Short Term Project, Long Term Impact

Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

By using only temporary materials, demonstration projects allow communities to envision future roadway improvements. Not only are demonstration projects an excellent forum for engagement, working with CBO's, and data collection, but they allow the public to actually experience and interact with what could be possible, leading to support for something much more permanent.

Hannah Brunelle, Senior Regional Planner, SCAG

Hannah Brunelle is a Senior Regional Planner with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) where she serves diverse communities across the six-county region of Southern California. She actively implements SCAG’s Go Human Program, an active transportation and community engagement program with the goals of increasing traffic safety and encouraging people to walk and bike more through demonstration projects and safety education. Hannah also coordinates SCAG’s Sustainable Communities Program, a technical assistance program that provides resources to local agencies to implement regional planning strategies.?

Hannah is skilled in complete streets planning, community engagement, and project management, and she is dedicated to working toward healthy, equitable communities. She holds a master’s degree in Regenerative Studies with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, and a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Community Development from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Hannah is an active member of WTS-Los Angeles and serves on the board as the Scholarships Chair. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time outdoors and riding her bike around her neighborhood in Long Beach.?

Russell Toler, Local Safe Streets Advocate, Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets

Russell Toler is an urban planner, a planning commissioner, and a local safe streets advocate. He helped form the Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets over two years ago with some like-minded neighbors when he realized that things were not going to get better without a unified community voice to support the cause and to help change the City’s course. Since then he and the rest of the CMABS team have been busy trying to build local momentum for more safe and comfortable streets in the City. They have helped the City secure grant money for active transportation projects, have kept the community informed of infrastructure changes and improvements, helped organize monthly community bike rides, helped the City with outreach for active transportation projects, and have kept the topic on everyone’s mind. The most ambitious and exciting part of their work has to do with pop-up demonstration projects. They recognize the need for people to see and experience tangible changes to our streets in order to understand that a better way is possible.

Leslie Blomquist, City Engineer, Citrus Heights

Leslie Blomquist, PE, TE, is the City Engineer for the City of Citrus Heights, a suburban community located at the northeast corner of Sacramento County. Leslie oversees the engineering division including managing the capital improvement program, traffic engineering, drainage engineering, and land development functions.? She has over 15 years of experience in the field of traffic engineering and capital project management.?

Leslie has been instrumental in the city obtaining grant funds to improve corridor safety, including several planning grants for safe schools, multi modal traffic safety, and complete streets. In 2019, Leslie led a team to develop the city’s first Complete Streets Plan for Old Auburn Road, a rural arterial running through the city.? As part of the Plan development, Leslie developed and implemented a demonstration project, which collected data, increased project awareness, and gathered feedback from the community in a new and interactive way.?This regionally acclaimed pilot project was extremely successful, and the Plan was ultimately selected to receive ATP funds for design and right-of-way services.

In 2018, Leslie was named the American Public Works Association (APWA), Sacramento Chapter Manager of the Year in Technology. Her accomplishments were further celebrated in 2020, when she was selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 professionals in the greater Sacramento region, and featured by the Sacramento Business Journal for career accomplishments and community service.

Leslie graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Civil Engineering and has previously held the position of Traffic Engineer for the cities of San Rafael and Citrus Heights.? Leslie loves everything engineering, and is an enthusiastic supporter of STEM education, particularly for young women. An active member of WTS (Advancing Women in Transportation), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and APWA, Leslie encourages young people to explore the universe of transportation engineering, and contribute to advancing complete streets environments. ?Not to be outdone by her “day” job, Leslie is also a troop leader for her daughters’ two girl scout troops?where she takes every opportunity to incorporate her love of the outdoors, hiking, bicycling and camping with engineering escapades for young girls in the Sacramento Region.

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