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Search #DriverNotCar or #CrashNotAccident on Twitter and you’ll find a vigorous discussion about the power of word choices to shape our understanding of what happens on the street and who’s responsible. When we directly examine and discuss the language we use, we acknowledge its power both to reflect existing attitudes and to shape developing attitudes. This presentation will uncover embedded biases or assumptions in common transportation terminology and provide tips and tools to help us broaden our inclusion of everyone we are supposed to serve as transportation professionals.


Barb Chamberlain started March 1, 2017, as Director of the new Division of Active Transportation at WSDOT--a division created to reflect the agency’s commitment to multimodal transportation in the #1 Bicycle Friendly State. Barb previously served as the Executive Director of Washington Bikes and in 2015 was named Nonprofit Professional of the Year by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinators. Prior to working professionally in transportation she led communications and public affairs at Washington State University Spokane for nearly 15 years and served on a number of boards including the Spokane Regional Transportation Council and the Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board. She got her start as an active transportation volunteer working on the North Idaho Centennial Trail Committee, then spent four years in the Idaho state legislature, the youngest woman ever elected to both the House and Senate. Find Barb’s bike writing at; follow @barbchamberlain on Twitter for active transportation research, resources and commentary.


Transportation -- Social aspects, Transportation -- Terminology, Transportation -- Attitudes, Transportation -- Planning


Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning

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Webinar: Words Matter: Recognizing and Addressing Modal Assumptions to Shift Transportation Culture