Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I hope you are all enjoying your summer and had a good Fourth of July holiday. While the University slows down during the summer months, I know that ITS has been quite busy, and your hard work is inspiring.
I am excited to announce our participation in the creation of USDOT’s only national center focused on congestion relief, called the “National Institute for Congestion Reduction” (NICR). The consortium also includes lead institution University of South Florida, led by alum Robert L. Bertini (PhD, ’99), and two additional partners: Texas A&M University and its affiliated Texas A&M Transportation Institute College Station and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. This is a very exciting opportunity for us to foster new partnerships, build on our current research, and connect with new opportunities as we work to reduce congestion in a variety of settings. NICR is dedicated to congestion reduction through multimodal solutions for the surface transportation system.
This is the second national University Transportation Centers we are currently involved in. Several UC Berkeley researchers, led by SafeTREC Co-Director Offer Grembek, are working with the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (led by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) uniting leading university transportation research, planning, public health, data science and engineering programs to create and exchange knowledge to advance transportation safety through a multidisciplinary, Safe Systems approach. Check out the inaugural 2019 Safe Systems Summit: Redefining Transportation Safety.
I would also like to congratulate TSRC for earning the Transport Policy Prize from the World Conference on Transportation Research. Professor Susan Shaheen, Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning Robert Cervero, and former graduate students Lisa Rayle (Data Science at Facebook), Danielle Dai (City of Oakland Mobility Programs Manager), and Nelson Chan (Interaction Designer at Internet Brands/WebMD)’s paper “Just a Better Taxi? A Survey-Based Comparison of Taxis, Transit, and Ridesourcing Services in San Francisco" was named most influential paper published in the Transport Policy Journal during the last three years. In addition, TSRC will lead the Transportation Initiative for California Energy Commission Oakland EcoBlock Project. UC Berkeley was awarded $8.6 million for “The Oakland EcoBlock: Phase II” under the Electricity Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program and will consist of deep energy efficiency retrofits for several houses along a neighborhood block in North Oakland, creation of a community-based solar PV installation with a DC microgrid and flywheel storage, installation of EV chargers and an EV carsharing program, and water end-use efficiency measures.
Another round of congratulations goes to Transportation Library Director Kendra K. Levine on being named a Special Libraries Association (SLA) Fellow. This honor is bestowed upon active, mid-career SLA members in recognition of past, present, and future service to the association and the profession. Kendra has been active with both SLA and the Transportation Research Board on behalf of ITS, and it is rewarding to see her being recognized!
I would also like to update you on the ITS Morale Committee. They have been hard at work and are currently planning open houses at the various centers to provide social gatherings and opportunities to get to know center research and staff. They are working with TechTransfer on the first open house for the first open house on Wednesday Aug. 21, 2019 in 240 Bechtel from 2-5 pm, so keep your eye out for an invitation. The committee is also working on staff appreciation throughout the year to recognize contributions of all sizes through our new kudos section on our website. So if you have a co-worker who went above and beyond and you want to let people know, email communications director Amanda Cairo with the subject line: kudos and let everyone know how great the people you work with are!
I know that it is only July, but I do want to remind you of a few upcoming important dates: Move In is Tuesday Aug. 20, 2019 and campus parking will be extremely limited in most cases, so take this opportunity to try public transportation, biking, micro mobility, ridesharing, or working remotely for the day, with permission from your supervisor. We also welcome a majority of our new students on Monday Aug. 26, 2019 for orientation, and welcome back our current students for the first day of instruction on Wednesday Aug. 28, 2019.
Director of Institute of Transportation Studies
Liao-Cho Professor of Engineering