In February, OTREC and PSU staff travelled to Corvallis, OR to meet with OSU faculty and administration. Alan Kolibaba, Tina Frost and Bill Helsley from ORSP, Wanda Packard and Anisa Chisti from Research Accounting, and Robert Bertini, Hau Hagedorn and Jenny Kincaid from OTREC, along with UO representatives, shared processes and timelines, and discussed ways to work effectively together. OTREC thanks OSU for their hospitality.

Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA, was a guest speaker and OTREC Visiting Scholar in February 2007. During his visit to Portland, Professor Shoup spoke to 130 members of the Lloyd District Transportation Management Association (TMA), and was the speaker at a WTS breakfast round table. Shoupís presentation at the CTS Seminar, “The High Cost of Free Parking,” drew interested questions and comments from the audience. Shoup presented his thoughts on parking issues in our country, showing aerial photos of gigantic parking lots that do little to enhance communities, giving examples of on-street/off-street parking discrepancies in northwest Portland and explaining how ìfreeî parking is not really free to anyone, including businesses, consumers and drivers. He noted that planning requirements for minimum parking can be arbitrary and contrary to the best urban design practices, and showed how smart parking pricing can benefit communities and those of us trying to find a parking spot.

Oregon was well-represented at the Transportation Research Boardís 86th Annual Meeting in January 2007. Faculty participated and presented research in numerous poster sessions and workshops and served as presiding officers for various sessions, committees and subcommittees. Many students also attended and presented research work in poster sessions; seven students were partially sponsored by the OTREC education program. OTREC staff attended the annual meeting of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) where Director Robert Bertini presented Improving Collaboration in the Northwest. The OTREC Student of the Year, Max Coffman, was recognized at the CUTC banquet. In addition, OTREC hosted its own reception at the beginning of the conference week. A list of OTREC faculty and student participation can be found here: TRB 2007

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) is pleased to announce the selection of its first Student of the Year, Max Coffman, who is a graduate research assistant in the ITS Lab. This national award was presented as part of the annual Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Banquet at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in January 2007. For the past 15 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has honored an outstanding student from each University Transportation Center (UTC) at this special ceremony. Each student receives $1,000 plus the cost of attendance at TRB from his/her Center, and a certificate from USDOT. Criteria for this graduate student award include technical merit and research accomplishments, academic performance, professionalism and leadership. Shown (left to right) are OTREC Director Robert Bertini, Max Coffman, and former Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta.

Prof. Robert Bertini has joined the Transportation Northwest (TransNow) Advisory Committee, effective January 2007. TransNow is the Region X University Transportation Center, established in 1988 as one of the original 10 regional UTCs administered by the USDOT. Bertini has served as a PI on several past TransNow projects, has provided peer reviews on previous TransNow proposals and final reports, and also works with TransNow as a partner in the Northwest University Transportation Consortium.

Proposals for 2006-2007 transportation research, education and technology transfer projects were due on January 12, 2007. OTREC received 54 proposals with a total request of $2.6M. There were 38 unique proposers, 30 proposals with multiple PIs, and 10 were multi-campus. The diversity of the proposals displays impressive breadth of discipline and demonstrates great collaboration between universities and with external partners. As governed by the OTREC Strategic Plan, all proposals will be peer reviewed by at least three expert reviewers, including one federal representative. Awards will be announced in the spring.

With approval of the OTREC Strategic Plan, OTREC is pleased to release its first Request for Proposals (RFP) for transportation research, education and technology transfer projects. OTREC will consider funding high quality projects from the many disciplines that support the transportation field. Brief abstracts are due by December 15, 2006, and more detailed proposals will be due January 12, 2007.

Much anticiapted news of OTREC Strategic Plan approval was received December 1, 2006. The Plan was approved by OTREC’s federal sponsor, USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The Strategic Plan was written by Director Robert Bertini, with input from the Executive Committee, faculty and other stakeholders. It outlines OTREC’s theme, structure, programatic goals, budget plan and baseline performance measures. Approval of the plan means that OTREC programs may now officially get underway!

Hau Hagedorn has been appointed OTREC's Research Program Manager. Hau is working to build strong collaborative relationships among OTREC faculty, researchers, students, and staff at the four partner campuses, developing relationships with government and industry partners, and overseeing the peer-reviewed Request for Proposal process and research reporting. Prior to this role, she spent over nine years working in the private and public sector on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiatives. Her work at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) primarily focused on coordinating and implementing an operations management system. The intent of the system was to assist ODOT in better understanding the impacts and benefits of operations-based approaches within the agency. Previous work at Castle Rock Consultants focused primarily on advanced traveler information systems, road weather information systems, and ITS planning. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, is an active member of ITS Oregon, and was the state chapter president in 2006.

Alan Pisarski, author of “Commuting in America III,” visited PSU in October 2006 as part of the OTREC Visiting Scholar Program. Pisarski is a transportation expert known for his major studies of American commuting patterns. During his visit, he spoke at a Womenís Transportation Seminar (WTS) breakfast meeting, visited with students in the PSU ITS Lab, and was the guest speaker for the weekly CTS Transportation Seminar. Pisarski summarized changes and trends in commuting patterns in the United States and noted such statistics as lengthening average daily commutes, (many are more than 90 minute or ìextremeî commutes), increase in carpooling and transit use, shifts in city to suburb vs. suburb to city commuters and increase in numbers of people working at home. Pisarskiís research shows that transportation is influenced significantly by economic and social phenomena.