With sophisticated analytical methods and tools, a major statewide data collection program underway, and the leadership provided by the Oregon Modeling Steering Committee (OMSC), the ability of Oregon modelers to meet the challenges of planning for a sustainable future is on firm footing.
To complement this work, the OMC will provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the research and development needs of the modeling and planning community in Oregon to support the innovative and expanding Oregon modeling program. The OMC is fully aligned with the mission and major themes for the OTREC, and will draw on the resources of the OTREC university partnerships around the state. It will also draw on the partnerships within the OMSC, a consortium of federal, state and local agencies with transportation/land use responsibilities or interests that provides a collaborative and coordinated forum for discussion and partnerships for development and application of new analysis methods and tools.
The OMC programs include research and model development, education and training and outreach. Initially, the OMC will focus on development of transportation planning tools and analysis. Long-term, the OMC intends to expand to development of tools and analysis to address broader multi-disciplinary issues and opportunities.
Research and Model Development
The OMC will regularly assess issues and needs facing policy- and decision-makers to develop analysis tools to assist with decision-making. Academic research and practical applications will be integrated to produce useful analysis tools. Faculty have made significant contributions to models of: transportation and land use interactions, greenhouse gas emissions, and bicycle and pedestrian demand. Current research activities include partnerships with Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland Metro, and TriMet to develop:
Better integration of economic, land use and travel demand models at the state and metropolitan scale,
Bicycle and pedestrian models at the local level,
Data collection, augmentation and distribution to the public,
Enhanced capacity to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles,
Models of vehicle emissions and human exposure,
Statewide freight demand models,
Transit operations, and
Safety and crash prediction models.
Education and Training
It is the intent of the OMC to encourage and attract students and scholars nationally and internationally. Few university programs provide the breadth of education and training necessary to develop and use Oregon's analytical tools. The demand for technically qualified staff has already outstripped the demand and it is difficult to hire and retain technically trained modeling analysts. The OMC provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in coursework and hands-on training related to transportation models. In addition, the OMC aims to offer short-courses and professional development opportunities for practitioners seeking to enhance their modeling skills.
The members of the OMC serve the larger community by offering technical assistance and outreach. OMC members serve on the Oregon Modeling Steering Committee, the Oregon Department of Transportation's Policy Committee, the OR Department of Land Conservation and Development Target Rulemaking Advisory Committee, research committees of the Transportation Research Board, and other state and national panels.