Transportation Data Research

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TREC understands the importance of data-driven policy and strategy to meet transportation goals. Where there is insufficient or incomplete data, there can be no effective solutions. It’s why we’ve focused our research efforts over the years on filling data gaps, and why we house two national data clearinghouses – PORTAL and Bike-Ped Portal – aimed at making transportation data more easily accessible to researchers and practitioners.

PORTAL: Transportation Data Archive for Portland-Vancouver

PORTAL provides a centralized, electronic database that facilitates the collection, archiving, and sharing of data and information for public agencies within the region. The data stored in Portal includes 20-second granularity loop detector data from freeways in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region, arterial signal data, travel time data, weather data, incident data, VAS/VMS message data, truck volumes, transit data, and arterial signal data. Many of these data feeds are received by PORTAL in real time or on a daily basis and for most, the retrieval and archiving process is fully automated.

PORTAL’s multi-modal transportation data archive aims to support Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan, the production of regional performance measures, support for regional transportation agencies and their consultants, and researchers at Portland State and elsewhere. Project objectives include producing tools and performance measures useful to local transportation professionals, exploring new and innovative uses of the data, and making the PORTAL data and system more accessible to agency personnel. Access the PORTAL database here.

BikePed Portal: National Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Archive

BikePed Portal: Jurisdictions around the country are collecting non-motorized traffic count data, but the lack of a centralized database inhibits data sharing and greatly reduces the utility of this important and growing dataset. In response, we created a national online non-motorized traffic count archive. This archive allows users to upload, view and download data.  Access to a centralized non-motorized traffic data archive opens the door to innovation in research, design, and planning.

With the BikePed Portal we aim to:
---Provide safety researchers with a measure of exposure to collisions
---Give educators data to include cycling and walking in their curricula
---Enable local agencies to seasonally adjust estimates they gather from short-duration count sites
---Provide policymakers with basic information on cycling and walking, including performance metrics, to inform planning and funding decisions
---Allow transportation professionals to better support the public’s desire for livable communities

BikePed Portal is currently under development and available to demo. The next step is to improve its usability for both data providers and data users, specifically transportation professionals. Click here to be notified when account access is opened, or to submit your bike-ped data.

Guide to Bicycle & Pedestrian Count Programs

Interested in understanding bicycle and pedestrian traffic in your area? This resource is for you! While there are many ways to quantify bicycling and walking, this guide focuses on bicycle and pedestrian count programs. Counting provides information on the level of intersections, paths and roadways; a dataset already available for motor vehicles, but lacking for non-motorized travelers. Agencies who show clear evidence of use are more likely to receive funding for projects. The main purpose of a bicycle and pedestrian count program is to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic at all times in all locations on a system. To accomplish this goal, a robust and cost effective bicycle and pedestrian count program is needed. Here we summarize information on how to create or improve a bicycle and pedestrian count program. Download the Guide to Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Programs (PDF).