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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How could a free transportation class for people living in the Salt Lake City region strengthen community conversations and advocacy around local priorities in transportation policy? Researchers at Portland State University (PSU) and University of Utah (UU) explored that question by bringing a well-known learning model from Portland, Oregon to SLC.

For over 25 years, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has partnered with PSU to offer the Portland Traffic and Transportation Course – a free 10-week course designed to provide local community members the skills and knowledge to participate in transportation decisions affecting their neighborhoods. This model has proven to be a success story in public agency-university partnership in community education. Building upon a 2015 project that documented the Portland course and developed a curriculum handbook, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) has provided more funding for a pilot community transportation class–the Wasatch Transportation Academy– in Salt Lake, City Utah. Their first class was held on January 24, 2022 (view class recordings here) and ran through...

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David Yang, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University, is the principal investigator on two newly-awarded research projects for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in support of its structural engineering programs.

"As the transportation infrastructure continues to age in an ever more uncertain future, it is essential to assess and manage infrastructure risk during the evaluation, maintenance, and rehabilitation processes. These two projects are dedicated to the development of such risk-informed approaches for existing culverts, bridges, and tunnels," Yang said.

In the first project, Framework and Methodology for Risk-Based Bridge and Tunnel Asset Management, an infrastructure team led by Yang with co-PIs Diane Moug, Arash Khosravifar, and Avinash Unnikrishnan will use a three-year grant from the Federal Highway Administration to develop a framework and a methodology for asset management of bridges and tunnels.

Bridges and tunnels need to address the daily transportation needs of the traveling public and provide capacity and emergency service before/during/after extreme events. States may achieve the best possible transportation network performance through a properly planned asset management strategy. This project aims to...

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Ten Portland State University students have been awarded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) scholarships for the 2021/22 academic year. We're very proud to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. The NITC Scholarship program recognizes outstanding students working on transportation projects. Financial support for students helps to develop the workforce by directing talented individuals toward research and practice, raising the number and caliber of graduates in transportation. 

Meet the NITC Scholars of PSU:

Cameron Bennett, Master in Civil & Environmental Engineering

Cameron Bennett is a first-year masters student in transportation engineering. He was the...

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Despite widespread use of walking as a transportation mode, walking has received far less attention than the motor vehicle in terms of national guidance and methods to support planning, designing, and operating safe, functional, and comfortable facilities. To address this gap, the TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program funded NCHRP Project 17-87: Enhancing Pedestrian Volume Estimation and Developing HCM Pedestrian Methodologies for Safe and Sustainable Communities. Led by Principal Investigator Paul Ryus, Kittelson & Associates partnered with Portland State University and the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina to lead research to update pedestrian analysis methodologies in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). 

The research team created the following new products, published in 2022 and free to download from the National Academies Press:

  • NCHRP Research Report 992: Guide to Pedestrian Analysis: Documents the state-of-the-practice for pedestrian volume counting, pedestrian safety analysis, and pedestrian operations analysis. A major portion of the research evaluated the effects of safety countermeasures at street crossings on pedestrian quality of service (QOS...
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The Better Block PSU program at Portland State University (PSU) has opened the annual call for community organizations to reimagine their streets and underused public spaces in a way to bring people together and reclaim it for their community’s future. 

A partnership between the public spaces advocacy nonprofit Better Block PDX and the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU, students in the Better Block PSU program have developed plans and designs for many community-driven projects that promote equitable placemaking, community building, and active transportation–including the well-known Better Naito project. What began as a PSU student-led initiative for safer and higher capacity bicycle and pedestrian facilities along the Waterfront Park, has gained so much public support that it was permanently implemented by the City of Portland.

Integrated into PSU planning and engineering...

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We are proud to recognize three new transportation scholarship recipients at Portland State University for the 2021/22 academic year. Congratulations to Cameron Bennett, Kyuri Kim, and Trevor Luu!

With an emphasis on learning by doing, PSU students work on real transportation system projects with partners in our community. Through scholarships, we can support students in overcoming barriers to funding as well as acknowledging those who go above and beyond in advancing transportation. Applications are currently open for next year's transportation scholarships. Apply by March 2. 

Funding for our TREC scholarships come from a variety of key partners. Several of those scholarships are specifically earmarked from our Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) program. Learn more about funding opportunities at PSU.

Cameron Bennett, Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Recipient of the Walter H. Kramer Fellowship

...

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The Spring term at Portland State University starts March 28, 2022, and registration opens March 7 for non-degree students. (Students who are already enrolled in a PSU degree program can register online now.) Lifelong learning is a guiding principle of PSU, and anyone interested can take transportation courses through the non-degree application process or as a post-baccalaureate student. Taking a course can be a good way to see if one of our graduate degree programs is right for you.

See PSU’s COVID-19 Student Resources for the latest information regarding the return to campus and PSU's ongoing response to the pandemic.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Non-degree or non-...

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Three students from partner universities in the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) have been awarded WTS Portland scholarships. Congratulations to Caroline Crisp of Portland State, and Cynthia Roe and Caroline Schulze of Oregon Tech!

The WTS Portland Chapter, established in 1985, offers six annual scholarships to high school seniors, junior college, undergraduate, and graduate students to support women seeking leadership opportunities and pursuing transportation careers. This is a highly competitive scholarship with applicants from colleges and universities throughout Oregon and Washington.

All of the WTS Portland scholarship awardees will be honored in a formal awards ceremony via Zoom on February 10, 2022 (5 - 6 PM Pacific).

Caroline Crisp, Portland State University

2021-2022 WTS Portland Beverley Swaim Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholar

...
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We are proud to congratulate Portland State University engineering masters student Cameron Bennett, who has been awarded a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation at this year's annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Connect with Cameron on LinkedIn.

Bennett is also the recipient of a 2021 Walter H. Kramer Scholarship, and current president of PSU student group STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning). His work focuses on promoting and facilitating the use of active transportation as a tool for equity, livability, and economic development. At TRB this year, he presented a poster: How E-Bike Incentive Programs Are Used to Expand the Market (PDF). He also helped to develop an online tool to track e-bike incentive programs in North America.

"I'm very excited to have received the Eisenhower award this year and I'm honored to be presenting at TRB. John...

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