Moving Towards A More Sustainable California: Exploring Livability, Accessibility, and Prosperity
PI: Susan Shaheen, UC Berkeley
Abstract: Transportation accessibility is critical for delivering an equitable transportation system that can provide mobility to all travelers. While measures of accessibility have been defined in the literature, the degree to which they are put into practice within California and beyond, as well as the challenges faced in doing so are not well understood. The Caltrans 2015-2020 Strategic Management Plan significantly advances the Department’s philosophy and thinking regarding the important role that transportation plays in all aspects of community and quality of life. The plan calls for performance measures to monitor success. For instance, under Goal 3, Sustainability, Livability, and Economy, a Caltrans Accessibility Score will be developed, which considers multi-modal transportation, proximity to jobs, disadvantaged communities, housing services, and transit-oriented communities, among the indices that are developed and adopted. This proposal is focused on developing a synthesis of methodological approaches used to measure accessibility through a research scan of previous and contemporaneous literature (literature review). It then builds an understanding of the existing state-of-the-practice through expert interviews with local/regional agency staff and policy makers (10-15 expert interviews). The results of this research will be synthesized into a document describing existing practices, which identifies the practical challenges that contribute to the gaps between the state-of-the art in academic research and the state-of-the-practice in agency implementation. Finally, the project includes a one-day workshop with up to 20 key stakeholder to envision the future of transportation (5-10 year time horizon) and how this might affect accessibility methodologies, data collection, and analysis moving forward (stakeholder workshop focused on envisioning future accessibility). The findings of the study will be documented in a final report.