The Western Transportation Institute played a prominent role in the recent Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands, held in Washington, DC from September 11 -13. Steve Albert and Natalie Villwock-Witte served on the planning committee for this national conference, which brought together practitioners from around the country to exchange ideas on how to enhance mobility, environmental stewardship, and visitor expericence in public land settings. Several researchers were invited to present their work during the three day forum: Tony Clevenger co-led a workshop on wildlife crossings in Banff National Park, Rebecca Gleason and Taylor Lonsdale presented guidance on improving safety on rural roads with both vehicle and bicycle traffic, and Natalie Villwock-Witte gave presentations on both collaborative approaches to road safety plans and generational interest in visiting US Fish and Wildlife Refuges. Linda MacIntyre of the National Park Service led a workshop on congestion management, in which she highlighted the Congestion Management Toolkit developed by Jaime Sullivan and David Kack. Karalyn Clouser’s research project on using GIS to create a route identification system for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was presented by her BLM co-author T.J. Clifford. At the end of the conference, Steve Albert led and facilitated the closing session, which addressed future transportation issues and challenges facing public lands.
WTI has a long history of leadership on public lands transportation issues. In 1999, WTI helped create and host “National Parks: Transportation Alternatives and Advanced Technology for the 21st Century,” one of the first national forums to call attention to the unique challenges of developing sustainable and context-sensitive transportation solutions in these environments. Steve Albert has served on the TRB Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands since 2002, including six years as Chair of the Research Subcommittee.