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It's 2019, and with the explosion of mobile technology that has affected all other areas of life, it would seem to be a golden age for people living with visual impairments. Like never before in history, blind, deaf-blind, and low-vision individuals can access a plethora of mobile apps offering a range of services to aid in navigation and wayfinding. But the words "explosion" and "plethora" hint at an underlying problem: there are so many different apps, each one addressing only a segment of their mobility needs.
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Research and Events
August 2019
NITC Student Poster Design Competition at the Transportation & Communities Summit
At our annual summit, taking place September 19–20 at Portland State University, we're hosting a design competition highlighting the innovative ideas and research of our transportation students. Poster topics include: transit station accessibility; e-scooter regulations; transportation barriers to healthcare access; human-powered mobility in a disaster; regional impacts of light rail ridership on congestion; and many more. Thank you this year's student poster sponsors Jacobs Engineering and Ride Report for supporting the next generation of multimodal professionals. Are you a student looking to attend? We offer discounts for students and nonprofits.
Exiting the Freeway: Travel Time Reliability on Urban Arterials
Researchers from Portland State University (PSU) partnered with Washington County, Oregon to offer data-driven strategies in prioritizing funding for travel time reliability improvements on their urban arterials. The vast majority of existing research on travel time reliability has focused exclusively on freeways. Avinash Unnikrishnan, Sirisha Kothuri and Jason C. Anderson leveraged Bluetooth sensors provided and deployed by Bluemac Analytics to identify problem areas in the county. Set up at intersections throughout Washington County, the sensors are able to calculate travel time from one intersection to another by matching Bluetooth signals from devices in people's cars.
Electronic Wayfinding for Visually Impaired Travelers: Limitations and Opportunities
It's 2019, and with the explosion of mobile technology that has affected all other areas of life, it would seem to be a golden age for people living with visual impairments. Like never before in history, blind, deaf-blind, and low-vision individuals can access a plethora of mobile apps offering a range of services to aid in navigation and wayfinding. However, the multitude of apps each address only a segment of mobility needs. New research led by Martin Swobodzinski and Amy Parker of PSU seeks to improve the quality of life for people who experience disproportionate impediments to their mobility, through inclusive pedestrian navigation in an urban environment.
Student Spotlight: Catherine Rohan, University of Oregon
Catherine Rohan is a masters student at the University of Oregon. She earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Austin, has worked as an environmental inspector, a ground truth surveyor, a GIS technician and a Fleet Response Specialist, and is now working toward a masters in community and regional planning. In July 2019 she studied abroad - see her blog about bicycle-focused planning in the Netherlands - and this September, Catherine will present her work on "Planning for New Mobility in Gresham, Oregon" in a poster session at the 2019 Transportation & Communities Summit in Portland, Oregon.
NITC Research and Partner Updates
  • Five-Minute T2 Survey: If you work for a university, a research program, or a State DOT, help the Texas A&M Transportation Institute out by telling them about your technology transfer plan - Survey closes August 31.
  • Bicycles, Gender, and Risk: Driver Behaviors When Passing Cyclists: The University of Minnesota's Gender Policy Report says new research on driver behavior "confirms female cyclists’ concerns" about their safety on the road.
NITC University Partners
The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), is a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. NITC is one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers. The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. We pursue our theme, improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities, through research, education and technology transfer.
 
 
 
 
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