top of page
CE 5030
Seminar in Transportation
and Urban Engineering

All seminars are 



Laurel Hall - Room 206


12:20 - 1:10 pm

Unless otherwise noted

Class 1- Monday, August 29
John Ivan
University of Connecticut
Transportation and Urban Engineering Program Orientation
No Class - Monday, September 05
Labour Day
Class 2- Monday, September 12
Rebecca Townsend
University of Connecticut

Engaging “Hard to Reach” Populations

in Transportation Planning


Abstract:  Various methods exist for discovering what people need and learning what their opinions are. One contribution to this field of work resulted from a research project that sought to determine the efficacy involving community college (CC) students’ social networks in determining ideas and priorities for transportation planning. Often seen through a deficit framework, students at CCs do have strong assets that make them ideal for connecting with populations that the Transportation Research Board’s Public Involvement Committee study deemed “hard to reach.” The students are deeply rooted in a given locale, have existing social networks with youth, ethnic and racial minorities, and people with low incomes, and are in college classes seeking to earn credit and contribute to their communities. Using a culturally sensitive approach to public engagement can generate the necessary trust to meet two needs: for planners to learn about the public’s transportation needs, and for students to develop civic capacity. 


Bio: Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D., studies and teaches communication, with a specific focus on deliberation, public engagement, and local communication, especially as it relates to transportation. She is currently Professor in Residence at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut, on leave from her role as Professor of Communication (and former department chair) at Manchester Community College. The White House awarded her the “Champions of Change for Transportation Innovation” for her scholarship on public engagement in transportation planning. Her work has also been honored by the International Association of Public Participation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State of Connecticut, National Communication Association, Urban Communication Research Foundation, and the CT Board of Regents’ first Scholarly Excellence Award.  She is affiliated with Clark University and has taught graduate classes at the Społeczna Akademia Nauk in Łódź and Warsaw, Poland. Her Ph.D. and B.A. are in communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her M.A. is in speech communication from Indiana University. She is also the first woman elected as her town’s Moderator.

Class 3- Monday, September 19
Holly Parker
Building a Sustainable Transportation Culture on Campus: Lessons from 14 Years at Harvard and Yale
Abstract: Holly will give an introduction to the field of sustainable transportation, and speak about the “recipe” for a successful sustainable transportation program on campus, including data, program ownership and advocacy, outreach and awareness, and the specific infrastructure and programs that support commuters’ ability to choose walking, biking, carpooling, teleworking, and other sustainable commuting options.
Bio: Holly Parker has been an advocate and manager of sustainable transportation programs for the past 20 years. She initiated the CommuterChoice program at Harvard, Transportation Options program at Yale, and a successful vanpool program in Eugene/Corvallis, Oregon. Until September 2015, she was the Director of Sustainable Transportation Systems at Yale, where she focused on the development, marketing, and implementation of programs that encourage the university community to use human-powered or high-occupancy modes of transportation. She is responsible for bringing the first modern carshare and Bikeshare programs to Connecticut.
Class 10
Class 4- Monday, September 26
Kwesi Brown
Milone and MacBroom
Bioscience Connecticut – Multimodal Transportation Improvements
Abstract: Bioscience Connecticut is a multi-billion dollar state initiative aimed at generating long-term, sustainable economic growth in Connecticut through bioscience research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  As part of this vision, a number of high-profile building projects have been completed at the UConn Health campus in Farmington, including the construction of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, a new outpatient pavilion, and expansion of the UConn John Dempsey Hospital Building.


This seminar will give an overview of the planning, design, and implementation of multi-modal transportation improvements that have been completed on and off campus as a result of the building program at UConn Health.  The seminar will also highlight some of the lessons learned from the project.

Bio: Kwesi Brown is an associate and project manager with Milone & MacBroom, Inc. based in Cheshire, CT. He has 15 years of experience in traffic engineering and transportation planning and is the immediate past president of the Connecticut chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.


