UCLA ITS to spearhead transportation planning research as part of California 100 initiative to envision and shape the long-term success of the state
To fulfill their degree requirements, urban planning graduate students at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs must either write a thesis paper or complete a project on behalf of real-world clients. Each year, UCLA ITS provides funding for a set of student research projects that provide valuable insights into today’s pressing transportation questions. Additionally, at the completion of their capstone projects, ITS awards students who conduct exceptional research and produce meaningful findings for the transportation field. This year, nine projects — 14 students total — were recognized for their excellent contributions. We are confident that their research will provide the critical evaluation that their clients need, and will shape how practitioners approach these issues in the future. Grand prize awards went to Shelly Quan, MURP ‘21, who received the ITS Capstone Prize for her project, California Government Screening Maps: An Investigation into Geographic Prioritization in Support of State Climate and Planning Goals, and Jayne Vidheecharoen, MURP ‘21, who received the inaugural Excellence in a Transportation Equity & Justice Capstone Prize for her project titled Equity Lenses: Targeting Equitable Community Investment Across Southern California. Both awards included a prize of $5,000. ITS Capstone Prize: California Government Screening Maps [...]
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 this month. As always, Transfers writers take on some of the most challenging and urgent issues of the day, from mitigating health inequities through transportation access, to bringing aged infrastructure into the present-day, to addressing social and racial factors that shape travel behaviors. Transfers strives to bring research out of the ivory tower and into policy and practice, where its learnings are urgently needed. Issue 7 is dedicated to Transfers senior editor and beloved ITS professor emeritus Marty Wachs, who passed away in April. Marty approached his leadership of Transfers as he did with all his many other responsibilities — with warmth, commitment, and a strong faith in the researchers and the potential impact of their work. The Transfers staff hopes to carry this same energy and dedication forward into future issues. Check out the articles from the latest issue: Tribute to Martin Wachs He did so much in so many different fields that most of us know only a small part of everything he accomplished Donald Shoup Transportation for the Anthropocene New [...]
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.