Impacts of Transportation and Urban Systems on Health and the Environment Webinar Series


Building Trust to Enhance Preparedness: An Analysis of Community Perceptions

Johanna Amaya Leal
Department of Supply Chain Management
Iowa State University Ivy College of Business

Even though communities are considered a critical responder after disasters, the subject of community perceptions and trust in response agencies have not received much attention in preparedness research. This study seeks to fill this gap by analyzing how the attitudes and perceptions of individuals in potentially disaster-impacted communities, as well as their socio-economic characteristics, can affect both the roles of trust in emergency response agencies, and risk perception in disaster preparedness.
Usually, organizations developing the necessary preparedness and response plans do not have a clear idea of citizens’ perceptions of the response system, and how these perceptions will/can influence their level of preparedness. Knowing such perceptions would allow communities to engage in the decision of what they need instead of being passive receptors of what is sent to them in case of extreme events. This interaction will positively impact the practice community and will support their effort in building local capacity.
A structural equation modeling approach is used to analyze data from a survey applied to individuals located in towns affected by two different disasters in Colombia. The results suggest that trust in response agencies is mostly influenced by previous experience in disaster situations, education, and income. However, while females have a higher risk perception, they prepare less, even after testing for mediation. Interestingly, for two individuals with the same level of education, the one with a higher income trusts more in the response system. In the same context, for two individuals with the same level of income, the one with higher education trusts less. The seminar will close with a set of recommendations for response agencies, recommendations that take into account the perceptions of the different segments of the population to be served, so that the effectiveness of preparedness efforts and overall level of preparedness of the community increases.

This seminar took place on  May 15th, 2020.
View the Building Trust to Enhance Preparedness: An Analysis of Community Perceptions Webinar

California and the State of Freight

Avital Barnea
Deputy Secretary for Transportation Planning
California State Transportation Agency

The freight transportation system is a complex network that carries everything from cars to petroleum to bananas and more. On ships, airplanes, trains, trucks, and bicycles, cargo often moves across multiple modes before it reaches its final destination. In addition, the rise of e-commerce, trade tariffs, and even COVID-19 are rapidly reshaping the freight industry. This presentation will provide an overview of current freight trends and discussion of California’s role in the national and international freight sector.

This seminar took place on May 8th, 2020.

View the California and the State of Freight Webinar

Smart Cities and Public Health

Miroslav Svítek
Professor, Faculty of Transportation Sciences
Czech Technical University

In this presentation, the speaker introduced the concept of smart cities. He shared his experience on several projects in Europe, Asia, and South America that use the smart cities implementation to promote smart healthcare. He also discussed how technologies such as data analytics, smart sensors, wearable devices, connected and automated ambulances, virtual doctors, smart hospital rooms, etc. are being applied to crisis management, clusters identification, contact tracing, transportation of patients, automated testing, diagnosis and monitoring of patients and citizens on quarantine during a pandemic.

View the Smart Cities and Public Health Webinar

Considering Technology and Resilience in the Florida Transportation Plan

Jim Halley, A.A.E., ACE
Florida Department of Transportation,
Office of Policy Planning
Statewide Planning Coordinator

Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way people interact with one another, work, do business, travel, and even how they buy groceries. New and emerging technologies offer the potential for a safer, more efficient transportation system; more connectivity globally and locally; and streamlined business practices. However, increased reliance on technology brings other challenges to the forefront like cybersecurity and data privacy. Transportation partners need to make wise decisions today to prepare for this future.

Natural hazards, cyberattacks, and other events can have significant and unexpected impacts on Florida. Simultaneously, trends such as sea level rise and global economic shifts can lead to progressive challenges. These events and trends can result in unanticipated transportation system disruptions and increasing constraints on infrastructure, impeding access to reliable mobility. The impact on the lives of residents and visitors and the flow of business and trade can be extensive. It is critical to prepare Florida’s transportation system to be adaptive in the face of these events and trends. Planning for resilience leverages our understanding of potential hazards to mitigate risk, make wiser investment decisions, and provide more reliable transportation.

This seminar took place on April 10th, 2020.

View the Considering Technology and Resilience in the Florida Transportation Plan Webinar

The Evolving Freight Demand

Xiaokun (Cara) Wang
Associate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

This presentation talked about the impacts of technologies on freight agent behavior and demand pattern in the near future. The presentation will discuss the special features of the new freight demand, and how to get prepared for these new trends from the perspectives of data acquisition, modeling, and policy making.

