Webinar: Community Transportation Academies: Rethinking Effective Community Engagement Around Transportation Decision-Making

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 11:00am to 12:00pm PDT
Nathan McNeil, PSU; Keith Bartholomew, UU; Andrea Olson, UDOT; Laura Hanson, Utah GOPB; Thuy Tu, Thuy Tu Consulting
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1



This webinar will introduce you to the concept of the Community Transportation Academy (CTA), a model which has been operating in Portland for over 30 years in the form of the Portland Traffic and Transportation (PTT) class. Now catching on in other cities, the project team recently implemented the Wasatch Transportation Academy (WTA) in Salt Lake City. The presenters also include key stakeholders (and guest lecturers) in the WTA, and the PTT instructor. The presentation will include discussions about why CTAs can be good for both community members and transportation agencies/practitioners, and how you can bring a CTA to your city.


  • How to make interactions between community members and transportation agencies more effective
  • How to increase human capital and community capacity by teaching community members how and where they can engage in transportation decision-making processes
  • Lessons from transportation agency leaders on why a more educated public can make agency activities work better
  • Details on running a community transportation academy


This webinar is based on a study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and conducted at Portland State University and the University of Utah. Read more about the research: Launching the Wasatch Transportation Academy.


Nathan McNeil is a Research Associate at Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). He conducts research on travel behavior, traffic safety, and programs to promote multimodal and equitable transportation. Nathan received a master of urban and regional planning from Portland State University and studied history at Columbia University as an undergraduate. Prior to PSU, Nathan worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City as a performance auditor where he evaluated capital programs and contractors.

Keith Bartholomew, University of Utah

Keith Bartholomew is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning and a Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning.  Before coming to Utah, Professor Bartholomew served as a staff attorney for 1000 Friends of Oregon and was the director of “Making the Land Use, Transportation, Air Quality Connection” (LUTRAQ).  Professor Bartholomew teaches and conducts research on integrated land use-transportation scenario analysis, pedestrian-oriented design, and land use law.

Laura Hanson, State Planning Coordinator, Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget

Laura joined the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB) in 2021 with over 20 years of experience as a professional planner in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining GOPB, Laura served as the Planning Director for the Utah Transit Authority. Laura also served as the first Executive Director of the Jordan River Commission (JRC). She holds bachelor degrees in urban planning and environmental studies, and a master degree in urban planning from the University of Utah. Post graduate certificates include public involvement, leadership, conflict resolution, and visual resource management. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards from the Quality Growth Commission, Utah Chapters of the American Planning Association, American Society for Landscape Architects. Laura enjoys spending her free time at her family’s ranch in Woodland, Utah, camping in southern Utah, enjoying live music, and skiing with her husband Derrek and children, Anna and Leo.

Andrea Olson, Planning Director, Utah Department of Transportation

Andrea Olson has been working in land use and transportation planning in Utah for over two decades, having worked in both the private and public sectors including the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the Wasatch Front Regional Council, InterPlan and Parametrix. Prior to becoming UDOT’s Planning Director in April 2019, she was the Region One Planning Manager, working with local and regional agencies to identify and plan for multi-modal transportation solutions that fit within the context of each community and help maintain the safety and viability of the overall transportation network. She holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Thuy Tu, Thuy Tu Consulting, LLC

Ms. Thuy Tu has over twenty-five years of experience as a Senior Transportation Planner and Civil Engineering Project Manager. She is an innovative collaborator, progressive communicator, educator and believes in people-focused urban design concepts and methods. She graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Portland where her studies were focused on traffic and transportation. Now the principal and founder of her own consulting firm, she has been an adjunct professor at the University of Portland, at the Portland Campus of the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and a mentor of project management and civil engineering for the Portland State University Student Chapter of Engineers without Borders. Thuy has also led a course on Master Planning for Resiliency for the Lents Community and Vision Planning for 82nd Avenue.


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


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This webinar is hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. The research was funded by the Summit Foundation and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a program of TREC and one of seven U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers. The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. We pursue our theme — improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.