Recently, I have been counting over 20 intersections around the campus of University of California, Berkeley, as part of my internship job for SafeTREC (Safe Transportation Research and Education Center). So far, the most interesting trend that I have noticed with all the counts has been a high volume of pedestrians over motorists in many intersections that surround the campus–a good thing, since it results in a reduction of car traffic allows more people to go around without polluting the atmosphere. But with the large counts come with a challenge: how to deal with hundreds of motorists using an arterial road to go around and to and from campus with pedestrians that walk and cross those busy intersections. Even at one time, I ended up getting quite sick because of smokers surrounding me near where I counted in Downtown Berkeley, but I fortunately recovered from it after two weeks. Yet, the most rewarding part of the job that I have noticed with intersection counting is more than just the statistical data I gain from them: I gain professional skills and get to know my future career first hand, allowing me to determine what path I really want to take. In my opinion, City and Regional Planning consists of the following topics:
– Pedestrian and road safety
– Traffic analysis and documentation
– Public transportation
– Driver safety and behavior analysis
There may be more to those, including a bit of psychology, anthropology, statistics, and even language, all of which contribute to the current state of our roadways, public transportation, and road users. I believe that I will gain even more experience by getting even more internships and going further than just getting my bachelors degree: I really am aiming to getting my masters degree at UC Berkeley, even when it translates to higher tuition, since there’s no equivalent masters program at San Francisco State University.
Next up: my thoughts about my recent informational interviews.