The seminars are supported by the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).
Measuring Stress Levels for Real-World On-Road Cyclists: Do Bicycle Facilities, Intersections and Traffic Levels Affect Cyclists' Stress?
This research effort presents a novel approach to measure cyclists’ stress: real-world, on-road measurements of physiological stress as cyclists travel across different types of bicycle facilities in various traffic volumes. This study addresses the question of how the characteristics of a bicycle trip affect stress levels using physiological data, specifically GSR. As detailed in the next section, GSR-based studies have been successfully employed for many years in the psychological field to recognize and associate emotions and behaviors to physiological responses. The three research questions examined in this study are: i) Does peak traffic impact cyclists’ stress levels? ii) Do intersections impact cyclists’ stress levels? and iii) Does facility type impact cyclists’ stress levels?
The video of the presentation is located here: https://echo360.pdx.edu/ess/echo/presentation/3b8a6987-6c8e-4407-bace-e4e627520a97
Although an increasing number of separated bicycle facilities have been appearing across the US over the last few years, the majority of bicyclists are still traveling on roadways shared with motorized vehicles.
As a result, bicycles are essentially double exposed to safety risk, due to their interactions with both motorized vehicles and other bicycles. In addition to this double exposure, data challenges–such as a lack of continuous counts and bicycle crash data—complicate the assessment of bicycle safety further.
This research presents a bicycle crash analysis framework for estimating bicycle crash rates accounting for both bicycle and motorized vehicle exposure as well as overcoming the lack of bicycle count data.
First, a novel seasonal bicycle demand model is presented that is capable of estimating monthly average daily bicyclists (MADB) and annual average daily bicyclists (AADB) using an area-specific calibration factor. This factor can be estimated using a minimum of two short-term counts or one full year of a continuous count.
The proposed sinusoidal model has been developed and validated using bicycle count data from a total of 47 permanent bicycle counters in six cities and four bike-sharing systems in North America.
Next, a corridor-based crash and AADB assignment is performed to relate crash with volume data. These data are then used in parallel with motorized vehicle counts in a crash rate equation that accounts for exposure of bicyclists to both vehicles and other bicyclists.
Results show that the proposed “double exposure” crash rate for bicyclists unveils high risk locations for bicyclists that would have been obscured by the high vehicle volumes if the typical crash rate per AADT or AADB were used.
Steven R. Gehrke
Land development patterns, urban design, and transportation system features are inextricably linked to pedestrian travel. Accordingly, planners and decision-makers have turned to integrated transportation-land use policies and investments to address the pressing need for improvements in physical activity levels via the creation of walkable communities. However, policy questions regarding the identification of smart growth indicators and their connection to walking remain unanswered, because most studies of the built environment determinants of pedestrian travel: (a) represent the built environment with isolated metrics instead of as a multidimensional construct and (b) model this transportation-land use relationship outside of a multidirectional analytic framework. Using structural equation modeling, this Portland, Oregon study identifies a second-order latent construct of the built environment indicated by land use mix, density, and urban design and transportation system features. Study findings suggest this construct has a strong effect on the household-level decision to walk for transport and discretionary travel.
The video of the presentation is located here: https://echo360.pdx.edu/ess/echo/presentation/3b8a6987-6c8e-4407-bace-e4e627520a97
The problem of bus bunching in a high frequency service has been largely studied in the literature.
This phenomenon is produced by three main factors
(i) the variability in travel time between stops; (ii) variations in passenger demand; and (iii) drivers’ heterogeneity.
In order to tackle this phenomenon a wide range of control strategies have been proposed, however, none of them had been successfully implemented on a large transit network with high frequency services.
In this talk, we present a control scheme based on a rolling horizon optimization problem that has been successfully implemented for real-time control of two high frequency services in Santiago, Chile.
Finally, the main results and challenges on the implementation phase are discussed.
Estimating Reliability Indices and Confidence Intervals for Transit and Traffic at the Corridor Level
Travis B. Glick
As congestion worsens, the importance of rigorous methodologies to estimate travel-time reliability increases. Exploiting fine-granularity transit GPS data, this research proposes a novel method to estimate travel-time percentiles and confidence intervals. Novel transit reliability measures based on travel-time percentiles are proposed to identify and rank low-performance hotspots; the proposed reliability measures can be utilized to distinguish peak-hour low performance from whole-day low performance. As a case study, the methodology is applied to a bus transit corridor in Portland, Oregon. Time-space speed profiles, heatmaps, and visualizations are employed to highlight sections and intersections with high travel-time variability and transit low performance. Segment and intersection travel-time reliability are contrasted against analytical delay formulas at intersections with positive results. If bus stop delays are removed, this methodology can also be applied to estimate regular traffic travel-time variability.
Planners and policymakers are often faced with the need to make decisions about issues for which there is uncertainty and limited data. For example, transportation planners are now faced with the prospect that new transportation technologies such as autonomous vehicles could greatly alter future transportation system needs. Decisions about these types of issues are difficult to reason about and consequently are likely to be ignored or made on the basis of simplistic logic. Although modeling could be helpful, especially for issues involving complex systems, it is rarely used because models usually require large amounts of data and and handle uncertainty poorly.
This presentation is about how a fuzzy systems dynamic model (FSDM) may be used to model policy issues involving uncertainty and limited data. The FSDM is a type of fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) which is a directed graph that represents concepts of concern as nodes in the graph and causal relationships as edges.
The presentation will cover:
- Background on FCMs and their usefulness for modeling issues involving uncertainty;
- The mathematical formulation of an FSDM and how it differs from common FCM models;
- Open source software for building and running an FSDM; and
- Results of research with ODOT and OSU on modeling the potential effects of new transportation technologies and services using an FSDM.
The number of public bike share systems has been increasing rapidly across the United States over the past five to ten years. To date most academic research around bike share in the U.S. has focused on the logistics of planning and operationalizing successful systems. Investigations of system users and impacts on the local community are less common, and studies focused on efforts to engage underserved communities in bike share are rarer still. This paper utilizes a survey of representatives from 55 U.S. bike share systems to better understand and document current approaches toward serving low income and minority populations. The survey asked about equity policies and metrics, the degree to which equity considerations affected a variety of system practices, what the existing barriers to utilizing bike share are for target populations, and what challenges the bike share system entity faces in addressing those barriers. Results indicate that one in five systems have written policies around equity, though larger systems (over 500 bikes) were twice as likely to have such policies. However, many more systems incorporated equity into various aspects of their systems. Bike share systems incorporated equity into station siting, fee structure and payment systems, and promotion and marketing at much higher rates (68%, 72%, and 57% respectively), and into system operations and data collection and analysis to a lesser extent (42% each). Even so, the largest barriers facing systems are still cost, access, and outreach to users as well as overall funding and staff levels at the organization level.
New technologies such as smart phones and web applications constantly collect data on individuals' trip-making and travel patterns. Efforts at using these "Big data" products, to date, have focused on using them to expand or inform traditional travel demand modeling frameworks; however, it is worth considering if a new framework built to maximize the strengths of big data would be more useful to policy makers and planners.
In this presentation Greg Macfarlane will present a discussion on elements of travel models that could quickly benefit from big data and concurrent machine learning techniques, and results from a preliminary application of a prototype framework in Asheville, North Carolina.
As many cities are investing in street improvement or transportation infrastructure upgrade projects to provide better bike access or more complete bike networks, the economic value of bike infrastructure and bike facilities remains an area where many practitioners, planners and policy makers are seeking more conclusive evidence. Using residential property values as indicators of consumer preferences for bicycle infrastructure, this study focuses on advanced bike facilities which represent higher levels of bike priority or bike infrastructure investments that have been shown to be more desirable to a larger portion of the population. Estimating ordinary least squares hedonic pricing models and spatial autoregressive hedonic models separately for single and multi-family properties, we find that proximity to advanced bike facilities (measured by distance) has significant and positive effects on all residential property values, highlighting household preferences for high quality bike infrastructure. Furthermore, we also show that the extensiveness of the bike network (measured by density) is a positive and statistically significant contributor to the property prices for all residential property types, even after controlling for proximity to bike facilities and other property, neighborhood and transaction characteristics. Finally, estimated coefficients are applied to assess property value impacts of a proposed Portland “Green Loop” signature bike infrastructure concept, illustrating the importance of considering both accessibility and extensiveness of bike facility networks.
Patrick Allen Singleton
Why do people travel? We traditionally assume traveling is a means to an end, travel demand is derived (from the demand for activities), and travel time is to be minimized. Recently, scholars have questioned these axioms, noting that some people may like to travel, use travel time productively, enjoy the experience of traveling, or travel for non-utilitarian reasons. The idea that travel can provide benefits and may be motivated by factors beyond reaching activity destinations is known as “the positive utility of travel” or PUT.
