Kelcie Ralph Wins UCCONNECT Outstanding Student of the Year

By Adeney Zo

ralph-kelcieKelcie Ralph UP Ph.D ’15 was selected as the UCCONNECT Outstanding Student of the Year, an award which will grant her a $1,000 honorarium and cover her cost of attendance for the 2016 95th Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting.

UCCONNECT is an organization established to support faculty research in its consortium of five UC campuses along with Cal Poly, Pomona to align with the new University Transportation Center’s theme: “Promoting economic competitiveness by enhancing multi-modal transport for California and the region.” Each year, a review panel of transport experts selects one Outstanding Student of the Year based on the strength of the student’s candidacy and academic work.

Ralph was recognized at the Council of University Transportation Centers Annual in Washington, D.C.

ITS Partners with Caltrans to Deliver California Transportation Planning Conference 200 attendees meet in Downtown Los Angeles to discuss the future of transportation planning in California

 

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The last time Caltrans hosted a statewide transportation planning conference, in 2008, transportation in California was very different. Fastforwarding a short seven years later, California is hosting the first cap-and-trade system in the U.S., all of the state’s regions have Sustainable Communities Strategies linking transportation and land use, and public health at the center of the conversation. These changes, among others, are what bring together over 200 transportation professionals to the 2015 California Transportation Planning Conference hosted in Downtown Los Angeles December 2 through 4.

The conference covers various topics. Wednesday begins with a discussion on how transportation planning must evolve in order to maintain an effective transportation system for everyone. Questions of funding and aging infrastructure are on the agenda, including a discussion of system preservation featuring speakers from the Federal Highway Administration, the City of Los Angeles, Southern California Association of Governments and Caltrans. A complete list of panels and topics can be found here.

“At the conference, transportation stakeholders and decision-makers will exchange ideas and learn about the latest developments in transportation planning from a national, state, and local perspective,” said UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) Associate Director Juan Matute. “We are grateful to have partnerships between research centers like UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and state and local agencies. These are essential opportunities for knowledge transfer.”

Matute will be moderating the session titled “Planning for Accelerating Transportation Change” on Thursday morning. UCLA ITS Director Brian Taylor will present during the Friday morning panel about the future of transportation. Director Taylor is joined by LADOT General Manager and UCLA ITS advisory board member, Seleta Reynolds, as well as Daniel Witt, Manager at Tesla Motors and two notable consultants, Jeffrey Tumlin of Nelson/Nygaard and Alan Clelland of Iteris.

UCLA ITS would like to thank the event co-presenters and sponsors: Caltrans, Southern California Association of Governments, Lyft, SoCalGas, Metro, Green Dot Transportation Solutions and Cambridge Systematics.

For live coverage of the event, follow tweets with the #2015ctpc hashtag.

 

 

Transportation and Connectivity at Luskin Lecture Series U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx discussed the ways transportation builds community at a Luskin Lecture Series event

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Op-Ed: Turn to Europe for Models for California High-Speed Rail Stations Urban Planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris argues in the L.A. Times that train stations should strive to connect with their communities.

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In an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, Urban Planning professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris shines light on California’s unique opportunities in building the nation’s first bullet train.

In designing the rail system, Loukaitou-Sideris wrote that cities should focus on the extending half a mile around the station and the broader region in order to make the most of the $68 billion investment.

“The arrival of high-speed rail can provide opportunities to transform adjacent station areas and reshape local economies through thoughtful planning and policies that integrate the railway stops with the local business and physical environment,” Loukaitou-Sideris wrote in the op-ed.

Loukaitou-Sideris encouraged California to look to rail systems in Europe as examples for designing a transportation system that would build community and stimulate the economy. She provided examples of European rain systems that incorporate its surroundings in an efficient way, including Madrid’s Atocha high-speed railway terminal and Germany’s Leipizig central train station, which both serve as shopping, eating and entertainment destinations.

“The architects of stations must focus on breaking down the barriers caused by coping with a massive transportation infrastructure, employing good design to place rail tracks out of the way and to increase the station’s connectivity to its surroundings,” Loukaitou-Sideris wrote.

In addition to providing transportation to increase connectivity, Loukaitou-Sideris addressed the need to find alternate forms of transportation to access stations in order to encourage walking to attractions near the terminals. Concealing parking structures and providing bike and car sharing facilities, for instance, can encourage people to visit nearby landmarks and entertainment centers.

Loukaitou-Sideris wrote that future planning and design should consider the municipal and regional context and assets of cities in California and should connect smaller cities and larger cities.

“Smaller cities should engage in complementary planning with bigger cities…and seek to identify productive relationships with newly accessible neighboring areas,” she wrote.

