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Dr. Yizhao Yangís OTREC project on understanding school travel examined the relationships between school transportation, neighborhood walkability, and where families choose to live. The study involved a 5,500-household survey of families with children attending selected public schools in Eugene, Oregon. In general, parents did consider school transportation in the process of deciding where to live. Unfortunately, housing opportunities around schools and in walkable communities are often limited. Dr. Yangís project suggests a need for greater coordination between community land use planning and school planning. The study also points to the value of continuing to educate the community about safe and active transportation options to school. The final report can be downloaded at: http://otrec.us/project/184.

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The USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) released their March 2009 UTC Spotlight, featuring OTREC Livability related research, mostly focused on projects at the University of Oregon led by Marc Schlossberg, Nico Larco and Yizhao Yang. New Secretary of Transportation LaHood has specifically mentioned livability as one of his priorities so this is a very timely publication. OTREC looks forward to continuing to address critical transportation needs in sync with national priorities.

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OTREC co-sponsored and faculty were active participants in the Transportation Research Board’s 11th National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities, held in Portland September 17-19, 2008 under the auspices of TRB Committee ADA30, Transportation Planning for Small and Medium Sized Communities. OTREC Advisory Board member Tom Schwetz was the conference chair. Also, Prof. Yizhao Yang, University of Oregon, presented Where to Live and How to Get to School: Connecting Residential Location Choice and School Travel; Prof. Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon, presented Livable Communities, Public Involvement, & Participatory GIS: Computer Assessment Tools for Local Area Analysis; and Prof. Nico Larco, University of Oregon presented Fringe Density: Planning Tips for Overlooked Density in Suburbia. Also Prof. Bertini had the honor to introduce the conference keynote speaker, Sharon Wood Wortman.

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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.