Session No. 3D

Improving the Bus Stop, Building Sidewalks, and Designing for Active Transportation Safety

This session will focus on three topics related to active transportation safety. Recognizing the vital transit connection point that bus stops provide, the first presentation will discuss how the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association (PPTA), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), developed a resource guide to support the planning and design of better bus stops across the Commonwealth. The next presentation takes us outside of the state, focusing on the development of a sidewalk prioritization model by the recently formed ATLDOT. Finally, the last presentation will explore how engineers can incorporate best active transportation user design practices into their plans — and common errors that you may not realize are incorrect.

Moderator: Kivanc Caglar, WSP USA

Overview of the Building Better Bus Stops Resource Guide

  • Natasha Manbeck, Senior Project Manager, McMahon Associates, Inc.
  • Andy Batson, Chief, Planning and Project Delivery, PA Department of Transportation, Bureau of Public Transportation                          

An Advanced Analytical Approach to Prioritizing Atlanta's Sidewalk Needs       

  • Jordan Dowdy, Director, Data & Analytics, Atlanta Department of Transportation    

Integrating Active Transportation Safety into Your Design

  • Will Cowan, Senior Traffic Engineer, WSP USA   


Natasha Manbeck, P.E., AICP has more than 17 years of experience in the fields of transportation planning and engineering with a focus on coordinating land use and transportation systems. She is currently a Senior Project Manager for McMahon Associates, Inc., where she leads a broad range of transportation planning and conceptual engineering projects for government clients. Manbeck’s background includes developing local and regional transportation plans, preparing successful grant applications, managing multi-modal improvement projects, and facilitating public meetings. Manbeck oversaw development of the Building Better Bus Stops Resource Guide for the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association (PPTA) and PennDOT. 

Andy Batson serves as the chief of the planning and project delivery division within the PennDOT Bureau of Public Transportation. In this role, Batson is responsible for leading statewide transit planning and technology projects, as well as delivering an annual capital program of more than $500 million. Batson previously served as the division chief for urban transportation, and prior to joining PennDOT, led a multimodal transportation planning group at a private consulting firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

As an undergraduate Anthropology student at the University of North Carolina, Jordan Dowdy became fascinated by the patterns observable throughout history in the design of human settlements, and the cultural and technological inflection points that have led to the many commonalities, and the notable differences, that exist in the physical layouts of modern cities. This interest in the genealogy of the built environment led him to the Master of Urban Planning and Design Program at the University of Georgia, where he developed a keen interest in GIS and the power of spatial data to inform policy decisions, as well as a conviction that access and transportation are the ultimate arbiters of land use, urban form, and civic life. Dowdy has worked in transportation planning for the City of Atlanta for more than four years. Currently Serving as the Director of Data & Analytics for ATLDOT’s Strategy and Planning Division, he specializes in leveraging spatial data and imaginative technical thinking in helping create the policies and project prioritization frameworks that are shaping a safer, more equitable, and less car-dependent Atlanta 

Will Cowan, P.E., PTOE, Senior Traffic Engineer with WSP, has more than nine years of experience in the field of transportation engineering. In his current position, he is responsible for the design, review, and project management of signal, signing, marking, lighting and MPT plans, as well as the analysis of roadway networks and intersections utilizing the Highway Capacity Manual, microsimulation models, and the Highway Safety Manual. As the lead of WSP’s internal Bicycle and Pedestrian Practice Area Network (PAN), he had fostered connections and conversations with international colleagues, which has lead to the development of a wealth of knowledge pertaining to design and operation of multimodal facilities. Prior to joining WSP, Cowan supervised a team of engineers and a six-million dollar consulting on-call contract for various traffic control device design tasks at the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA).


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Dec. 9, 2021

10:00 to 11:15 a.m.





The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) attracts professionals from throughout Pennsylvania, the mid-Atlantic region, and the country. It is an authoritative source of information on pressing issues from some of the foremost experts in transportation today.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-1891