Nov 21, 2014

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Abstract: TriMet collects detailed ridership data from automatic passenger counters on buses and trains. In addition, an automatic vehicle location system provides specific information on how well buses and trains adhere to preset schedules. This presentation is an overview of how TriMet uses these data in designing and managing the transit network, ranging from developing regional service policies to making minor schedule adjustments on a bus line.

Speaker Bio: Ken Zatarain is TriMet Director of Service Planning and Scheduling. He has had several other positions at TriMet. Prior to joining TriMet, he worked at the federal and local government levels. Ken has a degree in Regional and City Planning from the University of North Carolina.

Nov 12, 2014

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This paper uses econometric techniques to examine the determinants of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in a panel study using data from a cross section of 87 U.S. urban areas over the period 1982-2009. We use standard OLS regression as well as two-stage least squares techniques to examine the impact of factors such as population density, lane-miles per capita, per capita income, real fuel cost, transit mileage, and various industry mix variables on VMT. We use a distributed lag model to estimate the long run elasticity of various factors on VMT driven.

Preliminary empirical results show the demand for VMT in urban areas is positively and significantly impacted by lane miles, personal income, and the percent of employment in the construction. Fuel price, transit use and population density are all found to be negatively related to VMT per capita. Consistent with results from earlier studies, we find the long run price elasticity of demand for VMT per capita is approximately five times larger than the short run elasticity.

Holding all factors constant, per capita VMT is found to differ significantly by region with VMT being higher the more western and the larger the population size of an urban area. Finally, we find that the industry mix or the urban area also has a significant impact on driving.

Nov 12, 2014

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Other presentation materials: Handout (PDF)

Summary: The recent City Club report on bicycling provided an opportunity to collect and analyze a number of data sets including the new Hawthorne Bridge data. One question is where Portland bicycling on the logistic curve -- a common tool for judging the maturity of a developing product or activity. Logistic curves are used for marketing, for epidemiology, and even for visits to Indian owned casinos. The preliminary evidence is that we are reaching the horizontal area of the curve. Additional evidence Our further research into future policies indicates a shift to bicycle boulevards in order to attract more risk averse riders.

Bio: Robert McCullough is an energy economist (and an adjunct at PSU) who has written, talked, and testified on energy issues across the U.S. and Canada. He was instrumental in the identification and prosecution of Enron's energy traders. He also works with aboriginal groups in Quebec and Oregon, activists in California and Ohio, as well as many others. His most recent project is the economic review of the WNP-2 nuclear station for Physicians for...

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Nov 12, 2014

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Summary: Shaun will present on the recently completed pilot demonstration of multimodal arterial performance measures for the Portland metro region, as part of the larger regional concept of operations. Treatments include a permanent bike count station on the Springwater Trail, permanent truck classification stations, Bluetooth travel time stations, as well as leveraging existing transit and signal controller data to paint a picture of the collective modal transportation system.

Bio: Shaun Quayle is a transportation engineer with Kittelson and Associates, Inc. (www.kittelson.com). His focus areas of practice are in the operations, planning and design of arterial traffic signal systems, performance management systems, and complex traffic analysis and simulation. 

Nov 12, 2014

PSU Special Transportation Seminar:

An analytical derivation of the capacity at weaving sections consistent with empirical observations and micro-simulated results

Where: ITS Lab, Room 315, PSU Engineering Building

Summary: Weaving sections are discontinuities of the highway network formed when merge segments are closely followed by diverge segments. Because of their geometrical configuration, weaving areas generate numerous lane changes. Those lane changes lead to a reduction of the capacity and affect therefore the operation of weaving sections. 

This contribution aims at investigating empirically the lane changing behavior at a weaving section located in Grenoble (France). The data have been collected at a microscopic level, describing the position of every vehicle at every time step (trajectories of each individual vehicle). The data have been measured with a high-resolution camera mounted underneath a helicopter. 

From the empirical results, we develop an analytical formulation of the capacity of weaving sections. We consider a theoretical weaving section as the superposition of two merges and two diverges. We assume moreover that the accelerations and slowdowns of weaving vehicles create voids in the traffic stream that reduce the total capacity. The analytical estimation of the capacity is compared with field macroscopic data measured in Grenoble and micro-simulated results.

The specification of the needed data sample to...

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Nov 12, 2014

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Summary: Although the running of red lights is perceived by motorists as a commonplace behavior for cyclists, little research has been done on the actual rates of cyclist compliance at signalized intersections. Furthermore, little is known about the factors that influence cyclist non-compliance. This research seeks to illuminate the rates of and reasons for infringement against red lights using video footage and survey data from cyclists in Oregon. 