This seminar took place on March 27, 2020.

View The Evolving Freight Demand Webinar

Vision Zero in San Francisco: Advancing Public Health and Equity

Megan L. Wier
Director, Program on Health, Equity & Sustainability
Co-Chair, San Francisco Vision Zero Task Force
Environmental Health Branch, Population Health Division
San Francisco Department of Public Health

This presentation provided an overview of San Francisco’s Vision Zero policy to eliminate traffic deaths and reduce severe injuries on City Streets.  Six years in to San Francisco’s Vision Zero commitment, this presentation will provide insights into what it will take to eliminate traffic deaths, the critical need to elevate equity in traffic safety initiatives, and the key role of public health data and evidence.

This seminar took place on February 14, 2020.

View the Vision Zero in San Francisco: Advancing Public Health and Equity Webinar

Population-based strategies to improve driving safety

Linda Hill
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, UC San Diego

Driving behaviors and driving safety involve complex interactions between the driver, their vehicle and the environment.  Driving behaviors account for approximately 95% of crashes, but interventions to reduce known risks often don’t reach the target audience.  The presenter will discuss strategies employed by the UC San Diego Center for Human and Urban Mobility to improve driving safety.

This seminar took place on February 7, 2020.

View the Population-based strategies to improve driving safety Webinar

Caltrans’ Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Program

Rachel Carpenter
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Branch Chief
California Department of Transportation

As recommended by California’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), Caltrans is working to develop a pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvement program.  This presentation by  Rachel Carpenter provided an overview of what has been completed since the program’s inception in 2016 as well as next steps. Specifics behind the below listed efforts were shared.

  • the 2016 (Pilot) Pedestrian Collision Monitoring Program,
  • the 2018 (Pilot) Bicyclist Collision Monitoring Program,
  • the 2020 Pedestrian Collision Monitoring Program,
  • pedestrian and bicyclist safety training, and
  • modifications to California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD) related to pedestrian and bicyclist safety and operations.

This seminar took place on November 22, 2019.

View the Caltrans’ Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Program Webinar

Safety in Numbers for pedestrians and bicyclists: Implications for public policy

Peter Jacobsen
Professional Engineer

That motorists are a lot less likely to hit someone walking or bicycling if more people walk or bicycle surprised researchers. In contrast, the number of car crashes increases proportionally with the number of cars. The evidence of a prevalence effect implies that injury risk is more than just a matter of physics, and that something occurs with human physiology or psychology. Safety in Numbers likely occurs because humans have difficulty detecting rare items. That injury risk decreases with more walking and biking creates opportunity for implementing public policies for reducing damage to the climate and improving health. This non-linear risk also explains why the recent NTSB recommendation for compulsory bicycle helmet laws could increase injury risk.

This seminar took place on November 15, 2019.

View the Safety in Numbers for pedestrians and bicyclists: Implications for public policy Webinar

Health Co-benefits of Active Transportation for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Neil Maizlish
Visiting Researcher
Department of Human Ecology, UC Davis

Background: The Integrated Transport and Health Impacts Model (ITHIM) is a scenario-based risk assessment tool that quantifies the health benefits and harms of physically active travel (walking and cycling), road traffic injuries, and fine particulate air pollution in urban transportation systems.
Methods: Descriptive statistics on travel patterns, physical activity, traffic injuries, and car emissions were derived from statewide travel and health surveys, collision databases, and outputs from regional travel demand and emissions models. The change in disease burden was measured in deaths and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) based on dose–response relationships from meta-analyses and the distributions of physical activity and traffic injuries. Alternative scenarios were measured against baseline travel patterns experienced in each major California region. Alternative scenarios included increases in active travel from baseline to 20 median minutes/person/day, apportioned entirely to walking (“all walk”), cycling (“all cycle”), and or transit-related active travel (“all transit”). The health benefits and greenhouse mitigation of these scenarios were compared to those of the preferred scenarios regional transportation planning agencies. These agencies are mandated to demonstrate greenhouse gas reductions in their transportation plans (“Sustainable Communities Strategies (SB375)”, which emphasize transit expansion to achieve this goal.
Results:The preferred scenarios increased statewide active transport from 41 to 54 min/person/week, which was associated with an annual decrease of 890 deaths and 15,053 DALYs. The ambitious, maximal alternatives increased population mean travel duration to 283 min/person/week for walking, bicycling, or transit and were associated a reduction in deaths and DALYs from 2.5 to 10 times greater than the California preferred scenarios. The alternative with the largest health impact was bicycling, which led to 8,349 fewer annual deaths and 141,597 fewer DALYs, despite an increase in bicyclist injuries. With anticipated population growth by 2040, no alternative achieved decreased carbon emissions, but bicycling had the greatest potential for slowing their growth.
Conclusions: Expansion of transit confers important health benefits through active transport and meets important societal goals for destination accessibility. However, expansion of walking and cycling, independently of transit, can play a larger role in improving population health.

