Launching the Wasatch Transportation Academy

Nathan McNeil, Portland State University


  • Keith Bartholomew, University of Utah


For over 25 years, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has partnered with Portland State University to offer the Portland Traffic and Transportation Course – a 10-week course designed to provide local residents with the skills and knowledge to understand and effectively participate in transportation decisions affecting their neighborhoods. The course guides students through the history of transportation in Portland, connects them with transportation planners and decisions makers across various local and regional agencies, and helps them navigate how they can be involved. In a 2019 transition, the course transitioned to a new instructor and sought an increased focus on equity and transportation in Portland.  The course has hundreds of alumni, which many going on to be engaged transportation advocates, enroll in PSU transportation programs,  become professional transportation planners or engineers, and local appointed and elected leaders.

A 2015 NITC project, titled Transportation Leadership Education (NITC-ED-541) documented the course, surveying course alumni, and developed a curriculum handbook for other cities to implement similar community transportation academies (CTAs). This proposal seeks to build on the Transportation Leadership Education by applying the curriculum and lessons developed in that project to launch a CTA in Salt Lake City, Utah. The project will involve adapting the course from the Portland model to suit the unique transportation landscape of the Salt Lake City region, seeking to bring in partners from both the region’s municipalities and regional and state transportation agencies. The project will support the development and first iteration of the SLC course, with a goal toward establishing an ongoing course, with established partnerships, systems and approaches.

Project Details

Project Type:
Technology Transfer
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
May 15,2022
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC 16 Translate Research to Practice
UTC Funding: