Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Transportation Policy

Portland’s Transport Research Guru Headed to Obama Administration

The U.S. DOT is expected to announce today that it has tapped Robert Bertini, a Portland State University professor who headed Oregon's state-wide transport research effort, as the No. 2 at the Research and Innovative Technology Administration -- the government's home for stats on all things transportation.

large_Rob_Bertini_1.jpgRobert Bertini. Photo: Oregonian

Bertini's hiring is an uber-wonky personnel move, to be sure. But it also signals the ascent of a reason-based approach to transportation policy, with a focus on increasing efficiency by helping communities shift a greater share of trips onto transit.

In testimony before Congress last year, Bertini outlined the dizzying array of projects his Oregon research consortium, known as OTREC, has embarked upon after its founding in 2005 (with a grant from the federal DOT). Here's just a sampling of what OTREC has studied:

    • The socio-economic impacts of imposing a new vehicle miles traveled tax
    • The relationship between transportation planning and land use, assuming "a certain set of goals are determined and pursued by politicians and planners," as Bertini put it
    • How to shift suburban multi-family housing developments to a broader mix of transport modes
    • Using technology to encourage more neighborhood pedestrian activity
    • How community safety affects public health for lower-income children

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024

Deal Reached: Hochul Says ‘Sammy’s Law’ Will Pass

The bill, though imperfect, has been four years in the making.

April 18, 2024
See all posts