ITE Journal - February 2020 - 4

| president's message
Embracing Equity
INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTION

International President
Ransford S. McCourt, P.E., PTOE (F)
Portland, OR, USA

International Vice President
Alyssa A. Reynolds Rodriguez, P.E., PTOE (F)
Assistant Director, Public Works,
City of Henderson, NV, USA

Immediate Past International President
Bruce Belmore, P.Eng., PTOE, VMA (F)

Director, Western Canada Transportation Planning, WSP,
Regina, SK, Canada

Directors
Gordon E. Meth, P.E., PTOE, PTP, RSP1 (F)

(Northeastern District) Transportation Engineering
Expert Witness, Robson Forensic, Cedar Knolls, NJ, USA

Jeff Riegner, P.E., AICP, PTOE (F)

(Mid-Colonial District), Vice President,
Whitman, Requardt & Associates, Wilmington, DE, USA

Scott Knebel, P.E. (M)

(Great Lakes District), Group Manager,
Crawford, Murphy, and Tilly, Columbus, OH, USA

Kristi M. Sebastian, P.E., PTOE (M)

(Midwestern District), Traffic Engineer,
Dakota County, Apple Valley, MN, USA

Kirsten Tynch, P.E., PTOE, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP (F)
(Southern District), Managing Director,
VHB, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Karen E. Aspelin, P.E., PTOE (F)

(Mountain District), Principal, MaxGreen
Transportation Engineers, LLC,
Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Cathy Leong, P.E. (F)

(Western District), Associate Director,
Wilson Okamoto Corporation, Honolulu, HI, USA

Carlos Ortiz, P.E., T.E., PTOE (M)

(Western District), COO, Advantec,
Consulting Engineers, Irvine, CA, USA

Jen Malzer, M.Sc., P.Eng. (F)

(Canadian District), Transportation Engineer,
City of Calgary, AB, Canada

Daniel Przychodzki (M)

(Global District) Team Leader, Transport,
City of Greater Dandenong, Victoria, Australia

Dale Picha, P.E., PTOE (M)

(Texas District), Traffic Operations Manager,
Texas Department of Transportation, San Antonio, TX, USA

Andrew Velasquez, P.E., PTOE (M)

(Florida Puerto Rico District) Program Manager - Planning
and Traffic Engineering, AECOM, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Ex-Officio Members
J. Andrew Swisher, P.E., PTOE

(Missouri Valley District) Project Manager,
HR Green, Inc., Des Moines, IA, USA

Jason Crawford, P.E. (F)

(Coordinating Council Chair)
Research Engineer/Division Head, Texas A&M
Transportation Institute, Arlington, TX, USA

Equity (noun): freedom from bias or favoritism, the quality of
being fair and impartial.
Discussion of equity can imply broad considerations. Equity is
a complex and challenging topic. In the transportation profession,
equity reaches deeply into the communities and people we serve.
It does not come with checklists, handbooks, or standards. It
routinely involves judgement and differences in thought. Because
of this, people often prefer to avoid the sensitivity of equity
discussions altogether.
RANSFORD S. MCCOURT,
When we speak of transportation equity today, the
P.E., PTOE (F)
conversation generally turns to topics such as travel modes and
ITE International President
social, racial, and economic themes commonly emerge. Growing
up in rural northwest Oregon, I remember that the equity of rural/urban funding priorities
were a frequent discussion. What happens when equity takes an unexpected turn? Are we
working to make transportation safer, more reliable and truly equitable for all, or are we
limiting ourselves to checking compliance boxes to convince others we are achieving equity?
For the past 40 years, I've experienced issues in our industry that leave me wondering if we
have a full appreciation of equity. Are we making the best possible choices when selecting
professionals to design and plan our transportation systems?
While I would love to have the answers to this, it actually generates more questions for
me. Why is it we struggle with consideration of equity in transportation? Is it because of the
leaders who try to control the process of ideas and community solutions to fit their narratives,
agenda, ego, timeframes, or financial interests? Is it a fear that seeking equity can be a largely
unknown territory leading to endless schedules, budget overruns, not looking good, or losing
a job? If equity is important, what are its limits? Where the majority benefit, does that mean
the needs of the minority can be ignored? Or the reverse, when the minority is favored? When
working together, are we fair and impartial toward one another in our work? How do we
react to favoritism and bias when it affects transportation? Do we seek refuge in what we see
as our truth, the comfort of people we align with, or do we pursue the broader needs of the
community? We must demand of ourselves a solution beneficial to all.
Equity in transportation is complex. It challenges us, our budgets, and schedules to serve
its purpose. I believe transportation professionals are well positioned to meet this challenge.
Seeking equity in the planning, design, and operation of our transportation systems allows
us greater understanding of the community context and the underpinnings of why resistance
to change exists. Advancing equity when we work together-on proposals, contracts, and
projects-will make our industry better for the next generation of transportation professionals.
In this issue of ITE Journal you will find articles that speak to the heart of these topics,
contributed by partners including Toole Design Group, Better Bike Share Partnership, Feonix
- Mobility Rising, and more. Exploring equity on many fronts, as these articles do, has the
potential to make future transportation systems better for all. Find the courage to listen,
understand, and seek meaningful change. Don't miss the opportunity to shape your community
by working toward equity.

Abbas Mohaddes, P.E. (F)

(Industry Council Chair)
President and COO, Econolite, Anaheim, CA, USA

Institute of Transportation Engineers
1627 Eye Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006 USA
Telephone: +1 202-785-0060 | Fax: +1 202-785-0609

www.ite.org

4

Februar y 2020

i te j o u rn al

Ransford S. McCourt, P.E., PTOE (F)
ITE International President


http://www.ite.org

ITE Journal - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - February 2020

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