Archive | 2007

Coming Up on the KBOO Bike Show: Bikey New Year

We celebrate the new year with the Trash Mountain Boys live in the studio. We’ll also be asking for your new year bikey resolutions and hopes for a great bike town.

9-10AM, Wednesday, January 2nd
KBOO FM 90.7
Streamed live at
Podcast here later that day

A Look Back: The Highway of the Future

Solar- and atomic-powered cars that don’t need to be refueled. Lanes on the highway color coded for destination. Atomic tunnel boring machines that melt rock away and prefabricated bridges allow for infrastructure to be constructed in mere minutes. Cars with television screens that show maps of your present location as you drive. Decentralized cities linked by networks of highways that allow the commuter a longer reach. The view of the future through the visionary eyes of the Walt Disney Corporation (circa 1958) is uncannily accurate in many ways, although a few things do seem really out there. Here we link to a nearly nine minute video that is certainly entertaining no matter your opinion about the role of highways in our society.

I noticed several concepts that have made their way to reality in one form or another in the years since they were envisioned by the writers of this video:

  • Electronic highway information boards
  • GPS navigation systems w/realtime traffic conditions
  • Heads-up display on windshield
  • Rear-view cameras with in-dash monitor
  • Decentralized cities
  • Underwater tunnels
  • Viaducts carrying highways through sensitive or scenic areas

What did I miss?

Watch Magic Highway USA

Federal rules prefer buses over streetcar expansion

An article in Thursday’s Oregonian explains how the Bush administration’s rules attempt to prevent streetcar lines from competing with bus rapid transit for federal funds. To quote Peter DeFazio: “It’s set up to make streetcar never pencil out.”

Here’s how:

At stake is about $200 million in federal money that could provide the first national program for streetcars in cities across the nation. More than 60 cities nationwide have ideas for emulating the Portland Streetcar and the dense mix of housing and commercial development that accompanies its downtown route.


The transit administration has published rules that would make cost-effectiveness the key test of whether a project should be funded. Zoning for high density and saving miles driven in cars would be combined with congestion relief under an effectiveness test. Together those would count for half the benefits allowed.


“If you build 5,000 units of housing along that line and people walked from those units of housing and get on the streetcar, they would not count under their criteria,” DeFazio said.

The only riders that count are the ones that transfer from a bus or other transit to get to the streetcar line, he said.

Continue reading Federal rules prefer buses over streetcar expansion

PSU Transportation Courses – Winter 2008

We are pleased to announce the transportation courses listed below for Winter 2008 (January 7 through March 21, 2008). You are welcome to enroll in these courses even if you are not a PSU student–use the quick entry program:

We offer master’s degree programs in urban & regional planning and civil & environmental engineering, and a graduate certificate in transportation (see

In addition, these courses can provide important continuing education credits for your professional licensure or certification.

Winter 2008 courses are:

Transportation Seminar
USP 407/507 or CE 407/507, 1 cr
CRNs 44184/44199 (USP) or 40468/40480 (CE)
Fridays, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Instructors: Dill/Bertini/Monsere/Figliozzi/Gliebe

Urban Studies and Planning

Economics of Urban Transportation
USP 537, 3 cr, CRN 44210
Tuesdays 4:00-6:30 p.m., Instructor: Rufolo

Travel Demand Modeling
USP 587, 3 cr, CRN 44226
Thursdays 4:00-6:304 p.m., Instructor: Gliebe

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Freight Transportation & Logistics
CE 553, 4 cr, CRN 45710
Tues/Thurs 12:00-1:30 p.m., Instructor: Figliozzi

Transportation Operations
CE 559, 4 cr, CRN 45713
MW 2:00-3:50 p.m., Instructor: Bertini

Further details are available in the PSU schedule of classes here: We look forward to seeing you in class! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can provide any additional information. Best wishes for a wonderful winter!

Robert L. Bertini, Ph.D., P.E.
Portland State University