Poster: Environmental Justice and Regional Transportation Accessibility
Transportation accessibility is a key component of the vision, goals, and objectives of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council’s 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). It is also a federal priority, expressed as one of the eight planning factors required by surface transportation legislation: Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight. To help promote the implementation of these accessibility-related goals, objectives, and priorities, an analysis was performed to assess regional access to roadway, transit, and nonmotorized transportation networks, as well as accessibility to key destinations - hospitals, community colleges and universities, and employment centers - via these transportation systems. The analysis utilized GIS software and placed special emphasis on measuring accessibility for minority and low-income environmental justice (EJ) populations in an effort to make EJ considerations increasingly meaningful in the regional planning process. This assessment was a first step in an ongoing process involving coordination with transit and community agencies and forming a foundation for performance-based planning. A poster presentation illustrating analysis objectives, methodology, and outcomes will engage participants with lessons learned and opportunities and challenges associated with performing accessibility analyses and leveraging analysis results to affect increased regional coordination and targeted improvements to the transportation system.
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, Grand Rapids
Confirmed SpeakerLaurel Joseph is a transportation planner at the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council in Grand Rapids, MI - the metropolitan planning organization for the Grand Rapids area. As part of the GVMC team, she is focused on accessibility and environmental justice, non-motorized planning, and transit coordination. Before coming to GVMC, Laurel spent six and a half years in Austin, TX, where she earned her Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin and spent two and a half years in the transportation planning consulting world. As a consultant she gained invaluable planning and project management experience working on myriad projects for clients in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and more. While leading the technical effort for a metropolitan transportation plan update for the Tri-Lakes Metropolitan Planning Organization, she discovered her passion for regional planning, and thus, jumped at the opportunity to return to her home state of Michigan and work with GVMC to ensure the vision and goals for the Greater Grand Rapids Area are realized to the fullest extent possible. Laurel also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grand Valley State University. She lives in Grand Rapids, MI, with her loving husband and son.