Kwesi has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut, is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Connecticut and also a registered Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. He has managed and worked on a number of high profile projects within the state such as the multi-million dollar Bioscience Connecticut multi-modal transportation improvement project. His extensive experience includes multi-modal corridor planning, highway and interstate planning, urban street planning and design, traffic signal systems design, traffic impact and safety studies, transit studies, as well as bicycle and pedestrian facility design. 


He resides in Newington with his wife Margaret and two boys, Jayson (11 years) and Cory (8 years).

Class 5- Monday, October 03
No Seminar This Week
This seminar has been moved to Friday, October 21
Class 6- Monday, October 10
Chris McCahill
State Smart Transportation Initiative
University of Wisconsin

Lessons in Sustainable Transportation Planning and Policy 

at Innovative State ​DOTs

Bio: Chris McCahill, PhD, is a Senior Associate at the State Smart Transportation Initiative​ at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he works with reform-oriented DOTs from around the ​country​.Chris studied civil and environmental engineering at University of Connecticut until 2012. He then joined the Congress for the New Urbanism to work on its Project for Transportation Reform in Chicago. He was also a 2012 Fellow with the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, DC, and has written extensively on issues related to urban transportation, land use, and parking.

Abstract: In order to move beyond the age of highway building, many DOTs are diversifying and changing the way they do business. These changes could affect the engineering profession and the transportation landscape for years to come. Learn about some of the exciting steps that agencies are taking: using big data to understand how people get around, measuring transportation system performance in new ways, and reprioritizing how money is spent.

Class 7- Monday, October 17
Bruce F. Donnelly
Urban Planning Consultant 
Office of Bruce Donnelly




Auto-Autos: City and Country 

The Impact of Self-driving Vehicles on Our Cities and Towns

Bio: Bruce F. Donnelly is a consulting urban planner who has written a chapter for the forthcoming Transect reader book edited by Brian Falk of CATS, and has contributed a chapter to Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents, edited by Emily Talen and Andres Duany. Bruce's specialty is in New Urbanism and in organizing complex clouds of issues.

Abstract: We are in a period of speculation about how self-driving vehicles will affect the urban realm, and how the urban realm will affect them. The issues feed back on themselves in complex ways. Bruce’s talk will explain some of the interrelated factors that seem to be pushing the technology toward at least one solution: shared self-driving jitneys that amount to public space on wheels. The talk and subsequent discussion will then explore another, blurrier, solution that seems likely to emerge around rural driving -- self-driving rural vehicles, including off-road vehicles and defense applications.

Extra session - Friday, October 21
Steve Boyles
Associate Professor 
University of Texas, Austin




Modeling for a World of Automated Vehicles

Abstract: Automated vehicles (AVs) challenge fundamental assumptions of many of our traffic models, and present new opportinities for traffic control. 
This seminar covers some of these challenges and opportunities, and 
discusses how regional network models can be used to predict the impact 
of AVs on congestion and mobility.  We demonstrate the importance of 
using network models, and show a few "paradoxes" where making a single 
component of the traffic system more efficient does not improve overall 
network conditions.

Bio: Stephen Boyles is an associate professor in transportation engineering at the University of Texas at Austing, and a recognized expert in transportation network modeling and the application of mathematical optimization techniques to transportation problems.  He is a recipient of the 2015 New Faculty Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers, the 2015 Fred Burggraf Award of the
Transportation Research Board, and the National Science Foundation’s
Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.  Dr. Boyles earned BS
degrees in mathematics and civil engineering from the University of Washington in 2004, and MS and PhD degrees in civil engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and 2009, respectively.  As a faculty member, Dr. Boyles has served as a PI or Co-PI on projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Texas Department of Transportation, Wyoming Department of Transportation, and US Department of Transportation.  These research projects span a broad array of
topics, including static and dynamic traffic assignment, network models for urban parking, multi-scale network modeling, and planning for innovative vehicle technologies such as electric or autonomous vehicles.

Class 9- Monday, October 24
Jim Cameron
Metro-North Commuter Action Group



JIM CAMERON has been a commuter advocate for 20+ years in Connecticut.  As a member of the CT Metro-North Rail Commuter Council he fought for new rail cars and expanded train service.  His newspaper column / blog "Talking Transportation" has chronicled his advocacy for more than ten years.  His new weekly column, "Getting There" debuted this fall in the Hearst CT Newspapers.


