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Graduation Date

Spring 5-12-2018

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

School or Department

Environmental Studies


The theme of this portfolio is how different tools and approaches can be used for advancing transportation equity. Broadly defined, transportation equity is about fairness in transportation. There are a number of ways this fairness can be assessed. The most common way to assess transportation equity is by looking at the fairness of outcomes, distributed geographically, socially, or even by mode of transportation. Equity can also be defined by the fairness of processes. The first half of the portfolio illustrates some of the problems with the current transportation system and how it is unhealthy (Piece 1) and unjust (Piece 2). The second half of the portfolio focuses on one of the potential solutions: encouraging and promoting increased levels of multimodal transportation (Piece 3); and then analyzing how community planners and leaders best work to achieve this in an equitable way (Piece 4). The first piece of this portfolio is a literature review of how scientists measure near-road air pollution exposure from mobile sources, which provides a better understanding of just one important environmental health impact our transportation systems. There are key social and geographic equity implications from those studies, which planners and activists can use as evidence in arguments for solutions. The second piece is an environmental justice analysis of a road expansion project in Missoula, Montana. This piece seeks to better understand the procedural, distributive, and social impacts from the project and brings in themes of advocacy and best practices in an effort to argue for sensible alternatives. The third piece is a reflection essay from my internship with the Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization, where I wrote a white paper as part of the 2016 update to the Long Range Transportation Plan. This white paper discusses multimodal solutions to vehicle-oriented transportation development and provides a policy-based approach to increasing levels of multimodal transportation rates in Missoula. The last piece is a case study of a multimodal transportation project in Miami, Florida. This piece analyzes transportation planners’ approaches to procedural equity and discusses successes and areas for improvement.


planning, transportation, equity, environmental justice, air pollution, environmental impact statement, public health, multimodal, mode share, transportation policy, growth management, climate change

Subject Categories

Environmental Health | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Social Policy | Sustainability | Transportation | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

Science, Advocacy, Policy, Planning: Tools for Advancing Transportation Equity