Jun 27, 2011

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation heard testimony earlier this month crafted by OTREC regarding continued funding for transportation research and University Transportation Centers.

On June 14, Lynn Peterson, Sustainable Communities and Transportation Policy Advisor to Governor John Kitzhaber delivered testimony (Read The Full Statement Here) prepared by OTREC, the Oregon Department of Transportation and others on how transportation research can maximize the return on investment of taxpayer dollars when it comes to transportation projects. The testimony was given to ensure continued federal support and funding for transportation research in the state of Oregon. In particular, Peterson requested continued support of University Transportation Centers (UTCs), like OTREC.

“The next transportation authorization needs to continue to provide a means of addressing the needs of applied and advanced research which is regional and national in scope,” Peterson said in the testimony. “In Oregon, we have developed a very successful model of collaboration between our research universities and between (OTREC), (ODOT) and local governments. This collaboration allows us to stretch our resources further and leverage our expertise and funding across our institutions, and ensures that research is able to be put into...

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Jun 22, 2011

Portland State University students working with students at the University of Washington have completed a fifth volume report on the possibilities of High Speed Rail in the Northwest.

Working with Ethan Seltzer of Portland State and Daniel Carlson of the University of Washington, the students have spent the past months traveling between Seattle and Portland, attending workshops, and researching the impacts and benefits of High Speed Rail development. OTREC helped the students and professors put together several charettes in Portland and Seattle, and also provided funds for student travel between cities, according to John MacArthur, OTREC Sustainable Transportation Program Manager.

The resulting report, Ecolopolis 5.0: High Speed Rail in Cascadia (Read The Full Report Here), gives an in-depth look at how investment in High Speed Rail could tie together the region from Eugene all the way to Vancouver B.C. Carlson, senior lecturer of public affairs in the Evans School of Public Affairs at UW, said the report goes into more detail than most government research into High Speed Rail ever has before.

“We looked at the impacts (of High Speed Rail) in a broader range than most Departments of Transportation would look at,” Carlson said. “We wanted to understand the impact of development around stations, commerce exchange, and the environmental impact...

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Jun 10, 2011

Every day, trucks travel in, out and through Portland delivering the goods that make the city and region’s economy thrive. But urban freight traffic in the Portland metro area has become increasingly congested and unreliable, leading to longer travel times, fewer goods being distributed and more greenhouse gases being emitted. OTREC researchers have worked with commercial vehicle GPS data and freeway traffic sensor data to understand the impact of urban congestion on commercial vehicle fleets and what can be done to reduce congestion.

In “Algorithms to Quantify the Impacts of Congestion on Time-Dependent Real-World Urban Freight Distribution Networks” (Read Paper Here) and “The Impacts of Congestion on Time-definitive Urban Freight Distribution Networks CO2 Emission Levels” (Read Paper Here), OTREC researcher Miguel Figliozzi and his team attempted to quantify and measure the impacts of congestion on freight from a business, as well as environmental perspective. The project team combined time-dependent algorithms, real-world traffic data, and open source software Google Maps to...

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May 30, 2011

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium would like to congratulate two of its affiliated students who took home hefty scholarships this past week from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS).

Kristi Currans of Portland State University and Jessica Bloomfield of the University of Oregon were both awarded scholarships at a May 26 dinner at Wilf’s in Union Station. The Women’s Transportation Seminar was established by the federal government with the goal of transforming the transportation industry through the advancement of women. Overall, WTS awarded $15,500 in scholarships this year to women pursuing higher education and careers in transportation.

Currans, a graduate Civil Engineering student at PSU, took home a $3,500 Graduate Scholarship. She holds an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University, where she was named Student of the Year in 2010. Currently, Curran is working with travel demand modeling as part of a workforce training program between PSU and the Oregon Department of Transportation. Active in the American Society of Civil Engineers,


the Institute of Transportation Engineers and Students in Transportation Engineering, she would like to teach and...

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May 29, 2011

If the posters lining the wall showed how visionary the Sustainable City Year model can be, the Salem city officials attending the May 20 reception testified how practical it can be as well. The reception recapped the work of the second Sustainable City Year, now drawing to a close.

Sustainable City Year is a program of the Sustainable Cities Initiative, one of three OTREC initiatives. In the program, 500 students on two campuses worked on 16 projects to help Salem meet sustainability goals.

Although work continues in Salem and at the University of Oregon and Portland State University, May 20 was an opportunity to thank the participants and punctuate a second successfully year, following the inaugural efforts in Gresham, Ore. Next year’s Sustainable City Year will focus on Springfield, Ore.

Linda Norris, Salem’s city manager, couldn’t say enough about the contributions the program made to her city. Students in 29 classes on the two campuses put in 80,000 hours of time. Sustainable City Year’s choosing Salem was like magic, Norris said.

The students didn’t just treat their work as a hypothetical problem to solve; they poured themselves into the projects and the goals behind them. “When we heard how seriously they were taking this, and how much they cared about this community, it really did give me goose bumps,” Norris said.

Salem did not have money to get many of the projects started without Sustainable City Year, Norris said. But now that...

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Jun 16, 2010

We are pleased to announce our proposal funding decisions for 2010-2011. OTREC received a total of 44 proposals with a request of $4,463,880 for consideration. On June 15th, 22 proposals were selected for funding by the OTREC Executive Committee. We are particularly excited about supporting three initiatives (the Sustainable Cities Initiative, the Oregon Modeling Collaborative, and the Transportation Electrification Initiative) that will help build research and education capacity across our partner institutions that will further our focus on transportation livability and sustainability. You can view the complete list of projects here: http://www.otrec.us/main/projects.php?year=2011

Apr 29, 2010

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) at Portland State University is seeking a Student Assistant. This position supports the OTREC staff, and will be involved in a variety of tasks to ensure seamless daily functions at Portland State University. OTREC is a collaborative, multimodal, multidisciplinary, multicampus transportation center focusing on research, education, and technology transfer. Pay rate: $12.50 Hours per week: ~15 hours as soon as possible Contact: Send your resume to Hau Hagedorn (hagedorn@pdx.edu) Responsibilities include:

  • Provide first point of contact for general inquiries and handling general correspondence.
  • Printing, copying, faxing, and scanning.
  • Sort and file documentation in an established system.
  • Assist with coordinating, scheduling and organizing receptions, workshops, outreach, promotional events and conferences including catering and travel arrangements.
  • Enter data and maintain central OTREC contacts database.
  • Keep office well organized and free of clutter including maintain inventory of equipment, ordering office supplies and make sure equipment is in good working order.
  • Format Word, Powerpoint and Excel documents, flyers, presentations, etc.
  • Distribute newsletters, annual reports, and other materials.
  • Help with project file system; need hard copy files for each project....
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Mar 15, 2010

In the last of the livability seminar series, OTREC’s visiting scholars program welcomed Shawn Turner†from the Texas Transportation Institute.†Shawn’s research spans the gamut of intelligent transportation systems data to bicycle and pedestrian issues.† Most recently, Shawn participated in the International Scan on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility.† His presentation†compared his experiences on the†scan in Europe to those in China.† During his presentation, he posed three challenges to Oregon:

  • How does active transportation contribute to economic development?
  • What is the tipping point for behavior and behavioral change?
  • Can vanity play a role†in social acceptance?

His presentation was followed by a discussion with local agencies, faculty, students and partners along with a 10-mile tour of innovative bike infrastructure in Portland.† Thank goodness the weather held up!