Urban campers and transportation: TRB 2014

Posted on January 7, 2014

Urban campers and transportation: TRB 2014

Note: In advance of the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, the biggest forum on the transportation research calendar, OTREC.us is profiling some of the researchers who will present their work.

In a session titled "Living Within the Right-of-Way: New Address for the Homeless," OTREC researcher Andrée Tremoulet will give a lectern presentation about her research into homelessness.

Encampments of homeless individuals and families living in state department of transportation rights of way often pose a unique challenge for DOT staff responsible for maintaining the public land.

The solution, as described in Tremoulet's report, is as complex and multifaceted as the problem.

In cases where urban campers need to be relocated, for the process to be humane and successful Tremoulet stresses that it must be achieved through a cooperative effort between community orgnizations.

She advocates using a "push/pull" method, combining the "push" of law enforcement to clear the public land with the "pull" of assistance and housing programs to give homeless individuals direction, and a place to go.

The most important thing to remember, she says, is that no situation is alike and every set of circumstances will require a unique, tailored approach.

Following the publication of this OTREC project about a homeless relocation effort in 2010, Tremoulet compiled a Best Practices guide for the Oregon Department of Transportation to use when confronted with similar situations in the future.

Tremoulet presents her work at 8:00 a.m., Eastern time, Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Washington Hilton. Her paper is titled: “Urban Campgrounds on Public Rights-of-Way: How State Departments of Transportation Are Stepping Up to the Challenge.” The best practices guide is available here:

http://otrec.us/main/document.php?doc_id=1308

The TRB annual meeting runs Jan. 12-16 in Washington, D.C. For more information in OTREC's participation, and to read other profiles in this series, click on the banner below:

Tags: andree tremoulet, homelessness, oregon department of transportation, otrec, transportation research board

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