College of Environmental Design alumna Melanie Crotty (M.C.P., M.Sc. Engineering ‘93) passed away in November. Crotty was the Director of Operations at the San Francisco Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and worked closely with the UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies, fostering collaborations between the two.
“Melanie understood the necessity of developing proactive government policies, robust data collection and management systems, and collaborative public-private partnerships to assure that the implementation of new technologies would serve the public interest,” Professor Emerita of City and Regional Planning and Urban Design Elizabeth Deakin said. “She combined the best of engineering and planning and did her work with gusto.”
Crotty earned a dual masters’ degrees in Transportation Engineering and City Planning at UC Berkeley in 1993. Her professional report was titled “New Directions for Transportation: The Application and Impact of New Technologies.”
One of the many projects that exemplified Crotty’s “gusto” was a data project for PATH titled “Hybrid Traffic Data Collection Roadmap: Pilot Procurement of Third-Party Traffic Data.” Crotty’s willingness to tread into new territory and her background helped facilitate parts of the project. Crotty and her team enabled both MTC and UC Berkeley to pioneer the process of procuring mobile data at the beginning of the rise of mobile internet.
As a prominent alumna and speaker, Crotty not only spoke across the country, but she also returned to campus to speak and interact with students, including at the 2011-2012 Sustainable Cities Conference Series: Urban Housing, Economy and Transit, among others.
“Melanie was a longstanding friend of California PATH, and we have been so fortunate to have worked together on many different occasions,” says PATH Co-Director Tom West. “Melanie’s unwavering support of transportation technology, her willingness to ask hard questions, and an always pleasant demeanor made it a joy to work with Melanie. We will all miss her dearly.”