TRCLC Hosts Third Annual Summer Conference on Livable Communities
On June 21 and June 22, the Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities (TRCLC) hosted its third annual summer conference at Western Michigan University's (WMU) Parkview Campus in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In attendance were transportation researchers from WMU and the TRCLC's consortium universities: Utah State University, Tennessee State University, University of Texas at Arlington and Wayne State University. Also in attendance were educators, students, advocates, community members, policymakers and transportation practitioners from across Michigan who collectively share a passion to improve quality of life by advancing more sustainable transportation systems.
TRCLC Director Dr. Jun Oh and Dr. Houssam Toutanji, Dean of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, kicked off the two-day event acknowledging in their introductory remarks both the challenges and opportunities of creating more balanced, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation systems in the Midwest and across the country. Fifteen presentations were delivered by center researchers on recent work spanning numerous themes including nonmotorized transportation safety, sustainable transportation infrastructure and transportation services for people with disabilities.
Transportation advocates John Lindenmayer, Executive Director of the League of Michigan Bicyclists and John Waterman, Founder and Executive Director of Programs To Educate All Cyclists (PEAC), highlighted current programs and grassroots efforts designed to empower individuals via cycling, active transportation, self-advocacy education and civic participation. Josh DeBruyn, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Transportation Michigan (MDOT), presented the many community and economic benefits of bicycling and related investments in Michigan.
Graduate students engaged with conference attendees during a two-hour lunch and poster session. Students shared their work on numerous transportation research topics including equitable bike-sharing, predictive models of pedestrian crashes and the impact of transportation on health performance. Gentjan Heqimi, student of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University, received the best poster award for his work on Location-Sensitive Snow Effects on Interstate Highway Crashes. Brent Kostich, student of Mechanical and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at WMU, received a second place award for his poster, An Experimental Investigation of Rider-Influenced Bicycle Dynamics in a Transportation Environment.
A sincere thank you to those who participated in the 2016 summer conference. Your innovative work is taking important strides toward fostering safer, more equitable and environmentally sustainable transportation.