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ON THE MOVE SCJ ALLIANCE ADDS A CERTIFIED ARBORIST TO THE TEAM Colin Owen, a professional landscape architect with SCJ Alliance, is now an ISA-certified arborist. Owen has a landscape architecture degree from the University of Georgia and is also a Master Gardener. His 15 years of experience includes fieldwork assessing tree species and vegetation conditions, creating landscape architecture designs, and designing landscape mitigation

plans, from stream restoration plantings to native vegetation replacement. “Having a certified arborist as part of the SCJ team adds even more value for our clients,” shares SCJ President Jean Carr. “Easy access to Colin’s expertise in- house enhances what we can offer for their projects.” To earn this credential from the International Society of Arboriculture, Owen had to demonstrate his knowledge in all aspects of arboriculture, have

a related degree and years of work experience, and take a comprehensive final certification exam. SCJ is a 100 percent employee-owned firm with ten offices across Washington, Montana, and Colorado. The company specializes in civil engineering, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, construction management, landscape architecture, and public outreach.

ITE SUSTAINABILITY. The Institute of Transportation Engineers has a Sustainability Standing Committee that has been leading the organization’s effort on listening sessions to develop a white paper on how to move equity forward with a balance of social, economic, and environmental impacts in sustainability. As a product of that, an Equity Committee was formed that focuses on the social element. It defines transportation equity as “the fairness with respect to the distribution of access, mobility, connectivity, opportunity, benefits, and impacts of circumstances affecting the provision of a safe, reliable, and affordable transportation system and services”. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Conversations about equity often include buzzwords and terminology that create barriers and cause confusion. To address this issue, the Equity Committee is developing a transportation-related glossary that defines equity terms that can foster a shared understanding and common language around equity for ITE, its members, and the industry. Although not exhaustive, the glossary is a living document that will help bridge differences and advance transportation equity conversations. Improving comprehension, communication, and collaboration will help establish robust, sustainable, and meaningful collaborative groups working in partnerships seamlessly. This resource will soon be published on the ITE’s Equity Committee webpage. SO, HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD? Everything a transportation department does is public facing and designed to service everyone, not just those in historically funded areas or those in the majority. Equity in transportation means equity for everyone using our roadways including bikes, public transit, and pedestrians. By the very nature of what we do, we are dedicated to the overall welfare of our communities. From adhering to the most current design standards to implementing the latest technologies available, we have a responsibility to continue providing and improving safe, accessible, and equitable environments in which people live and function every day. Alexis Eades is a communications specialist for Colliers Engineering & Design. A graduate of Rutgers University, she has a passion for writing, learning, and traveling. You can read more from her here .

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As an example, many people with visual and/or hearing impairments get around by walking. A person with a visual disability might use a cane to walk down and cross the street. To accommodate them, detectable warning surfaces with tactile surfaces on the sidewalk interface with the roadway are installed that enable the user to confirm their location in relation to entering a roadway or intersection. Accessible push button stations on traffic signal poles activate pedestrian signals with audible messages and often include braille so the visually impaired can identify the road. Vibratory tactile arrows can also be included as part of the button station such that a user can determine the intended crossing direction in which they are to travel. There are even accessible push button stations that include smartphone apps that allow users to interact with the station via their phone over Bluetooth. In the event an intersection changes due to updates or repairs, it’s imperative that these accessible features continue to be updated. USDOT’S EQUITY ACTION PLAN. The U.S. Department of Transportation adopted an equity action plan, which we follow. Its goals are wealth creation, power of community, interventions, and expanding access. At CED, every project centers on these goals as we strive to build safer and more inclusive roadways, increase power and connection of community, and drive economic vitality. As an example, CED was tasked with addressing a street that has been an urban interstate-style roadway running straight through the heart of a historically disadvantaged community. While the corridor serves as a critical connection to one of the region’s most iconic and heavily travelled transportation facilities, the roadway itself has become a barrier between neighborhoods by limiting access to travel modes outside of vehicular traffic. In alignment with the USDOT’s equity action plan, our improvement project will transform this section of roadway into a space that is safer and more inclusive for all users. For example, sidewalks will be widened, and crossings will be shortened to improve and encourage pedestrian accessibility. This transformation will drive expanded access for all, improve the power and connection of community, and will ultimately drive the economic vitality of the city’s neighborhoods.

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