Can you share a little bit about yourself and your role at SafeTREC?
I grew up in Southern California, mostly in the Inland Empire. I found my way to Berkeley to finish up my B.A.s in Anthropology and Gender and Women’s Studies and I’ve been lucky enough to stay in the Bay. Previously, I worked at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition as a Senior Community Organizer, working on bicycle and pedestrian projects on the west side of the City including Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway.
At SafeTREC I’m working for the Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program (CPBSP) and on active transportation communications which is great because I’m able to work both on the community engagement and communications side of our transportation safety work.
What sparked your interest in transportation safety research?
My earliest memories of transportation are of walking to the grocery store as a kid or taking the bus with my grandmother to matinee movies. I grew up in Southern California where there’s a large reliance on driving, yet I frequently didn’t have access to a car or couldn’t afford to drive. Actually, I don’t even have a driver’s license which is pretty amazing considering I grew up in Southern California!
Once I found my way to Berkeley, I discovered how much independence you can have with a bus pass, bike or even walking if the infrastructure actually exists in your city. I’ve lived in the Bay Area for over eight years now and have commuted to work by foot, bus, bike, BART and even ferry.
What current projects are you working on at SafeTREC?
Currently, I’m working alongside the rest of the CPBST team to put on workshops where we work to provide the tools needed in order to advocate for bike and pedestrian safety projects in communities across California. I use both SafeTREC’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) and Street Story to get a better sense of the landscape of each community and then share this information in an accessible way with residents and advocates so they can better understand how streets are affecting the overall health and safety of their friends, families and neighbors. I’m also working to publicize the work that SafeTREC and other transportation agencies, groups and advocates are doing across the state to make walking, biking, and rolling safe.
What issues are you particularly interested or passionate about?
I’m particularly passionate about senior and disability advocacy, making sure any bike or pedestrian projects are fully accessible and provide safety benefits to our most vulnerable street users. If we make a project accessible for seniors and folks with disabilities, we’re making a safe project for all.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I spend a lot of my time outside with my senior dog. I was able to adopt her last year and we love to go to the park so she can meet anyone who walks past her, she’s very sociable! Outside of that, I’m a huge crossword puzzle fan and read a lot of science fiction. I also make zines with a couple of friends, so I frequently table at local art and book events in my spare time.
This Spotlight interview was conducted in collaboration with UC Berkeley SafeTREC. The opinions and perspectives expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily those of SafeTREC.