TREC awards for 2017, 2018 and 2019 bike to work month
May 28, 2020

Authored by Tammy Lee, Transportation Data Manager, Portland State University

Traditionally, the month of May is Bike to Work Month. Last year this time, Oregon logged 179,177 trips for a total of 1,374,835 miles by 10,397 riders. And last year this time TREC was winning the PSU bike to work month department challenge. So what are we seeing in the data now?

For continuity from the last time we posted some bike volume observations, we’re again showing data from the Hawthorne Bridge and Tilikum Crossing (Figure 1) in Portland, Oregon. At the moment, daily volume across the Hawthorne Bridge remains relatively low. Typically we’d expect bike volumes across the Hawthorne would be higher in May, especially because if this were “normal” times we’d be competing in the Bike to Work Month challenge. Bike volumes across the Tilikum show higher volumes beginning in April, especially on the weekends since the March 23, stay-at-home order was issued.

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Cyclist stands next to the Hawthorne Bridge Bicycle Counter
Apr 21, 2020

Authored by Tammy Lee, Transportation Data Manager, Portland State University

For a deeper dive into bicycle volume data, watch the May 8 seminar with Tammy Lee and Kristin Tufte: Creating And Using A Publicly Available Multimodal Transportation Data Archive. Also, check out her earlier blog post on motor vehicle traffic volumes.

The weather these past few weeks has been beautiful: sunny, not too hot, not too cold, cherry trees blossoming… the ideal biking weather marred by a less than ideal pandemic.

Are social distancing measures affecting bike trips in Portland, OR? Maybe. Personally? Yes.

First, let’s get a few things out of the way before we provide summary observations:

  • Analyzing bike data is not as “easy” as evaluating vehicle traffic data: the infrastructure for monitoring bike (and pedestrian) data isn’t anywhere close to how vehicle traffic is monitored. There just aren’t many bicycle count detectors. So if one detector stops working then what little data that was available in the first place became that much littler.

  • ...
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Cars on the freeway
Apr 10, 2020
Authored by Tammy Lee, Transportation Data Manager, Portland State University

For a deeper dive into vehicle volume data, attend the May 8 online seminar with Tammy Lee and Kristin Tufte: Creating And Using A Publicly Available Multimodal Transportation Data Archive. At this seminar, the presenters will offer an updated data analysis that reflects the latest vehicles volumes.

Ask most Portland drivers and they’ll tell you that traffic has gotten worse over the past 10 years. And data from the Oregon Department of Transportation supports that feeling.  

But for now, temporarily at least, all that is in the past.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Oregon was February 28; a little over a month after the first positive test in the US. Since that week, many have noticed differences in traffic on our streets. An analysis of data from PORTAL - our multi-modal transportation data archive for the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region - reflects that drop in traffic. 

A number of articles have been published describing the effects of social distancing policies in...

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Webinar: Visual Exploration of Trajectory Data
Feb 03, 2020
 

PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

OVERVIEW

This webinar will demonstrate the tremendous value of GPS trajectory data in understanding statewide travel patterns and measuring performance. First, Dr. Markovic (U of Utah) will conduct visual exploration of GPS trajectories that capture about 3% of all the trips in Utah. He will briefly discuss the problem of scaling GPS trajectories to the population, and then focus on the use of scaled trajectories in computing origin-destination matrices, vehicle-hours delays, vehicle-miles traveled, and trip-based performance measures. Second, Dr. Franz (CATT Lab) will demonstrate a suite of visual analytics that enables transportation agencies to easily explore terabytes of GPS trajectory data. He will demonstrate different tools and share the experience of 5 state DOTs that are currently using CATT Lab's trajectory data suite.

KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Trajectory data represents the most complete vehicle-probe data and provides unprecedented opportunity for transportation system analysis.
  • Transportation agencies can easily leverage visual analytics to obtain insights in statewide traffic patterns and performance measures.

THE RESEARCH

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Street icons for bicycle and pedestrian
Nov 21, 2019
Photo by Cait McCusker
Nathan McNeil, Portland State University; Kristin Tufte, Portland State University

In the past decade bike and pedestrian count programs have sprung up all over the United States, gathering data to evaluate biking and walking infrastructure. However, these modes have not been studied with the quantitative rigor applied to motor vehicle travel. A research project funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), led by Nathan McNeil of Portland State University (PSU), offers a method for monitoring the quality of this bike-ped count data.

"There has been an effort to...

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Three people stand waiting for a train
Sep 11, 2019
Photo by santypan

Amy Lubitow and Julius McGee, Portland State University;  Raoul Liévanos, University of Oregon


What is the quality of travel data for underrepresented, marginalized populations? The issues go deeper than creating slicker algorithms: In a world with...

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A screenshot from the STAT tool shows a map with embedded Tweets by location
Jul 10, 2019
Xiaoyue (Cathy) Liu, University of Utah; Ran Wei, University of California, Riverside; Aaron Golub and Liming Wang, Portland State University

With today's profusion of open data sources and real-time feeds, transit agencies have an unparalleled opportunity to leverage large amounts of data to improve transit service. Thanks to NITC researchers,...

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Webinar: Modeling Freeway Traffic in a Mixed Environment: Connected and Human-Driven Vehicles - Terry Yang
Nov 29, 2018

 

PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

Miss the webinar or want a look back?

OVERVIEW

Although connected vehicles (CVs) will soon go beyond testbeds, CVs and human-driven vehicles (HVs) will co-exist over a long period. Hence, it is critical to consider the interactions between these two types of vehicles in traffic flow modeling. In this study, we aim to develop a macroscopic model to understand how CVs would impact HVs in the traffic stream. Grounded on the second-order traffic flow model, we study the relationships among flow, density, and speed by two sets of formulations for the groups of CVs and HVs, respectively. A set of friction factors, which indicate CVs' impact to HVs, are introduced to the speed equation for accounting CV speed impacts. Then extended Kalman Filter is employed to update both model parameters and friction factors in real-time. By using CVs trajectory data as measurements, the difference between CV average speed and overall traffic mean speed will be fully accounted. The proposed model will serve as a basis for designing CV-based traffic...

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Automatic bicycle counter showing how many cyclists have passed today, and this year.
Nov 01, 2018
Principal Investigator:  Sirisha Kothuri, Portland State University
Learn more about this research by reading about the Pooled Fund research grant that started it, or the Project Overview page.

BIKE/PED COUNT SURVEY: CALL FOR INPUT

Researchers at Portland State University, University of Texas at Arlington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Toole Design Group are conducting a scan to identify locations where bicycle counts are taking place around North America, and hope to enlist your help! If you collect bike count data (or oversee counts) in your jurisdiction, please consider taking our quick survey to tell us a little bit about your count locations and data.

The survey can be accessed here: tinyurl.com/BikeCounterScan

THE NEW PROJECT...

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Left: Bicycles on a trail; Right: Young woman buying transit pass
Aug 23, 2018

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is soliciting proposals for our two 2018 Pooled Fund projects:

RFP now open; proposals due Oct 1, 2018

This project will address the need of cities and municipalities to combine bicycle data from different sources (such as manual counts, automatic counts, and crowd-sourced data from apps such as Strava) to assess an accurate accounting of bicycle traffic on a network. Current work on data fusion techniques is limited and additional research is needed to fully understand the choice of weighting techniques, inclusion of spatial vs. temporal variation in the weighting scheme and exploring other...

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