PacTrans News

  • April 15, 2014

    Pactrans Seminar Series: Making transportation analysis count – Bridging the gap between politics & planning

    Please join us in welcoming Dr. Joe Schofer from the Northwestern University. He will be giving a talk on Friday, May 30th in the HUB (room 334) on the UW Seattle Campus from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. There will be a reception immediately following the talk. The talk is free and everyone is welcome.

    For more information on Dr. Schofer’s talk, click here.

  • April 11, 2014

    PacTrans at the UW Paws-on Science weekend held at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

    PacTrans was among more than 30 research groups from the UW who shared their research at the annual Paws on Science weekend at the Pacific Science Center this year, from April 4-6, 2014. The exhibit, titled “Red Light Green Light” was co-sponsored by PacTrans and the STAR Lab, a University of Washington transportation research lab led by Dr. Yinhai Wang. Several STAR lab researchers volunteered their time over the weekend to speak with families and school groups about safe and sustainable transportation research in the region. Interactive pedestrian detection and the Drive Net transportation data analysis, visualization, and mapping platform were among the highlights of the exhibit. This weekend event was a great opportunity to engage the next generation of engineers and scientists in the research and development at the UW through hands-on activities and demonstrations. The Paws on Science event was very well attended, with over 11,000 adults and children participating over the weekend.

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  • April 9, 2014

    PacTrans Newsletter – Issue #6, 2014 now available

    Read the March 2014 PacTrans Newsletter here!

  • April 1, 2014

    Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Gala

    Women’s Transportation Seminar is one of the most important professional societies in the transportation field.  The annual gala is an event held every spring to acknowledge people who have made great contributions to the transportation industry for the past year and to raise funds for upcoming year scholarships that are provided to college students interested in making transportation a career. The gala draws hundreds of people from major transportation consulting firms, government agencies and other transportation enthusiasts.

    This year’s Gala was attended by more than 320 transportation professionals, entrepreneur and students including Menglin Wang who was sponsored by PacTrans. She is currently the student liaison chair of Women’s Transportation Seminar Puget Sound Chapter and has been actively involved in their activities.  She was also one of the recipients of WTS 2013 scholarship award. Menglin Wang considers the gala a great platform to interact with other transportation professionals and present PacTrans as an active player in the transportation world.

    This year’s 2014 WTS scholarship winners include three University of Washington students, two from Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the other from Evans School of Public Affairs.  Mary E. Anderson is a recipient of the Helene M. Overly Graduate Memorial Scholarship.  She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Transportation.  Amy Riley is a recipient of the Sharond Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship with a focus on structural engineering.  Jennifer Malley is the recipient of Senator Scott White Memorial Scholarships and is pursuing a Master of Public Administration through the Evans School of Public Affairs.  She aspires to serve as an advocate for progressive transportation policies that create environmentally sustainable, equitable urban communities and lasting social change.


    Menglin Wang and Maria Bayya at the Women’s Transportation Seminar Gala held on March 27, 2014, at Westin Hotel, Seattle, WA 


  • March 19, 2014

    PacTrans and Washington ITE Host Safety Meeting

    Consistent with PacTrans’ goal of improving transportation safety, PacTrans and the Washington State chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE Washington) jointly hosted a meeting to discuss contemporary issues in transportation safety on the UW campus on March 18. An audience of nearly 60 students, researchers, and transportation professionals attended, representing UW, public agencies such as the City of Bellevue, the City of Federal Way, Snohomish County, and private organizations such as Transpo Group, Traffic Data Gathering, as well as other private consultants.

    Chris Madill, the Director of Program and Services at the Washington State Safety Commission gave a talk on Target Zero, Washington State’s ambitious plan to reduce the number of annual traffic fatalities to zero by 2030. The plan sets priorities in reducing crashes, the largest of which is driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Target Zero will be the goal for several agencies that are interested in improving the safety of roads in Washington State. These relevant parties have already met several times to discuss ideas.

    Matt Neely, the WSDOT Priority Programming and Scoping Engineer gave a talk on the advantages of new techniques for analyzing stretches of road where collisions are frequent. In the past, accidents were analyzed by plotting locations on maps and then identifying accident hot spots. With the advent of modern technology and data analysis techniques, it is now possible to use data over multiple years to look for long-term trends to find the regions that most need to be improved.

    The two presentations triggered a lot of discussion. Additionally, attendees took the opportunity to talk to each other and network. While attending, people learned about multiple issues in transportation safety, along with the innovative ways that the issues are being dealt with. The event made several current and future transportation researchers and professionals aware of Washington State’s goals for reducing traffic fatalities and the cutting-edge accident analysis techniques that will help us get there.

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