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Educational Applications Of The Portland, Oregon Regional Archived Data User Service (Adus)

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Engineers in Toyland - Come and Play

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.505.1 - 10.505.12



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Paper Authors

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Robert Bertini

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Steven Hansen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number XXXX

Using an Intelligent Transportation System Data Archive to Improve Student Learning at Portland State University

Steven Hansen, Dr. Robert L. Bertini Portland State University


The Portland, Oregon regional intelligent transportation systems (ITS) data archive (known as PORTAL) was inaugurated in July 2004 via a direct fiber optic connection between the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Portland State University (PSU). The data archive receives 20-second data from the 436 inductive loop detectors comprising the Portland area’s Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS). PSU is designated as the region’s official data archiving entity, consistent with the nationally specified ITS Architecture being developed.

This paper discusses the unique educational opportunities now available to PSU engineering students due to access to these data. Several transportation engineering topics are detailed. First is the understanding of various measures of congestion using real measured data. Second is the development of real transportation performance measures. Students are now able to move beyond the use of simplistic Level of Service (LOS) measures for assessing performance of the transportation system. The data archive can be used to estimate average traffic speed, duration of congestion, fuel consumption, vehicular delay, travel time, and travel time variance, to name a few. The extent of data available to the student and researcher now allows for flexibility and creativity that was not always available in a standard classroom environment.


Portland, Oregon is known for its unique multimodal transportation system, and therefore students are drawn to study here, with the advantage of a laboratory right outside the classroom. Current students of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Urban and Regional Planning programs at Portland State University may someday hope to plan, design, manage and/or build the transportation infrastructure necessary to provide adequate mobility in our cities. It is critical that we educate and train a new generation of transportation engineers and planners who are ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century transportation system. In any systems engineering environment, it is well understood that a system cannot be properly managed unless its actual performance can be measured. Therefore, it is essential that these future transportation professionals gain the knowledge necessary to properly analyze the performance of a transportation system. The same premise applies to working professionals who may return to the classroom as a part of their lifelong learning enterprise. Even today, simplistic Level of Service (LOS) measures are often used as a default means of assessing performance of transportation

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Bertini, R., & Hansen, S. (2005, June), Educational Applications Of The Portland, Oregon Regional Archived Data User Service (Adus) Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15067

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