WTPP Special Issue Honoring Joseph Kott

Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities is pleased to announce the latest  issue of World Transport Policy and Practice (WTPP Issue 26.1) is now available at http://worldtransportjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/wtpp26.1.pdf

This is a special issue to celebrate the work of Joe Kott, our main co-founder who died in February 2019. It highlights his career which made valuable contributions to sustainable transport and liveable streets. All of  the articles are thought-provoking and were either written by Joe or reflect Joe’s influence directly or indirectly, ranging from Pedestrian Streets and Green Streets  to Cars and Cities and the Freedom to Drive.

A few words about Dr. Joe Kott from our Board President:

I was fortunate to be on the Palo Alto City Council when Joe Kott was our transportation director – one of the toughest jobs in the world in the world!  The transportation world has been changing, thankfully, and Joe was the intrepid and smiling vanguard of that change: a much needed change to a transportation model to support more sustainable communities.  He led the city through hundreds of community meetings to re-design our streets, to support safe routes to school, to support Caltrain.  Under his service, Palo Alto became a safer place to walk, bike or drive a car.  The percentage of children who walk or bike to elementary, middle school, and high school rose from a low of 15% to over half today.  This took the work, advocacy and support of many people, but Joe’s work as technical and staff leader of transportation was absolutely critical.

Joe had to face the wrath of many anxious residents, council members, cyclists… but somehow he kept smiling and listening and gently and rationally educating.  And he made a friend of many of them, from all sides.

After his service to Palo Alto, he went back for a Ph.D. so he could teach the next generation of transportation and urban planning leaders.
With colleagues, Joe also started a non-profit called Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities. Our aim is to advance understanding and support for sustainable transportation as an essential component of livable communities and cities. The Institute studies and evaluates the ways and means of creating more life-affirming transportation systems and disseminates this information to both the public and decision makers.
Transportation is at the heart of our climate protection and environment, our economy, and our community.  It’s where the toughest trade-offs are, affecting our daily commutes to work and our quality of lives, affecting huge capital and operating budgets and wide swaths of our publicly owned right of ways and lands.  Joe was fearless in tacking this most difficult of challenges.

The greatest tribute we can pay is to continue his mission and work – and to be kind.  

Yoriko Kishimoto

Former Mayor of Palo Alto

President of the Board of Directors,  Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities