OTREC welcomed Robin Kline, Amy Stearns and Lydia Mercado from the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) on November 5. They met with OTREC staff, university leadership and the OTREC Executive Committee. A poster session and reception was held in the afternoon, where RITA staff heard from faculty principal investigators and students who are working on OTREC projects. Members of the OTREC Board of Advisors also met the RITA representatives. RITA oversees the University Transportation Center program, through which OTREC receives federal funding.
OTREC is pleased to announce the formation of its Board of Advisors, as outlined in the OTREC Strategic Plan. The Board consists of representatives from public agencies (including FHWA, FTA, ODOT, TriMet, Port, etc.), private industry and transportation-related interest groups. The role of the BOA is to help develop OTRECís foundation and provide guidance on OTRECís overall mission. The Board will help with long-range planning and direction, identify priority research topics, review annual report and goals, serve as a connection to key agency partners and provide statewide, multimodal, public/private perspectives on research, education and outreach. A complete list of members can be found here.
Dr. Robert Bertini and OTREC faculty and staff hosted guests from Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. on October 31. Nobuo Okubo, Senior Advisor to the Board (Technology), Ryogo Takagi, Manager of Technology Planning and Assistant to Mr. Okubo, and Hayato Akizuki, Director, Technology Planning, were given a tour of Portland transit systems and met with leaders from TriMet, the City of Portland, and Metro. They also toured the ITS Lab at PSU, and had lunch with faculty and community representatives who talked about the history of Portlandís transportation systems. They were welcomed to PSU by Interim President Michael Reardon and Vice Provost for Research William Feyerherm. They ended the day with a ride on the Portland Streetcar and Portland Aerial Tram.
OTREC is pleased to announce the second issue of OTREC News. Issues of OTREC News include reports on our research projects, profiles of students and faculty, introductions to our Executive Committee and Advisory Board, updates on education programs and events, reports of partner university transportation news, and examples of exciting collaboration within our Consortium. This issue includes a special feature describing the strong relationship between OTREC and the Oregon Department of Transportation. Read the newsletter here: Newsletter Fall 2007.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer was the guest speaker at the weekly Transportation Seminar on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007. His presentation, “Transportation Infrastructure Investment: Past, Present and Future,” focused on the anniversaries of the 1808 and 1908 national transportation plans and the next transportation reauthorization bill. His presentation was hosted by the PSU Center for Transportation Studies and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium.
The Region X Consortium held its fall meeting in Seattle on October 15-16. Representatives from UTCs (OTREC, AUTC, TransNow, NIATT) and state DOTs (ODOT, WSDOT, ITD) attended the bi-annual meeting to discuss regional collaboration for transportation research and education efforts. Agenda items included further discussion of a Region X Memorandum of Understanding that would allow for pooled-funds with which the Consortium will sponsor major research projects from a regional needs perspective. TransNow hosted the meeting and led discussions on freight, infrastructure, and traffic operation research. Hau Hagedorn gave an OTREC update and faculty participants from Oregon included Chris Monsere and Peter Dusicka from PSU and Chris Higgins and Karen Dixon from OSU.
Professor John Pucher, a car-less commuter from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, was the first fall OTREC Visiting Scholar and CTS Seminar guest on September 28, 2007. His presentation, "Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from Europe," was standing room only, and the audience enjoyed his photos of bike-friendly features in cities across Europe. Pucher examined a range of public health impacts of our urban transport systems and argued that the current car dependence of American cities is responsible for enormous environmental harm, social isolation, lack of physical activity, and traffic dangers. He described how improving the convenience, safety, and attractiveness of walking and cycling in crucial to overcoming these negative impacts. Pucher discussed specific policies and programs used in Europe, and advocates their widespread adoption in American cities. A lively discussion with faculty, students and members of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan Committee followed the seminar.
On September 7, 2007, the OTREC Executive Committee selected the top 36 research, education and technology transfer projects for 2007-2008 funding. Over 80 proposals requesting over $5.1M were received in May, and each proposal went through a vigorous peer review process. Peer-reviewers ranked the proposals on the basis of intellectual merit, broader impacts, relevance to OTRECís theme and the national transportation research agenda. There were 29 research, 4 education and 3 technology transfer projects selected. Ten are multi-campus and 18 are multi-PI, reflecting great collaboration. The list of 2007-2008 projects, including abstracts, can be found here: 2007-2008 Projects
Prof. Monsere, PSU and Prof. Dixon, OSU, participated in the mid-year meeting for the TRB Task Force for the Highway Safety Manual, ANB25T, on August 20-22, 2007. The meeting included presentations, working sessions, sub-committee work, and social events at the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering’s Beckman Center on the University of California Irvine campus.