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'Partners in Transportation' roll into Oregon State

Northwest Transportation Conference, with workshops, presentations, hits CH2M Hill

By Tom Nightingale
The Daily Barometer

This week, Oregon State University will host the 2004 Northwest Transportation Conference with more than 400 transportation professionals from throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest expected to participate.

The conference, themed "Partners In Transportation," is cosponsored by the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation at OSU, and will feature workshops and presentations on many transportation related topics, including a Segway scooter demonstration that will kick-start the three-day event.

The event will be held on campus at CH2M Hill Alumni Center with transportation experts and officials addressing a wide range of issues, from how Oregon can utilize European bicycle and pedestrian oriented designs to how homeland security and an aging population will impact the region's transportation.

The OSU Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation director, James Lundy, believes hosting the conference is a fantastic achievement for the University.

"OSU have done this every other year since about 1949, so we've been in the process for a long time," Lundy said. "Originally the conference started out by focusing almost exclusively on roads and streets but all modes of transportation has grown to really be the scope now."

Lundy believes the conference will help gain exposure for not only the university, but also the OSU engineering department.

"From the conference we get the chance to showcase some of the research and work we have been doing," Lundy said.

Lundy also urged students to attend the conference, as it is a chance for all to express their views on transportation at OSU and in Corvallis.

"Part of what they can take away is information on how they might interact with the community, and one example would be bicycles," Lundy said.

"For bike and pedestrian safety and facilities to be included in a typical community, the public has to get involved and the way that might happen is if students could take ideas away from the event and then start working with the city officials and planning divisions," Lundy said.

"This is what we want and this is important to us," Lundy said. "There are ways that students can pull things from this conference and how they can then take it out into the public and let officials know what is important and what they want."

Lundy also believes that OSU and its engineering school are playing a major role in the community.

"The College of Engineering is playing a larger and larger role in developing solutions to complex transportation issues for Oregon and beyond, so its very appropriate that OSU is hosting this exciting event," Lundy said.

"As Oregon continues to grow, efficient transportation becomes critical," Lundy said. "We want to help this state be a leader in innovative, creative transportation solutions."

Registration for the conference begins at 9 a.m. today in the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center on campus with all welcome to attend.

"There's some excellent opportunities to gather together the transportation side of this, but (also) how transportation fits into everybody's lives -- whether you're a pedestrian or a bicyclist," Lundy said.