Bio: Sam became interested in transportation and planning while studying abroad in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. After benefiting from the efficient transit service and excellent walkability there, he came back to the states with a gusto for safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable transportation. After finally figuring out what to do with his Civil Engineering degree, he enrolled in Portland State. Sam's research interests include cyclist behavior and the comprehension and safety implications of new infrastructure. Originally hailing from Kansas, he has grown weary of Wizard of Oz jokes but is otherwise happy to call Portland his home, especially with the abundance of good coffee, micro brews, and stellar pie that PDX has to offer.

Nov 12, 2014

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Summary: Real-world traffic trends observed in PORTAL and INRIX traffic data are used to expand the performance measures that can be obtained from Portland Metro's travel demand model to include the number of hours of congestion that can be expected during a typical weekday and travel time reliability measures for congested freeway corridors.

Bio: Michael Mauch, a senior data analyst and project manager with DKS Associates, has over 20 years of experience in transportation data analysis, applications programming, mathematical model building and transportation demand forecasting.  Over the years, Mike has been project manager and has led the technical analyses for numerous large transportation data collection and data analysis projects including BRT and rail transit studies, CIP updates, transportation corridor studies, trip and parking generation studies, corridor capacity analysis, General and Master Plan Updates, incident management cost effectiveness analysis and numerous EIRs. In addition to working with DKS, Mike currently holds a variable-time position as a Research Engineer with UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies.  He has taught “Traffic Flow Theory”, “Transit Operations”, and “Computer Programming & Numerical Methods” classes at UC Berkeley, UC Davis and...

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Nov 12, 2014

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Summary: Where and when does overcrowding happen on TriMet's bus network? Which routes have the best on-time performance? Portland State University and TriMet have collaborated to make this kind of data available to anybody through Portal, PSU's transportation data archive for the Portland/Vancouver region. This presentation will cover the use of General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data for mapping TriMet’s performance data and the development of Portal’s innovative transit application. In the MAP-21 era of performance management, see how tools like Portal can support enhanced agency decision-making as well as community engagement.

Bio: Jon Makler researches and teaches about transportation planning and engineering at Portland State University. His research portfolio centers on intelligent transportation systems, including how they can be harnessed to benefit the environment and how the data they generate can support operational strategies and planning decisions. Since moving to Oregon 9 years ago, he has worked at Metro, the City of Portland and OTREC, the federally-funded research center housed at PSU. His previous employers were the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the Harvard Kennedy School, IBI Group and Sarah Siwek & Associates. He earned a B.A. from...

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Nov 12, 2014

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Summary: Since about 2008, the planning world has been experiencing a paradigm shift that began in places like California and Oregon that have adopted legislation requiring the linking of land use and transportation plans to outcomes, specifically to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In response to this need, Calthorpe Associates has developed a new planning tool, called UrbanFootprint, on a fully Open Source platform (i.e. Ubuntu Linux, PostGIS, PostGreSQL, etc.). As a powerful and dynamic web and mobile-enabled geo-spatial scenario creation and modeling tool with full co-benefits analysis capacity, UrbanFootprint has great utility for urban planning and research at multiple scales, from general plans, to project assessments, to regional and state-wide scenario development and analysis. Scenario outcomes measurement modules include: a powerful ‘sketch’ transportation model that produces travel and emissions impacts; a public health analysis engine that measures land use impacts on respiratory disease, obesity, and related impacts and costs; climate-sensitive building energy and water modeling; fiscal impacts analysis; and greenhouse gas and other emissions modeling.

Bio: Garlynn Woodsong is a Project Manager in the regional and large-scale master planning team at Calthorpe...

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Nov 12, 2014

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Summary: A growing concern related to large-truck crashes has increased in the State of Texas in recent years due to the potential economic impacts and level of injury severity that can be sustained. Yet, studies on large truck involved crashes highlighting the contributing factors leading to injury severity have not been conducted in detail in the State of Texas especially for its interstate system.  In this study, we analyze the contributing factors related to injury severity by utilizing Texas crash data based on a discrete outcome based model which accounts for possible unobserved heterogeneity related to human, vehicle and road-environment. We estimate a random parameter logit model (i.e., mixed logit) to predict the likelihood of five standard injury severity scales commonly used in Crash Records Information System (CRIS) in Texas – fatal, incapacitating, non-incapacitating, possible, and no injury (property damage only). Estimation findings indicate that the level of injury severity outcomes is highly influenced by a number of complex interactions between factors and the effects of the some factors can vary across observations. The contributing factors include drivers’ demographics, traffic flow condition, roadway geometrics, land use and temporal characteristics, weather, and lighting...

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