This study presents a conceptual and empirical look at the positive utility of travel and its influence on travel behavior. First, PUT is linked to concepts like utility, motivation, and subjective well-being, and categorized into destination activities, travel activities (multitasking), and travel experiences. Then, preliminary results from a 2016 survey of Portland-area commuters are presented. Finally, implications of the PUT concept for transportation planning and policy are discussed.
The empirical evaluation of complex decision support systems is often limited to the self-reported satisfaction of the systems’ users.
Such an approach is problematic due to the conflation of the user's satisfaction related to the decision support system and the decision making process and its outcomes.
In addition, it bears limitations that are common among most techniques that solicit participant-stated feedback.
In this talk, based on data that was gathered by a web-based participatory system for transportation planning in the Puget Sound region, I present analytical methods for the empirical evaluation of decision support systems based on human-computer interaction. In addition, I discuss the extent to which self-centered and selfless decision making expressed itself in the transportation project choices of the users of the participatory system.
The observed behavioral patterns suggest predominately self-centered choice making behavior of layman participants in online transportation planning.
"Oregon Health & Science University Night Access Plan"
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a nationally renowned academic, research and health institution. At its current capacity, OHSU sees over 250,000 patients a year, teaches 5,000 students, employs about 16,000 people, and utilizes over 2,000 contract workers. Simply put, there are a lot of people who need to access the OHSU central campuses (Marquam Hill and South Waterfront) every day. Furthermore, because OHSU is a medical and research institution, there are large numbers of people needing to access the campuses at all hours of the day and night.
Over the last five months Hilltop Planning, a group of six PSU MURP graduate students, has been working with OHSU Transportation & Parking to shed light on issues related to night transportation and access for the central campuses. One of the primary goals of the project is to "get more cars off the hill" and figure out how to make other modes both feasible and appealing for OHSU employees. Hilltop Planning has explored recommendations related to active transportation, ride-share, parking management, transit service, internal policy change and education and awareness campaigns.
During the seminar Hilltop Planning will be talking about many of the issues related to night transportation more generally, as well as some of the key takeaways and findings from their work over these past few months.
Final report is available online at: http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/17508
Daniel Biau, international consultant, civil engineer and author of The Bridge and the City: A Universal Love Story, will share insights on urbanization and bridges.
Across countries and centuries, the session will explore a fundamental social and demographic change: the emergence of a planet of towns and cities. But it will look at this densification of human and economic relations through a specific lens, the increased connectivity triggered by strategic urban bridges.
As places of encounters and exchanges, bridges have played a major role in the urbanization of our planet. With reference to twenty-four world cities, the presentation will explain how these monuments have influenced urban development over all continents. The most fascinating cities in Europe (Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Saint-Petersburg, London) all possess fantastic bridges. The same could be said about North American cities (New York, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago) and cities in other regions of the world. Besides, the most famous bridges have almost always been erected at a critical juncture in the history of their host cities. It could be argued that “the bridge makes the city” because, in history, the city reaches a new dimension when its “grand” bridge is inaugurated.
Bridges can be seen as founding milestones, buttonholes and laces of the urban fabric, as well as signatures of the built environment. As architectural objects and engineering feats, they directly reflect the technical achievements and aesthetical values of their time, as well as the socio-cultural and economic context of their construction. The lecture will illustrate a universal relationship, over space and time, from Rome and its Ponte Sant’Angelo (134) and Paris and its Pont-Neuf (1607) to New York and its Brooklyn Bridge (1883) and Shanghai and its Nanpu Da Qiao (1991). It will also draw lessons from that history for contemporary urban planning.
Rerouting Mode Choice Models: How Including Realistic Route Options Can Help Us Understand Decisions to Walk or Bike
Joseph Paul Broach
For a number of reasons—congestion, public health, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, demographic shifts, and community livability to name a few—the importance of walking and bicycling as transportation options will only continue to increase. Currently, policy interest and infrastructure funding for nonmotorized modes far outstrip our ability to successfully model bike and walk travel. In the past five years, we have learned a lot about where people prefer to bike and walk, but what can that tell us about whether people will bike or walk in the first place? The research presented here is designed to start bridging the gap between choice of route and choice of travel mode (walk, bike, transit, drive, etc.).
A mode choice framework is presented that acknowledges the importance of attributes along specific walk and bike routes that travelers are likely to consider for a given trip. Adding route quality as a factor in mode choice decisions is new, and shows promise for: (1) improving prediction of pedestrian and cycling trips, (2) increasing sensitivity of models to finer-grained policy scenarios--testing the impact of a single proposed facility or design change on bike and walk mode shares, and (3) identifying separately the effects of pedestrian and cycling facilities on decisions to walk or ride from which route to take.
