How does transit move you? Oregon Transportation Summit special focus

Posted on July 22, 2014

How does transit move you? Oregon Transportation Summit special focus

Transit supporters offer up a host of arguments for their favorite form of transportation but may struggle to counter a response of “prove it.” This year’s Oregon Transportation Summit could help change that.

Fresh research showing some of the benefits of transit will keep the public transportation track lively and relevant during the sixth annual summit. Morning and afternoon workshops spotlight transit, bookending a luncheon keynote by noted transit planner Jarrett Walker.

The Oregon Transportation Summit takes place Monday, Sept. 15 at Portland State University.

University of Utah researcher Reid Ewing made national and international headlines recently with a study showing the effect of light rail in a busy travel corridor. The study, funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, was the first to document a drop in automobile traffic after the opening of a light-rail line. Ewing presents his research at a morning workshop,  “Why Transit Makes you Feel Good.”

At the same session, Chris Bone of the University of Oregon will present on crowd-sourced evaluations of transit and Steve Callas of TriMet will present Portland State University-developed software to visualize performance data. Catherine Ciarlo of CH2M Hill moderates.

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Tags: arthur nelson, ch2m hill, christopher bone, crowd-sourcing, human transit, jarrett walker, megan gibb, metro, nitc, oregon transportation summit, portal, public transportation, reid ewing, steve callas, transit, transit-oriented development, travel corridors, zgf architects

Infographic highlights e-bike use in North America

Posted on July 15, 2014

Infographic highlights e-bike use in North America

As part of an ongoing project studying the use of electric-assist bicycles, or e-bikes, a research team led by OTREC's John MacArthur conducted an online survey of e-bike users on their purchase and use decisions. The results, highlighted in this infographic, suggest that e-bikes enable people to bike more often, bike farther and carry more cargo than on a traditional bicycle. In addition, e-bikes let people ride a bike who otherwise could not because of physical limitations or distance.

Click image for larger version:OTREC e-bike infographic Please include attribution to

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Tags: bicycling, e-bike, e-bikes, electric-assist bicycles, mobility

Emerging field of HIA helps to assess the public health impact of future plans

Posted on July 11, 2014

Emerging field of HIA helps to assess the public health impact of future plans

New research from NITC looks at Health Impact Assessment, or HIA, in transportation planning.

The leading causes of death in the United States are no longer communicable diseases. Instead, chronic conditions linked to behaviors and shaped by environments—such as obesity and diabetes—are today’s most pressing public health concerns.
HIA is a way of evaluating the effects that planning decisions will have on public health.
Researcher Nicole Iroz-Elardo studied this relatively new endeavor, analyzing and comparing three contemporary case studies in HIA.
She will share her findings in an IBPI webinar on July 16, 2014.

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Tags: active transportation, design, livability, nitc, portland state university

NITC program awards funding for new round of research, education projects

Posted on July 8, 2014

NITC program awards funding for new round of research, education projects
The executive committee of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, program has selected a third round of research, education, and technology transfer projects for funding. This grant is part of the University Transportation Center (UTC) program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Research and Technology, and is a partnership between Portland State University, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah. The committee chose eight projects, totaling $800,000, under the NITC theme of safe, healthy and sustainable transportation to foster livable communities. 
The projects are national in scope and support innovations in priority areas including public transit and active transportation. 
Projects selected include:
  • An analysis of the effects of commuter rail on population deconcentration.
  • A look into prioritizing pedestrians at signalized intersections.
  • A study of cyclist-vehicle interaction.
  • An evaluation of an eco-driving intervention.
The eight projects were chosen from among 20 proposals with a total request of over $2 million. 
A complete list of projects and principal investigators is below:

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Tags: bicycle infrastructure, complete streets, cycle tracks, e-bikes, green lanes, light rail, national institute for transportation and communities, nitc, otrec, traffic-related pollution, transit, transit equity, transportation safety, university of utah, utah transit authority, walking

Safety thread runs through sixth Oregon Transportation Summit

Posted on July 8, 2014

Safety thread runs through sixth Oregon Transportation Summit

What is the highest number of deaths and serious injuries we should accept from our transportation system? For transportation agencies who have long sought to reduce traffic fatalities, a movement to eliminate them completely has gained currency.

This year’s Oregon Transportation Summit brings a strong safety theme, including plenary session and morning and afternoon workshops. Registration for the summit officially opens today.

Register or learn more about the summit, which takes place Monday, Sept. 15.

The 2014 Oregon Transportation Summit opens with a plenary session titled “Envisioning Vision Zero.” Vision Zero is the approach, initiated in Sweden, to not accept deaths or serious injuries as a tradeoff for other goals of the road network. In the United States, a national effort called Toward Zero Deaths grew out of these principles.   

Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths has been a leader among state programs, working with partners across jurisdictions and service categories across the state to address roadway deaths and injuries. Sue Groth oversees this effort as the state traffic engineer and director of the Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

OTREC is pleased to have Groth deliver the summit’s plenary address. Groth will give context on Toward Zero Deaths and describe how this philosophy now guides her department. Alongside Minnesota, Oregon has also identified zero transportation deaths as a core objective in its strategic highway safety plan. The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safety Division Administrator Troy Costales will follow Groth’s presentation with a response focused on Oregon’s efforts.

Biographies for Groth, Costales and other speakers are at the OTS Speaker Biographies Page.

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Tags: jarrett walker, leah treat, minnesota department of transportation, oregon transportation summit, safety, sue groth, toward zero deaths, troy costales, vision zero

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