News Tagged: Livability
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OTREC research associate John MacArthur, in partnership with Drive Oregon, has been awarded a grant from Metro.
The grant is part of a $2.1 million effort by Metro to improve air quality and community health.
With the Metro grant, Drive Oregon and MacArthur plan to conduct a study of consumer perception and use of electric bicycles, pedal-bikes that provide extra propulsion from a rechargeable battery.
The idea is to see whether having the use of an e-bike will persuade non-bicycle-commuters to use a bike for the “first and last mile” of their daily commute; for example, to get from their workplace to the nearest MAX light rail station.
The e-bikes provided in the study will be foldable for convenient carrying onto the train. Ultimately, the partners of this study hope to increase the percentage of people who commute by bicycle and light rail, thus contributing to overall community health by reducing automobile emissions.
Tags: bicycle, bicycling, drive oregon, electric vehicles, emissions, livability, metro, otrec
When planning their daily commute, most drivers account for the traffic they know is unavoidable: at peak times of day, like morning and afternoon rush hour, they probably allow extra time to get where they’re going.
The delays that are harder to accept are the unexpected ones, when accidents, road work, or a traffic bottleneck turn a thirty minute trip into an hour.
This unpredictable postponement leads to natural frustration on the part of drivers, as it may cause them to be late to work or late picking up children from school. A reliable road network is one in which this is a rare occurrence.
A project led by Portland State University’s Miguel Figliozzi explored the value of this travel-time reliability using a study of commuters’ route choice behavior, taking a look at the trade-offs between reliability, traffic congestion, and air pollution.
The details for the combined project can be found here.
In the first phase of the research, co-investigators David Levinson and Kathleen Harder of the University of Minnesota sought to measure the route choices drivers made in a real-world setting. Instead of just having people fill out a survey about whether they would choose to take major roads or the freeway to work, this study ambitiously placed GPS units in the cars of volunteers, to measure their actual behavior based on factors that arose each day.
They wanted to determine the importance of reliability in commuters’ route choices. If travelers could ensure reaching their destinations in a time-certain manner, the researchers thought, they might be willing to drive on paths with longer travel-times rather than risking the use of paths with shorter travel-times but higher variability.
Tags: alex bigazzi, congestion, emissions, livability, miguel figliozzi, otrec, portland state university
Graduate student researcher Alex Bigazzi, of Portland State University, will present his work in Vietnam next week.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is hosting a transportation workshop in Ho Chi Minh city. The opportunity for Bigazzi to attend is the result of a spontaneous connection he made recently at a conference in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was giving a paper on truck-specific traffic management.
Large trucks contribute a large share of emissions, especially when traveling at a slow crawl through heavy traffic. Bigazzi’s work explores ways to mitigate the effects of this traffic congestion on air quality.
Bigazzi presented two papers at the 54th Annual Transportation Research Forum, which took place March 21-23 in Annapolis. One of them, “The Emissions Benefits of Truck-Only Lane Management,” offers a better understanding of the impacts of congestion on heavy-duty vehicles.
After a question-and-answer exchange, he was invited to present the same research in Vietnam’s largest city.
Tags: alex bigazzi, apec, congestion, emissions, livability, miguel figliozzi, otrec, portland state university
OTREC has announced eight winners of the “Small Starts” grant program, which launched last December. These grants, made available through a new OTREC initiative, were intended to fund small projects related to transportation and community development. Any eligible professor at Portland State University, Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, or the Oregon Institute of Technology was invited to apply for a grant.
Priority was given to tenure-track faculty who are untenured, and faculty who have not received an OTREC grant in the past. The Small Starts program was conceived for the benefit of researchers who want the chance to undertake a small project that supports innovations in sustainable transportation through advanced technology, integration of land use and transportation, and healthy communities.
A total of $60,000 was available to be awarded; with no individual award larger than $10,000.
Interested faculty turned in their proposals by January 31, 2013. Here are the winners:
Tags: drive oregon, livability, metro, oregon department of transportation, oregon institute of technology, oregon state university, otrec, portland state university, university of oregon
Oregon governors have had transportation advisers before. Lynn Peterson wants to be something different.
Peterson, an OTREC advisory board member and former Clackamas Board of County Commissioners chairwoman, joined Gov. John Kitzhaber’s administration in March as sustainable communities and transportation policy adviser.
“I’ve always been a transportation advocate,” Peterson said. “But we talked about the need to integrate transportation with housing and economic development and land use.
“By adding ‘sustainable communities’ to transportation adviser, we were basically saying, ‘Listen: as we move through the transportation discussion, we need to consider the health component, the housing component, the overlaps in other areas.’ “
Peterson brings a broad transportation policy background, having earned graduate degrees in both planning and engineering from Portland State University. She worked in transportation planning for both Metro and TriMet, as a transportation advocate for 1000 Friends of Oregon, and also served on the Lake Oswego City Council.
Peterson said she didn’t hesitate to step into a role that places her in the center of potentially contentious projects or between the governor and other agencies. She savors participating in the effort to bring high-speed rail to Oregon, for example.
“I see the opportunity to provide direction and potentially speed up the process,” Peterson said.
Tags: board of advisors, health impact assessments, john kitzhaber, livability, lynn peterson, oregon department of transportation