With these ideas in mind, Loukaitou-Sideris argued that California has the potential to design railway stations that become city landmarks and build community in regions across California.

In addition to her work as an educator, Loukaitou-Sideris conducts research on the public environment of the city, its aesthetics and impact on residents. She focuses on seeking to integrate social and physical issues in urban planning. Loukaitou-Sideris has served as a consultant to the Transportation Research Board, Federal Highway Administration and other projects. Her published works include “Sidewalks: Conflict and Negotiation over Public Space” and numerous articles.

Luskin Center Debuts Report Advancing Workforce to meet Electrified Transportation Needs

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The Luskin Center teamed with Edison International and Southern California Edison to develop a roadmap for the creation of a wide array of curricula to train the workforce required to meet the demands of transportation electrification.

The report Transportation Electrification (TE) Curriculum Development produces: 1) an analysis of the existing state of TE-specific education and training and 2) recommendations for the future of TE workforce training, developed out of stakeholder engagement.

Increasing TE demand is driven in large part by a new era in the commercialization of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Although PEV markets are still young, the vehicles are the road today will shift billions of miles of driving to clean electric-drive operation, and PEV adoption is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. This early progress has been achieved in spite of educational deficiencies in the workforce supporting transportation electrification (TE) supply chains. These supply chains include for PEVs, charging stations and electric grid modernization.

TE supply chain are supported by workers requiring a wide range of skills–including electricians,computer specialists, infrastructure installers, PEV-readiness planners, utility planners, corporate strategic planners, and scientists–yet there are relatively few educational and vocational programs dedicated to TE relevant training.

This project addresses this gap. Through the engagement of educational, industry, and other collaborators, this project seeds a multi-phase process of transportation-electrification (TE) curriculum development.

Lewis Center Hosts Talk on Policy Implications of Ridesharing with Lyft

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By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin student writer 

On Dec. 8, the Lewis Center hosted a presentation about ridesharing transportation services based on smartphone technology and “access over ownership.” The Center invited Emily Castor, the director of Community Relations at Lyft, to speak about implications for policy and planning as these services begin to increase in density.

Over the last 2.5 years, Lyft has provided over 10 million rides and has affected mobility in several ways. Castor said these services can promote a car-free lifestyle and provide transportation options in underserved areas.

Despite some ideas that Lyft is only available in high socioeconomic neighborhoods, Castor discussed the different ride sharing features Lyft offers and its reliability different areas regardless of socioeconomic profile.

She also provided insight into the new industry’s development and how it will impact consumer behavior. For instance, people’s sensitivity to price presents the potential for systems that allow people going the same direction to share a ride. Adopting this feature in high density areas can reduce the cost for consumers up to 60% and benefit drivers who earn more per ride, she said. These features, such as the Lyft Line system, have already launched in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“The more people adopt this service, the better match rates customers get,” Castor said.

Though these services and features have much potential for mobility in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, there are questions remaining about successfully implementing and evolving them. For instance, Lyft’s upcoming launch of incidental carpooling will allow drivers to filter customers to focus on the driver’s designation. However, it is likely this would work best when there are events happening in the area.

“For carpooling to be mainstream, it needs to be flexible, reliable, quick, trustworthy and lucrative,” she said.

Public Policy student Begoña Guereca contributed to this report.

 

Latest Issue Of ACCESS Magazine Now Available; New Website Launched The magazine which translates academic research into readable prose is now available at accessmagazine.org

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The Fall 2014 issue of ACCESS magazine is hot off of the press and now available to view at the brand-new ACCESS website, accessmagazine.org. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find in the latest issue:

Phantom Trips

Adam Millard-Ball

When you see a new development being constructed, the first thing you might think is how much traffic it might bring to your neighborhood. (Well, that and will there be a good coffee shop there.) You may not be aware that developers pay more in costs based on the estimated number of new trips their developments create. But when that new coffee shop gets put into your neighborhood, how many new trips are really created?

Trip Generation for Smart Growth Projects

Robert J. Schneider, Susan L. Handy, and Kevan Shafizadeh

Developers must evaluate how much a new project will add to local traffic levels. If deemed necessary, developers must then invest in substantial capacity-adding projects, which can make some infill projects financially infeasible. But how much new vehicle traffic are developments creating, especially in smart growth areas?

Pounds that Kill

Michael L. Anderson and Maximilian Auffhammer

When you buy a car, you may not be thinking of the effect you have on other people. But more and more, we see that there are public costs to private choices. Your car may produce more pollution than another car, thus leading to an environmental impact affecting others. But what about the weight of your car? How does that affect others?

Fuel-Efficiency Standards: Are Greener Cars Safer?

