Community Transportation Academy (CTA)

Kenosha: Fall 2024

Applications for the Kenosha Transportation Academy will open in late summer.
If you have questions, please contact susan@1kfriends.org. 

The Community Transportation Academy is designed to help bridge the gap between community advocates and transportation planning entities. Over ten weeks, participants learn about the fundamentals of transportation planning, hear from guest speakers with local and national expertise, and have the opportunity to propose a solution to a local transportation problem. Community members will come away from the Academy with skills and knowledge to advocate for safe and accessible transportation networks that work for everyone. The first Community Transportation Academies were held in La Crosse and Stevens Point in 2023 and facilitated by Community Programs Director Susan Gaeddert.

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Watch the video to learn more!

Applications for the Beloit Transportation Academy are now closed. If you have any questions about the Academy, contact the Community Programs Director at susan@1kfriends.org.

See below for FAQs and the Topic and Speaker schedule!

What is the Community Transportation Academy?

The Community Transportation Academy is a ten-week, once-per-week course open to Beloit/Rock County area community members with the possibility of enrolled college students completing the course for credit.* The course is free of charge for participants. The Academy helps bridge the gap between community advocates and transportation planning entities and provides community members with skills and knowledge to advocate for safe and accessible transportation networks that work for everyone.

*Beloit College students who are interested in participating have the option of earning credit for their work. See application for more details.

Who is the Community Transportation Academy for?

The Community Transportation Academy is for anyone in the Beloit/Rock County area who is dedicated to learning about transportation planning, implementation, and solving local transportation issues to improve health, equity, sustainability, and accessibility. There is no requirement for previous knowledge or experience, just a desire to learn and be engaged throughout the course. City staff, elected officials, local advocates, college students, high school students, and interested community members are all encouraged to apply. We want a diverse, multi-generational cross-section of the community represented.

When does the class meet?

The class meets on Wednesdays from 4-6pm for ten weeks in Winter/Spring 2024, starting February 7 and concluding April 17. There will be no class March 27. 

Is the class in-person or virtual?

Both! Five in-person sessions will take place at Beloit College (exact location TBA) and five virtual sessions will take place on Zoom. Class materials will be available on Google Classroom.

Is there homework?

Yes, but don’t let that scare you off! The instructor has compiled an interesting and engaging set of materials, including readings, audio files, and videos, to supplement what you learn from guest speakers. A final project, in which participants describe a local transportation problem and propose one or more solutions to the problem using tools and knowledge they have acquired during the course, is optional* but highly encouraged.

*Beloit College students taking the course for credit are required to complete a final project.

Two hours is a long time for a class. What is the format?

Virtual class sessions will include an introduction of the day’s topic from the course instructor, a guest speaker who is an expert on the subject area with an opportunity for questions from the class. We have an exciting line-up of guest speakers with local, statewide, and national profiles and expertise! There will also be plenty of time for participants to dive deep into discussion of weekly topics and supplementary materials and check in on individual projects and advocacy questions as needed.

In-person sessions will be a little different. The first in-person session will be an introduction to the course and an opportunity for the instructor and participants to meet before hearing from the first guest speaker. Two sessions include tours of local transportation systems. One class session will be a film screening. The final class session will be project presentations and a celebration to wrap up the course.

How much does it cost?

Thanks to the generosity of our funders, we are able to offer the Community Transportation Academy free of charge for all participants. (Please note that Beloit College students enrolled in the course for credit are still responsible for tuition owed to the university.)

However, we understand that some individuals may still have financial or logistical barriers to participation. We have limited stipends available for assistance. More information is available on the application.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Beloit Transportation Academy are open until January 19, 2024. Click here to apply online. If you have any questions about the Academy, contact the Community Programs Director at susan@1kfriends.org.

More questions?

Contact Susan Gaeddert, Community Programs Director, at susan@1kfriends.org.

