2014 OTS Session Descriptions

Oregon Transportation Summit


Plenary: Envisioning Vision Zero*. There were 305 fatal crashes in Oregon in 2012, resulting in casualties for 194 drivers, 72 passengers, 60 pedestrians and 10 cyclists (336 total). Toward Zero Deaths is an international movement that has varying support among transportation agencies in the United States. Sue Groth, State Traffic Engineer and Director of the Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, will provide an overview of the issue and describe the specific ways Minnesota is turning this vision into strategies, programs and investments. Troy Costales, ODOT Safety Division Administrator, will provide a response to describe the state of TZD efforts across Oregon. Leah Treat, Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, will provide another response, describing the City’s current activities related to TZD.

11:00 - 12:30

Morning Workshops (choose one):

Safety Is More than a Buzzword*: Troy Costales, Moderator

Building on the theme of the Summit’s plenary session, this workshop will examine strategic and system-level safety issues. Robert Hull (Utah DOT) will brief the Summit on the National Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Sue Groth (MNDOT) will share details about Minnesota’s efforts to implement strategies under its goal of zero fatalities. Joe Marek (Clackamas County) will describe his jurisdictions unique development of a county-level strategic transportation safety plan.

Move It To Lose It*:  Keith Bartholomew, Moderator
This workshop will examine some of the research and some of the implementation efforts in Oregon to improve public health through investments in active transportation. Nicole Iroz-Elardo (Oregon Health Authority) will present the health impact analysis results associated with Metro’s Climate Smart Communities initiative. Linda Ginenthal will discuss her programmatic work with Sunday Parkways at the City of Portland and the city's initiatives to get people moving. Jennifer Dill will present new data from the national Project Green Lane, examining barriers individuals face regarding active transportation options.

Why Transit Makes You Feel Good*: Catherine Ciarlo, Moderator
This workshop will focus on different ways to quantify the benefits of public transportation service. Reid Ewing (U. Utah) will present recently completed, OTREC-sponsored research on the ability of light rail to reduce roadway congestion. Chris Bone (UO) will present his work examining the convergence of crowd-sourced evaluations of transit with innovative mapping techniques. Steve Callas (TriMet) will present software that was developed by Portland State to help TriMet map and visualize its performance data.

Acceptable Engineering Exceptions*: Peter Koonce, Moderator
Although engineering standards have many advantages, they can also stifle innovation. Certain processes allow for creative new ideas to be tested in the field. In this session, Marc Schlossberg (U. Oregon) will present the challenge he describes in his new book, Rethinking Complete Streets. Rob Burchfield (City of Portland, Invited) will relate the City’s experience obtaining approvals to install bike boxes as an experimental traffic control device. Celena Stone (CH2M HILL) will brief participants on the design, approval process, and implementation of a novel traffic management solution for the intersection of OR-43 and the Sellwood Bridge in Portland.

12:30 - 2:00

Lunch and Keynote: Jarrett Walker, author of Human Transit, will describe his adventures in transit planning around the globe, sharing observations and insight about the differing ways that the task of moving people in large urban areas is accomplished. Walker’s talk will give participants the opportunity to see the transit systems that he knows personally and professionally in the context of ever-evolving trends in the international transit industry. The challenge that Walker offers in his book and on his blog is how to separate technical issues associated with transit planning from questions about values, which confront each community.

2:30 - 4:00

Afternoon Workshops (choose one):

Safety Starts Here*: Chris Monsere, Moderator
To complement the morning’s workshop on system-level safety, this workshop will get down on the ground to look at ways to achieve concrete gains in safety. David Hurwitz (OSU) will present his simulator-based research into right-hook crashes. Sheila Lyons (ODOT) will present strategies and efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through design treatments. Joe Marek (Clackamas County) will describe some of the treatments his agency has implemented, with emphasis on low cost/high impact interventions and benefits for vulnerable road users.

Transportation Three Minute Thesis Competition: Roger Lindgren, Moderator
The Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition designed to help students develop presentation skills by consolidating their research and presenting it succinctly to a non-specialist audience—all in just three minutes. Come check out the latest in Oregon student research and see who takes home the big prize.

Breaking News from the TOD Squad*: Nolan Lienhart, Moderator
The purpose of this session is to reveal the latest information about TOD research and implementation. Chris Nelson (Univ. of Utah) will present empirical evidence of TOD benefits including job growth, housing diversification, affordability, and accessibility. Jennifer Dill (PSU) will present the data from surveys of TOD occupants. Megan Gibb (Metro) will provide an update on contemporary TOD examples in the Portland metropolitan region, including the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail corridor.

The Great Trip Rate Debate*: Adam Miles, Moderator
ITE describes its Trip Generation Manual as a “must have for transportation professionals” and boasts that the 9th edition (2012) is based on 5,500 studies and covers 172 unique land uses, 10 of which are new and 60 of which have been updated since the previous edition. The purpose of this session is to present research by Kelly Clifton (PSU) that aims to improve these rates and to facilitate a debate about making the rates more “open source.” Randy McCourt will argue for the "open source" approach to trip rates, on the basis that highly customized and localized data will meet the needs of new development; Ed Sullivan will argue  for the existing approach.

Taking Stock of Map-21*: Bernie Bottomly, Moderator
This workshop focuses on the ongoing roll-out of MAP-21, even as it is set to expire just a few weeks after the Summit. The session will begin with a briefing by Chris Rall (T4America) on recent federal rulemaking activity and then examine some of the significant ways in which the law is beginning to affect Oregon. Travis Brouwer will describe ODOT’s efforts to tackle asset management and Theresa Conley will describe the early efforts of the new MPO in Albany.

* eligible for AICP credit