Mark Jacobsen

The United States has strengthened its fuel efficiency regulations several times in recent years in an effort to reduce environmental, economic, and energy costs. These standards have led to an in increase fuel efficiency by manufacturing lighter, lower-horsepower vehicles. But are these new fuel-efficient vehicles safe?

An Innovative Path to Sustainable Transportation

Dan Sperling

At one time, it looked as though humanity might go on a greenhouse gas (GHG) diet simply by running out of fossil fuels. But due to new and improved technologies for finding and extracting oil, including extraction techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling, we are far from running out of oil. So how do we cut back on GHG levels, and the environmental impact they have, if we’re not running out of oil?

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Making Parking Meters Popular

Donald Shoup

When it comes to making a list of things people are excited about, parking meters are not just near the bottom, they’re not on the list. So how can government officials gain local support for parking meters? Donald Shoup’s answer: grant parking discounts to residents.

 

American Women Less Likely to Bike Than Dutch Women, Here’s Why Domestic roles influence the cycling habits of women across the world.

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By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin student writer

The UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies’ Herbie Huff and transportation policy and planning doctoral student Kelcie Ralph say that American women are less likely to bike than Dutch women, largely to differences in domestic roles rather than infrastructure.

In an op-ed that ran in The Guardian’s bike blog on Oct. 3, the researchers said that “Despite years of progress, American women’s lives are still disproportionately filled with driving children around, getting groceries and doing other household chores…that doesn’t lend itself easily to two wheeled transportation.”

Their claims that infrastructure does not account for the differences in male and female bikers are supported by Ralph’s research, which reveals disparities between Dutch culture and labor policies as well as the gender gap of bikers in the U.S.

To learn more about their solutions to these disparities, you can read the full article here.

 

Shoup Receives his Second Rapkin Award for Best Article in JPER The Chester Rapkin Award for the Best Paper in JPER is intended to encourage the submission of high quality papers.

The Chester Rapkin Award for the best article to appear in this year’s Journal of Planning Education and Research goes to Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup for “Graduated Density Zoning.” A shorter version of the article has also been published in Zoning Practice.

According to the awards committee the article “presents a potentially very important innovation in zoning, which could have significant application in practice. It also constitutes a theoretical advance in the idea of zoning, which remains a key part of land use planning. In form, the paper is a model for how to write an academic paper within a professional domain. It is persuasive, elegant, and economical. The author uses examples and ingenious figures to make its message clear, and it is beautifully written. In sum, this paper provides lessons for all of us, both in our search for ways to improve planning, and in how to present our work.”

The award will be presented at the annual ACSP awards luncheon which will take place in Arlington, VA, October 3, 2009.

Shoup and co-authors Jeffrey Brown and Daniel Baldwin Hess, received this award in 2004 for their article on “Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities“.

The Chester Rapkin Award for the Best Paper in JPER was established in 1987 to honor Professor Rapkin at his retirement. It is intended to encourage the submission of high quality papers. Award-winning articles reflect the scope of Rapkin’s work and have ranged from multi-attribute evaluation to the challenges of participatory planning.

Institute of Transportation Studies Contributes to New Sustainable Transport Program The Program for Sustainable Transport brings researchers together from more than 30 disciplines on six campuses to seed multi-disciplinary initiatives.

The University of California Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) Multi-campus Research Unit received a major grant to create a new Program for Sustainable Transport. The new program, supported by an initial 5-year award of $6.25 million from the UC Office of the President, was selected under the auspices of the Multi-campus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI.) Leveraging the substantial capabilities of ITS, The Program for Sustainable Transport designs tools, policies, and programs to reduce congestion, oil use, local air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, in ways that contribute to economic growth and social well being. The program focuses on three specific integrated activities: vehicles and fuels, infrastructure investment and system management, and land use and mobility planning.

The new Program for Sustainable Transport supports research, education, and outreach activities on six UC campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and UCLA. UCLA ITS director, Brian Taylor, and associate director, Allison Yoh, contributed to the creation of this program; Taylor will serve on the program’s executive committee.

The Program for Sustainable Transport brings researchers together from more than 30 disciplines on six campuses to seed multi-disciplinary initiatives, including collaborations between economists, geographers, ecologists, city and regional planners, public policy analysts, engineers from civil, environmental, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer scientists and experts in energy. In addition to cutting-edge research targeted at key societal needs and key state initiatives that are unfolding over the next few years, this new program supports the training of the next generation of experts and leaders. UCLA researchers in the Institute of Transportation Studies, which is housed in the School of Public Affairs, are slated to focus on infrastructure investment, system management, land use, and mobility planning in their work with the center.