This seminar took place on November 8, 2019.

View the Health Co-benefits of Active Transportation for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Webinar

Heterogeneous traffic flow: how agent interactions shape collective properties 

Jia Li
Texas Tech

Collective properties of traffic flow, such as its equilibrium, aggregate dynamics and stability, are determined by attributes of agents (i.e. drivers/vehicles) as well as how the agents interact. Understanding connections between the two is crucial to control and operations, e.g. towards designing mechanisms to make mixed traffic flow of autonomous and human-driven vehicles self-organize and self-stabilize. In this talk, Jia Li presented recent research in this direction. In the first part, Li provided an explicit characterization of equilibriums attainable by heterogeneous traffic flow in multilane settings, where one class of agents are “type-sensitive”, a property that autonomous vehicles may likely be endowed with. In the second part, Li presented simulation evidence along with a heuristic analysis towards explaining spontaneous platoon formation in heterogeneous traffic flow and the role of opportunistic agent behaviors. Finally, Li discussed implications of these results from a control perspective.

This seminar took place on November 1, 2019.

View the Heterogeneous traffic flow seminar

Transforming Hillsborough County’s Transportation Future

There are tremendous opportunities in Hillsborough County at this time. We can create a safe, sustainable transportation network and build the kind of vibrant, walkable places that bring opportunity, economic development, and support a higher quality of life for our residents. Commissioner Kemp is looking forward to joining other women leaders in transportation in Hillsborough County to have a conversation about how they can work together to accomplish these goals. She will be joined by Jean Duncan, P.E. Director of Transportation and Stormwater Services for the City of Tampa, Cassandra Borchers, AICP, Chief Development Officer of PSTA, and Beth Alden, AICP, Executive Director of Hillsborough County MPO.

This seminar took place on April 24, 2019.

View the Transforming Hillsborough County’s Transportation Future seminar

The Equal Distribution of Freedom

Beth Alden 
AICP, Executive Director 
Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization for Transportation 
Tampa, Florida 

Nationally-renowned transit planner Jarrett Walker has said, “The discussion of equity in transportation … is at its best a study of the equal distribution of freedom.” Ms. Alden will discuss the intersection of access, public health, safety, and multimodal transportation investments in Tampa and Hillsborough County, reflecting on the use of tools such as scenario planning and performance-based programming to collaboratively reshape priorities in our community. 

This seminar took place on March 28, 2019.

View The Equal Distribution of Freedom Webinar

Where Matters: Health and Economic Impacts of Where We Live

Lawrence D. Frank
Professor and Bombardier Chair in Sustainable Transportation and Health
University of British Columbia
President, Urban Design 4 Health, Inc.

New evidence linking built and natural environment features with physical activity, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stress, and sense of community will be presented. These finding are based on large scale health surveillance databases (40,000-50000 N) with address information spatially linked with detailed measures of regional transportation accessibility, walkability metrics, and green space. Results have been integrated into decision-support scenario planning tools (California and National Public Health Assessment Models) designed to predict health impacts of contrasting land use and transportation investment proposals at the neighborhood, corridor, and regional scale. 

This seminar took place on March 25, 2019.

View the Where Matters: Health and Economic Impacts of Where We Live Webinar

Multimodal Planning for SIS

Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) represents the state’s largest and most significant transportation facilities including airports, spaceports, seaports, rail corridors, passenger terminals, transit, waterways, and highways. The SIS serves as the primary avenue for implementing Florida’s long-range transportation vision and SIS facilities receive the highest priority for transportation capacity improvements. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Systems Implementation Office Manager Huiwei Shen, SIS Planning Manager Chris Edmonston, and SIS Administrator Jennifer King shared how the SIS plans for multimodal facilities.

This seminar took place on March 6, 2019.

View the Multimodal Planning for SIS Webinar