Text reads: TREC student spotlight, Nora Stoelting. Image is of Nora (right) with an aquamarine sleeveless shirt, and a photo (left) of summer camp students touring a bridge.

Nora Stoelting is pursuing a dual master's degree in Leadership for Sustainability Education and Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University. She is excited about the ways these two programs intersect in building a more dynamic, connected, and sustainable world. Nora's background is in garden education and environmental advocacy, and she most recently worked in waste minimization with airport businesses at PDX. Nora is thrilled to join TREC to work on education programming through integrating tactical urbanism projects into PSU classes and designing TREC's free summer camp for high school students (read a recap of the 2020 camp here). She believes strongly in the power of collaborative, holistic, experiential teaching and learning to transform ourselves and the world.

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Tell us about yourself?

I am a cis, female, white, 27 year old graduate student living in NE Portland. I am currently pursuing a double masters in Leadership for Sustainability Education and Urban and Regional Planning. I am passionate about such a wide, interconnected array of topics that it was impossible to pick one program! Lately I have been really interested in envisioning a libertory future (within myself and the world). I have been feeling really inspired by Black...

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Text: NITC Student Spotlight, Frank Boateng Appiah, Portland State University. Images: Frank Boateng Appiah in a grey hoodie next to an image of a rectangular rapid flash beacon at a crosswalk.
Frank Boateng Appiah is a graduate student and research assistant in civil engineering at Portland State University, working with Chris Monsere and Sirisha Kothuri on best practices for the installation of Rapid Rectangular Flash Beacons with or without Median Refuge. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with Bsc. Civil Engineering in 2013. Frank is interested in how transportation improves life by increasing productivity, efficiency and other aspects of mobility.
 

Tell us about yourself?

I come from a small town in Ghana called Adamsu but spent most of my formative years in Accra, the capital city. Living in Accra, a city where road transport has been the primary mode for several decades, I came to appreciate how a disintegrated transportation system affects a nation’s economic growth and therefore requires effective and efficient planning and design to increase productivity. This informed my decision to read civil engineering during my 4-year undergraduate study at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology. At Tech I was much involved in student groups such as CESA (Civil Engineering Students Association), where I held some leadership positions. In PSU I am an active member of...

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It’s nearly time to jump back into the academic year, and at Portland State University we have quite a few Fall 2020 transportation graduate courses that will all be offered online. If you are not a current PSU graduate student, you can still take these courses through the non-degree application process or as a post-baccalaureate student. Taking a course is one way to see if one of our PSU graduate degree programs is right for you!

Civil and Environmental Engineering

CE 4/514 Transportation Seminar; Chris Monsere

This weekly seminar features a different speaker each week covering various topics in transportation... Read more
View of North MLK Boulevard in Portland, Oregon with a pedestrian crossing near a mural.
MLK Boulevard in Portland, OR. Photo by Cait McCusker
Steven Howland, Portland State University

The historically Black district of Albina in Portland, Oregon, due to racist real estate practices, faced multiple displacement events between 1960 and 1990 with the construction of Interstate 5 through the heart of the neighborhood as well as wholesale destruction of hundreds of homes to make room for the Memorial Coliseum and various other urban renewal projects. Gentrification in Portland saw a mass displacement of Black households from Albina, largely to East Portland, a suburban area that was unincorporated...

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Preview showing piece of "roses from concrete" cover, piece of montgomery poster, and a picture of Jaclyn Schaefer presenting her research poster at a conference.

Following the successful finish of Portland State's first-ever remote Spring Term, we're taking a moment to highlight the projects of students in transportation engineering and planning who worked through unusual pandemic conditions. See below for a recap of transportation student work that was wrapped up at the end of the 2019/2020 academic year. Last year's graduating masters of urban studies students focused on human-powered transportation, and this year's projects address a range of topics from improved active transportation infrastructure to equity and access.

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Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Workshop Projects

Every year, graduating Master of Urban and Regional Planning students participate in a workshop project where they develop planning projects for clients in the community.