From the La Crosse CTA:

  • “More and more communities in Wisconsin, in the U.S., and worldwide realize the importance of increasing safe and accessible alternate transportation options”
    • -city council member
  • “The class has given me the knowledge and a game plan to talk to my council members with actual solutions versus complaints.”
    • -community member
  • “This class has made me more compassionate to that fact and helped me prioritize learning more about my local community’s process”
    • -local bike shop owner
  • “I loved it! I learned something new at every lesson.”
  • “I felt like all the sessions were valuable, but some were just more valuable/spoke more to me. My favorite session was “Vision Zero, Safe Streets, and Dangerous by Design.” If you were to keep only one session this would be the one I personally think was the most valuable. It really opens eyes to ALL transit users without putting the blame on the “consumer”/the driver. This session really spoke to me and I learned so much.”
  • “…it was obvious there is a strong connection between all modes of transportation and all users of transportation. If we make the roads safer for one group it will impact all other groups.”
  • “I found all of the sessions and session speakers very worthwhile and informative. Now that the academy is finished, I wish there was more time built in to dig deeper into the topics. But I’ll plan to do that on my own. But I’ll really miss the interaction with the other academic participants. I learned a lot from their knowledge and experience.”
  • “100% I will recommend this class wherever I can! It was such an amazing opportunity and I hope it grows and expands all over the US.”
  • “I am leaving the Academy with a wealth of information and a better understanding of transportation in its many forms. Thanks!!”
  • “Highly informative, and a great opportunity to meet other people in the community with regards to the issues of transportation and general city planning.”

From the Stevens Point CTA:

  • “I now have more knowledge about how things work and what levers to pull.”
  • “All the education will give me the ability to know what to fight for, how to, what I’m up against and info to back me up.”
  • “I’d say it exceeded my expectations! I learned new things, expanded my network, and it helped inject more hope (in my mind) for the future of our community.”
  • “I learned so much and having experts give presentations with Q and A’s. An experience you can’t get from podcasts.”
  • “I think it can empower advocates who are floundering in their advocacy or don’t know where to start.”
  • “More people need to know and fight for a future that works for everyone.”

*February 7, 2024 – in person
Introductions. Get to know the course, syllabus, and other participants. Dr. Kirk Harris, Professor at UW Milwaukee’s School of Architecture & Urban Planning (SARUP) will discuss the history and modern implications of racial segregation, post-WWII transportation planning, and urban renewal.

February 14, 2024 – virtual
Local land use patterns, zoning, and parking policy. Speakers: Hilary Rottman from the City of Beloit, Ben Rohr from Vandewalle.

*February 21, 2024 – in person
Transit tour. Speakers: Don Driscoll and Teri Downing, Beloit Transit.

February 28, 2024 – virtual
Vision Zero, Safe Streets, and Dangerous by Design. Heidi Simon of Smart Growth America will discuss the Dangerous by Design 2022 report, which includes data about traffic fatalities, street design and the inequitable distribution of pedestrian deaths and injuries. 

March 6, 2024 – virtual

Regional approaches to transportation planning and passenger rail. Guest speakers: T.J. Nee, SLATS and Lee Gibbs & Jim Meyer, AECOM.

March 13, 2024 – virtual

Livable Communities, Complete Streets, and Gender Equity in Transportation Planning. Speakers: Dr. Carey McAndrews, Professor in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at UW-Madison.

*March 20, 2024 – in person

Film Screening: The Street Project. The Street Project is a 50-minute documentary, and an inspiring film about the global, citizen-led fight to make our streets safer.

**March 27, 2024 – no class**

April 3, 2024 – virtual
Small Towns and Big Roads: WisDOT, Advocacy, and Effective Communication. Speaker: Carl Glasemeyer, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.

*April 10, 2024 – in person
Class walk/roll audit.

*April 17, 2024 – in person
Project presentations and wrap-up celebration!

September 6, 2023 – in person
Introductions. Get to know the course, syllabus, and other participants. Dr. Kirk E. Harris, Professor of Urban Planning at UW Milwaukee, will discuss the history and modern implications of racial segregation, post-WWII transportation planning, and urban renewal. Dr. Anna Haines and Becky Roberts from UWSP will lead an interactive activity. 

