Welcome to the SafeTREC Spotlight Series! Each month, we highlight a SafeTREC team member and share their stories, work and interest in the transportation and safety research realm. In today's post, meet Sarah Doggett, graduate student researcher.
Sarah Doggett is getting her Master of Urban Planning and Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley. She is from Newark, Delaware and moved to California in 2016. She is a Graduate Student Researcher at SafeTREC, and is working on a project around senior mobility in Contra Costa County.
What sparked your interest in transportation safety research?
Since a young age, I’ve always wanted to go to places and do things. I grew up in the suburbs where activities were limited if you didn’t have a car. The closest convenience store was at least 30 minutes by foot. My idea of transportation is free and accessible, and I define access as “Can you easily do what you need to do?”
In 2017, I interned for DKS Associates, a transportation planning and engineering firm that offers consulting and capacity building services to communities. Under Caltrans’ Systemic Safety Analysis Report Program (SSARP), I was able to expand planning and engineering skills through data-driven analysis for a travel safety plan in Solano County. My experience of growing up in the suburbs and a lot of my background research and coursework revolves around transportation safety.
What current projects are you working on at SafeTREC?
I am working on a project with Dr. David Ragland, founder of SafeTREC, on senior mobility in Contra Costa County. I am examining travel patterns of populations in different life stages, and identifying travel needs and transportation and mobility deficits of seniors in the county. These deficits include the physical inability to drive, lack of infrastructure for safe walkability, and the accessibility to a car or alternative modes of transportation. In alignment to my work with seniors, these transportation issues also apply to people who are low-income, people of color and people with disabilities. Identifying the needs and issues of transportation deficiency will allow for resource allocation including funding for public transit programs, improved sidewalks and infrastructure, and safer crosswalks with longer pedestrian time signals.
What issues are you particularly interested or passionate about?
I am interested in the intersection of transportation and land use in urban areas. As metropolitan cities develop, populations grow and cities become more dense, there is a need to examine the housing crisis and transportation infrastructure that goes with the development. City planners, transportation engineers, public health professionals and other advocacy groups must collaborate together.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy playing board games, woodworking and crafting projects.
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.