A former journalist at NBC News (where he received a George Foster Peabody award), Cameron has been a communications consultant for almost 35 years, teaching speaker skills and media interview strategies, both of which served him well in his commuter advocacy, his regular testimony to the legislature and media interviews.


Cameron is also Program Director of Darien TV79, his town's government access TV station, and serves as Chairman of the Parking Advisory Task Force and is an elected member of the Darien Representative Town Meeting where he served on the Public Works Committee.

Class 10- Monday, October 31
Angelika Zygo
University of Connecticut




Measuring seniors’ access to medical facilities using the Transit Opportunity Index

Bio: I am a masters student with a concentration in Transportation and Urban Engineering at the University of Connecticut, working under Professor Nicholas Lownes. My research area includes studying access for seniors via public transit.

AbstractSenior residents who rely on transit as their primary mode of transportation face many accessibility and connectivity challenges when traveling to basic amenities due to their unique travel behaviors. This paper studies the unique travel behaviors of seniors through a comprehensive literature review then evaluates the ability of a transit to meet the specific transit needs of seniors. The ability of transit to provide seniors with access to medical facilities is measured using a pair-wise Transit Opportunity Index (TOI), a comprehensive measure of transit accessibility between origin destination pairs. This analysis focuses on the CT Transit New Haven, a bus system operating New Haven, Connecticut. In particular, this study focuses on assessing whether seniors in various age groups have better or worse access to medical facilities than the general population. The results suggest that seniors within the transit service area have better access to medical facilities than the general population in the same area.  This may be due to transit agencies taking the needs of seniors into consideration when designing their routes or seniors choosing to relocate near medical facilities and transit services as they age.

Kristin Floberg
University of Connecticut



The Fiscal Impacts on Auto-Oriented Development has Urban Downtowns

Bio: Kristin Floberg is a second year graduate student at the University of Connecticut where she works to understand the relationship between the built environment of urban places and the fiscal implications.  She is also the Secretary of the UConn student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. She received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at University of Connecticut in 2015.  This past summer she interned with Fitzgerald & Halliday as a Junior Planner.

AbstractMany cities around the world have chosen to accommodate personal vehicles in their downtowns with street widening, high-speed freeways, and immense amounts of parking.  Bridgeport, Connecticut devotes nearly two-thirds of their downtown to the automobile.  But how has the change from traditional development to auto-oriented development affected the tax base that cities need to thrive?

Class 11- Monday, November 07
Norm Marshall
President, Smart Mobility



How Bad Transportation Models Are Used to Justify Bad Freeway Expansion Projects

Bio: Norm Marshall, President, helped found Smart Mobility Inc. in 2001. Prior to this, he was at RSG, Inc. for 14 years where he developed a national practice in travel demand modeling. He specializes in analyzing the relationships between the built environment and travel behavior, and doing planning that coordinates multi-modal transportation with land use and community needs. He is the Co-Chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism Transportation Modeling Reform initiative, along with Dr. Norman Garrick.

AbstractFreeway expansion projects are justified using computer models that always show huge benefits from expansion. After the expansion occurs, the promised benefits fail to appear. A case study of a proposed major freeway expansion project in Little Rock demonstrates: 1) the standard transportation models are fatally flawed, 2) immersion in these bad models throughout a career makes modelers dumb, and 3) better models produce more accurate results. If the more accurate models were adopted, few freeway expansion projects could be justified.

Class 12- Monday, November 14
No Seminar
No Class - Monday, November 21
Thanksgiving Week
Class 13- Monday, November 28
Mishal Aljarbou
University of Connecticut




Evaluating the Potential for Transit Oriented Development on

the Hartford Line (New Haven to Springfield)

Bio: Mishal H. Aljarbou has been a graduate student at the University of Connecticut since 2014, under the supervision of Prof. Norman Garrick. Mishal has a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Griffith University, Australia and Bachelor of Architecture and Planning in Urban and Regional Planning from King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. He has worked in many different disciplines as a project engineer, planning engineer, and health, safety and environmental superintendent in both the private and governmental sectors. 

