Incorporating transportation into the land development process is a big undertaking, with many important angles to be considered. Researchers are translating NITC research on this theme into a popular, easy-to-understand graphic format: comics. Led by an interdisciplinary team at Portland State University and the University of Arizona, they're illustrating transportation considerations in the land development process as a comic to reach a broader audience on this critical topic. 

Still in development (the images here are early working drafts, illustrated by PSU student Joaquin Golez and Portland, OR illustrator Ryan Alexander-Tanner), the comics are based on research findings from several projects funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). The project team is working with readers at neighborhood associations and nonprofits to test this unique approach in sharing research findings. We interviewed three of the project team members Kelly Clifton of PSU, Ryan Alexander-Tanner and Susan Kirtley of PSU to hear how it's going.

Can you share more about your body of research on transportation and land use that sparked the idea for this comics project?

Kelly Clifton

I first started thinking about how we can better...

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The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $530,419 in total funding for seven new research projects spanning five universities. With the extension of the FAST Act, NITC received one additional year of funding, and given this limited time frame, we emphasized projects that were relatively short in length, relied on existing expertise, and would yield specific outputs and outcomes. Several of the projects have an equity focus, and much of the research aims to make it easier to get around multimodally and/or by walking. The seven new projects are:

Led by Danya Rumore of the University of Utah and Philip Stoker of the University of Arizona
  • Rumore and Stoker focus on the unique transportation challenges of 'gateway' communities, or small towns adjacent to natural areas that attract large populations. Their previous...
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How can we use a variety of data-driven speed management strategies to make transportation safer and more efficient for all modes–whether you’re driving, walking or taking transit?

The project was led by Yao Jan Wu, director of the Smart Transportation Lab at the University of Arizona. Co-investigators were Xianfeng Terry Yang of the University of Utah, who researches traffic operations and modeling along with connected automated vehicles, and Sirisha Kothuri of Portland State University, whose research has focused on improving signal timing to better serve pedestrians. Join them on Sept 15, 2021 for a free webinar to learn more.

"We want to improve mobility for all users, be it pedestrians, vehicle drivers or transit riders, and there are different strategies to do this. How do we harness data to drive us to these strategies?" Kothuri said.

Funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), this multi-university collaboration addressed the question from three angles:

  • Wu and his students in Arizona looked at the impact of speed management strategies on conventional roadways...
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Gabby Abou Zeid

Gabby Abou-Zeid is a first-year civil engineering graduate student, 2019 Eisenhower Fellow and recipient of the 2019 IBPI Rex Burkholder and Lydia Rich Scholarship. She is pursuing her M.S. at Portland State University and working with Dr. Kelly Clifton's SUPER (Sustainable Urban Planning & Engineering Research) Lab. She received her BS in sustainable built environments from the University of Arizona in 2019, and plans on pursuing a PhD in a transportation-related field after her master's program. Prior to coming to PSU, she conducted research with Dr. Clifton through the Transportation Undergraduate Reearch Fellow (TURF) program*. Gabby will present her work on the demand for freight at multifamily apartment buildings on February 14 in a Friday Transportation Seminar at Portland State.

Watch an interview with Gabby about her research at University of Arizona on Walkability in Tucson, Arizona.

...

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The Portland Streetcar and Portland MAX are visible, along with a green Bike Signal and a pedestrian walk button.

Photo by Cait McCusker

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2020 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by March 23, 2020.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award up to $1,000,000 to research projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

Increasing access to opportunities.

Well-connected regions and communities can improve social equity by providing access to jobs, services, recreation, and social opportunities. Research should examine barriers to access, including the connections between transportation, land use, and housing. It should look at how to overcome these barriers and improve accessibility, affordability, and equity in our communities.

Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure.

Improved mobility requires a range of options for moving people and goods. As concepts of mobility evolve, research is needed to understand how people and firms make mode choices so that we can design better multi-modal systems. Research should examine how...

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A view of the ballroom with attendees eating lunch during the Summit keynote

The 11th annual Transportation and Communities Summit 2019, held at Portland State University (PSU) on September 19–20, drew attendees from 14 states across the U.S. Over 250 people joined us for the Summit day, and nearly 60 took part in the deep-dive workshop day. We hope the event offered new opportunities for collaboration and synergy between researchers, practitioners, and community members.

Peter DeFazio, the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district, kicked off the day with a video welcome message for the summit attendees, followed on the main stage by TREC director and urban planning faculty Jennifer Dill. 

At lunchtime Ben Wellington, the data...

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An aerial view of a multifamily housing complex next to a road
Photo by cegli
Kelly Clifton, Portland State University

Many cities are reconsidering their reliance on ITE's Trip Generation Manual, now in its 10th edition. 

Kelly Clifton, TREC researcher and associate dean for research of Portland State University's Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science, is one of the people leading the charge to identify better, more nuanced ways to anticipate transportation demand; especially person (non-car) trips. In an extended series of TREC projects, Clifton and...

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People on e-scooters

The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $1.035 million in total funding for ten research projects spanning five universities. This year we focused funding on micromobility, traffic, meeting the transportation needs of underserved populations and people with disabilities, and the intersection of transportation and housing.

Led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, Nicole Iroz-Elardo and Arlie Adkins of the University of Arizona
 
Led by Yao-Jan Wu of the University of Arizona, Xianfeng Yang of the University of Utah and Sirisha Kothuri of Portland State University
This multi-university collaboration builds upon previous research led by Yao-Jan Wu in multi-modal traffic monitoring, as well as...
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Pedestrians cross near a light rail amid mixed-use development

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2019 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by March 29, 2019.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award up to $1,000,000 to research projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

  • Increasing access to opportunities
  • Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure
  • Advancing innovation and smart cities
  • Developing data, models, and tools

2019 RESEARCH PRIORITIES

The NITC Advisory Board has provided input into several research priorities that relate to multimodal transportation data and the transportation-land use-housing connection. NITC is prioritizing the funding of proposals that directly addresses research questions related to:

Developing Data, Models and Tools. Agencies are confronting a plethora of new mobility options along with new data sources to support transportation research, planning, and analysis. Several priority research areas have been identified to increase understanding: 

  • Collection of multimodal data...
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People talking and looking at materials in a workshop

We held our annual flagship professional development event, Transportation & Communities, on September 13 and 14. In honor of the event's ten-year anniversary, we changed up the format: Rather than a typical conference with one-hour sessions and a keynote gathering, we offered a selection of intensive half-day workshops. See photos from the event.

The workshops gave practitioners a chance to take a deep dive into new skills in order to walk away with new tools or frameworks that could be applied to their work. We offered a review of congestion mitigation strategies, universal access and equity in pedestrian planning, and discussion on how smart technology could be implemented in suburban communities. Several workshops were based on findings from new research by the National Institute for...

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