The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation hosted its first Webinar Feb. 27, with OTREC researcher Krista Nordback providing an overview of bicycle and pedestrian count programs for the 250-plus registered participants.
The Webinar marks an expansion of IBPI’s professional development offerings, which now also include a sustainable transportation study-abroad program and a wider selection of workshops geared toward transportation professionals and university instructors. Webinar participants were eligible to receive continuing education credits, new this year for IBPI live Webinars and in-person workshops.
While the title of the Webinar, “We are Traffic: Creating Robust Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Programs,” asserts a place for walking and bicycling in traffic discussions, Nordback began with a question: If we really believe that bicycling and walking are modes of traffic, how is that going to change how we measure those modes?
Nordback outlined the Federal Highway Administration’s Traffic Monitoring Guide, published last year. She covered why counting and understanding bicycle and pedestrian volumes is important and how to apply lessons from motor vehicle counting to nonmotorized modes.
Tags: bicycle counts, count programs, krista nordback, pedestrian counts, professional development, traffic monitoring guide
Portland State University engineering doctoral student Alex Bigazzi has developed a new course aimed at giving transportation engineers experience running emissions models. The course, Transportation Emissions Modeling, is offered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The practical nature of the course sets it apart from the few emissions courses offered at other universities, Bigazzi said. “Those tend to be on the policy side or the environmental side,” he said. “This is unique in trying to help engineers more than policymakers or future policymakers.”
The course fits with both Bigazzi’s own experience and Portland State’s faculty research strength in emissions and modeling. The university already offers an air quality course, but Bigazzi’s offering focuses narrowly on emissions from motor vehicles.
Students spent the first half of the inaugural course learning context for the models, including when they are used and what they can do. “There are federal requirements to do these models for all serious transportation projects,” Bigazzi said. “People need to understand what goes into them and how accurate they can be.”
Because emissions models aren’t as complex mathematically as other models, and because the Environmental Protection Agency’s MOVES model is freely accessible, students can spend more time learning exactly what the model can and can’t do.
Tags: alex bigazzi, emissions, transportation modeling
The Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting took place in Washington, D.C. from January 12-16, 2014. Nearly 12,000 transportation professionals were in attendance, including 75 OTREC/NITC faculty and student researchers.
To recap this exciting event and share their experiences, Portland State University students and local transportation professionals gathered Tuesday, February 11th at the Rock Bottom Brewery, a combination brewery, restaurant and pub located in downtown Portland.
Attending the TRB meeting as students gave participants an opportunity to accelerate their development as transportation professionals. Conference sessions and workshops offered a multitude of learning and networking events. Civil & Environmental Engineering graduate student Katie Bell
said, “There were so many things going on [at the conference], you could be somewhere from dawn to dusk... it was a really great experience.”
Graduate student Pam Johnson
organized the happy hour event, arriving early to make introductions, distribute name tags and help people mingle. Approximately 25 people attended the event, most of them PSU students. There were also representatives there from Kittelson & Associates, Lancaster Engineering, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Washington County.
The gathering allowed students and conference participants to share ideas and research, along with their TRB stories. Graduate student Nick Foster
and PSU Transportation Certificate alum Max Scheideman of Lancaster Engineering enjoyed the opportunity to chat and catch up on research developments in the local transportation community.
Not all of the PSU students who came to the happy hour were participants in this year’s TRB conference. Some of them, like MURP student Mandia Gonzales, just came to soak up the knowledge and network with fellow transportation students. Those who did attend TRB, like graduate students Adam Moore
and Kristina Currans
, came to the happy hour to see each other’s research, enjoy some microbrews, and share stories about their adventures in D.C.
The "TRB Aftershock" happy hour event was hosted by Portland State University Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP) and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).
Tags: otrec, portland state university, transportation research board
The National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, program invites proposals for a third round of research, education, and technology transfer projects. The NITC program supports innovations in: livability, incorporating safety and environmental sustainability. This grant is part of the University Transportation Center program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, and is a partnership between Portland State University and the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology and the University of Utah.
The NITC program will award at least $750,000 in this funding round to research, education and technology transfer projects that support NITC’s theme. Projects should range from $30,000 to $150,000. Projects can focus on research, education, or technology transfer. All projects submitted for this request for proposals (RFP) will undergo peer review. All awards require one-to-one non-federal match in the form of cash or in-kind services from project partners—to include universities, transportation and other public agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Please refer to Section 3 of the linked document below for specific details. Projects awarded under this RFP may start as soon as August 1, 2014 and must be completed by December 31, 2015, including the final report.
Tags: livable communities, nitc, rfp, rita