In January 2010, the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration issued a request for public comment regarding their Strategic Research Direction, Research Priority Areas and Performance Metrics To Guide Departmental Strategic Plan for Research, Development and Technology Activities (2010ó2015). OTREC and our partners crafted a three part response that identified barriers and ways to research innovation, including:

  • Broadening federal match for University Transportation Centers (UTCs);
  • Embracing the cross-modal perspective on transportation;
  • Better tracking of how research is implemented; and
  • Increasing the role of national university transportation centers.
  • Making better linkages between research groups.

In regards to the key priorities, areas that could key areas could be emphasized and perhaps not fully captured in the key priorities as currently stated included:

  • Resiliency in the face of climate change & natural disasters;
  • Considering equity issues across all priorities; and
  • Recognizing active transportation as a mode.

To view the full OTREC memo, go to:

OTREC participated in a research and technology funding discussion led by Mike Quear, congressional staffer. The visit consisted of two parts: a discussion with the Deans and faculty representing the major sciences at Portland State University; and a tour of the OTREC including highlighting collaborative research undertaken by the ITS Lab and electric vehicle initiatives being supported by OTREC. Mike Quear is Staff Director for the Science and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. He has worked for the Committee for the past 19 years. We always look forward to the thought provoking discussions that his visits provide.

This OTREC educational project took students at Portland State University beyond the lecture hall and the library. Dr. Lynn Weigand expanded the bicycle and pedestrian design curriculum at PSU by turning an existing three-credit course into a five-credit course with an applied lab. The new course gave students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gained in class to real projects in their community. Working in teams, the students developed projects that focused on improving bicycle and pedestrian connections to the PSU campus. The course received excellent reviews from the students, and the department recognized the courseís value by offering it again the following year. The report can be downloaded at:

On January 28th, OTREC co-hosted a brown bag seminar on The Impacts and Opportunities for Building Healthy, Equitable Communities.† Shireen Malekafzali, PolicyLink, was the guest speaker of the seminar. She discussed the impacts of transportation on health, the challenges with existing policy,and the opportunities for influencing new policy with transportation authorization on the federal agenda.††Some of the recommendations for policy changes†that better consider the†impact of health equity include prioritizing and encouraging investments in public transprtation, pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure, and transit-oriented development.† The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Transportation Reform in America, a publication produced by PolicyLink and Prevention Instituted further explores the link between transportation, health and equity.† The seminar was well-attended, with a standing room only crowd of folks that†represented public, private, non-profit, and university partners in both health and transportation fields. The seminar followed on the heels of the on the recent publication of the book, Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and...

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OTREC is pleased to announce the posting of the 2010-2011 Request of Proposal (RFP). The total funding available under this RFP is approximately $2 million, and OTREC expects to fund as many high quality proposals as possible to support relevant work that relates to the theme and supports national transportation priorities, initiatives and needs. Please note some of the changes to the 2010-2011 RFP based on feedback and input from faculty, the OTREC Board of Advisors, and OTREC partners. The changes include the following:

1. OTREC is defining research emphasis areas that provide strategic research direction for the next year. These research areas are multimodal and the priorities are NOT at the exclusion of other thematic research areas, but proposals submitted that directly respond to these priority areas will rank higher among the diverse portfolio of proposals.

2. OTREC has reserved funding for initiatives. An initiative goes beyond a single project and can be a center, program, or laboratory that involves collaboration between more than one campus, more than one discipline, more than one agency, and more than one faculty member. See Section 5 of the RFP for details.

3. OTREC is accepting multi-year proposals for both projects and initiatives with a limit of 2 years. If selected, OTREC will fund the first year. Second year funding is contingent on congressional reauthorization, and currently cannot be guaranteed.

4. Abstracts...

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Rick Krochalis, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region X Administrator, recently kicked off the Center for Transportation Seminar Series on January 8th with a presentation on the Regional Implications of the Federal Livability Initiative. The presentation touched on the federal interagency partnership in addition to FTA’s involvement in the effort. Smart growth and transit-oriented development are not new concepts.  With growing congestion, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, needs for maintaining a state of good repair on existing transportation systems in addition to a growing and aging and population in the United States; transit is playing a key role in helping address these issues.The seminar was followed with with a roundtable group discussion with TriMet and local partners; and meeting with faculty and students highlighting transit-related research. You can download the podcast or view the seminar if you missed the presentation.   Livability is also the theme for the winter transportation seminar series.

Miguel Figliozzi, OTREC researcher, has been selected to chair a study group that will assist DEQ in developing a report, including recommendations for legislation regarding truck efficiency, reduced idling, and emissions. This report will be submitted to interim environment and natural resource committees of the Oregon Legislature by October 2010 for their consideration and any possible action during the 2011 legislative session. The 2009 Oregon Legislature adopted House Bill 2186, which directed DEQ to study potential requirements regarding the maintenance or retrofitting of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in order to reduce aerodynamic drag and otherwise reduce greenhouse gas emissions. DEQ also plans to study potential restrictions on engine use by parked commercial vehicles, including but not limited to medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Study group members will work with DEQ staff to report findings and recommendations for legislation to the interim legislative committees on environment and natural resources by October 1, 2010.

OTREC has released its latest newsletter as well as its 2008-2009 Annual Report. The Reportís new format emphasizes achievements in each of the three theme areas: integration of transportation and land use, advanced technology and healthy communities. There is also an Education section that presents OTRECís Outstanding Student of the Year, alumni highlights, the Visiting Scholars Program, and the student group activities on each of OTRECís four campuses. The Report includes an Executive Summary with a ìYear in Reviewî and highlights from the 2009 Oregon Transportation Summit.

Please join the Portland State University Intelligent Transportation Lab and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium as we host a Transportation Research Board webinar on climate change mitigation and adaptation, followed by an informal discussion on climate change transportation impacts and planning in the Pacific Northwest. This webinar will explore the findings of Transportation Research Board Special Report 299: A Transportation Research Program for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change and Conserving Energy. Committee chair, Michael Meyer, will provide an overview of the research programs recommended by the committee that can be used to develop guidance to policy makers. When: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 Where: Portland State University Intelligent Transportation System Lab 1930 SW 4th Ave, Room 315 Time: 11 am - 12:45 pm

Portland State University faculty and students presented their work at the National Urban Freight Conference (NUFC) in Long Beach, CA October 21-23, 2009. Dr. Miguel Figliozzi presented "Emissions & Energy Minimization Vehicle Routing Problem" and "A Study of Transportation Disruption Causes and Cost in Containerized Maritime Transportation." Also, graduate research assistants Ryan Conrad and Nikki Wheeler presented research projects sponsored by OTREC. Ryan presented "Algorithms and Methodologies to Analyze and Quantify the Impacts of Congestion on Urban Distribution Systems Using Real-world Urban Network Data" and Nikki presented "Analysis of the Impacts of Congestion on Freight Movements in the Portland Metropolitan Area." NUFC brings together researchers and practitioners in the public and private sectors from many disciplines within freight transportation. This conference is the only one of its kind in the US, and brought attendees and presenters from across the US, Canada and Europe.