Housing and Mobility Toolkit for San Mateo County

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Housing and Mobility Toolkit for San Mateo County


Since the end of the Great Recession, San Mateo County has attracted new workers at a record rate without building anywhere near enough housing. This jobs-housing imbalance drives the cost of housing up and forces many moderate and lower-income employees and their families out of the County. A lack of access to quality affordable housing in the County and the entire Bay Area along with limited transportation options means that an increased number of employees drive in and out of the County every workday. The resultant congestion, gridlock, and long commutes along with other negative environmental, social, and economic impacts create a major concern for communities in the County and beyond. Clearly, this problem has two distinct but interrelated dimensions: housing development and transportation planning. A select group of Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) Research Associates worked closely with representatives from the San Mateo County Home for All initiative to help address this challenge by developing a toolkit of successful case studies with a holistic approach to housing development and transportation planning.



Serena Alexander is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at San José State University and a Research Associate at Mineta Transportation Institute. Dr. Alexander’s primary research interests include environmental planning, climate action, land-use, and transportation planning, community economic development, and sustainable urban design. Much of her work is targeted toward practitioners interested in the dynamics of plan implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Examples of her recent research include evaluation of local and state level Climate Action Plans, harnessing the greenhouse gas emissions mitigation potential of on-demand mobility and autonomous vehicles and use of simulation models and techniques to improve multimodal transportation. Dr. Alexander has worked with many multi-disciplinary teams and aims at bridging the gap between technical knowledge, policy decisions and community values. Before joining the SJSU faculty, Dr. Alexander conducted community economic development and environmental policy research at the Center for Economic Development and the Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center at Cleveland State University, where she also received her doctorate in Urban Studies, specializing in urban policy and development. She holds master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and Architecture from Azad University, Tehran, with a specialization in urban design. Additionally, Dr. Alexander has more than six years of experience working as a planning and urban design practitioner.


Researcher and co-author, Joseph Kott died on February 14, 2019 as this report was being finalized. With an active career in city and regional planning, Joe had earned a PhD from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, Masters of Transport and Traffic Engineering from Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, a Masters of Regional Planning from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and a BA in Political Science from Wayne State University. 

During his long and distinguished career, he worked in public agencies and consulting firms in North Carolina, Illinois, Maine, and California. Once he had completed his PhD, Dr. Kott focused on teaching at several universities in the San Francisco Bay area, with long service to San Jose State University through both the Urban and Regional Planning Department and the Mineta Transportation Institute. He saw himself as a scholar-practitioner and particularly enjoyed mentoring students as they launched or advanced in their careers. Along with his teaching and research activities at SJSU, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities, a not for profits organization he co-founded provided a platform for his passion for “more life-affirming transportation systems.” Born in Detroit, Michigan to a family of Chrysler autoworkers, Joe’s commitment to sus-tainability was rooted in that legacy.

Kott is survived by his wife Katherine Kott, daughter, Amy Rands, and son, Paul Kott. His son, Andrew Kott predeceased him.


Dr. Bruce Appleyard is an associate professor of city planning in the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University. He works with people and agencies to help them make more informed decisions about how we all live, work and thrive, now and into the future. Dr. Appleyard specializes in applied research of human settlement and behavior patterns at the intersection of urban design, transportation, land use, and environmental science. He has published numerous peer-reviewed and professional articles informing policies and practices toward achieving a range of sustainability, livability, and social equity objectives. He is also an expert in transit-oriented corridors, street livability, climate action planning, smart growth implementation, and social equity analysis. He coauthored the APA’s textbook on The Transportation/Land Use Connection, as well as TRB’s new Handbook for Building Livable Transit Corridors and Smart Growth/Livability Calculator.


Mark Garrett holds a PhD. in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. For a number of years he was a practicing attorney in California specializing in land use, transportation, and environmental issues. Garrett is the co-author with Martin Wachs of Transportation Planning on Trial: The Clean Air Act and Travel Forecasting, and has contributed to articles in the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, the UCLA journal Critical Planning, the Berkeley Planning Journal, the Transportation Research Record, and the Journal of the American Planning Association.


