What makes Americans’ travel behaviors so different from that of their West European counterparts? Longer trip distances? Higher rates of licenses and auto-ownership? A culture and economy that depends on the automobile industry? According to visiting scholar Ralph Buehler, none of these explain the differences in mode splits.
In partnership with Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), Portland State University recently hosted visiting scholar Ralph Buehler at the Friday Transportation Seminar series. Dr. Buehler traveled west from Washington, D.C. where he is an Assistant Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech’s Metropolitan Institute. Dr. Beuhler’s research and expertise is in multimodal planning and travel behaviors, with a focus on Western Europe and North America.
Dr. Buehler’s presentation, titled “Making Urban Transport Sustainable: Comparison of Germany and the US,” poked holes in many of the common theories explaining why Americans are more likely to use their cars for all their travel needs. Instead, he noted that, “transport policies have to explain the difference [in mode shares] over time, including the changes that have happened in Germany and those that have not happened in the US. ” His research has led him to identify four major policy areas that have contributed to Germany’s success in shifting mode shares:
Tags: bicycle, bicycle infrastructure, bicycling, mode shares, otrec, psu, visiting scholar
On Thursday, May 23, 2013 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will present a webinar on emerging issues associated with homeless populations that reside on public lands. Featuring the research of Ellen M. Bassett, University of Virginia, and Portland State University’s Andrée Tremoulet and graduate student Allison Moe, as well as discussion by other key FHWA stakeholders, the webinar seeks to reflect the breadth and multidisciplinary nature of these issues.
According to Tremoulet, this research began when the Oregon Department of Transportation “sought to understand and document the successful human relocation of homeless families from a longstanding homeless community at the Baldock Rest Area near Wilsonville, OR.” The project expanded to a national scope, resulting in a best practices guide and a case study of the Baldock Restoration Project. After a chance meeting between Tremoulet and FHWA community planner Sharlene Reed at a workshop last year, an idea for a webinar on the topic took shape. According to the FHWA website, the webinar is designed “to highlight practical approaches for holistically addressing the challenges posed by transient populations residing on or adjacent to public land and transportation facilities.”
More information and registration for the webinar are at https://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webconfid=26027
Five OTREC-supported student transportation researchers presented their work Wednesday at Portland State University's first Student Reserach Symposium. Tara Goddard and Katherine Bell presented their work in panel sessions, while Sam Thompson, Patrick Singleton and Oliver Smith presented posters.
Goddard presented her paper, "Are Bicycling and Walking 'Cool'?: Adolescent Attitutes About Active Travel," in the public health and urban studies session. She'll offer an in-depth take on the same topic at noon May 24 for OTREC's Friday transportation seminar. Click here for more information.
Bell's paper, "Evaluation of Smart Phone Weight-Mile Truck Data for Supporting Freight Modeling, Performance Measures and Planning," details some of her work with civil engineering associate professor Miguel Figliozzi. Click here to download a version of the paper.
Thompson's poster was "A Study of Bicycle-Signal Compliance Employing Video Footage;" Singleton's poster was "A Theory of Travel Decision-Making: Applications for Active Travel;" Smith's was "The Effects of Mode Choice on Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Portland, Oregon."
The symposium, which organizers expect to become an annual event, featured more than 100 panel presentations and 115 research posters.
Tags: active transportation, katherine bell, modeling, patrick singleton, sam thompson, student research, tara goddard
An OTREC research project recently took a look at gusset plate connections, the riveted plates of sheet metal that hold steel truss bridges together.
These connective plates have come to the attention of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), because in 2007 the collapse of the Interstate-35W Bridge in Minneapolis was the result of a failed gusset plate.
After the collapse, which killed 13 people and injured 145, the FHWA issued a set of guidelines for load rating — or determining the weight-bearing capacity — of gusset plates.
Historically, only bridge truss members were considered for load rating during safety inspections. Gusset plates were thought to be reliable based on conservative assumptions employed during their design.
For more details, click here to download the final report or visit the project page.
Roughly 20,000 steel bridges in the United States are classified as non-load-path-redundant, or fracture critical, bridges. This means that the failure of a single truss member or connection could lead to collapse.
Tags: bridge design, gusset plates, oregon state university, otrec, portland state university
A new transportation class at the University of Oregon, launched in January 2013 and funded by grants from OTREC and NITC, by all accounts had a wonderful first term.
Conceived as part of the curriculum for the Oregon Leadership in Sustainability (OLIS) program at U of O, the course, titled Sustainable Transportation, will be a permanent part of the OLIS class roster and will be open to all graduate students at the university.
The class this winter, led by instructors Ann Scheerer and Larisa Varela, taught applied research in a real-world setting. Students worked on planning projects for the university and for its home community, the City of Eugene, Ore.
On March 20, 2013, U of O's Transportation and Livability Student Group, LiveMove, hosted a public event where students were invited to present their research and interested community members were invited to attend.
Tags: bicycling, emissions, livemove, marc schlossberg, otrec, university of oregon