The proposed framework is applied to revealed preference, GPS travel data collected from 2010-2013 in Portland, Oregon. Key results include: (1) specific walk and bike facilities are significant factors for mode as well as route choice, (2) lower traffic-stress routes may be more important for women than men when choosing whether to bike, (3) available routes on a specific trip may have independent impacts from more traditional measures of land-use and built environment such as density, and (4) the importance of walking and biking environments appears to remain even when controlling for neighborhood self-selection.
Realistic or Utopian? Coordinating Transit and Land Use to Achieve Equitable Transit-Oriented Development
Equitable transit-oriented development (E-TOD)—the prioritization of social equity as an outcome of TOD implementation—has become a U.S. DOT policy stance, an objective of many other government bodies, and part of many NGOs' missions. But is it feasible to coordinate transit and land use in ways that allow us to achieve these goals, or is this a classic example of a wicked problem?
This talk will use Portland as a case study to explore some of the internal contradictions inherent in E-TOD goals, the systemic challenges that must be considered, and glimmers of hope for delivering E-TOD. Transportation and land use planners, housing developers, social equity advocates, and others are invited to join this cross-cutting discussion.
Many cities have adopted minimum parking requirements, but we have relatively poor information about how parking infrastructure has grown.
In this research, using building and roadway growth models, we estimate how parking has grown in Los Angeles County from 1900 to 2010, and how parking infrastructure evolves, affects urban form, and relates to changes in automobile travel.
We find that since 1975, the ratio of residential offstreet parking spaces to automobiles in Los Angeles County is close to 1.0 and the greatest density of parking spaces is in the urban core. Most new growth in parking occurs outside of the core. 14% of incorporated land in Los Angeles County is committed to parking. Uncertainty in our space inventory is attributed to our building growth model, onstreet space length, and the assumption that parking spaces were created as per the requirements.
The continued use of minimum parking requirements is likely to encourage automobile use at a time when metropolitan areas are actively seeking to manage congestion and increase transit use, biking, and walking. Widely discussed ways to reform parking policies may be less than effective if planners do not consider the remaining incentives to auto use created by the existing parking infrastructure. Planners should encourage the conversion of existing parking facilities to alternative uses.
Jerusalem is perhaps an extreme case of residential and travel market segmentation. It is comprised of four different 'cities', which partially overlap in space: The Jewish-Zionist city; the Palestinian city; the Jewish ultra-orthodox city and the global-tourist city. While the specific delineation of these cities is unique, Jerusalem can be seen as representative of other cities where ethnic and religious tensions create highly segmented urban spaces and travel markets.
In recent years particular emphasis has been placed on integrating transport systems, both across modes and with land use, in order to facilitate and encourage the use of public transport. Spatial integration suggests overcoming cultural and social differences that may be reflected with the units that are to be coordinated.
Spatial integration calls for minimizing differences among geographical unites in order to create a comprehensive, full network transport system with economy of scale. Therefore, there might be tradeoffs between integration and another highly recognized transport goal: responsiveness.
Responsiveness in highly segmented cities often involves political intervention that limits the integrative approach.
Although it is widely claimed that Oregon's economy is dependent on freight movement, economic activity in Oregon has decoupled from physical goods movement. Truck traffic per unit of gross state product has fallen, and even the loss of regular container service to Portland has had no measurable effect on the region's economy.
Oregon's economy has shifted away from freight intensive industries and now depends on knowledge driven sectors (e.g. electronics, software, athletic apparel and footwear professional services) that move very small amounts of freight. In addition freight costs for most output is so small—and declining—that it is a negligible factor in industry profitability and location decisions.
The Importance of Housing, Accessibility, and Transport Characteristic Ratings on Stated Neighborhood Preference
Kristina Marie Currans
Travel demand models commonly lack the ability to understand how changing residential preferences influence future housing, land use, and transportation policies. As communities struggle to address social challenges related to increased economic uncertainty, transportation and land use planning have become increasingly centered on assumptions concerning the market for residential environments and travel choices. In response, an added importance has been placed on the development of toolkits capable of providing robust and flexible models to aid in understanding how differing assumptions contribute to a set of planning scenarios and how future residential location decisions may be made.
