Broad Stakeholder Engagement in Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Planning: Survey and Case Study of Louisiana
Christopher Melson (Christopher.Melson@la.gov), Louisiana Department of Transportation and DevelopmentShow Abstract
Jiaqi Ma, University of California, Los Angeles
Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) offer potentially transformative and far-reaching impacts to the transportation system. However, realized benefits will be directly tied to how well agencies prepare for these technologies. Utilizing the State of Louisiana as a case study, this paper presents the development, results, and analysis of an electronic survey distributed to 273 Louisiana organizations. The purpose of the survey was to engage these organizations under the context of CAV planning and gauge their awareness, perception, and viewed importance of planning for CAV technologies. Survey results were clustered in three main groups: Group A—those uninformed of CAV technologies and do not believe they will impact their organization (comprised of surveyed aging communities, disadvantaged groups, economic development, and freight entities), Group B—those more informed but also do not believe their organization will be impacted (advocacy groups, environmental quality, and transit entities), and Group C—those aware, positively perceive, and believe it is important to prepare (planning, public safety, and traffic operation entities). Overall, results indicate a strong correlation between the level of awareness and perception of CAV technologies. Low awareness and perception by economic development, freight, and transit groups—compounded by low levels of perceived impact and importance of planning—indicate areas of concern. Results were further analyzed utilizing a CAV-specific capability maturity framework, and recommendations were developed to engage stakeholders in planning efforts. Recommendations include creating an external CAV advisory council and forum, tailoring educational campaigns to organizational awareness level, and taking inventory of partner strengths.
Twelve Years of Transportation Annual Meeting Hashtag: Implications for Networking and Research Trends
Subasish Das, Texas A&M UniversityShow Abstract
Anandi Dutta, University of Texas, San Antonio
Twitter, among other social media platforms, has become popular over time. Social media platforms underpin the way scholars share ideas, propagate the latest emergence of evidence, and adopt new practices by providing a virtual platform for interacting, socializing, and sharing information from academic conferences with the outside world beyond the physical location. The Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Annual Meeting is considered the largest annual conference for transportation engineering and science, and the hashtag for the conference, #TRBAM, was used first in 2009. This paper aims to perform an observational study based on the interactions on Twitter surrounding this hashtag by collecting all original #TRBAM tweets for twelve years (2009-2020). A general trend in the data is that the quantitative measures (tweets, retweets, and favorites) are all much higher during the conference month compared to other months. Top trending topics included: transit, safety, bike or non-motorized mode of transportation, data, and freight. Overall, the communication pattern shows more dispersion than the central tendency. The findings of this study highlight the need to implement and improve strategies to help transportation research communities encourage continuous and active participation during and after conferences. More active engagement among attendees will help maintain the momentum of information sharing and expand the traffic safety platform globally.
Redesigning the Table: Equitable Engagement for Equitable Outcomes in Congestion Pricing
Brooke Staton, Reflex Design CollectiveShow Abstract
Julia Kong, Reflex Design Collective
Paige Miller, SFCTA
Colin Dentel-Post, SFCTA
Grasielita Buenrostro Diaz, SFCTA
Underinvested communities, including low-income communities, particularly those of color, disabled communities, and other marginalized groups have historically been excluded from the planning process, which often relies on “check the box” outreach methods that perpetuate the inequitable status quo and oftentimes harm these communities. To plan for a more equitable future, governmental agencies need to redefine what it means to engage with the public. This paper details how using an equity design framework can not only bring historically underinvested communities to the table—but redesign the table with them. The equity design framework outlined in this paper prioritizes designing with an awareness of social context, reflecting critically on the practitioner’s own relationship to social power, and democratically distributing decision-making power in the design process such that grassroots experts with lived experience are empowered throughout every stage of the process. By incorporating this framework into the planning process, governmental agencies can rebuild trust with underinvested communities and develop more equitable policy solutions to better serve those communities. This paper details how an equity design framework was applied to lead the San Francisco Downtown Congestion Pricing Study with an equitable engagement process. Included is a discussion on how the study team adjusted its engagement strategy to maintain an equitable process amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Impacts of COVID-19 on Transport Modes and Mobility Behaviour: Analysis of Public Discourse in Twitter
Muhammad Habib, Dalhousie UniversityShow Abstract
Md Asif Hasan Anik, Dalhousie University
This study proposes a framework to analyze public discourse in Twitter to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on transport modes and mobility behaviour. It also identifies reopening challenges and potential reopening strategies that are discussed by the public. First, the study collects 15,776 tweets that relate to personal opinions on transportation services posted in between May 15 to June 15, 2020. Next, it applies text mining and topic modelling technique to the tweets to determine the prominent themes, terms, and topics in those discussions to understand public feelings, behaviour and broader sentiments about the changes brought about by COVID-19 on the transportation systems. Results reveal that people are avoiding public transport and shifting to using a private car, bicycle, or walking. Bicycle sales have increased remarkably but car sales have declined. Cycling and walking, telecommuting, and online schools are identified as possible solutions to COVID-19 mobility problems and to reduce car usage with an aim to tackle traffic congestion in the post COVID-19 world. People appreciated government decision for funding allocation to public transport, as well as, asked for the reshaping, restoring and safe reopening of transit systems. Protecting transit workers, riders, shop customers and staff, and office employees are identified as crucial reopening challenges, whereas mask wearing, phased reopening, and social distancing are proposed as effective reopening strategies. This framework can be used as a tool by decision makers to enable a holistic understanding of public opinions on transportation services during COVID-19 and formulate policies for a safe reopening.
