Kyle Simpson

APBP Board of Directors Candidate Statement

Kyle Simpson
Transportation Planner
Regional Transportation Planning Division for the City of St. Petersburg, FL

Kyle Simpson Headshot

Please briefly describe your current position and how your work relates to the bicycle/pedestrian field: 
Kyle Simpson is a Transportation Planner within the Regional Transportation Planning Division for the City of St. Petersburg, FL. In this capacity nearly all his projects are related to the bicycle/pedestrian field given that St. Petersburg is a built-out city surrounded by water on three sides. Projects Kyle works on include development and implementation of the Complete Streets Implementation Plan, grant applications for active transportation projects, review and coordination of bicycle and pedestrian access for the SunRunner Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, the first premium transit service in the Tampa Bay area, and reviewing site plans for compliance with transportation-related items including pedestrian connectivity and bicycle parking.

Why do you want to be a Board member? What do you hope to gain over the term of your Board membership? 
I am interested in being an APBP Board member because advancing the comfort, safety, and accessibility of active transportation is at the heart of my personal and professional endeavors. When I was 15 my cousin was able to convince me, a Florida native, to join him on a nearly three-week self-supported bike tour across the Berkshires from Albany, NY to Boston, MA (via a ferry from Provincetown, MA). In addition to learning that not all coasts are flat (I thought my legs would get a break after the Berkshires… the bridge over I-95 back home did not provide adequate topography training) I experienced the world in a way I never had before: traveling hundreds of miles from the Capital of New York State, through the quaint cities of the Berkshires, the college town of Amherst, MA, and along the beach communities of Cape Cod in-route to Boston, all outside of an automobile. This tour, along with the many others that followed, provided first-hand experience of the disconnected, substandard, and often non-existent infrastructure for people walking and biking in communities across North America.

As time goes on, it is all the more evident that access to a safe, comfortable, and connected active transportation networks is critical for improving mental and physical health outcomes, reducing the outsized impact of the transportation sector on climate change, and beginning to rectify racist economic, housing, transportation, and law enforcement policies that have and continue to disenfranchise people who are not heterosexual white men. As an APBP Board Member, I hope to help advance the active transportation profession while learning from and forming meaningful relationships with fellow board members and peers across the APBP network.

Please describe your goals for APBP and how your leadership on the Board will benefit the association. 
I believe that APBP should continue to lead the active transportation field by being a leading voice on policy and legislative matters related to the advancement of active transportation in North America. While continuing to publish policy statements on important topics such as automated driving systems, vision zero, shared mobility, etc., I believe APBP should work to partner with and release joint statements and publications with professional organizations including the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Planning Association, and the American Public Transportation Association. These organizations and their members directly impact the built environment and represent an opportunity for APBP to advance active transportation system development and integration throughout the planning, engineering, and operation of the transportation system. My academic background in Interdisciplinary Studies, in conjunction with my role in the Regional Transportation Planning Division at St. Petersburg provides me the ability to successfully work together with internal and external stakeholders to advance the goals, objectives, policies, and projects I am working on.

This background, including my first-hand experience traveling without an automobile in five providences, twenty states, and eleven countries in Europe, provides the knowledge of critically important macro-level design details along with the ability to successfully navigate micro-level policy and plans.

Past volunteer/leadership positions with APBP: 
I have worked with the Tampa Bay APBP chapter on hosting group viewings and discussions of the monthly APBP webinars.

Past volunteer/leadership positions with other organizations: 
In graduate school, I was Vice President of Student Involvement for the Graduate Planning Student Association.
In St. Petersburg I have volunteered with Open Streets St. Pete, an event that allows residents to experience different parts of St. Petersburg with car-free streets.
I have also been involved with the reinstatement of the Tampa Bay chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT).