On May 15, 2008, Jennifer Dill, Associate Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and Director of the Center for Transportation Studies at Portland State University, participated in a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The briefing was sponsored by the Congressional Bike Caucus and the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Biking Your Way to a Healthier Community. The Congressional Bike Caucus is chaired by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Congressman Tom Petri (WI). Dr. Dill described her ongoing research of regional bike trips, tracked by GPS-equipped bicyclists. She notes that preliminary analysis shows that half of the bicycle riding happened on roads with bike lanes, off-street paths, or bicycle boulevards. She also briefly discussed policy implications and further research needs. Read Dr. Dill’s briefing here: Briefing.
OTREC was pleased to host a two day course on Roundabout Design Analysis, taught by Brian Ray and Wade Scarborough, of Kittelson & Associates, May 7-8, 2008. Professionals from around the Northwest (and Canada!) participated in the highly interactive course. This is part of OTREC’s ongoing effort to provide relevant and affordable training and education opportunities for working professionals.
On May 1, 2008, USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Administrator Paul Brubaker and Thomas Marchessault, UTC Outreach Liaison for RITA, spent the day visiting OTREC. Mr. Brubaker and Mr. Marchessault were given an overview of OTRECís web proposal and project management system, and participated in faculty project ìspotlightî demonstrations, and a special poster session with students. In the afternoon, Matthew Garrett, Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Administrator Brubaker gave remarks on the future of transportation technology to an audience that included the OTREC Board of Advisors, Executive Committee, faculty, students and community transportation leaders at an OTREC reception. PSU graduate student Lisa Diercksen introduced the guests and spoke about her experience as a research assistant and OTREC Scholar. Administrator Brubaker spoke about the need for an interdisciplinary approach to transportation problems of the future, as evident in the multidisciplinary nature of OTREC programs that bring together faculty and students from civil engineering, urban studies and planning, public policy, architecture, business, computer science, environmental science, etc.
Proposals for 2008-2009 transportation research, education and technology transfer projects were due on March 14, 2008. OTREC received 50 proposals with a total request of over $3 million. Over half the proposals involve collaboration between two or more researchers, and around 14% involve collaboration between two or more campuses. This underscores OTRECís focus on collaboration and multidisciplinary initiatives. Proposals will now go through a rigorous peer-review process, with projects in total of around $2 million to be selected this summer.
Carol Wallace joined OTREC as the Fiscal Operations Coordinator in March, and we are happy to add her experience to our team! Carol has a BS in Accounting from Portland State University. She worked for ten years at Oregon State University in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences as a grant and contract fiscal coordinator for the college and as the fiscal manager for CIOSS, a cooperative institute funded by NOAA. At OSU, Carol had oversight for over 300 grants and contracts totaling more than $28 million. She was on the Presidentís Commission on the Status of Women and the board of the Womenís Center. Carol is looking forward to working with everyone at OTREC and learning more about a new area of research ñ transportation.
The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) now offers free podcasts (audio files in mp3 format) of the Portland State University Transportation Seminar Series. As part of their technology transfer program, podcasts from seminars given by OTREC Visiting Scholars and others are now available for download. Covering a wide array of transportation topics from policy and planning to operations and freight, recent speakers include Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Brian Taylor (UCLA), John Pucher (Rutgers University), Peter Stopher (University of Sydney), Susan Handy (UC Davis), Joseph Sussman (MIT), and Donald Shoup (UCLA). In addition, nearly 200 PSU seminars are available anywhere in the world as streaming video and downloadable video files: CTS seminars.
Faculty from all four OTREC partner campuses participated in the 2008 Northwest Transportation Conference at Oregon State University February 5-7. Under the theme of "Making the Most of What We Have: Innovations for the 21st Century," faculty served as session moderators and as roundtable members for a variety of topics. Portland State University attendees included Jennifer Dill, Peter Dusicka, Miguel Figliozzi, Hau Hagedorn, Chris Monsere, Tony Rufolo, Kristin Tufte and Brent Zenobia. University of Oregon faculty attending were Nico Larco, Marc Schlossberg and Yizhao Yang. Faculty from Oregon State University included Karen Dixon, Chris Higgins, Starr McMullen, Todd Scholz, Michael Scott and Lei Zhang. OTREC Associate Director Roger Lindgren from the Oregon Institute of Technology also attended. More information about the conference and program sessions: NWTC.
OTREC and the PSU ITS Lab welcomed a visit by staff members from Congressman David Wu’s office on February 1. Staff members Ramona Perrault (Portland), Joan Whiting (DC), Randy Broz (DC) and Rachel Jagoda-Brunette (DC-Science Committee Staff) toured the ITS Lab and met with professors Robert Bertini, Chris Monsere, Miguel Figliozzi, and several students to discuss ongoing projects, progress and prospects for the future.
On January 24th, 2008, more than 100 professionals from regional public and private agencies attended a unique workshop at PSU aimed at sharing knowledge with future leaders in transportation. Guest speakers and panel members from TriMet, Metro, David Evans and Associates, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, and the City of Portland shared their passion for the Portland transit story with those who will be developing the transportation systems of tomorrow. They led sessions and participated in panel discussions about success factors from Portland, a city recognized nationally for its transportation system and ability to catalyze community participation and secure funding for successful transit projects. The speakers explored the connection between land use and transportation planning, shared the ìart of the dealî in building communities that work towards a common purpose, described how agency stakeholders can be brought together to prioritize transit needs, and discussed how to work with the FTA. Participants even heard a few stories from behind the scenes about strategies and plans that didnít turn out as expected, and what could be done differently in the next generation of transportation projects. A reception hosted by David Evans and Associates was held at the end of the day. This inaugural workshop was targeted to local planners and transportation professionals, but may be offered again to a more broad audience in 2010. Thank you to our co-sponsors: David Evans and...Read more
The Miller award will provide OTREC with the funding to develop a Transportation Sustainability Roadmap for Oregon. This roadmap will guide research, education and partnership initiatives, establishing the foundation for creating sustainable transportation research, education, and community engagement activities. The project will build momentum on a number of efforts currently underway including OTREC’s participation in the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) workshop for transportation professionals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and involvement in the development of the Best Practices Manual for a ìClean, Green and Smartî West Coast transportation corridor system and other national efforts through the U.S. Department of Transportation. This project will leverage the expertise of staff and partner faculty researchers in order to develop a more focused approach to sustainable transportation.