Many instructors struggle to effectively integrate applied learning strategies into their courses, particularly for multi-faceted and evolving fields of practice, such as transportation equity. The Equitable Transportation Planning Curriculum for Urban Planning and Transportation Programs (Transportation Equity Curriculum), currently underway with CTEDD funding, will provide emerging professionals with foundational knowledge and include some service-learning components.
Through a widely accessible, permanent online training program the proposed education project will teach professionals serving local homeless populations in Dallas Fort Worth and the greater Atlanta metro area how to use transportation as a transformative tool to improve mobility and quality of life of those they serve.
The project team proposes to develop a hands-on learning module for Civil Engineering students. In this module, students will learn how to craft policies and facilitate operations for sustainable deployment of electric transportation.
Automobile emissions from highways are known to have harmful effects on the public. These harmful effects also raise concerns of environmental justice because their severity is highest near the transportation network. Established methodologies used in regional planning to identify the critical extent of emission dispersal from the highway and also to demarcate the boundaries of population group that is most at risk uses a fixed distance buffer analysis.
Over the past decade, the rapid development and adoption of mobile computing and telecommunications technology has begun to disrupt established business models based on providing mobility services that were previously available primarily through the public sector (particularly public transit agencies) or that were privately provided through households’ and firms’ directly-owned and operated vehicles. Transportation has entered an era of immense change, with many transportation network companies (TNCs) both complementing and competing with public transit.
Despite disparity in methods and efforts, many Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are seeking to incorporate equity in their planning and project prioritization processes. Yet MPOs often focus on avoiding adverse and disproportionate impacts of projects on traditionally underserved communities, without an equal focus on developing projects that advance the needs of these communities. In addition, although the economic benefits of projects are a key priority to MPOs in the project prioritization process, few MPOs screen and rank projects based on whether they specifically improve access to opportunity for low income and minority communities.
Transportation is needed to access jobs, food, health care, recreational and open spaces, and other important destinations. Equity in transportation planning processes ensures equal access to affordable and reliable transportation while ensuring that vulnerable groups don’t receive disproportionate benefits or burdens. Without inclusive processes, transportation planning can negatively impact low-income communities, minorities, persons with disabilities, the elderly, children, and other traditionally underserved populations.
The Complete Streets policy aims to transform streets to accommodate multiple modes of travel, including the active modes, such as walking and biking. The objective is to make streets safe and convenient for all persons, including children, the elderly, and the disabled. The proposed project will develop complete multimodal networks to identify potential complete streets using the bike network as a connective thread.
Even as the trends in traffic fatalities for motorists have been improving, vulnerable road users (VRUs, specifically pedestrians and bicyclists) have seen an alarming rise in fatalities in recent years. According to the Center for Disease Control, injuries from road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death for children under the age of 10, hence a critical public health issue. School-age pedestrians in lower-income neighborhoods may be particularly at risk.
This project would complement the Transportation Equity Scorecard ─ a tool for project screening and prioritization ─ that is currently being developed by the project team with funding from CTEDD. For this RFP, we propose developing a needs assessment audit tool and supporting guidance to demonstrate how the equity criteria and methods in the Scorecard would be applied by MPOs and local governments to assess the transportation needs of communities of concern, including minority and low-income households, LEP populations, children, elderly, and persons with disabilities.