Meet the 2020-2021 CSCRS Road Safety Graduate Student Fellows!

Welcome to the new CSCRS Road Safety Fellows!

September 17, 2020

As part of our education and professional development activities for the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS), we're excited to announce the recipients of our 2020-2021 CSCRS Road Safety Graduate Student Fellowships! This year's five awardees submitted excellent applications for a wide range of timely and important student-initiated research projects. 

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 CSCRS Road Safety Fellows!

Alejo Alvarado, Department of City and Regional PlanningAlejo Alvarado Headshot
Examining Road Safety as a Tool for Achieving Racial Justice

Road safety is rarely associated with racial justice - however, the current political moment has made clear the need for a shift in our approach to racism and its manifestations in the built and social environments. Grounded in a critical framework, my research will explore how transportation engineering and policy continue to perpetuate road safety disparities across racial categories. Through a mixed method approach, my work will also examine current engineering and policy interventions that aim to address these inequities. 

I am grateful to be chosen as a CSCRS Fellow, and am excited to share my passion for transportation planning and racial justice. I’m ecstatic to work with SafeTREC and learn from other fellows. I hope my research will help center communities of color in the road safety conversation.

Ethan Ebinger, Department of City and Regional PlanningEthan Ebinger headshot
Reframing traffic enforcement in Berkeley, CA

This July the Berkeley City Council voted to become the first city in the United States to separate traffic enforcement from the police department. However, the City Council has yet to identify how to implement the transition. With no definitions set my research will identify the goals of successful traffic enforcement without police and establish a framework for the City of Berkeley via case studies of communities in other nations that do not rely on armed officers for traffic stops.

I am honored to be selected as a CSCRS Fellow and am excited to use this opportunity to contribute to and advance the conversation on traffic safety and enforcement.

Jonathan Kupfer, Civil and Environmental Engineering/Department of City and Regional PlanningJonathan Kupfer headshot
How Safe Are Slow Streets and Who Are They For? A Spatial Analysis of Bicycle Collision Data and the Racial Disparity Within Bicycle Safety

My research plans to analyze the racial disparities in bicycle collision data both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope to examine how "Slow Streets" programs affect bicycle collision rates for different populations. I plan to use both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand issues around safety and level of comfort: planners and engineers implement bike lanes to increase comfort and safety for cyclists, but not everyone experiences the same comfort or perceived increase in safety from a bike lane.

I am really excited to be a CSCRS Road Safety Fellow. I was interested in conducting this research before learning of the CSCRS Fellowship, and being selected as a fellow has given me the resources to do so. I am excited to better understand how bicycle facility design and placement has allowed for and aided in a racial disparity in collision data so that we can help design safer and more comfortable roads for all users.

Meiqing Li, Department of City and Regional PlanningMeiqing Li Headshot
Cross-country Comparison of Micromobility Safety, Built Environment, and User Behavior

This project aims to investigate the relationship between micromobility safety, user behavior, and built environment across cities and countries, under the Safe System framework. I will collect and analyze data of micromobility safety, user behavior, built environment and infrastructure at multiple scales in various contexts, to develop a general understanding of safety risks facing micromobility users, which will in turn inform road safety policy and infrastructure design that bridge the gap between quantitative engineering measurement and qualitative human-centric design approach.

I am honored to be selected as a CSCRS Fellow and join an interdisciplinary community of road safety research. This award will provide tremendous support for me to continue my research in terms of mentorship, data collection and collaboration.

Michael Wehrmeyer, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMichael Wehrmeyer headshot
Ongoing and Long-Term Traffic Safety Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly shifted travel behavior in the U.S. and led to a reduction in overall traffic congestion, creating road conditions in which unsafe driving behaviors are more common in vehicle users. This research investigates changes in driving behavior during the COVID-19 crisis to inform transportation systems design for both disruptions and long-range plans.

I am honored to be selected as a CSCRS Fellow. With the award's provided mentorship and support, I am confident in my contributions to the research of a developing and consequential topic.

This fellowship provides graduate students with the opportunity to generate high quality research pertaining to road safety topics that align with the CSCRS mission to accelerate progress in reducing traffic injuries or fatalities by utilizing a systems approach to bring perspectives from planning, engineering, public health, data science, and robotics to the road safety field. Learn more about SafeTREC CSCRS.