Shannon Sanders McDonald, AIA is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Southern Illinois University; Carbondale, IL. Author of The Parking Garage: Design and Evolution of a Modern Urban Form, the basis for an exhibit at the National Building Museum titled House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage. AT SIU her undergraduate, graduate and online students from around the country have been imagining new urban forms integrating architecture, planning, transportation, sustainability, and community. She is a frequent speaker on architecture, parking, transportation, sustainability and community issues. A contributor to several books: The Car in 2035, Sustainable Parking Design and Management and Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology and several articles on automated transit networks and their impact on sustainability, community and urban design. She has given presentations for a number of organizations, including the Advanced Transit Association, the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Planning Association, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Automated Peoples Movers Conference, the Construction Specifications Institute, the International Parking Association, The Congress for New Urbanism, the National Transportation Research Board, Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. Her work with the Transportation Research Board has included workshops for the Metropolitan Planning Organizations around the United States on the topic of future mobility, resiliency and community/urban design. She is a 1992 graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, where she was awarded a Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship. 


Maaza Mekuria has been working at Hawaii Department of Transportation for the last five years as Highway Performance Monitoring Systems (HPMS) Engineer. Highlights of his work in between 2017-2019 include three national webinars for the Transportation Research Board (TRB)’s and FHWA/USDOT on spatial modeling for HPMS and National Performance Monitoring Research Dataset (NPPRMDS)  travel time processing.  He has worked on research funded by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State involved classifying streets based on a unique safety criteria and applying an origin and destination matrix to evaluate network fitness and highlight possible improvements. Specifically for this project, Maaza developed a network modeling tool that computes connectivity and travel time measures based on the classification metrics of traffic stress criteria (which was developed with Dr. Peter Furth and Dr. Hilary Nixon) for a regional network. The complete research document may be found at the URL http://transweb.sjsu.edu/project/1005.html. An accompanying web mapping of the project area is accessible from the URL http://www.axumcorp.com/bikenetwork.htm by clicking on San Jose or Boston mapping links.


Udeme Ndon is a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at San Jose State University. He joined San Jose State University in the Fall of 1996 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure effective from Fall of 2001 and to full professor effective from Fall of 2007. He teaches Environmental Engineering courses including courses in environmental sustainability and reactor design for water and wastewater purification. He served as the Chairman of the Civil and Engineering Department for eight years (August 2008 – August 2016).


Dr. Pande’s research interests include observational data-based decision making for transportation engineering, community engagement, emergency evacuation, service-learning, and scholarship of teaching. He serves on two Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committees as a member: Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation (ANB 20) and Emergency Evacuation (ABR 30). At the institutional level Dr. Pande serves as the faculty liaison for Service-Learning and leads Cal Poly’s community engagement effort from a curriculum perspective. His role is to engage with the faculty and local community to encourage local communities to apply expertise that exist in the academia to support efficient and equitable decision making.

He has co-authored close to 30 manuscripts that have been either published or are forthcoming in peer reviewed journals. He has worked on several sponsored projects including a study on driver behavior funded by the National Science Foundation. He was also one of the invited speakers on “Changes in Traffic Safety Policies and Regulations in 7 Countries (1950-2010)” at 2012 International Workshop organized by IATSS (International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences) at the United Nations University in Tokyo. He is the editor of the recently released 7th edition of Traffic Engineering Handbook (TEH) published by ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers). The TEH is a widely recognized reference among the traffic engineering practitioners since 1941 when the 1st edition of the Handbook was released.


Eric C. Peterson is a transportation policy advisor, currently addressing infrastructure funding and finance, public transportation, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail issues. In his career he has played key roles in many major transportation improvement initiatives in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area and has held significant leadership roles on Capitol Hill, with national and regional transportation associations, and within the U.S. Department of Transportation where he was the first Deputy Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration. Outside of his transportation engagements, Eric Peterson is a former Deputy Under Secretary for Travel and Tourism at the U.S. Department of Commerce and a former Executive Director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. He also served for many years on the Arlington County, Virginia Economic Development Commission where he was Chairman of its Tourism Committee. An active member of the Transportation Research Board Intercity and High-Speed Rail Committee (AR010) and former member of the American Public Transportation Association’s Intercity and High-Speed Passenger Rail Committee, Eric earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Nebraska Wesleyan University and his Masters degree from the School of Public Communication at Boston University. He is also a research associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University and is associated with the George Washington University Institute for Corporate Responsibility.

April 2019
Transit oriented development
Commute alternative incentives
Travel evaluation metrics
Affordable housing



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