Our solution is to introduce low speed modes to our East Austin neighbors, inviting them onto the Huston-Tillotson University campus to experience Low Speed Vehicles (aka Neighborhood Electric Vehicles) and pedicabs. We propose engaging HT's students and community neighbors in hands-on learning about a low speed, low emission, low cost mobility alternative: LEAN mobility. We will host events on-campus, working with churches, neighborhood organizations, and/or employers so that our students and neighbors gain hands-on experience with these low cost, low speed, low emission modes. HT will host neighborhood events, gather feedback from participants, and share findings.
It is estimated that fewer than 3 percent of Austinites know what a Low Speed Vehicle is. Even fewer have ever ridden in one, much less driven one. We want to change that, not only for our students, but also for our community of neighbors.
What better way to introduce a new paradigm than bringing a demo onto a university campus with young people? ...where community engagement is central to what HT does?
Imagine nearby neighborhood leaders, parents, children, and teens having a chance to experience a new low cost, low stress, outdoor-oriented transportation mode while interacting with our students and faculty. If our neighbors are intrigued—and we expect they will be–then we will develop meaningful relationships as we become a hub for learning more about alternative mobility.
Simple test drives and test-rides open up minds to what is possible by thinking differently. The key is engaging people hands-on with Low Speed Vehicles so they can imagine using one.
We also believe that our institution can play a small but pivotal role in accelerating Austin's plans to become net carbon emissions neutral. The goal for 2050 is too little, too late. We would like to help accelerate that by twenty years, to 2030. It will take paradigm changes of this scale in cities around the world to accomplish this. We want to be a leader in modeling how accomplish this.
HT is the oldest Historically Black University (HBCU) west of the Mississippi River. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in Austin. We are both innovators and stewards of our legacy. Our students are diverse and driven. For a century, HT has helped many students from low income families join the middle class. With that privilege comes the responsibility to make the world a better place. This pilot project will offer opportunities for students to shape the future of HT and improve the lives of our community of neighbors.
The University is guided by the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, who serves as the first female president of the merged Huston-Tillotson University and only the second female president in the institution’s history. Dr. Pierce Burnette is an experienced leader in higher education with a deep commitment to student success.
HT nurtures a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. Discover more at www.htu.edu, #IAmThePipeline, and #GeniusGeneration.
The Institute for Community MicroMobility will serve as a resource to HT and guide to implementation.