ITE Journal - May 2021 - 4

| president's message
Equity - ITE as a Community
INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTION

International President
Alyssa A. Reynolds Rodriguez, P.E., PTOE (F)
Director, Information Technology,
City of Henderson, NV, USA

International Vice President
Beverly Thompson Kuhn, Ph.D., P.E., PMP (F)

Division Head and Research Fellow, Texas A&M
Transportation Institute, College Station, TX, USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Przychodzki (M)

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

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

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

J. Andrew Swisher, P.E., PTOE (M)

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

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

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

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

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

K. Scott Walker, Jr., P.E. (M)

(Southern District), Project Leader,
Toyota Motor North America, Georgetown, KY, USA

Melisa D. Finley, P.E. (M)

(Texas District), Research Engineer,
Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station, TX, USA

Cathy Leong, P.E. (F)

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

Mark Spencer, P.E. (F)

(Western District), Senior Principal,
W-Trans, Oakland, CA, USA

Ex-Officio Members
Eric Rensel (M)

(Coordinating Council Chair) Vice President,
Gannett Fleming, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

Abbas Mohaddes, P.E. (F)

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

One of the more common questions I'm asked following
a presentation on transportation equity is why? Why is a
professional society like ITE dealing with this topic? In my
opinion, a transportation system is not successful unless it
provides access for everyone to employment, education, and
healthcare. However, I also believe there's more: fulfillment,
funding, and trust.
In addition to simply being the right thing to do, an
equitable design can be more creative and more fulfilling for
ALYSSA A.
the professional. To paraphrase a Jesuit teaching, find people
RODRIGUEZ, P.E., PTOE (F)
where they are and walk with them. As a traffic engineer, earlier
ITE International President
in my career I was asked by the Principal of Quannah McCall
Elementary School to examine their crossing location. McCall is in an older school in an
established neighborhood, and the crosswalk they wanted was within a few hundred feet of
a traffic signal. My first recommendation was to realign access to the traffic signal, but then I
met the parents. Following a spirited conversation, our final design defined a gathering space;
allowed nearby parking but protected the crossing; added new features to an aging roadway;
and was far more applicable, appreciated, and usable.
There is a finite amount of public money, and it's all the same money regardless of the colors
we paint it. When it goes unused in one place, it gets used in another. It speaks to our values;
we can deliver opportunity now or charity later. Paratransit is a good example. If there are
infrastructure-related path of travel limitations for a transit rider who is otherwise able to used
fixed route services, paratransit services must be provided. In short, we can spend money on
accessible design now, or spend money on heavily subsidized paratransit services forever.
Projects established on trust are easier to construct. Vera Keller, associate professor of
history at the University of Oregon, said in an article on progress in the MIT Technology
Review, " Transparency about our ignorance makes the knowledge we communicate more
trustworthy and extends a hand to others. " It's a trite example, but before I moved to Nevada,
USA, I thought every single-family home came with a basement. Had I not learned that it is
exceptionally hard to dig a hole in caliche, I could have assumed that a majority of the homes
in the Las Vegas Valley were poorly built or inferior. Humility in transportation design means
understanding your own lived experience is unique and not necessarily transferable to others.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't always approach a situation with an open mind as the
McCall crosswalk illustrates. Rather, it requires repetition; transportation is a practice. We can
practice transparency by sharing knowledge gaps and learning the adjacent community's travel
and destination preferences and key safety concerns. Initially sharing that humility builds trust
in the technical solution, and we need trust to move forward.
ITE is a community, and a community is most successful when all members feel like they
belong. Accordingly, ITE has established an internal Diversity & Inclusion Committee chaired
by Shilpa Mallem, P.E., PTOE (M) and Jeff Riegner, P.E., PTOE, AICP (F). You can
still attend the two remaining Equity Listening Sessions hosted by ITE on May 27 and June 30,
2021, and we need your input. Please find the session most convenient for you at www.ite.org/
technical-resources/equity-listening-sessions and join us.

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

May 2021

i te j o urnal

Alyssa A. Rodriguez, P.E., PTOE (F)
ITE International President


http://www.ite.org/technical-resources/equity-listening-sessions http://www.ite.org/technical-resources/equity-listening-sessions http://www.ite.org

ITE Journal - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - May 2021

ITE Journal - May 2021 - 1
ITE Journal - May 2021 - 2
ITE Journal - May 2021 - 3
ITE Journal - May 2021 - 4
ITE Journal - May 2021 - 5
ITE Journal - May 2021 - 6
ITE Journal - May 2021 - 7
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