TTP282 Transportation Orientation Seminar
Fall 2017


 Fridays 11:00-11:50 am

In West Village:  1590 Tilia Street. Room 1142, in West Village (in the PH&EV Center)


 Susan Handy

 Office:  2130 Wickson Hall

 Office hours:  by appointment





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Course objectives
Schedule of topics and guest lecturers
Readings and other resources

Make-up assignments

Course Objectives


This seminar is required for first year Transportation Technology and Policy (TTP) students and is recommended for first year transportation students in Civil and Environmental Engineering.   The goal of this seminar is to provide a broad overview of the transportation field and to give students a general framework that will help them understand how different topics within transportation fit together.  In addition, the seminar will ensure students gain at least nominal exposure to basic concepts, standard practices, and new innovations across the transportation field.  The seminar offers students the opportunity to get to know other transportation students, learn about the interests of different transportation faculty, and reflect on their own interests in the transportation field. 



The requirements for receiving a “satisfactory” grade at the end of the quarter are as follows:


1.  Attend and participate in the seminar for each of the 10 sessions over the 11 weeks of the quarter.  If you cannot attend one of the seminar sessions, you must explain your absence to the instructor ahead of time, if possible.  The schedule, which is subject to change, is attached.


2.   Complete a journal over the course of the quarter.  This is an intellectual journal rather than a personal journal: the purpose is to reflect on ideas presented in the seminar and to practice formulating, developing, and articulating your own ideas. 


You must complete a journal entry following each seminar.  I define a journal entry as at least 15 minutes of writing (by computer, typewriter, or by hand).  This is a free-writing exercise: you should write spontaneously, authentically, and without editing.   If you prefer to proofread and correct errors, please do so only after completing 15 minutes of free writing – not while drafting your entry.


Things you might right about when writing your entry:  How does the material relate to things you’re learning in other classes?  How does the material relate to your experience, professional or personal?  Was anything particularly intriguing about the material?  What questions do you have that weren’t answered during the seminar?


Submit your journal entry before the beginning of the next seminar through CANVAS.  Journal entries must be completed satisfactorily to pass this course.  However, I will not assign grades to the entries or comment on writing style or grammatical correctness.  You must submit at least 9 journal entries (out of 10 sessions) to get credit for the seminar.  If you need to miss more than one session, you can complete make-up assignments (see below) to get to a total of 9 submissions.


3.  Read what you want.  I’ll be posting articles and links of potential interest on the course website.   Please forward articles to me you think others might be interested in:



Schedule of Topics and Guest Lecturers – Subject to Change!





Concepts Covered

Related Courses

Resources and Readings


Sept 29

Defining the problem


What’s the goal?

Who does what?

TTP220, ESP/ECI 252, ECI/ESP 163

§  History of Bicycling in Davis

§  Vision 2050: An Integrated National Transportation System



Oct 6

Travel behavior


Concept of mobility, travel as derived demand, positive utility of travel

TTP200, ECI251; ECI254; ECN145

§  Susan’s powerpoint presentation on Intro to Travel Demand

§  Mokhtarian and Salomon, “How Derived is the Demand for Travel? Some Conceptual and Measurement Considerations”

§  Policy Brief on Induced Travel

§  Summary of Travel Trends: 2009 National Household Travel Survey



Oct 13

Who does what


Federal, state, regional, local roles; key federal legislation


§  Susan’s powerpoint on Who does what

§  Handout on key provisions of key federal legislation

For background on federal policy:

§  FAST Act Homepage, hosted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

§  Transportation Air Quality - Selected Facts and Figures – from Federal Highway Administration

§  CAFÉ Overview, from NHTSA

§  NEPA overview, hosted by FHWA

§  Environmental Justice, hosted by FHWA



Oct 20

Seminar meets from

12:30 to 1:30!

Traffic control




§  Michael Zhang’s slides on traffic control…

§  For fun:  Netherland’s highway will glow in the dark


Oct 27



Paving materials and techniques

ECI179; ECI259

§  John Harvey’s pavement presentation

§  Congressional Budget Office report on infrastructure spending


Nov 3

Road Design


Road hierarchy, Greenbook, context sensitive design, street standards, traffic calming


§  Stephen Wheeler’s presentation on Road Design 

§  New LA Model Design Manual for Living Streets

§  Article on update to the Greenbook

§  ITE’s new report on Context Sensitive Solutions

§  Caltrans Context-Sensitive Solutions

§  FHWA’s Flexibility in Highway Design

§  For fun:  The Atlantic Cities on “The Case for Cul-de-Sacs” – 10/17/13

§  For fun:  Some 20-MPH streets are safer than othersCitylab makes the argument for managing speed through good design – 11/3/15


Nov 10

Veteran’s Day Holiday – no class


Nov 17

Vehicle Technology


Internal Combustion Engines, Electric Vehicles, etc.

TTP210, ESP/ECI 252



Nov 24

Thanksgiving weekend – no class


Dec 1

Automobile alternatives


Transit, bikes/peds, ICT, land use, auto ownership trends



Transit course

§  Susan Handy’s presentation on auto alternatives

§  Forthcoming chapter from Susan on “Creating Pedestrian- and Bicycle-Friendly Cities in the U.S.”

§  TRB papers on history of bicycling in Davis and factors that explain bicycling

§  Short article on the impact of neighborhood design on walking and another one

§  ITS and ITDP report on how bicycling can save the world

§  For fun:  Cardboard bicycle could change the world – and here’s a cardboard Porsche!



Dec 8




Freight demand, modes, logistics

New ECI class


Final thoughts

§  Susan Handy’s Wrap-Up presentation from 2013

o     The Road Less Driven

o     Highway Blues

§  Dan Sperling on the Price of Regulation


Make-up assignments!


Make-up assignment 1:

Pick a transportation topic of interest to you.  Explore the TRB conference program ( ) to find at least 5 relevant papers.  In one-page, describe the topic, list the presentations, and say a few words about how they relate to the topic and why they are of interest.


Make-up assignment 2:

Write a one-paragraph description of three potential thesis/dissertation topics (one paragraph per topic).  Be sure to articulate the research question and provide the rationale for why this is an interesting and important question. 


Make-up assignment 3:

Bike the Davis Bike Loop ( and spend 15 minutes reflecting on the experience – things you thought worked, things that didn’t, things that surprised you, things you would change.  You might want to make a side trip around the North Davis Greenbelt.  Other highlights along the way are Village Homes  and the still-in-progress West Village project as well as many sites on the UC Davis campus, especially the Arboretum and the eggheads .  The Davis Bike Map is available free in the bike shops and on-line. 



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Last updated 12/1/17