The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) is the Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) for Federal Region 10. PacTrans focuses on using technological advances to develop data-driven, sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest.
Major goals and objectives of PacTrans include serving as Region 10’s research engine, applied technology showcase, workforce development base, education leader, information center, and collaboration platform.
PacTrans is a consortium of transportation professionals and educators from universities located around the Pacific Northwest: Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF), University of Idaho (UI), University of Washington (UW), Washington State University (WSU), Boise State University (BSU), and Gonzaga University (GU). To learn more visit: http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/
There is a critical need for context-sensitive transportation solutions that address the safety needs of rural, isolated, tribal and indigenous (RITI) communities. Safety approaches must be developed that are sensitive to heritage, traditional ways of knowing and learning, and the preservation of culture. The mission of the Center for Safety Equity in Transportation (CSET) is to provide everyone with fair and equitable access to a safe transportation system. We strongly believe that: If you have a right to get there, you have a right to get there safely.
Many RITI communities are not increasing in population. In some cases they are getting smaller and more isolated. Those that are experiencing rapid rates of growth are also dealing with significant social pressures on their traditional ways of mobility. We need to make sure that your fundamental right to a safe transportation environment is not being ignored simply because you do not live in or near a highly focused upon “megaregion.”
Areas with less than 200 people per square mile account for 95% of our Nation and contain over 80% of our transportation network. Rural areas account for 20% of the US population but 50% of our road fatalities. The average US community size is 6,200 people. For many, rural means “small town” but there are more than 15 definitions of “rural” being used by federal programs. The CSET consortium states (Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, and Idaho) also account for 59% of our nation’s federally recognized tribes and indigenous populations.
These are our traditional main streets, our heartlands, the gateways to our national parks and our wilderness areas. Rural America is a critical part of our economy and our cultural and social well-being. We must make available a transportation system that can support and move our rural, isolated, tribal and indigenous communities in a safe and efficient way. We must hold paramount both safety and the preservation of culture while moving our transportation system forward. As we expand and modify an automobile-focused roadway infrastructure system, it is CSETs intent to ensure that we are not hindering the safety of those with limited travel options. By leveraging research, education and outreach efforts, CSET will be a hub for discussion and action on the safety needs of our RITI communities.