The ITS community has suffered a terrible loss. Martin Wachs was a distinguished professor emeritus, founder of UCLA ITS, and dearest friend & colleague.
How the rise of the automobile fundamentally changed the nature of policing in America is a topic that is both integral to mobility and yet often overlooked by traditional transportation academics. “This is not just a history of the police, but also a history about race,” said Sarah Seo, Columbia Law professor and author of “Policing the Open Road” who gave the 14th annual Martin Wachs Distinguished Lecture in Transportation on March 4. The lecture was established in honor of Professor Emeritus Wachs and rotates between UCLA and UC Berkeley, the campuses at which he taught. It brings innovative speakers to discuss the pressing challenges facing transportation today. https://youtu.be/kMnEyLfqGbw Seo opened by explaining the paradox of the car: that since its inception, cars have symbolized freedom, yet today, driving is one of the most policed aspects of American life — particularly for people of color. Policing was not always as ubiquitous as it is today; in the early 20th century, policing was relatively limited and focused on marginalized groups, particularly the poor and immigrants. The “typical” white, middle-class man rarely interacted with the police and instead self-governed through social norms of honor and shame. As the automobile gained popularity, [...]
Project by UCLA faculty envisions collaborative bicycle “flows” that generate digital exhibitions For many Los Angeles residents, the daily commute is frustrating. A project by three UCLA faculty members aims to change that — especially for those who ride to work on two wheels — by creating bicycle “flows” that produce real-time digital art exhibitions throughout the city. One of the project’s goals is to make cycling to work feel as accessible and safe as other modes of travel, so the professors envision groups, or flows, of cyclists that would be organized by a smartphone app. The app would encourage reluctant or inexperienced cyclists to participate by pointing them toward those flows, suggest routes that are optimized for enjoyability and safety over efficiency or speed, and enable participants to share their experiences. Those experiences, in the form of text, photos, videos and other creative submissions, would feed directly into digital murals throughout Los Angeles. The murals would be located in community spaces and transportation hubs around the city — including, for example, a large interactive display at the Los Angeles State Historic Park, adjacent to Chinatown — elevating biking to work to a collective creative experience. “We envision the cooperative [...]
Beginning with the Class of 2021, the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies will award urban planning graduate students for work that addresses inequities in the transportation field. The Excellence in a Transportation Equity and Justice Capstone Prize is the latest effort by UCLA ITS to build educational and research capacity around transportation injustices.
The UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies launched a joint initiative -- called Access to Opportunities -- to examine how transportation connects people to the social and economic opportunities they need to thrive. This project draws in a wide range of UCLA scholars working across fields including public health, urban planning, social welfare, Chicano studies, and many more. The phrase “access to opportunity” refers to the role of transportation in ensuring people have access to essential destinations, such as in jobs, healthcare, and education. However, transportation is not equitably distributed, meaning that certain groups of people face barriers in accessing these essential needs, and thus face poorer life outcomes. This research project seeks to increase the understanding of this concept: why it matters, what determinants shape it, and how it relates to other fields. Most importantly, this initiative aims to find a path forward, and identify how we can increase access for the most underserved groups. For more information about the initiative, read the primer and watch the video below.
Seeking a transportation/infrastructure scholar working at the intersection of engineering and policy, with an explicit focus on equity — both by increasing transportation benefits enjoyed by Black and other marginalized travelers and by decreasing the harms transportation systems disproportionately impose on Black and disadvantaged communities. This faculty search is a partnership among the Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Public Policy and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, as part of the campuswide effort to rise to the challenge of racial and social justice at UCLA, sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost.
Samuel Speroni MURP ‘20, awarded the Neville A. Parker Award for best capstone on ride-hailing as school transportation option for vulnerable students.
Transfers Magazine, the biannual digital magazine of the Pacific Southwest Region UTC edited by a team of UCLA faculty, staff and students, released its latest issue last month. Our writers take on some of the biggest challenges we have faced as a society this year, from climate change to racial injustice to the COVID-19 pandemic. These problems show up in our transportation work in ways big and small, and require us to harness our expertise across issue areas. Transfers is one effort towards sharing knowledge to collectively develop the critical solutions that we need. Our editor-in-chief, Michael Manville, wrote: What makes these Transfers articles, however, is less the urgency of the subjects and more what the authors bring to them: a commitment to clarity, reason and evidence. Transfers is premised on the idea that solutions do exist to our problems, and that careful research, translated into respectful and generous prose, can help us find those solutions and usher them toward reality. Please check out the articles from the latest issue. Editor’s Note Michael Manville Bearing the Brunt of Expanding E-Commerce: Logistics Sprawl, Goods Movement, and Environmental Justice Communities of color face disproportionate burdens from living near warehouses Quan Yuan How [...]
Fariba Siddiq is leveraging her cross-cultural knowledge to study gender differences in ride-hailing. Siddiq, who was born and raised in Bangladesh, is researching ride-hailing experiences across genders in two cities: Los Angeles and Dhaka, Bangladesh. In her study, she’ll explore how ride-hailing impacts mobility and access to opportunities for women in both countries — before and after COVID-19. “As mobility decreases for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to analyze how changes in travel behaviors have impacted the most vulnerable, particularly women,” said Siddiq, who is currently pursuing a doctorate in urban planning from UCLA. “Notably, I’m interested in learning how the introduction of ride-hailing in multiple cultural contexts has had an effect on access for women,” she said. In recognition of this work, the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations recently honored Siddiq with the Lee Schipper Scholarship Award. Siddiq was one of three international PhD candidates who study transportation to receive the prestigious recognition. The Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency seeks to recognize students every year who continue Lee Schipper’s policy work in sustainable transportation and energy efficiency. Schipper served as an international physicist, researcher, musician, and co-founder of EMBARQ, known today as [...]
Work from home significantly reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19, yet the ability to telecommute is starkly divided along lines of race, income, and educational attainment. Those unable to work remotely face higher rates of COVID-19, job loss, and lost wages. In a new brief by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, authors Rosalie Singerman Ray, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Connecticut, and Paul Ong, UCLA research professor and center director, used U.S. Census data from the weekly Household Pulse Survey to examine the relationships between remote work, employment status, and access to work along racial, income, and other systematic disparities. Their findings provide clear insight on what was broadly known: The pandemic is worsening existing race and class disparities. Access to remote work reduces job displacement, yet after controlling for income and education, Asian, Black, and Hispanic workers are significantly less likely than their white counterparts to switch to remote work. This is compounded by race-based disparities in income and educational status, factors which also impact ability to work remotely. Ability to work from home rises steadily as income and education increase. For example, 11% of those with less than a high school diploma and 12% of [...]