PSU Transportation Seminar: Shifting Gears: Toward a New Way of Thinking About Transportation

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Friday, April 26, 2024, 11:30am to 12:30pm PDT
Susan Handy, UC Davis
Free and open to the public
Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway, Room 327
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. We've opened up PSU Transportation Seminars to other days of the week, but the format is the same: Feel free to bring your lunch! If you can't join us in person, you can always watch online via Zoom.



The transportation system in the U.S. has been shaped by a core set of ideas that are embedded in professional practice. These ideas – freedom, speed, mobility, vehicles, capacity, hierarchy, separation, control, and technology – have produced a system in which most people are dependent on driving, with all the negative consequences that entails. Shifting to a system that offers people choices about their daily travel requires a shift in thinking on the part of the transportation profession. In this talk, I take a critical look at the way of thinking that, for the last century, has shaped our transportation system and consider the ways in which that thinking is – and is not – shifting.


  • Participants will recognize limitations of the existing US transportation system.
  • Participants will learn key concepts shaping the transportation system.
  • Participants will gain strategies for reducing automobile dependence.


Susan Handy, Professor, University of California, Davis

Susan Handy is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California at Davis, where she is also the Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation, part of the federal university transportation centers program. Her research focuses on strategies for reducing automobile dependence, including bicycling as a mode of transportation. She is the author of Shifting Gears: Toward a New Way of Thinking About Transportation, published in 2023 by MIT Press.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) is home to the U.S. DOT funded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), PORTAL, BikePed Portal and other transportation grants and programs. We produce impactful research and tools for transportation decision makers, expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engage students and professionals through education and participation in research.