ITE Journal - February 2020 - 43

In the following article, 12 strategies are presented for centering and
prioritizing equity in transportation. These strategies will hopefully
inform and provoke additional candid and meaningful discussions
about what it truly means to move beyond equity as a buzzword
into equity as both a process and an outcome. By implementing
these approaches in our everyday planning, priorities, and
execution, together we can create communities that promote and
sustain a better environment for all people.

Involving Low-Income and Minority Groups
For many years, the involvement of low-income and minority groups
in the transportation planning and decision-making processes has
simply been a formality, as the creation of a majority of proposed
plans and projects have ineffectively and inadequately involved
members of these respective groups. This has resulted in mistrust,
fears of gentrification and displacement, disinvestment, and disparate
impacts on communities of color. To change this narrative moving
forward, engineers and planners have a moral and professional
obligation to ensure the full and fair participation of low-income and
minority groups in all transportation decision-making processes.
This must also extend to increasing the representation of racial and
ethnic minority groups and women within organizations, as well as
on boards, commissions and committees. This effort is a proactive
stance against racial, ethnic, and process/participation inequities.

Invest in Predominantly Black, Hispanic, and Native
American Communities
My own research and that of Smart Growth America (SGA) reveals
the disparities in traffic violence against Black, Hispanic, and
Native American communities. According to SGA's 2019 Dangerous
by Design Report, "Drivers strike and kill people of color, especially
Black or African American and American Indian or Alaska Native

people, at higher rates compared to White, Non-Hispanic, and
Asian or Pacific Islander people."1 These same communities have
and continue to experience disproportionate amounts of disinvestment and inequities in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,
leaving many to label structural racism as the root cause. To change
this narrative moving forward, it is imperative that engineers
and planners prioritize pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure
investments-not JUST in communities of color, but with a
focus on predominantly Black, Hispanic, and Native American
communities. It is also wise to encourage local governments to
institutionalize their commitment to racial equity through the
adoption of a Racial Equity Action Plan. This effort is a proactive
stance against racial, ethnic, and process/participation inequities.

Engage and Involve Youth from Low-income and
Minority Communities
As someone who grew up both low-income and a minority, I must
confess that I knew absolutely nothing in my youth about urban
and regional planning. I also knew very little about transportation
engineering and how transportation and planning decisions were
being made at all levels of government. And, truthfully, had I
not gone to college and been exposed to engineers and planners
through an internship at a minority engineering firm, I am not
confident that I still would know anything about either of them.
Unfortunately, I am not alone. There are still many a youth from
low-income and minority communities (particularly, Black,
Hispanic, and Native American) that have no clue these professions
exist. While I and many others have done and continue to do our
part to increase exposure and access for them, more is needed and
necessary. To change this narrative moving forward, it is imperative
that professionals engage with and involve youth from low-income
and minority communities. And, while doing so, please offer them

A discussion by Charles Brown on Race, Place and Public Space: Biking While Black in the Bronx, New York City, NY, USA.
w w w .i t e.or g

Fe b ruar y 2020

43


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ITE Journal - February 2020

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

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