Roses from Concrete

Walk and Roll Consulting team: Timothy Martinez, Shreya Jain, Matthew Cramer, Gwynn Mackellan, Sarah Bermudez, Walle Brown
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A streetcar crosses a road with a bicycle signal, with a light rail train visible on an overpass overhead.

Portland State University researchers have received funding for five new transportation research projects via the National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC), a research consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and led by Portland State. The projects listed below have been awarded to PSU faculty along with some inter-university collaborators, and will investigate a range of topics from leveraging advanced technology to create smart transportation systems to improving universal access and equity: 

Led by Avinash Unnikrishnan, Miguel Figliozzi and Subhash Kochar of Portland State University

Travel time reliability is a key metric of interest to practitioners and researchers. This project will evaluate and develop methods to determine confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for select travel time reliability parameters. The researchers will also study the applicability of existing travel time reliability metrics for class one vehicles (bicycles and motorbikes) and the feasibility of defining an overall travel time reliability of an arterial segment that considers all modes. 

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Jaime Orrego-Onate, wearing glasses and an orange T-shirt, faces the camera with a mountain in the background.

Learn more about Jaime Orrego-Oñate: Follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn


Jaime Orrego-Oñate, a civil engineering PhD candidate at Portland State University (PSU), has been awarded a $15,000 Oregon Sylff Fellowship for International Research. As a Chilean national completing a Ph.D. in transportation engineering at PSU, Jaime is poised to promote the expansion of American research abroad into countries that lack research resources. His research focuses on understanding the role of the urban form in active transportation decisions. With his work, he hopes to address an information gap between pedestrians’ motivations to walk and how urban planners can encourage this behavior. This is of particular importance in the context of Jaime's home region, Latin America, where walking has been decreasing due to the rise of use of private automobiles.

"I want to spearhead positive change by convincing societies like mine that they can improve urban development," Orrego-Oñate said.

The Sylff program aims to identify and nurture leaders who will overcome differences in nationality, language, ethnicity, religion, and political systems to tackle global issues, and whose high integrity and drive to address issues unique to their respective countries can make a real difference. Fellowship stipends are...

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A view through the front windshield of a car, with two bicyclists on the road ahead.
Photo by Pav_1007 on iStock
Jaclyn Schaefer, Miguel Figliozzi, and Avinash Unnikrishnan; Portland State University

The new article Evidence from Urban Roads without Bicycle Lanes on the Impact of Bicycle Traffic on Passenger Car Travel Speeds published in Transportation Research Record, the Journal of the Transportation Research Board, demonstrates that bicycles do not significantly reduce passenger car travel speeds on low speed, low volume urban roads without bicycle lanes. Authored by Jaclyn Schaefer, Miguel Figliozzi, and Avinash Unnikrishnan of Portland State University, the research shows that differences in vehicle speeds with and without cyclists were generally on the order of 1 mph or less – negligible from a practical perspective.

A concern raised by...

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A close-up view of the motor mounted on the back of an e-bike, behind the rider's seat.

Authored by Mike McQueen and John MacArthur, Portland State University

Read the 2020 research paper in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment with updated model & findings.

Electric bikes (e-bikes) are quickly becoming common in U.S. cities and suburbs, but we still have a ways to go compared to our neighbors across the Atlantic.  In recent years, e-bike sales have steadily increased with unprecedented growth in Europe, especially in the Netherlands. Can the U.S. catch up? E-bikes offer a cheaper alternative to car travel and also provide physical activity. Riders with limited physical ability find that e-bikes extend their overall mobility. Beyond the practical, e-bikes are also just fun to ride. In fact, e-bikes encourage users to cycle farther and more often than conventional bicycles. More...

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Kate Wihtol is a 2019 graduate of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at PSU. As of 2020 she is an associate planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Kate worked with fellow MURP students of the Living Streets project team to develop a pathway toward inclusive, equitable, and accessible pedestrian streets for the Portland Bureau of Transportation. In this video she talks about their work to identify best practices and recommendations tailored to Portland’s urban context: a city built for cars, but aspiring and progressing toward a more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly future.

Watch the interview with Kate.

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