September 13, 2023 – virtual
Sustainability and land use in transportation planning. Speakers TBD.

September 20, 2023 – virtual
City limits and state highways. Speaker: Carl Glasemeyer, Transportation Policy Analyst at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.

September 27, 2023 – virtual
Vision Zero, Safe Streets, and Dangerous by Design. Heidi Simon of Transportation for America will discuss the Dangerous by Design 2022 report, which includes data about traffic fatalities, street design and the inequitable distribution of pedestrian deaths and injuries. 

October 4, 2023 – in person

Class field trip. We will take a local tour and conduct a walk/roll audit as a class. Exact location TBA.

October 11, 2023 – virtual

Livable communities and safe streets for all. Darrin Wasniewski of AARP Wisconsin will discuss the definition of livable communities and how transportation factors into making a community welcoming and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Adam Kuhn of Stevens Point and Dominique Swangstu of the Village of Plover will discuss a recent SS4A application and the importance of collaboration.

October 18, 2023 – virtual

Complete Streets. First will be an overview of complete streets, including the history of complete streets policy in Wisconsin and in the City of Stevens Point. Next will be a presentation from UW Madison professors Carey McAndrews and Lori DiPrete Brown, who will discuss gender equity and the role of caregiving in complete streets and transportation planning.

October 25, 2023 – virtual
Advocacy and effective communication. Speaker: Trevor Roark and TBA from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. 

November 1, 2023 – in person
Transit Planning in Small Cities. Stevens Point Transit Director Talin Scheuermann will lead a tour of the transit system and bus stop upgrades. 

November 8, 2023 – in person
Project presentations and wrap-up celebration!

February 15, 2023 – in person
Introductions. Get to know the course, syllabus, and other participants. Dr. Kirk E. Harris, Professor of Urban Planning at UW Milwaukee, will discuss the history and modern implications of racial segregation, post-WWII transportation planning, and urban renewal.

February 22, 2023 – virtual
Local and Regional Transportation Plans and Processes. Jackie Eastwood and Peter Fletcher work for La Crosse Area Planning Commission (LAPC) and will discuss the roles and responsibilities of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in local and regional transportation planning.

March 1, 2023 – virtual
Vision Zero, Safe Streets, and Dangerous by Design. Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America, will discuss the Dangerous by Design 2022 report, which includes data about traffic fatalities, street design and the inequitable distribution of pedestrian deaths and injuries.

March 8, 2023 – virtual
Livable Communities. Darrin Wasniewski of AARP Wisconsin will discuss the definition of livable communities and how transportation factors into making a community welcoming and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Dr. Gargi Chadhuri, Professor of Geography at UW La Crosse, will present research she has led with students to map transportation patterns and assess challenges in La Crosse and Onalaska.

March 15, 2023 – spring recess, no class.

March 22, 2023 – in person
Transit Planning in Small Cities. Adam Lorentz, Director of La Crosse MTU, will discuss public transit planning and logistics and lead a tour of the bus facilities in La Crosse.

March 29, 2023 – virtual
Climate Change and Transportation. Gregg May, Transportation Policy Director at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, and Lewis Kuhlman, Planner for the City of La Crosse, will discuss how transportation impacts climate change and how local governments can address climate change through local climate action plans.

April 5, 2023 – virtual
Complete Streets. First will be an overview of complete streets, including the history of complete streets policy in Wisconsin and in the City of La Crosse. Next will be a presentation from UW Madison professors Carey McAndrews and Lori DiPrete Brown, who will discuss gender equity and the role of caregiving in complete streets and transportation planning.

April 12, 2023 – virtual
Local advocacy. Speakers TBA.

April 19, 2023 – in person
Class field trip. We will take a local tour and conduct a walk/roll audit as a class. Exact location TBA.

April 26, 2023 – in person
Project presentations and wrap-up celebration!