There are multiple strategies that need to be considered for ensuring safer roadways for active transportation users. In this panel, learn about systemic safety, high injury network analysis, community safety campaigns, and how equity plays a role throughout the process.
Jessica Downing, Senior Transportation Planner, Caltrans
Jessica (Jessi) Downing is a Senior Transportation Planner at The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Headquarters in Sacramento, California. She recently took on the role as the Department’s Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Specialist in the Division of Safety Programs in March 2021. Prior to her current role, Jessi spent over four years in the Caltrans Division of Transportation Planning as the statewide project manager for developing Caltrans district active transportation plans. Her professional mission is to collaborate with multidisciplinary stakeholders to implement actionable solutions that will improve walking and biking on the California State Highway System.?Jessi holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from San Francisco State University.
Courtney Aguirre, Performance Strategy Program Manager, SCAG
Courtney Aguirre is the Performance Strategy Program Manager for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the largest Metropolitan Planning Organization in the country. In this role, she oversees the development of regional goals, performance measures, targets, and strategies, and she coordinates working groups to highlight transportation safety and equity best practices, local initiatives, and tools. In addition, she provides support for SCAG-funded local planning efforts (e.g., Vision Zero plans). She currently serves on California’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan Steering Committee. Prior to joining SCAG, she worked as an Active Transportation Planning Manager for Los Angeles Metro, where she helped develop the Measure M Active Transport Program and oversaw the Bicycle Education and Safety Program. She is fortunate to have acquired transportation policy and programming experience working for San Francisco, and bicycle and pedestrian planning experience working for the City of Long Beach. Courtney received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in urban planning from California State University, Fullerton.
Charles Brown, Founder and CEO of Equitable Cities
Charles T. Brown is the founder and principal of Equitable Cities, a minority- and veteran-owned urban planning, public policy and research firm focused at the intersection of transportation, health and equity. He is also an adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Charles is an award-winning expert in planning and policy and has been interviewed by several notable outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, VICE and Bloomberg CityLab. He is highly regarded as a keynote speaker and leads workshops on transportation, health and equity for audiences worldwide. Charles previously served as a senior researcher with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, where he authored several groundbreaking national and local studies that redefined how experts analyze the role of race and racism in transportation and mobility. In 2020, Charles was part of the inaugural class of the Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis, which is managed by the Yale School of the Environment.
Charles is a military veteran and a recipient of the Mississippi Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He has a Master of Public Administration degree and graduate certificate in urban and regional planning from the University of Central Florida, where he received the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award for Public Administration. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Management degree from Belhaven College, where he received the James W. Park Academic Achievement Award. He is a certified instructor with the League of American Bicyclists, received a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Professional Designation (CPD) from the National Institute on Crime Prevention and is also a proud and active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Tracy McMillan, Associate Principal, NelsonNygaard
Tracy McMillan is an Associate Principal with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting. She has worked at the intersection of public health and transportation since the 1990s, including early work with the California Safe Routes to School funding program, a precursor to the Active Transportation Program. Tracy enjoys helping California communities improve the physical and cultural environment for active transportation and making transportation systems complete, accessible, and safe for all. She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine and a Masters in Public Health from Emory University.