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Transportation and Communities Summit 2019 (September 19 - 20, 2019 at Portland State University) This annual event in Portland, Oregon connects national mobility-focused research to equitable practice and policy through breakout panels, Lightning Talks, student posters, skill-building workshops, and a keynote from urban data scientist Ben Wellington.

--Summit Day Pass (Sept 19): $250
------Nonprofit / Student Rate: $75
------Elected Official Rate: $95
--Workshop Half-Day Ticket (Sept 20): $95
--Workshop Full-Day Ticket (Sept 20): $190
Current members of our Community Partners get a $20 discount to the Summit Day. Contact us at asktrec@pdx.edu for a discount code. All sessions will be submitted for pre-approval to AICP, and are eligible for self-reporting to PDH for continuing education credits.

Hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University, and supported by our U.S. DOT grant-funded consortium: the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).
Friday, September 20 • 9:00am - 12:00pm
Workshop: Applying New Strategic Planning Tools from the VisionEval Framework

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Workshops are open to anyone: You do not need to be registered for the main Summit Day in order to purchase a workshop ticket. This half-day workshop cost $95. If you are a student or employee of a nonproft, reach out to get a discount code for 50% off.

VisionEval is an open source framework for building and running disaggregate strategic planning models.  VisionEval was originally developed by Oregon DOT and development is ongoing through a pooled fund involving 7 states, 3 Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the Federal Highway Administration.  A morning workshop targets basic users developing such models.  Workshop participants will receive basic guidance on how to set up and run models in the VisionEval environment, and sufficient understanding of the methods, inputs and outputs to begin using the model for supporting planning applications.  The focus of the morning training will be to summarize at a high-level the main model components (packages) and key concepts of the VisionEval Strategic Planning models.  The goal is to assist the basic user in understanding the model methods, to aid in developing model inputs and evaluating outputs. Github, associated application materials, and suggested pre-work will be made available beforehand so participants can get the most out of the training.
Trainers: Jeremy Raw/FHWA, Dan Flynn/Volpe, Tara Weidner/OregonDOT
Learning Objectives
  • Welcome and Introductions (10 min)
  • RSPM Design Considerations (20 min).  Discuss the rationale for VisionEval models, the types of tools provided, the high-level architecture, and how the tools are applied on a particular project
  • Using the Tool (60 min). Installation, how inputs are structured and edited, reporting and reviewing outputs, overview of running models and scenarios
  • Review Key Concepts from modules (2 hrs). Look in detail at the components of VisionEval and what they do, in order to understand how to apply the model’s capabilities to your own planning problems.
  • Resources/Wrap-up (10 min)
Expected Knowledge Base of Morning Workshop Participants:
Has a minimal knowledge of the R programming language and intermediate knowledge of travel modeling concepts. Early versions of VisionEval use the R, rather than GUI environment, which will require some level of R familiarity to enter and run r-commands via R-Studio or the command line. Input CSV files can be developed/processed in various programs such as Excel or a text editor.

Participant “Homework” (Beforehand):
Participants will find the following preparations helpful in order to get the most out of the workshop:

1. VisionEval website. This is the official website and includes official code and supporting Github resources by the FHWA/Volpe-led Pooled Fund, along with background information on VisionEval tools, case studies, etc.

2. VE-RSPM Schematic. Schematic includes a short summary of VE-RSPM model steps and components. This is the road map to the main steps that make up the VE-RSPM tool. The training will identify the methods underlying these steps, describe how various inputs/default data are used to develop data used in other steps and ultimately impact final outputsYou should be thoroughly familiar with this framework document.

3. VE-RSPM Tutorials Wiki. These Github resources include everything and more that will be covered in the training. Become generally familiar with the modules, the inputs, and the outputs, and how to navigate the sections of this Github Wiki. Please note that documentation is in draft form and some changes are still underway.

4. High-Level Inputs by Geography. This is a quick guide for planners about the various inputs and policy actions in the model at the different geographic scales for both VE-RSPM and VE-State. The associated model geographies are explained.

5. Summary File List. This is a complete searchable/filterable list of all VE-RSPM inputs and modules. For Oregon applications, see tag of Oregon categories and shading for where Oregon default values are available.

6. Understand how VisionEval relates to other modeling approaches. The VisionEval strategic tool niche and associated level of detail relative to other models is also supported by this Oregon specific Tools overview document (see p. 1-2 “Spectrum of Analysis Needs”) as it has a quick summary of VisionEval tools for GHG analysis (see p. 25-28) and comparable information for other GHG analysis tools. For the training, you should understand the niche of VisionEval and its general code approach (e.g., in contrast to traditional travel demand models), and thus the appropriate level of detail for VisionEval inputs.

7. (Optional) Code Download & Install website. Use the VisionEval installer* to download the latest version of the code and sample inputs. Your value from the training would be greatly facilitated by downloading, installing, and running the VE-RSPM model. For install/run-time questions, please contact Jeremy Raw at jeremy.raw@dot.gov.

This half-day workshop is eligible for 3 hours of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.

avatar for Dan Flynn, PhD

Dan Flynn, PhD

Data Scientist, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Dan Flynn, Ph.D., is a data scientist in the Energy Analysis and Sustainability Division at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. Dan conducts research on a range of topics in transportation, including use of crowdsourced traffic data to improve safety, as well as contributing... Read More →
avatar for Jeremy Raw

Jeremy Raw

Community Planner, Federal Highway Administration
Jeremy Raw, P.E., works in the FHWA Office of Planning where he has reviewed numerous traffic and land use forecasts for NEPA studies. He recently led a team that updated instructions for FHWA staff reviewing such forecasts. Jeremy also coordinates research and deployment of advanced... Read More →
avatar for Tara Weidner

Tara Weidner

Integrated Transportation Analysis Engineer, Oregon Department of Transportation
Tara Weidner is an Integrated Transportation Analysis Engineer in ODOT’s Transportation Planning Analysis Unit (TPAU). She has over 20 years of experience in modeling and analysis of multi-modal transportation systems. She holds Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Transportation... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 9:00am - 12:00pm
Smith Memorial Student Union at PSU 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201