resources and Tools

Our complex transportation system demands better data and tools for decision-making. To serve that need, we develop tools to collect and analyze multi-modal data from a variety of sources, aimed at optimizing the use of the system. They will examine the implications of changes to the system on a range of outcomes including mobility, economic equity, the environment, and health.

PORTAL: Transportation Data Archive for Portland-Vancouver

PORTAL provides a centralized, electronic database that facilitates the collection, archiving, and sharing of data and information for public agencies within the region. The data stored in Portal includes 20-second granularity loop detector data from freeways in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region, arterial signal data, travel time data, weather data, incident data, VAS/VMS message data, truck volumes, transit data, and arterial signal data. Many of these data feeds are received by PORTAL in real time or on a daily basis and for most, the retrieval and archiving process is fully automated.

PORTAL’s multi-modal transportation data archive aims to support Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan, the production of regional performance measures, support for regional transportation agencies and their consultants, and researchers at Portland State and elsewhere. Project objectives include producing tools and performance measures useful to local transportation professionals, exploring new and innovative uses of the data, and making the PORTAL data and system more accessible to agency personnel.

BikePed Portal: National Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Archive

BikePed Portal: Jurisdictions around the country are collecting non-motorized traffic count data, but the lack of a centralized database inhibits data sharing and greatly reduces the utility of this important and growing dataset. In response, we created a national online non-motorized traffic count archive. This archive allows users to upload, view and download data.  Access to a centralized non-motorized traffic data archive opens the door to innovation in research, design, and planning.

With the BikePed Portal we aim to:
---Provide safety researchers with a measure of exposure to collisions
---Give educators data to include cycling and walking in their curricula
---Enable local agencies to seasonally adjust estimates they gather from short-duration count sites
---Provide policymakers with basic information on cycling and walking, including performance metrics, to inform planning and funding decisions
---Allow transportation professionals to better support the public’s desire for livable communities

The BikePed Portal is currently under development and available to demo. The next step is to improve its usability for both data providers and data users, specifically transportation professionals. Join us on March 7, 2018 for a free webinar to see a demo and gather ideas for an "Explore Data" interface.

Toolkit: Better Outcomes: Improving Accountability & Transparency in Transportation Decision-Making

“In our research, we had a great deal of difficulty determining just what outcomes states and MPOs are achieving, as they often don’t track these themselves. That outcomes are not being systematically monitored is an important finding,” Zako said.

It leaves an unanswered question that Lewis and Zako believe can act as a prompt for future academic research, but their efforts didn’t stop there. The next step in the project was working with Transportation for America to develop the toolkit, which is aimed at providing practical recommendations to practitioners, state DOTs, MPOs, elected officials and policymakers. The toolkit, Better Outcomes: Improving Accountability & Transparency in Transportation Decision-Making (PDF), proposes a four-phase, outcome-based transportation decision making approach. It is broken down into steps, with recommendations and examples in each step.

Bicycle Boulevard Planning & Design Guidebook

This report is intended to serve as a planning and conceptual design guide for planners, engineers, citizens, advocates, and decision makers who are considering bicycle boulevards in their community. icycle boulevards take the shared roadway bike facility to a new level, creating an attractive, convenient, and comfortable cycling environment that is welcoming to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. In essence, bicycle boulevards are low-volume and low-speed streets that have been optimized for bicycle travel through treatments such as traffic calming and traffic reduction, signage and pavement markings, and intersection crossing treatments. These treatments allow through movements for cyclists while discouraging similar through trips by nonlocal motorized traffic. Data for this guide were developed from literature review, case study interviews, and input from a panel of professional experts. Download the Guidebook (PDF)

Creating Walkable + Bikeable Communities: Master Planning Guidebook

The growing focus on context sensitive solutions and design in roadway planning, increased support for addressing public health objectives through transportation and land use planning, and concerns about oil dependence and global warming all point to a need for planning practitioners to have more knowledge and skills related to pedestrian and bicycle planning. This guidebook is intended to serve as a guide for planners, engineers and elected officials who will be producing a new or updated bicycle and/or pedestrian master plan. Data for this guide was developed from literature review, case study interviews, and input from staff at Alta Planning + Design. This project was supported by TREC, and Alta Planning + Design. Download the Guidebook (PDF).

Guide to Bicycle & Pedestrian Count Programs

Interested in understanding bicycle and pedestrian traffic in your area? This resource is for you! While there are many ways to quantify bicycling and walking, this guide focuses on bicycle and pedestrian count programs. Counting provides information on the level of intersections, paths and roadways; a dataset already available for motor vehicles, but lacking for non-motorized travelers. Agencies who show clear evidence of use are more likely to receive funding for projects. The main purpose of a bicycle and pedestrian count program is to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic at all times in all locations on a system. To accomplish this goal, a robust and cost effective bicycle and pedestrian count program is needed. Here we summarize information on how to create or improve a bicycle and pedestrian count program. Download the guide (PDF).