Aug 12, 2011

Designing efficient transit systems is only one piece of the puzzle. Getting people to use them is another.

In his bestselling “Transit Maps of the World” and followup work “Paris Metro Style: In Map and Station Design,” Mark Ovenden detailed the beauty of maps people use to navigate transit systems and of the stations themselves.

“When you walk into the Paris Metro system, with its art nouveau stations, it does affect you, whether you notice it or not,” Ovenden said. “It feels nice to be in. It encourages people to use the train.”

Ovenden will offer his take on transportation systems as the keynote speaker at the Oregon Transportation Summit, Friday, Sept. 9 at Portland State University.

Ovenden vaulted to fame with “Transit Maps of the World” after a career in radio and television. But he always had an interest in collecting maps and riding transit systems. “On a school trip to Paris at 9 or 10, I just wanted to ride the Metro all day,” he said. “The teacher said, ‘no, come with us to the Eiffel Tower, you idiot.’”

Even out of context, the maps Ovenden compiled serve as an art work. But much of their beauty lies in their function: getting people around smoothly. Some of the best maps, such as...

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Sep 23, 2010

Nearly two weeks after the Oregon Transportation Summit, we've had a chance to process your feedback. The most encouraging result? You'll be back.

A full 83 percent of survey respondents agree or strongly agree that they'll return for the 2011 summit. That's compared to the 43 percent of 2010 participants who attended last year.

Participants rated the workshop sessions as the most valueable aspect of the summit, at 51 percent, followed by the morning plenary session, the networking opportunities and the luncheon keynote. The keynote speaker, Peter Hessler, received high marks for his presentation on driving in China.

Speaking of which, we've posted clips from Hessler's talk, along with the full OTREC awards presentations, at the OTREC YouTube site.

Sep 13, 2010

The second Oregon Transportation Summit followed in the footsteps of last year's inaugural summit, bringing academics and transportation professionals from a wide range of disciplines together to share their work. This year's summit drew even more people than the first.

New Yorker writer Peter Hessler gave the keynote address, reading and recounting stories from his book "Country Driving." Sometimes somber, often hilarious, Hessler's presentation enchanted the luncheon crowd at Portland State University's Smith Memorial Student Union Sept. 10.

Joshua Schank of the Bipartisan Policy Center gave a frank assesment of performance measures in transportation and the chance for change in a deeply divided Congress. Terry Moore of ECONorthwest gave a detailed and entertaining local response.

Popular breakout session topics included the Transportation Planning Rule cagematch, performance-based desicion-making and transportation governance.

Sep 11, 2009

OTREC hosted the first annual Oregon Transportation Summit. Over 200 transportation faculty, professionals, and students participated in the day long event to discuss relevant and pressing transportation research issues for Oregon. It was an opportunity to also show appreciation for partners and faculty that have helped to shape OTREC. Recipients of the inaugural Peter DeFazio Hall of Fame award included: Dick Feeney (Person of the Year), ODOT (Partner of the Year), and B. Starr McMullen (Researcher of the Year). The Oregon Transportation Summit was sponsored by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), the Portland chapter of WTS, the Oregon chapter of APA, and the Oregon section of ITE. Thank you to our partners and Mayor Sam Adams, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Congressman Peter DeFazio, Wim Wiewel, and Tom Vanderbilt for making this a memorable and successful event.

May 26, 2009

OTREC, in partnership with the Womenís Transportation Seminar Portland Chapter and Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, is pleased to announce the 1st Annual Oregon Transportation Summit. The event, which will include professional development opportunities for academic and practicing transportation professionals, will be held on Friday, September 11 at Portland State University. Your input is desired to shape the agenda. Please complete a short online survey to rank or suggest topics for the training and workshop sessions. If you have any other questions, please email Jon Makler.

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