Experimentation as a Public Engagement Strategy in the Bridge X Proposal for Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge
Andrew Nash, St. Pölten UniversityShow Abstract
Wendy Wang, ScenesLab
Cy Chengzhe Zhang, ScenesLab
Jeremy Pi, Raimi and Associates
Bridge X is a proposal for the Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition sponsored by the New York City Council and Van Alen Institute. It consists of transport, open space and access improvements to Brooklyn Bridge designed to help reduce overcrowding on the bridge promenade, provide open space for social distancing, encourage sustainable transport use, and support New York’s pandemic recovery efforts. Community engagement is central to Bridge X, but as a design competition proposal it was not possible to complete a traditional community engagement process. Covid-19’s emergence during the competition further limited possibilities for engagement. Therefore, Bridge X used an abridged engagement process based on discussions with community and interest group leaders to develop its final proposal. The final proposal includes a recommended community engagement strategy centered upon experimentation. Experimentation is the process of using temporary measures to test an idea. One of the most visible transport examples was the temporary closing of New York’s Times Square to test a concept for pedestrianization. Experimentation is an especially useful technique for ideas that defy common sense and are difficult to analyze technically. Bridge X is exactly this sort of project since it recommends reducing vehicle lanes on Brooklyn Bridge from three to one in each direction. Finally, experimentation is a good approach when public engagement opportunities are limited as in the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper describes the concept of using experimentation in community engagement and outlines how it was used in the Bridge X proposal.
The Role of Partnerships in Virtual Public Involvement Activities
Derek Krevat, Massachusetts Department of TransportationShow Abstract
MassDOT developed a strategic public engagement plan establishing concrete goals for outreach as part of its annual Capital Investment Plan (CIP). This plan identified partners in the outreach process and resources used in developing the CIP, as well as clearly defining roles and responsibilities throughout the development process.
Logen Hodges, North Carolina Turnpike AuthorityShow Abstract
The move from traditional outreach methods to virtual public involvement
Vision Zero Traffic Safety Messaging Research
Bruce Brown, PRR, Inc.Show Abstract
Dawn Schellenberg, Seattle Department of Transportation
PRR employed a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to dive deep into the public’s perception of traffic safety and understand what motivated people to travel more safely. This research relied on three methods:
Union County Critical Intersection Analysis
Jenny Noonkester, RS&H, Inc.Show Abstract
Bjorn Hansen, Union County North Carolina
As a result of the COVID pandemic and restrictions on in-person interactions, we’ve had to quickly adapt our public involvement approaches to use virtual and online platforms. The poster will demonstrate how we were able to effectively engage the public online using information and materials we had readily available.
Best Practices for Rural Community Engagement in Tennessee as Guided by OCT Supervisors' Interview Data
Mohammad Uddin, East Tennessee State UniversityShow Abstract
Most of the land area in Tennessee is rural. People in rural areas have unique differences and challenges when it comes to economic and community development, transportation needs and health care. It is not surprising then that they would also have different mechanisms for effectively engaging these population. Rural communities are often distant from the technological, geographically, and socially dense urban and suburban communities, which presents distinct challenge in policy engagement. As a result, community engagement techniques that may successfully work and yield greater outcomes in urbanized and metropolitan areas may not always translate well in rural and small communities. The researchers conducted zoom interviews with four Office of Community Transportation (OCT) supervisors in Tennessee. These four offices are responsible for statewide community engagement in Tennessee. The interview questions were focused on identifying effective rural community engagement tools, techniques and practices. This poster will provide a summary highlight of these rural community engagement practices.
Moving Forward, the Next Regional Transportation Plan for the NY Metro Region
Leslie Black, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.Show Abstract
Gerry Bogacz, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council
In early 2020, NYMTC embarked on public outreach efforts for its next long-range Regional Transportation Plan just as the COVID-19 public health emergency arrived in the United States. NYMTC, building on its vast experience of flexibility and adaptation, pivoted its engagement program to focus on remote and virtual forms of outreach with great care to ensure that diverse and representative input could be obtained. Public Workshops were transformed into a series of highly successful interactive Virtual Workshops. Focus groups became a Virtual Focus Groups with recruitment conducted by a professional vendor that assembled groups of participants from Communities of Concern and users of Coordinated Human Transportation services. While the engagement program always included an web component, the online engagement platform became all the more important with interactive exercises pertaining to the RTP goals as well as the inclusion of an educational video primer about NYMTC and the RTP process; the Agency also shifted resources towards promoting that platform on social media and through partnering organizations.
UVU Pedestrian Bridge over I-15
Jeannie Lambert, Penna PowersShow Abstract
A live webcam was installed at the worksite in a position that captures the entire bridge. The video from the camera is stored and ‘stitched’. This allows the project to have an asset showing the complete construction from groundbreaking to completion that can be used in future project planning and as a memento of such a unique and large project. The webcam was also placed on the website so users can watch the bridge being built.
Public Engagement Methods in the Classroom: Application to an Undergraduate Transportation Course
Michelle Oswald Beiler, Bucknell UniversityShow Abstract
The poster will highlight all the methods used in the CEEG 432 (Sustainable Transportation Planning) course to teach students (upper level civil and environmental engineering students) about public involvement and context sensitive solutions. An in-depth discussion of the lesson format, topics included, charrette activity, public meeting assignment, as well as application to course projects will be discussed.
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