AbstractIn recent years Transit oriented development (TOD) has become an important scheme for new development in many different cities around the world but especially in the USA. The concept of TOD promises to increase transit ridership, create a sense of place, and improve economic development. TOD has been described as high dense mixed-use community within walking distance of a transit /node and with a core commercial area. TODs mixes residential, retail, office, open space, and public uses in a walkable environment, making it convenient for residents and employees to travel by transit, bicycle, foot, or car. In this project we evaluate the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) TOD standards as a tool for assessing the potential to create true TODs at stops along the proposed Hartford Line (New Haven – Hartford – Springfield).



Parker Sorenson
University of Connecticut


An Urban Boulevard on Hartford's Riverfront to Replace I-91

A Concept




Bio: Parker Sorenson is a second year master’s student within the Sustainable Cities Group at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on understanding user behaviors and interactions across user types in complex urban shared spaces using digitized video data. Before joining the Sustainable Cities Group as a graduate student, Parker graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UConn in 2015. Throughout the past several years, Parker has worked as an intern at a variety of transportation firms including: LTK Engineering – a firm specializing in railroad simulation, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission – the regional planning organization for east central Vermont, and, most recently, Fitzgerald & Halliday Inc. – a transportation planning firm located in Hartford, CT. In addition to his research as a graduate student, Parker has worked closely with city officials to help draft the transportation section of a forthcoming Climate Action Plan for Hartford, CT. Parker has also been honored to receive the Civil Engineering Teaching Assistant of the Semester Award for Spring 2016 and the Student of the Year Award from the New England University Transportation Center in 2016. In addition to his professional interests, Parker maintains a deep interest in active outdoor activities such as running, biking and hiking.

AbstractThis presentation will review much of the ‘hostile infrastructure’ surrounding Hartford’s Downtown North (“DoNo”) neighborhood. Due to large amount of vacant land and its proximity to the downtown core, Downtown North has remained a focal point for city redevelopment efforts for the last several years. Currently, the site is being developed with a baseball stadium, hotel, apartments, and new commercial space. While long-term hopes for the neighborhood are high, connectivity to the “DoNo” neighborhood remain an issue. The site is bounded by I-84 to the south, the Hartford Line to the northwest, and I-91 to the east. Taken together, this infrastructure effectively ‘cuts-off’ the neighborhood from downtown, Hartford’s North End, and the Connecticut River to the east. This presentation explores a conceptual solution to this issue by rerouting I-91 to the east side of the Connecticut River and to build an urban boulevard in its place. This presentation reviews many previous highway removals throughout the United States, discusses the impacts such a proposal may have on traffic flow in the Hartford area, and reviews the cost and benefits a project of this nature may have on city real estate.

Class 22
Class 14- Monday, December 05
Sara Bronin
Professor of Law
Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law
University of Connecticut School of Law




Hartford: Zoning (Not for Cars)

Bio: Sara C. Bronin is an architect, attorney,  Professor of Law at UConn Law School, and the director of the Law School’s Center for Energy & Environmental Law.  She has co-authored a zoning law treatise, a land use law textbook, two books on historic preservation law, the Fourth Restatement of Property Law (forthcoming) and over a dozen scholarly articles in the areas of property, green building, and renewable energy law.  She chairs Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission, which has undertaking sweeping changes to the city’s zoning, subdivision, and inland wetlands regulations.  She also chairs the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative (a nonprofit economic development legal clinic) and serves in the leadership of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.  

Abstract: Zoning codes in most American cities prioritize the way people move in, and use, their private cars.  These codes require land uses to have minimum numbers of parking spaces, require minimum lot sizes (creating sprawl), and fail to provide for bicycle infrastructure or facilities.  The Hartford Planning & Zoning Commission has recently adopted innovative, forward-looking changes to the city's zoning regulations in the areas of transit-oriented development, Complete Streets street design, biking infrastructure, and parking management.  This presentation will cover each of these areas, explaining how through zoning, Hartford has de-emphasized the car and, hopefully, paved the way for a more livable city that embraces walking and biking.  

Norman W. Garrick

bottom of page