A new bill introduced today by U.S. Congressman David Wu aims to bolster research that makes the case for more earth-friendly transportation policies.
The “Promoting Green Transportation Infrastructure through Research and Development Act” (H.R. 2317), which would expand the scope of existing federally-funded transportation research centers and create new ones, was announced with support from noted Portland State University researcher Jennifer Dill. Dill has led numerous bicycle-related research projects over the years including a study that tracked bicycling behavior with GPS units.
PSU is in Congressman Wu’s congressional district and is also home to the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium. OTREC is one of 60 federally-funded University Transportation Centers (UTCs) across the country.
The bill would establish new regional research centers and expand resources for existing ones to do more of the following types of “activities”:
- Assessments of the impact, cost-effectiveness, and collateral benefits of emissions and energy reduction strategies.
- The development of technologies, tools, and techniques to reduce emissions and energy consumption throughout the life-cycle of transportation infrastructure.
- Congestion reduction and speed management strategies.
- Assessments of the impact of land use change on surface emissions and other factors, such as congestion, mobility, and accessibility, and barriers to land use change.
- Infrastructure requirements for alternative fuels and vehicles.
- Traveler behaviors with respect to mode-choice, response to transportation pricing scheme, nonmotorized travel, and other emissions reducing strategies.
Wu frames H.R. 2317 as a jobs creator by saying it would turn, “cutting-edge research into jobs by providing workforce training at University Transportation Centers [like OTREC].”
As the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, Wu hopes his bill will find its way into the reauthorization of the transportation bill that is currently being worked on in Congress.