In this study, we aim to examine the ability for current land use and transportation models to adequately account for the mechanism that drive households to prefer different neighborhoods based on typical transportation modeling methods. In particular, we conduct an original stated preference survey to identify the characteristics and preferences of individuals and households that influence unconstrained residential neighborhood preferences. Our objectives are to (a) determine the key drivers of residential neighborhood preferences, (b) test the contribution of sociodemographic and economic household characteristics commonly used in regional modeling tools to allocate households regionally across neighborhoods (e.g. household size, income, age, tenure), and (c) identify the preference profiles that can improve the sensitivity of our regional and statewide transportation-land use models to residential neighborhood preferences.
The presentation for this seminar was done jointly with Steven Gehrke. It can be accessed at http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/18234.
Kristina Marie Currans
Understanding changing residential preferences—especially as they are represented within land use and travel demand models—is fundamental to understanding the drivers of future housing, land use and transportation policies. As communities struggle to address a rising number of social challenges with increasing economic uncertainty, transportation and land use planning have become increasingly centered on assumptions concerning the market for residential environments and travel choices. In response, an added importance has been placed on the development of toolkits capable of providing a robust and flexible understanding of how differing assumptions contribute to a set of planning scenarios and impact future residential location decisions.
In this presentation, we discuss one such improvement that can be added to the transportation planning toolkit: an innovative visual online survey tool. This tool was developed to provide a means for researchers to communicate the residential environment to the public. Within this study, we test the ability for the general population to see neighborhood environments consistently. Then we apply this tool within an original data collection, which focuses on examining the residential preferences and trade-offs between neighborhood and commute choices. We discuss the methods developed, lessons learned, and results from the Oregon-based pilot studies testing and applying this new tool.
In the U.S., women are far less likely to bicycle for transportation than men. Explanations include, among others, safety concerns (traffic and crime), complex travel patterns related to household responsibilities, time constraints, lack of facilities that feel safe, and attitudes. This talk will explore how this gender gap emerges in childhood, using data from the Family Activity Study. The study collected data from 300 Portland families (parents and children) over two years, allowing us to see how things change over time.
Allison Boyce Duncan
Shared space is a traffic calming technique as well as urban design concept. Also known as ‘Naked Streets’, this technique strives to fully integrate the roadway into the urban fabric by removing elements such as lane markings, curbs, and traffic signs. By removing these elements and creating a more plaza-like space, these spaces become ambiguous and no user group has priority. The technique is relatively new, and the majority of existing research concerns pedestrians only.
This study focused on intersections in England with the goal of understanding how bicycle riders perceive and travel through shared space intersections.
Using video observations, this research analyzed the variations in the paths cyclists rode through the intersections and collected data on several variables related to both the cyclists and their interactions with the site itself such as helmet use and riding through crosswalks.
The analysis indicated that cyclists rode similarly through both shared and control intersections, and that a large percentage of riders preferred to ride farther from motor vehicles when given the space to do so. This project offered further insight in how to best design shared space projects for nonmotorized users by looking at the spatial layout and the elements that most influenced a rider’s path choice.
Population growth and increased accessibility of formerly remote destinations have created new needs for planning mobility to and within recreational areas.
Transportation planners studying recreational travel face unusual travel-demand peaks, travelers who are often unfamiliar with their surroundings, and a uniquely important need for traveler and community communication. Planners must consider what characteristics of an individual area make it attractive to visitors, as well as local goals for the special resources of the area.
This presentation will characterize unique facets of mobility in recreational areas, and pose approaches to planning transportation systems to serve them.
Some researchers have tried to categorize cyclists’ levels of traffic stress utilizing facility or traffic data that can be readily measured in the field, such as motorized travel lanes, travel speeds, and type of bicycle infrastructure.
This seminar will present data and modeling results utilizing two novel data sources:
(a) real-world, on-road measurements of physiological stress as cyclists travel across different types of facilities and
(b) data collected utilizing a smartphone app called ORcycle (http://www.pdx.edu/transportation-lab/orcycle).
This presentation will discuss key findings and potential policy implications.
"The Value Of Place in Tigard, Oregon"
The Tigard Triangle in Tigard, OR is an area defined by highways and auto-oriented land uses that does not represent the City of Tigard’s vision to be the most walkable city in the Northwest. This presentation will show how the Delta Planning MURP workshop team used the State of Place analytic tools to diagnose the performance of the built environment in the Triangle and recommend urban design solutions to improve the walkability, safety, comfort, and aesthetics of the built environment for those who live, work and do business in the Tigard Triangle.
Final report is available online at: http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/17515